Living in the Midst of Generosity
posted on February 02
Living in the Midst of Generosity
“Some give freely, yet grow all the richer…” (Proverbs 11:24)
Many of you were kind to reach out yesterday, as I acknowledged on social media the twentieth anniversary of my brother’s suicide. Chuck took his life when he was only 31 years old, and we have been missing him ever since. He was my “little brother” and we shared most everything, even when we didn’t want to share. (Smile.) I felt responsible for Chuck, as his “big sister” and it took me many years to forgive myself for not being able to prevent his death. The voice mail on my office line that afternoon haunted me; I would have given anything not to have stepped out to make a visit when he called me for the last time.
As I spent some time yesterday in quiet reflection, I was immediately reminded of all the people who surrounded my family in that terrible time. I think of my congregation, and my husband’s congregation – I think of the neighbors, former congregations, fellow clergy (some of whom labor in Northern Piedmont right now) the friends from Rotary, my fellow Scout leaders, staffs at my childrens’ schools. I was utterly surrounded by love. As I look back, I see that they attended to me just as the angels attended to my brother. I gave God immense thanks for that, both when it happened and again yesterday upon continued reflection. I also took some time yesterday to thank a few of those who were the hands and feet of Christ for me in that dark hour. It’s certainly wonderful to witness generosity, but it’s even better to acknowledge it.
Today I would like to take a moment to acknowledge YOU, the Northern Piedmont District, for your generosity to each other (I have seen it in so many ways!) and to our United Methodist connection in 2020. The Northern Piedmont District excelled in all its missional giving this year, both on the District Level and the Conference Level. Only a very few churches were unable to fulfill their obligations, and most of those churches are in the process of voluntary closure. They have struggled for many years, and our hearts are with them as they move to the legacy phase.
Of our 140 churches, 127 paid 100% of both their Conference and District connectional giving. 7 paid 100% of their District connectional giving, even if they struggled to complete their Conference giving. All in all, the Northern Piedmont District finished at 93.84% in Conference giving and 95.12% in District Giving. Overall, Northern Piedmont came in at 93.95%, giving a total of $2,497,812.26 to our shared ventures in the name of Christ. I am just so grateful to live in the midst of such generosity, and to see you perform these generous acts of faithfulness during a pandemic is nothing short of miraculous. It is a tribute to your values, your compassion for our world, and your appreciation of the many gifts that connectional life offers us when we need it most.
On behalf of all our Northern Piedmont District staff, and our entire Cabinet and Conference Staff, we say thank you. We give God thanks for your faithfulness, for your sharing in the Gospel, and for your positive witness about all that is right in this world. We give freely, and yet we grow all the richer.
We Love You,
Rev. Bev Coppley and Your Northern Piedmont District Staff