I want you to imagine what would happen if Sapperton Old Age Pensioners Hall burned down.
We would lose our place of worship, our sound system, lectern, hymnals, aesthetics and chalice.
And somehow we’d still be here. We would be meeting somewhere else, but the church would still be here. Our principles would remain intact; our love for each other would be as firm; our resolve would be tested to the snapping point, but it would hold.
If you don’t give us any money, we’ll still be here. It will be as if we burned down and we’ll be meeting in people’s homes instead of here, but we’ll still be here in the sense that the work of this church will continue.
If you choose to give Beacon money we’ll have a more solid foundation upon which to do the work of the church.
What is the work of the church? To bring us together in fellowship and worship. To be a sanctuary for freethinkers and warriors for social justice alike. To create a safe space for our children and youth to stretch their agile minds. To perform good works in the community we share. To extend the promise of liberal religion to all who will hear it. To provide a pulpit for prophecy, truth, love. To provide a trumpet for the sorrows of the world and its creatures and its peoples. To illuminate the path that brings us in right relation to each other. To shake us from complacency, to turn us from greed, to open our hearts to song and art, to open our hearts to the beauty residing in each of us, and the struggle.
If you cannot give Beacon money, then I urge you to do one or more of three things. To choose and volunteer for a committee performing work you think is important; to plan to bring a friend or colleague to church, especially if the message is relevant to them; to try to come to church every Sunday you are able. For the gift of your presence is what makes this a community. The money is a red herring. We make joy from fabric scraps and leftovers. It is an accumulation of many things, money being the most difficult to speak of, that makes Beacon what it is. Bring your gifts, and bring your questions, and Beacon will be here.