Your 2018 Pledge - Community
A Letter from Dean Donatelli
Dear All Souls family,
Among the questions wrestled with by the youth and adult Cuba pilgrims this summer was “what does it mean to have and to practice faith in Cuba?” In a country where life is both heavily prescribed and proscribed, what is faith about? Contrast that with America where change and movement are certainly cardinal virtues, even if achieving them is complex: how much of our understanding and practice of faith is impacted by our American realities? How does being here impact our experience, understanding, and practice of faith?
I am a member of All Souls because of questions like that. From the earliest stories of our Hebrew ancestors, to Jesus, to stories of our own experience, God is always calling a people to ask questions: what does it mean to be in relationship with each other, with God, and with the strangers in our midst? Why is it that God is always calling us as a people beyond ourselves? These are the stories and questions of our tradition and of All Souls.
It takes courage to ask questions and listen for answers. It takes courage to live from what we hear. Every aspect of our life here at All Souls finally is about feeding the courage to ask questions and the courage to listen and move toward what we are hearing. From pilgrimages to Cuba or to a part of Asheville that is not on our regular beaten path, from sharing meals on Sunday mornings or on a Tuesday night with the women of Room in the Inn, a meal at Kairos West or a bratwurst in October, all of this is about opening our lives to relationship and courage. From mid-week, Sunday or Holy Week liturgies to music and arts offerings, to engagement in work outside this parish, it is all about practices that drive us out into the world, that call us beyond ourselves: “Let us go forth to love and serve the Lord.” “Thanks be to God.”
As you fill out your pledge card for 2018 I would ask you to do so contemplating the following:
1) For what are you grateful from the past year? Where have you been pushed beyond yourself and your comfort level in engaging life and the world about us? Where and how has this faith community fed that?
2) For what are you hopeful in the coming year? How do you see this faith community calling you and us forth in 2018?
With these in mind I invite you to offer to God and to this community the gift of your pledge; offering from gratitude for what has been and in hope for what will be.
We ask you to send in your pledge either before Sunday, October 15 or bring it to church on the 15th—please understand the 15th as the deadline rather than the beginning. Your attention to this allows the Vestry and Finance Committee to determine where we will go in a way responsible both for the commitments to those outside our community who receive funds from us as well as allowing Vestry and staff to know what the coming year will behold. Members of the Vestry and Finance Committe will begin calling folks from whom we have not heard during the week of the 15th.
In her recent stewardship reflection Carol Anders asked us to consider the folks who sat in our pews for generations before us—how their faithfulness created a community which we now experience. We, like them, are offering ourselves both for this present life and for the life of those who will follow us.
The Very Reverend Todd M. Donatelli, Dean of the Cathedral