In the past, when I sat in the pew at church, I was always ultra-sensitive to those who came around asking for money. It seemed like everyone always had their hand out. My goal was and is for The Community Chaplain to be self-sustaining, whether through donations from the families of people who we help for free or through other business enterprises that could help us keep the lights on.
But after six months, almost to the day, I find myself with my hands up, asking God to make up the difference, because I just let two calls go to voicemail. I do not have the gas to go and serve those who are calling.
Perhaps I am just naive, or maybe I have missed something that God has been trying to tell me along the way, but I am beyond what I can do by myself. I need assistance. I have avoided getting a tent-making position for fear it would hamper an already-challengingly slow process of starting something new, but I have hit rock bottom. My wife and I have given all that we can. And maybe that is God’s point, that the greater community must support this new community’s formation.
There are three options as I see it, barring the Lord’s direct intervention.
We have two fur coats that belong to my mother-in-law. They are beautiful and barely worn. If someone would like to give to the ministry, we could provide these as an incentive. Or you can buy one or both of them outright.
We have 5 West Point prints by Ben Maile that range in price, originally purchased by my mother- and father-in-law. Again, If someone would like to give to the ministry, we could provide an incentive. Or you can buy one or more of them outright.
If you read about what we are trying to do and feel moved by the Holy Spirit to help, send a donation or make out a check to St. Johns Abbey with The Community Chaplain in the note section. Donations are tax deductible.
We have faithfully sought the Kingdom first, serving any in need without regard to our welfare, and there are good things happening. But there is a reason that institutions do not often stray down this path. It is messy and and slow-going, but oh, so necessary. It is necessary, not only for those we help, but for our own spiritual formation as a community.
God is teaching us about complete reliance on Him, and the process is painful. But we will remain obedient to His call. He is not calling everyone to give. In fact, I have no word that He is calling any of you to give to this specific mission. I would only ask that you pray about it. If He has not placed it on your heart, then perhaps you could simply lift up a prayer for us. But if He has, join us in transforming our community, one heart at a time, by donating to our outreach.