Part Three of Three –
In our last two columns we shared personal stories about making the connection between the way we live out our faith and the way we use our money. Mike Little, our Executive Director talked about the insights he gained assisting a famous workshop leader while several Faith and Money Network board members talked about the introspective journeys that help them find their way down this road. Now we want you to meet two board members who were profoundly affected by workshops, including one that Margee Kooistra didn’t attend.
“It was friends who had attended a Faith and Money workshop reporting enthusiastically about it to my husband and me that triggered the connection and set me on the faith and money journey,” Margee Kooistra said. “The niggling questions and decisions about how to live mindfully in our consumer oriented culture and in this world of immense disparity persist and are both challenged and nurtured by remaining in dialogue with others who understand that how one chooses to live each day reflects what is of both immediate and ultimate importance.”
Sharing this journey of discovery with others has been a significant factor for Bob Hadley too. Here’s how he replied when asked how he made the connection. “After a little pondering, I realized that the first time I really focused on the connection between my faith and my money was when I attended my first workshop in 1986. Although my wife and I had been tithing and more before that, this gathering was the first time I had ever heard people who seemed very much like me sharing quite openly about how their faith impacted their financial decisions.
Just so that I wouldn’t miss the point, God even saw to it that the lawyer whose presentation had impressed me so much was also my small group leader! As a lawyer myself, I realized that God had really zapped me. That was the beginning of a whole new life which has involved proportionate giving (not just tithing), and continued association with the organization volunteering in many different roles, the most joyful of which was co-leading more than 20 pilgrimages or trips of perspective all over the world.
In that role I just kept getting zapped by people I encountered like Mr. Sam, a blind and terribly disfigured leper who lived in Kingston, Jamaica. Mr. Sam loved to sing and despite all his physical limitations, he beamed with joy when he belted out, “Praise God who has made me whole.” It was those trips and people I met on them like Mr. Sam, who helped me see in no uncertain terms how rich those of us in this country are by the world’s standards and the importance of using my financial resources to make a difference in the world.”
We discuss money very openly at our board meetings and the insights we gain from each other’s experiences continue to help us make the connection between our faith and our money. There are more board members and more stories to share at a later time, but for now all of us on the board hope we’ve said enough to interest you in making this connection yourself.
To read parts one or two of this series just click on “Soulful Money Matters” below.
Blessings for the Journey,