This past Saturday, we hosted a workshop on giving. Folks from different congregations came to be a part of this gathering, led by Anthony Robinson. During our time together, one of the things that really struck me was Tony’s talking about a spirituality of generosity. In a society in which greed has become an accepted, even admired quality, his words framed in this way seemed to be right and good in this day and age. Merriam-Webster includes in it’s definition, “characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit. Liberal in giving. Marked by abundance or ample portions.”
God is indeed generous! Generous in loving and life-giving, in new beginnings, in allowing freedom, in forgiveness, in calls to ministry to all of us, in opportunities to love another as well as ourselves, and on and on. Our extending of ourselves to God and others with generosity inflates and animates our lives in wonderful ways. There are so many acts of generosity to be thankful for as we journey together as All Pilgrims.
This week, we hold Bob and Margaret Thompson in our prayers as they fly to Haiti to generously serve in medical mission. Sunday at 5pm, we celebrate the generous love with which volunteers in ministry serve our Community Supper meal every Thursday to hungry and homeless folks. We are thankful for the many who generously give of their time and gifts to provide ministry leadership at All Pilgrims. We enjoy the generous giving of one to another at our recent “Oldest Youth Group in Seattle” bowling night. (We’re not the oldest because it has been around the longest, but because we’re too old to join other youth groups.) This Sunday, join us in the Chapel for the Seahawk game at 1pm! Each Sunday morning, the generosity of All Pilgrims is displayed in the numerous acts of welcome extended to all. We see this so clearly with generous display of food provided in Fellowship by the Hospitality Teams. Also, with great joy, we are thankful for the generous giving of money that makes our lives bigger by it being translated and transformed to be of God’s mission. To be able to take such a thing as money and make great impact, together, for and by the love of God is a generous response to God’s generosity.
We love that Ben Haggerty, aka “Macklemore,” and Tricia Davis and Ryan Lewis gifted us with the opportunity to be a part of their generous effort in making a video for their song, “Same Love,” which has gone viral on You Tube. During the video shoot, an “innocent” bystander commented, saying “…they’re really taking a chance in putting this out.” He was speaking about things like career, money, fame, etc. We knew, though, from our limited time with them that they are about bigger things, including generously being for what is just and good and truthful and right. Their beautiful generosity in speaking prophetic words by their remarkable giftedness has millions favorably bobbin’ their heads to “Same Love” as we move toward equal marital rights in Washington.
As a church, we know that God’s love draws and calls us to be generous givers. Generous in all aspects of our lives. We know God’s generous love in a movement of justice for equal marital rights, for the many ways we are blessed, for our body of committed and faithful sojourners on the Way with Jesus, for so many opportunities to join in faithful service and spiritual growth and healing, and for the opportunity to strengthen and expand our movement with God at All Pilgrims, and in the opportunities to extend ourselves with loving kindness to one another. Let us, indeed, give and live generously!