A Credo for Our Time - Stewardship Campaign 2018
Credo means simply, I believe. A credo is a statement that defines us, at least in the present moment. It can be a list of things we attest to, like The Apostle’s Creed. Or it can be something short and pithy, like the CEOs creed: “If you don’t go forward you will go backward.” It might even be something beyond words. Forexample, when Martin Luther was summoned to trial at the German city of Worms in 1521, and was asked to withdraw his criticisms of the Catholic Church. He was remembered to have said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.”
On this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it is fitting for us, standing as we are in Luther’s long shadow, to ask ourselves what we “believe.”
I’m not asking everybody to make an actual list of what we do or don’t believe. That’s merely an intellectual exercise. Besides, lists like that can change like thedirection of the wind. No, I’m after something bigger, here. I want us to ask ourselves, What do we live by? What defines our hearts? When we face anything large or intimidating, what keeps us standing up? So much of what we are about at our church is about finding meaningful answers to such questions and stewardship season is a great time for this kind of stock-taking.
Here is an example of a credo I happen to adore. It was written by one of the best essay writers who ever lived: the late Brian Doyle. I barley knew him, but I admired him as much as any man I ever met. Brian died of brain cancer last May at the tender age of 60, but he left behind a body of written work that will last a long time and from which I plan to draw as I prepare sermons for the five Sundays in October.
Credo: You do your absolute best to find and hone and wield your divine gifts against the dark. You do your best to reach out tenderly to touch and elevate as many people as you can reach. You bring your naked love and defiant courage and salty grace to bear as much as you can, with all the attentiveness and humor you can muster; this is, after all, a miracle in which we live, and we ought to pay ferocious attention every moment. Brian Doyle
Here are the sermon titles I’ve come up with for the month …
- October 1 We Take Our Stand in the Here and Now Exodus 17:1-7
- October 8 We Trust in Something Larger than Ourselves Philippians 4:1-9
- October 15 We Choose To Be Our True Selves, Not Imposters Matthew 22:1-14
- October 22 We Value What Is Truly Valuable, and Nothing Counterfeit Matthew 22:15-22
- October 29 We Take Our Hope From This : “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” Psalm 46
My guess is that by the time you’ve read this Bridge Builder message, you might have already received a stewardship letter from the church with a pledge card in it. If you haven’t filled it out already, please do that, and bring it to church, or mail it in if that is easier for you. If you haven’t gotten a pledge card yet, please look for one in the pews at church when you join us for worship on a Sunday.
We will be dedicating our pledges for year 2018 on Sunday, November 5 as a part of worship that day. Thank you for your partnership in this ministry; I am grateful every day for you all,