We all have that one friend or family member...
...You know the one who is always excited about something. When they show up at the family dinners, you know this person will regale the table with tales of their passion project. They probably have pictures, and they have a way of talking about their passion that makes you want to know more, to join, to do it yourself. It is amazing, inspiring, intoxicating, exhausting. We also have those family members who are quieter about their passion, their excitement is subtler, but get them talking on the right topic, and they will sparkle with excitement, and it is even more thrilling than the openly passionate person, sweeter for having spent the time searching for it. Either way, be it the quiet and subtle passion, or the overt excitement, we gravitate towards this energy and want to know more.
Someone pretty smart once said, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." This rather famous person was talking, passionately, I might add, to a large crowd on a mountain. He was trying to teach people, among other things, to resist storing treasures on earth, give away possessions that these things may be used for the care of others in the community. He was trying to convince people to resist greed, and embrace a new social order where, through the sharing of the meager resources, there was abundance for all. Another saying this famous person said, was "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth." Spoiler alert: the famous person was Jesus, during the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the book of Matthew.
So, how do these three things link together, the two phrases of Jesus, and the passionate family members?
Think on treasures, on heart, on passion, and the two masters. This time of year it is easy for stewardship campaigns to focus on the "unholy trinity" of Members, Money, and Maintenance: if we had more contributing members, we would have more moneyto do more maintenance.* Very few people get actually passionate about maintenance. They exist, absolutely, but they are not the average person walking through the sanctuary door on a Sunday morning. It is difficult to convince anyone to make a pledge if all I talk about is maintenance of the roof, keeping the lights on, and the sanctuary warm.
So, instead lets talk about passion. Can you, in one sentence, name your passion? What about the passion of this church? We have the mission statement on the cover of the bulletin most weeks, but where do we have our heart?
Come on Sunday to hear more!
~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd
*idea credit to: Rev. Tim Coombs at the 11/13 Presbytery Meeting.