From the President, February 2019
Back in 1945, former U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson made the following observation about trust: “…the only way you can make a man trustworthy is to trust him; and the surest way to make him untrustworthy is to distrust him and show your distrust.” Aside from the sexism, that’s a compelling point. And yet how often does any of us typically choose to extend that trust to others?
Another question worth pondering is this: What makes you trust – or distrust – another? Is it their politics, gender, skin color? Maybe it’s their socio-economic status.
That last one can get people really squirrelly. Some folks seem to worship money, while others distrust it and the people who have a lot of it. Perhaps the healthiest people are those who are in the same boat as author Dan Millman, who once observed, “Money is neither my god nor my devil. It is a form of energy that tends to make us more of who we already are, whether it’s greedy or loving.”
That means that we at Peoples Church will be just as warm, welcoming, loving, and trustworthy when we’ve doubled our current financial resources as we are now. And we’ll one day achieve that happy financial position because one of Peoples Church’s developmental ministry goals focuses on effective financial stewardship.
Did we choose this goal because we’re money hungry? Because we want to be known as “that rich church”? Or because we want to have the wherewithal to continue providing a liberal, non-creed-based spiritual community in Cedar Rapids?
At Peoples, we don’t value money for what it is, but rather for what it enables us to do. We know that the more financially secure we are, the more readily we can focus on creating the outcomes identified in our end statements:
- We partner with others to build a fair and just world.
- We create a spiritual home that welcomes all of good will.
- We articulate our UU faith, teach it to our children, and live it in the world.
- We support our Mission through compassionate presence, talented participation, and financial resources.
- Together we create transformational worship experiences that inspire compassionate action.
We all get to trust that everybody will do everything they can to create these outcomes, by sharing with Peoples their skills and their cold, hard cash. Because we need it all: the trust, the skills, the money.
As humorist Henry Wheeler Shaw put it, “Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of her tail.” So let’s trust that, moving forward, we’ll enjoy both the dog and the wag.