Who is the "Money Team" -- Currently it is Mark Bethell, Joan D'Ambrose, Jennifer Feldhaus, Hopey Gardner, Laura Lambrix, John Long, Titus Olajide. I am convening this team and the current membership was drawn from me doing what has served me well for 15 years of ordained ministry -- praying with the directory and lists of newcomers and seeing what names emerge (I always have to give Heidi Clark credit for recommending this!). It has never failed to gather amazing groups -- and often of people I wouldn't have thought of myself. That said, ANYONE is welcome to join ... just contact me and come aboard!
We've met three times so far. We've told our "money stories" (the messages we got about money growing up). We've looked at three different pieces of scripture (Matthew 11:28-30, John 21: 15-19, Philippians 4:10-13). We talked openly about our struggles with wealth and our experience of stewardship and the life of this congregation.
After those three meetings here is where we are ... and we would love your thoughts and input and ideas. We'd also need you to consider how you might be a part of our Cathedral community coming together to make this happen:
We dream of a Cathedral community that:
*Boldly trusts that God will provide for us and through us.
*Joyfully commits together to sustaining and growing Christ Church Cathedral.
We have identified five key messages we need to engage together as a Cathedral.
*Face Facts - Cathedrals can and have closed - even this year in the Episcopal Church two have (Wilmington, DE and Providence, RI). We are being kept afloat at current levels by the Pope Bequest. At current draw, that will run out in 3 years and then it is gone. The congregation can't do it all, but we need to take responsibility for paying for staff and program -- which is where the pledge target of $440K comes from.
*Trust God - We trust God will provide for Christ Church Cathedral, but we also trust that God provides through us. We trust that when we give generously, that God will provide for us ... not just in our physical needs but bring us incredible joy in giving and in seeing what this Cathedral can become as a beehive of mission and ministry and worship.
*Come Together - We are the Body of Christ. That means we follow Jesus as a community and represent Christ to each other. People give to people. Our stewardship must be deeply grounded in our relationship with each other on a one-on-one level. Inviting. Holding accountable. Praying for and with. Celebrating. Stewardship of Spirit is truly a major part of this, and that must include welcoming many new people into this community.
*Trust Each Other - The staff and chapter need to make sure all finances are transparent as possible/appropriate. People need to feel confident that their money is being handled professionally and their gifts are valued and respected. Information needs to be clear and consistent. The congregation needs to trust the staff and the chapter, assume the best about their professionalism and faithfulness. We need to all be in this together and assume the best of one another.
*Embrace a vision - We will give more enthusiastically and generously if we have a clear sense of mission ... a sense of what we are becoming as a Cathedral. That vision will come from the process we are going through right now with the diocese and the city of discerning our shared, core values ... but the Dean and Chapter need to communicate clearly about that process ... and the process for how leadership is chosen.
What do you think about this dream and these points? How can we work together? What role would you like to play? Leave a comment or talk to me or any member of the "Money Team."
Also, please join us in regularly praying the "Money Team's" guiding prayer. It's the "Prayer of Abandonment" by Charles de Foucauld.
God, I abandon myself to you. Do with me as you will.
Whatever you may do with me, I thank you.
I am prepared for anything, I accept everything.
Provided your will is fulfilled in me and in all creatures I ask for nothing more, my God.
I place my soul in your hands. I give it to you, my God,
With all the love of my heart Because I love you.
And for me it is a necessity of love, This gift of myself,
This placing of myself in your hands Without reserve
In boundless confidence Because you are my God