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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Coffee and Church Stained Glass

by Tom Pappas

If your daily mail looks like mine, a significant portion of it amounts to worthy causes hoping for a year-end monetary gift. I find myself wanting to help most of them. (I also want to adopt every orphaned dog my wife’s nephew posts on Facebook – usually more that one a day.)

This fact hasn’t always been so, but I find myself in a position where disposable income is more than a phrase. I can make some financial choices and do some good.

This morning at our coffee group, Jim fired up his ipad and showed us the two stained glass windows that he and Judy are going to have restored with a donation. He is passionate about stained glass and creates art with it. He knows about it. They sponsored a window last year and he went to the studio and was allowed to clean and prepare some of the hundreds of pieces that had been removed from one of the smaller windows.

Old, beautiful buildings take money to keep up. Our heritage church has lots of windows, all in need of restoration. The whole project exceeds a quarter million dollars. Jim invited us guys to think about joining him and his wife to sponsor a window or part of one.

We had a lively discussion about money,
            and church budgets,
                        and mission,
                                    and priorities,
                                                and passion.

Of course knowing me, I want to do something about the windows. But the question in my mind is – “I have this bit of money and I want to give it where it counts.  Can I make a difference with a gift here?”  I do want the windows to be strong and efficient; and I know I want to give some other places.*

What to do? What to do?

Let’s wrestle together about this giving question. It is clear from Scripture and experience that we are called to a life of lively giving. I truly believe that generosity puts me close to the heart of God. As this year ends, I hope we are able to make decisions that benefit the Kingdom, and we are happy with.

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