In the church of my childhood, Heaven consists of three levels: the terrestrial, the telestial, and the celestial. In order to get into the highest order of heaven, the celestial, one must be married to someone of the opposite sex; one must have many children in order to provide bodies for the spirit children waiting anxiously to come to earth to join the one true church; one must observe the Word of Wisdom: no drinking and no smoking; one must attend the Temple regularly in order to practice the secret words and hand shakes that God requires for entrance into Heaven.
And one must pay a full tithe.
The church of my childhood does not pass the plate and it does not practice the complexity of pledge drives. It just simply demands a full ten percent of one’s income.
Or no celestial Kingdom.
Many of us here at Neighborhood, on the other hand, see Heaven in the here and now. We create our own Heaven and/or Hell on a daily basis. Hour by hour. Minute by minute. We alone are responsible for the experience of Heaven.
Rather than extorting money through fear and threats, our UU church utilizes the vital notion of personal responsibility in grateful giving.
We understand that our church needs an income in order to exist and that it is up to us to provide that income.
We give with appreciation for the gifts we receive back from the Church.
Neighborhood’s pledge drive kicks off on February 12, 2017.
–DeAnn Morris, 2017 Pledge Drive Chair