We CAN do this!

God has done great things through Saint Miriam and our wonderful community. This is apparent and we can see it, and feel it, each time we walk through the doors of our parish. For the past eight years now, God has been forming us into a people of grace with our renowned ‘radical welcome’ where people, young and old, rich and struggling, gay, straight ,or transgendered, divorced and united, ex-offender, or just lost or alone, can continue to come to know Jesus; a God of love and hope.

Today, God is calling us to mobilize this unique gathering of people, with all our amazing gifts, talents, passions, and resources for a new and broader vision for outreach: a brand new church! To see a growing community, working together to make Jesus known, inviting and inspiring others to follow Him, and honoring our Franciscan identity and heritage, is simply overwhelmingly beautiful! Yes, God is calling us to rebuild the churchliterally!

Our Capital Campaign was officially launched last Sunday and has been met with an overwhelmingly positive tone. People are excited. Really excited! It is now time to gather our harvest and give generously and with great joy to God to make this dream possible. As I stated at the end of the presentation last Sunday, “We CAN do this!”

This past Tuesday, the moving trucks came to move our large furniture pieces to auction. It was hard for me to watch it all go out the door. Tucker was confused, and I was a little teary-eyed, to be honest. It was a ‘mark in the sand’, if you will, a point of no return. In fact, as I write this very message, I am doing so from the lone chair that occupies an otherwise empty condominium! I am scared and excited simultaneously, but I have no doubt that God is good and we will do this…together.

You see, we did not want to pay storage fees and we knew that we would be somewhat nomadic for a few years with the selling of our home. So we decided to auction off the furniture and help even more by giving to this vital stage in our growth. Yes, we sold our home and will donate the proceeds, all the equity we built up over these years – some $50,000 in fact – to this campaign. And, yes, we will help even more with these new proceeds, too. To be clear: we do not want your pity or praise, rather – we want you to see how much we are willing, with love and joy, to give what we love most, because we love you – and this parish – even more. Neither Sean nor myself could imagine our lives without Saint Miriam.

I want to challenge all of us to invest in the work ahead. I would like us to be joyful! When you, along with all the other fellow servants in our parish community decide to commit financial resources to this important goal for our continuing ministry, we will undoubtedly share in the blessing of seeing God’s work multiplied all around us.

These are exciting times! Invest, invite, inspire, together!

I will end with a few things about what we will and will not do for this project. First, we will not pressure anyone to give and we will not beg anyone to support us. Each one should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, but with a smile and trust, for ‘God loves a cheerful giver’, as St. Paul reminds us in the pages of scripture. The reality is that unlike God’s call to our general tithing, a building fund is made up entirely of over and above giving (in other words, monies donated in addition to your tithe) to the Lord. In this kind of giving especially, the attitude of your heart is paramount. We must be joyful and excited!

What we will do and without apology is show how everyone can give something to make this campaign a success. It is a myth that some people can’t give anything (cf. Mark 12:43). There are many ways to give if one is willing to give. Even those with no cash can make a commitment to give. And, yes, we will ask people to sacrifice. The simple truth is that you cannot become like Christ without learning to sacrifice, and certainly the Body of Christ is worth sacrificing for. Ultimately, everything we say and do is done to the glory of God … our parish is God’s, bought and paid for through the life of His Son, Jesus, for all of us!

So, if you believe in what God is doing here at Saint Miriam, if God has used it to grow you, if you have seen God’s impact on others in this wonderful place, if you want to see that impact continue for another generation of believers… then we pray that you will give joyfully, and be blessed by it. But please, and I give you this permission directly: please don’t give with a negative spirit, or I can also promise you this … you will reap seeds of destruction and that never makes any sense for any of us. For it is true…we always tend to reap what we sow.

Off we go now, joyfully and full of hope and life, to see where God leads us next! Visit the Campaign pages today by Clicking Here and give joyfully and watch what can do when we work together!