Sarah Rauch Witness talk
Sarah Rauch Witness Talk on Grateful Giving
November 2017 Mary Immaculate Parish Bellport, NY
When I had heard about how we have to support the church monetarily it was initially hard for me. I felt like the Catholic Church had enough money and why do I need to give more? There were nagging questions about how they spent their money and how they managed their church.
The more involved in the church I became the more I realized how much it really takes to take care of grounds, buildings and how run down so much of Mary Immaculate was…I considered how I would feel if they closed down the church and said, “Sorry there is no money to take care of this place. We have to shut our doors and sell this place.” I thought about how I would feel about that…and I also thought about if I wanted to have a church that “survives” and just makes it or if I wanted a church that “thrives.” There is a big difference.
As I searched my soul for answers I went through a lot of my history and understanding of God and life.
I thought about the priests in my life that have touched me and helped me grow spiritually.
Father Pat always preached justice, Father Jerry always preached love, Father Bill always preaches reaching your best self. I heard their messages and I was changed and my life was richer.
I also learned I had to find my own message from God. I found that I believe that relationships are at the core of following God.
When my fiancé, now husband and I moved back to Bellport when I was 29 we chose to live in Bellport because we love it here. I chose to teach in the schools here because I love being imbedded in the community (relationships!)
I thought about my church and the relationships I have here.
When I look around this church I see people who feed the poor, minister to the lonely, take care of the sick and hold the hands of the dying and the family they have left behind. I see coaches, PTA parents, loving and devoted parents and grandparents. I see children who follow the call of God by nurturing their gifts by being excellent students, athletes, friends and artists. I see God.This church is God. We are this church. This is why for me, I see God in relationships.
I believe in attending church because I need to pause for an hour in my week and give glory to God, to thank God and to praise in song and stop and look around and see God all around me. I need to hear a message that is not like any messages on the radio, TV, news or newspaper. The message that God is love and we are the messengers sent forth to talk love, live love, share love and be love is not said other places. I want my family to hear the message with me. I want to talk about the message together and learn to be the messengers of God together. I want to reach out and talk about the message with others trying to love too, we all know how hard it can be to truly love.
I am older now and have seen more of life. I have thought about the relationship people have with money. I have seen those who invest in love and relationships. They know that money can be a grand tool to reach out and enrich lives. Our church cannot thrive without us. Our church is a place we come to hear the messages we do not hear anywhere else. Our church is a place we all come to be reminded that we serve a God and community that is larger than our inner circle. Our church is place that we come to be reminded the closer we are to God the happier we will be. Our church is a place we come to be fed by our loving tender God. Our church is a place we come to be soothed and to find peace. Our church is a place we come to be nurtured and sent forth for another week of working to love.
Why should I support my church I asked? Now I ask, how could I not support my church?