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Sermon Archives

All of Me- A Stewardship Testimony

Dick Harter
Sun, Nov 20

Good morning. I am pleased to be here today. When Bill Hsiao asked me to give a stewardship testimony, I accepted at once.

Many years ago I was writing a senior honors thesis on the historiography of Nursery Rhymes. Hey diddle diddle. The cat and the fiddle. The cow jumped over the moon. But my thoughts were running ahead. What next? What will I do? What will I be? Puzzled and perplexed, I asked Still Listening God for guidance. The Still Speaking answer came: “Yes, I will help you. But I want all of you, all of you.” I accepted and asked what next. “First, Dick, I want you to go to law school, not seminary.” Not the usual answer to prayer.

But I made that commitment and answered that call, and it was call confirmed. I loved law school… not the usual reaction. Skipping rapidly ahead, Gay and I were married, chose Cambridge as the place where we wanted to live and I practiced law for fun and profit in Boston for 50 years.

And that commitment from the 50s, the commitment of all of me, remained. The decisions I have made about how to spend my time and how to spend and to share my resources have been made, day after day and year after year, with that commitment in mind. All of me. Now if there were a multi-decade ledger book, it would show many foolish decisions I have made and a lot of wasted time. I would be embarrassed to read through that book. But that book would also show what trying to live a life of faith looks like.

In addition to service on committees and boards too numerous to mention, the book would show Dick and Gay trying to decide what amount to pledge to First Church, year after year, what amount to pledge to City Mission, to Chicago Theological Seminary, year after year….and also what support to offer to secular organizations concerned for climate and ecology, for immigration rights and much else… and what support to offer to progressive political candidates and progressive political organizations. (Of course, we are human; and one person’s progressive political candidate is another person’s Goofy Pocahontas.) Those spending/sharing decisions are all related. Those spending/sharing decisions are all related. Each of us may have multiple commitments – we do -- but each of us is called to be ONE faithful person. May we make our decisions- life decisions, commitment decisions, money decisions, in light of that calling, that calling to be ONE faithful person.

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