I want to thank Jen and Stephen Day, along with Doug Pratt and Elizabeth Olson for taking on the task of the Stewardship Committee.  It takes a great deal of time, and there is the pressure to meet deadlines, and reach goals needed to support our church. I know this because my husband Tim was on the Stewardship Committee for many years during the 30+ years we were members.  When Jen asked me to speak today, I told her I needed to think about it. As I was driving home from church that day, I kept hearing this voice in my head over and over again. “You’re going to do it – right?”

Tim worked with many other dedicated members like Alice Macy, Joe Masonick, Tim Closson, Lydia Larrabee and Elizabeth King to name just a few.  When I asked him why he didn’t take a break and let someone else take over, he told me that it was important work that was needed to support the church.  Even though we rely on member to volunteer their time and talents, the hard truth is it takes money to support the financial needs.

From my mother I learned to be practical and frugal.

By following Tim’s lead, I learned to be a more generous person and found out what a good feeling that was.  Whether it was giving to the Crisis Center, United Way, the Boys and Girls Club or any other charity, we were supporting the things we valued.  The same was true of giving to this church. We valued the people and principles of this church and reflected that by giving as generously as we were able.  That is something I will always continue to do.

Whenever Tim was trying to talk me in to letting him purchase another expensive piece of camera equipment, he would often end his pitch by saying, “Aren’t I worth it?” After I hesitated awhile, he would raise one eyebrow and smile.  He always got the new toy and I have a house full of all the wonderful photos he took.

So as you consider your pledge to UUCE this year, try to reflect on all the ways your life is better by being a part of this church.  I hope it is worth it. I know it is for me.