Cindy and I have been members of Westminster since 2003. Our previous church had grown too intolerant over our 25 years there. It was time to find a church that was welcoming to all, and that both preached and practiced Community.
Cindy and I are quite organized, perhaps too much. So, with a new church home as our goal, we made a check-list of churches to attend in our search. It was on Youth Sunday in May 2002 when we first attended Westminster, which was near the top of our list. And when we heard the high schoolers preach, we both agreed. We wanted to be a part of a church that can raise young people to think like that. We terminated our search. We had found our church home.
The Rev. Dr. Tim Hart-Andersen gives an informative and inspiring sermon each Sunday, no doubt about that, but for the Snyders, it was those thoughtful, challenging words from the Westminster youth that put us in the pew. We made the right choice. And we support this church.
I read about an interesting study in the Economist magazine some time ago. The magazine reported on a statistical analysis that found a direct correlation between being happy and being generous with charities, which often is a person’s church. But that begs the question: which causes which? Does giving generously make someone happy, or are happy people, in general, more generous? Statistics can’t answer that question because statistical analyses can only show correlations among data—they don’t prove causation. But, based on my observations, I personally believe that both are true. I have noticed that happy people do tend to be more generous—with their time, talents and assets. And being generous can make us happy too—fulfilled and with a purpose beyond just our own wants and needs.
For Cindy and me, the key to stewardship is to understand our priorities. Westminster, and its mission in this Beloved Community and beyond, is very important to us. So we want our priorities to reflect that—as to our time, talents and, yes, our money too. So we support this church. And we made the right choice.
Next Sunday, November 17, is Stewardship Sunday. I hope you will join with Cindy and me to fill out Pledge Cards to demonstrate our commitments in 2020 to Westminster’s ministries.