Why I Give
During stewardship season we ask all members to make a pledge. A pledge is a promise to give to the church over the course of a year. Every year our vestry puts forward a faith-based budget that relies on the pledges of all members. This is the basis of all our mission and outreach. In the coming weeks, parishioners will be sharing their reasons for why they give to this compassionate community that is making a difference.
Shortly after I joined The Church of the Good Shepherd back in 1994, I took stock of the positive experiences that it was providing for my family of five: the outstanding preaching, the rich music program, the lively Sunday School classes, the pageants, the adult education hour, the outreach opportunities etc. I realized that my family was receiving a multitude of important gifts and it seemed only natural that I should respond by helping with the funding.
And here, 33 years later, I see all of the same experiences thriving at Good Shepherd and more. I was listening to the sermon last Sunday and thinking about what I would write for Why I Give when Arianne said this: “God is present through a variety of people all working together”. That important sentence spoke volumes to me in that moment. Part of our work is to participate in this caring and compassionate community indeed making a difference in our lives and in lives in the greater Baltimore community.
There are so many wonderful ministries at work in this church, and they need fuel to burn their brightest. In our culture, money is an important source of fuel. So we must participate in the ministry of Good Shepherd, each according to our gifts and our callings and we must help to provide fuel for the flames. We are indeed a variety of people and when we work together, God is powerfully present with us. - John Bonn, Vestry '20
Good Shepherd has been a vital part of my life for 28 years, and for much of that time I like to think I have been a vital part of it. Ten years ago I realized that CoGS had become like an extended family. That was what drew me back, after an 18 month discernment period, during which time I ‘shopped’ other area churches, due to a disagreement I had with some program direction CoGS was instituting.
I came to realize that family members do not always agree on everything, but if the core values remain intact, that is what matters. Families change and grow, or remain stagnant and wither. Rather than fight the change, I found the better path to be to contribute to it and add my own style and opinions to the mix.
So I give: I give my time, I give my opinions, I give with my heart and with my wallet. But, I get so much more. - Harry Andrews, Vestry '20
The reasons I give to the Church of the Good Shepherd are many. I am glad to do so because I am grateful to be a part of this family which is truly compassionate to all who come within our doors and to those in the greater community. Good Shepherd is blessed by the joy-filled leadership of our clergy and by the generosity of so many members who are willing to look beyond our walls and our immediate neighborhood and work so hard to make a difference in the lives of others in the wider community. I am proud to be a part of this church family. I give because I want to support and sustain the wonderful energy of the Church of the Good Shepherd. - Snowden Stanley, Sr. Warden
There are plenty of reasons why people give their time, talent and treasure to their respective churches. For me, giving benefits both the receiver as well as myself. As Paul testifies in 2 Corinthians 9:11, "you will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way." Raising 3 children (14, 12 & 8), it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the, " I want this and I want that." In turn, this provides me a wonderful opportunity and is a constant reminder to have my children and myself stop and reflect on how fortunate we are to have what we have and learn how we can all give back to our wonderful community/church in order to help make a difference. It is a constant reminder to remember the words of our Lord Jesus, "it is more blessed to give than to receive."
I am constantly learning of new roles that our community/church plays and how these roles impact the lives of so many people. For me, I am simply amazed at everything our community/church is involved with and what it accomplishes every day. As a result, I want to do whatever I can whether it be through time, talent or treasure, to ensure that our vibrant community/church can continue to make a positive impact on people's lives as it has been doing for so long. I want to ensure that our vibrant community/church can continue to seek new roles and expand its outreach in order to impact more lives. I want to give back to this compassionate community because I see it making a difference and that makes me more enriched every day! - Shaun Lavin, Vestry Member