My Ministry, Part 3 of 10

I understand ministry in two fundamental ways. One is in being generous, as a person, in
spirit and with money. On a superficial
level, I believe becoming a minister in my faith relegates one to a middle or
lower class life. This is particularly
true for me coming from a working class and small family that experienced
bankruptcy during my childhood. I never
felt the pressure to become rich, although I’ve fantasized about it. I learned and loved living a life of
simplicity, sacrificing the opportunity for material possessions to engage the
world from a place of creating justice. While justice isn’t cheap, it does not in my experience come with a pot
of gold at the end. Rather, I am happy
with living a frugal life, with limited financial security, knowing that I will
work into my old age, and regularly giving what I do earn back to the community
from which it came.

From a more meaningful perspective, I believe my ministry is
marked by my generosity with money, one that models giving when others are in
need, sharing what material possessions I have, and setting an example of
generous giving by donating 10% of my income to Unitarian Universalism. I have been contributing 10% since my first
job as a bottle-boy-counter at the local supermarket, and plan to so until my
death. I think it is important,
particularly for leaders, but for people of all ages and income statuses to consider
significant giving back to their community. This giving for me is also more selfless, no-strings-attached, than it
is with an expectation of high recognition and award. I believe giving is a way to build trust,
inspire others, and strengthen relations.

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