This piece is from the First Unitarian Church of Portland‘s Annual Fund Drive Brochure
written by Rev. Thomas Disrud, Associate Minister

A friend describes his spiritual approach to generosity quite simply: “I give until it feels good.” I try to remember that in my life. Giving is not primarily an obligation, nor a duty and certainly not a burden. Generosity is an opportunity to make real our connection to others and to that which is larger than our-selves. Generosity is one of the important ways we participate in the Spirit of Life.

Generosity and most spirituality grow out of a sense of gratitude. We work hard and many of us struggle to overcome obstacles and oppressions. But we have also been given so much. We did not create our talents or our energy. The wonder of the natural world, the capacity to love and to be loved, to know beauty and to treasure friendship, life itself…these are all gifts we did not create.

The Spirit of Life calls us to respond with gratitude. One great theologian said that if our only prayer is “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” that would be enough. But that feeling of gratitude for all we have been given also calls us to give back, to find ways to bless the world as we have been blessed.

Generosity is making love manifest in the world; it is offering our gifts in the service of building the Be-loved Community. Generosity to this church supports a community of caring, compassion and hope with a ministry that goes deep both within and beyond our walls.

You have found a religious home here at First Unitarian Church. I hope you will express your gratitude and your dedication to this community with a pledge generous within your means. Give until it feels good.

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