When Katie and I walked into Throop’s sanctuary a year ago, we felt we had found a home. After investigating several of the other Unitarian congregations in Southern California, Throop called to us as a place where we could make an impact—small enough to allow for our participation, yet large enough for significant growth. Throop has a storied history of service to Pasadena and the greater communities. Our sanctuary stands testament to time, talent and treasure lovingly applied for our benefit from generations of Throop congregations past and present.
I see opportunity here. I see an aligned and growing community here. We here assembled are a motley band of free thinkers, iconoclasts, misfit toys and dreamers. We are, in our own ways, spiritual trailblazers—willing to cut a path for ourselves and others with effort and commitment. And this place, among all places, is our home. This is a home of doers. Participants. We make this choir’s joyous song. We serve our communal meals. We tend the garden and preach the sermons. We make our community a stronger, more enlightened place! We.
Only we can ensure that our tradition continues. As we each joined this church as members, we pledged to share our time talent and treasure to make sure this church will continue to thrive into the future. And as a place that fosters so many of our interests and diversions, we owe a duty to Throop’s continuing operations. Consider for a moment how impoverished our lives might feel if this place were gone—sold to developers for condos or some such, or appropriated by another community of faith. In that fleeting fantasy, do we feel our love for this place grow deeper? Our spiritual home deserves respect and honor. Ask yourself, what is this place worth to you? To our community? To our legacy?
Checkbooks are spiritual documents. They tell us what we support, what we believe in. What we value. Is your commitment commensurate with that value? Our contribution to this church is critical in all respects, including financial. We cannot be a place where everybody matters, if we are not willing to keep our roof sheltering us and our walls surrounding us. We cannot enrich our lives with sermon and song unless we support our minister and staff that shepherd us into the manifestation of our spiritual communion. We cannot embrace and shelter those in need if we do not do not give according to our abilities. None of us alone is sufficient. But together we have all that we need--if we are willing to contribute our hearts, minds and funds in accordance with the benefits we derive.
Last week, the Throop Stewardship Committee launched its annual effort to improve Throop’s financial wellbeing. The focus of this committee is financially manifold: encompassing grant writing, improved management of Throop’s financial assets, event marketing, fundraising and increasing member participation. In the coming weeks, a member of the committee will contact each of you to share exciting and impactful plans we have underway. We are enthusiastic, energized and focused to continue Throop’s growth as a beacon of hope and change in Pasadena. We respectfully request you receive this meeting with open hearts and minds. Mindful of the many ways Throop has added to your lives. This is not a “hard sell” coming your way. It is a reminder of how slight changes among all of us can make huge positive impacts. A slight reallocation of funds—one fewer Starbucks per week, one fewer ice cream, one fewer pack of cigarettes, one better financial choice in favor of your greatest spiritual asset—that is what can make all the difference. Let us motley band of brothers and sisters make our home great. Together.