Old South members Carol and Amy shared their story of how they first came to Old South Church and why they support us. Read their story below.
We first walked into this church May 10, 2009. It was Mother’s Day, our first Mother’s Day as brand new moms. We had just moved cross country with our baby, two cats, and all our possessions. In a small apartment above the Purple Shamrock we nursed the baby to the shouts and music and occasional retching that accompanies last call in Boston around 2:30am. We were tired. We were hungry for the Word. And we desperately missed our Seattle church.
Our UCC ministers in Seattle had told us to find Old South as soon as we arrived. And you won’t be surprised to hear either that Liz Meyer Bolton’s sermon that Mother’s Day left us a teary blessed-out mess.
But we were on and off with church after that, because it’s hard to buy a home in this town and find your way when you wife works a million hours and you have a new baby that has you so in love you can barely push the stroller down the cobblestone streets after your realtor. But then we found a house in Jamaica Plain next to Kim and Dan and their 1 year-old. They mentioned their church, Old South, and fast friends were made. And we were in. We formally joined OSC around 2011 and we welcomed our second daughter in 2012 and had her baptized in this beautiful space. You all are our church home. We had a soft landing in this new spot to raise our family.
We just got through it-that time of year when the inbox is full of requests from every organization under the sun—and under the rainbow—seeking final donations. Help us meet goals, elect women, protect the environment, secure clean energy, feed every hungry belly, shelter every refugee, improve our schools. It makes our guts clench to think of a hungry child in our own zip code, as our kiddos push away seconds at dinner every night, or to hear about a foster child whose only wish is swimming lessons as we shuttle my children to one more after school activity. And 2017 brought extra harsh treatment for so many already on the fringe, already vulnerable. So yes, we all toggled through the end of year donations, giving from the heart and hoping to have impact. There is so much need and only so much to give. And here we are, in the church season of talking stewardship and committing our financial resources to fueling the work of this special church.
Our task today is to tell you why we give to Old South. In a world with so much need and so many asks, we need a framework. This congregation shares our values: our hope for a world where every woman has a fair shot to run for any office, where Mother Earth is recognized for being in peril, where the thought of a neighbor with a hungry belly also makes your gut clench. Where the refugee crisis also makes your heart hurt. And, frosting on the cake, you don’t blink that we’re a two-mom family, full of the same hopes fears, imperfections and crazy that your own family has going on. It’s our job to do God’s work on this earth, and you are the people that we worship with each week. You teach our children in Godly Play. You send love notes when we have a loss or an ankle surgery that goes awry. And you reach out to our community to help those in need, you challenge us to be better people, and remind us that as wrapped up as we may become in our daily chaos, there are people and issues out there that need our attention, our energy, and yes, our financial resources. Our family is blessed with the resources we need and so we give with a generous heart.
We give to Old South, because this is a community that helps us put our money where our values are. It helps us sort through the world of need and focus where we can make a difference. It lets us teach our children that giving is as important as receiving, to be grateful for all that we have, the importance of helping those in need and trying to make the world a better place. It’s not hard to make a financial commitment to Old South, because we get way more back than we give. God is still speaking; giving to Old South helps us listen. Thank you.