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  • Writer's pictureTim Burns

What do I get from serving a church?

Photo Courtesy of Leslie Long, who made this Fairy Garden

Today I'm sharing my role in our church's Commitment Drive with Sunday school kids. Raising annual pledges is not just a necessary part of running any church; it's also a source of joy for me. It's like a game we all play together, where we each contribute to something more significant.

I have two groups in the school for the message: the young elementary school-age kids and older elementary school through middle school kids. The youngest kids are in kindergarten, and my message is that raising funds in church is like building a fairy garden. We make the fairy garden a source of delight in our neighborhood by each bringing some small item and caring for it through the seasons.

For the older kids, I want to share how serving on a committee has opened my eyes to a world of diversity. It's not just about asking for money; it's about understanding and respecting the different circumstances and feelings that everyone brings to the table. It's a learning experience that I find genuinely enriching.

In that way, I develop myself by learning about others. Our social circles are like fairy gardens. We build a circle and curate that circle to create something meaningful that helps everyone. In my church work, the social circle starts with two other committee members. Together, we host fundraising receptions, call members to ask for their upcoming pledge amounts, recruit members to talk about what the church means to them and write articles and verbiage for thank-you notes.

Having a joint project makes church beyond the enjoyment of the service and into a more integral part of my life. I look forward to seeing people after church to discuss plans. I helped Reverend Liz and Beth Armstrong plan a service to kick off the commitment drive. I had the nervous experience of calling strangers, introducing myself, and having a warm and earnest conversation on a tricky topic: money. I met intelligent and funny people who share my core values as a Unitarian.

Being part of a committee has transformed my church experience. It's not just about attending services; it's about knowing that I have a role in shaping our church's future. It's a feeling of belonging and contribution that I want each one of you to experience.

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