September 8 and 9 will make for a pretty exciting weekend. I hope you will be participating.
First, on Saturday, September 8, a group from our church will participate in the largest climate action ever to take place on the west coast of the Americas. We will be part of the thousands gathered in for the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march. Thank you to Beth Rasler and Joy Barnitz for coordinating our church’s group. I’m hoping our contingent from Niles Discovery Church will be large – and still be only 0.1% of the march total.
If you’ve known me for any length of time, you know that I believe that climate change is the moral issue of our day. Agriculture developed with the climates we’ve known for the past 10,000 to 20,000 years. As humans cause rapid climate change, our ability to grow food to feed the over seven-billion of us on this planet will become increasingly difficult. Access to clean, potable water will shift. Climate refugees, already a reality, will become a commonality. In all likelihood, wars will erupt because of all this.
Unless we change what’s happening.
If we reduce the production of greenhouse gases drastically and quickly, we can mitigate the impacts of climate change. But we’re running out of time to do this. That’s why I’m taking to the streets and why I’ve been organizing churches and other faith communities in our region to join us. I hope to see you on the streets, too.
Then, on Sunday, we’ll gather for worship as we kick off the new school year. As you saw on page 1, you’re encouraged to bring a favorite stuffed animal to worship that day. We will have a time of organized chaos for story sharing and reflecting on God’s radically inclusive love. It should be fun.
And then, before you know it, it will be October – and October is Pledge Month. Ours is a very generous congregation. Still, to develop a sound budget for 2019, we need to have some idea about how much money people will be giving, so we ask for pledges. It’s something we have to do every year. The big challenge is, how do we make this more fun than a public TV and radio pledge drive?
Our plans include a lunch and talent show, some testimonies, and some letter writing. Of course, we need help to pull this off, so please check in with Mark Twist (our pledge campaign coordinator) to let him know how you can help. I truly appreciate your assistance.
Maybe I don’t say that enough. I’m writing this column between Saturday’s and Sunday’s flea market sales. I’ve watched as a hearty core of volunteers and a squad of others have come to the church on a regular (for some, daily) basis to sort, price, and display donations, and to sell donations during the weeks leading up to the Big Weekend. And then everybody and their uncle show up on Flea Market weekend. I don’t want to add up how many hours of volunteer work goes into this weekend – I don’t know how to start.
I just know it makes a difference, and it couldn’t happen without your help. Ours truly is a generous congregation. Thank you.