What We Pledge of Ourselves is Matched by What We Receive
2014 Stewardship Campaign Testimonial
“Aunt Joetta, are you going to change your Facebook status to ‘engaged’?” It was a light-hearted question, sent by my niece after she learned that Kathy and I have decided to get married in Maryland later this year. ENGAGED?!?! The dictionary says engaged means “involved; bound as by a pledge, promise or contract.” Apparently the word originates from two 15th century French words that literally translate as “to make a pledge.” Well, in my dual roles here as your congregational president AND as a passionate advocate for marriage equality, you probably won’t be surprised to know that I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the words “engaged” and “bound as by a pledge”!
I’ve never indicated my marital status on Facebook because their drop-down box doesn’t really offer the option of selecting “together 17 years but not allowed to get married.” So I’ve left it blank, hoping that someday the dream of full marriage equality will come true for Kathy and me and millions of other lesbian and gay couples. Yes, we can get married now in 13 states and the District of Columbia, but we’re not really “there” yet. Seventy percent of Americans live in the other 37 states and only those who can afford to travel to an “equality state” can be married now. When Kathy and I return from Maryland after our wedding, the state of Georgia won’t recognize our marriage – but someday it will! The LGBTQIQ Community and our allies will not stop working for equality until the inherent worth and dignity of each of us and our relationships is fully recognized and respected.
I’m here most Sundays and usually several times during the week. You may wonder what has prompted me to be so involved at UUCA in the past few years. My UU faith, as experienced in our beloved community, has helped sustain me when the outside world tells me that my family of choice doesn’t count or shouldn’t even exist. Knowing that there are allies here in this circle – people who believe that we must keep working for social justice – has made all the difference for me. Feeling connected to this place… to each of you whether I know you personally or not… standing on the side of love together with you… that matters!
Every Sunday we say that UUCA is a place that changes lives. So I’m here today to ask you to ponder the question of how your life has been changed as a result of your engagement with this beloved community. Maybe you were seeking spiritual refuge from a less welcoming religion, or you came here out of loneliness at a time of transition. Perhaps you wanted to experience the Divine, the Spirit of Life, in new and refreshing ways: through wonderful music, a thought-provoking sermon, an opportunity to share deeply within a Covenant group. Something has kept you coming back, has sparked your sense of connection – and helped you be engaged with the people of this congregation. Here’s what I believe: the more you seek to be a part of the life of UUCA, the more you will experience the benefit of that engagement. What we pledge of ourselves is matched by what we receive. How has your life changed as a result of your engagement at UUCA? How will you be engaged with your UU faith in the year ahead? I ask you to join me today in making a pledge of financial support for UUCA so we can ensure that this congregation will continue to grow as a welcoming, caring and engaging community – for LGBT families such as mine, for each of you, and for all those who come here seeking our life-changing UU faith.
I’ve placed my piece into the UUCA puzzle! Where is your piece?
Make a pledge today at uuca.org/us/generosity-giving/financial-commitment-form.