This is the month of the pledge campaign and here is a story about what it takes to make a religious fellowship vital and successful.
A southern preacher was exhorting his congrega- tion, "Brothers and Sisters, there's work to be done. Let us rise up and walk." The enthusiastic people chorused in reply, "Amen. Let's walk." The preacher went on, "Time's a wastin'. We gotta rise up and run!" "Amen, Brother, let's run," came the response. Warming to his task, the preacher shouted, "The Kingdom is callin'. Let's fly, and fly, and FLY!" Thunderous foot stomping and cheers came back to him, "Let's FLY!!!" "But," said the preacher, “ it takes money to fly." After an awkward silence, a lone voice in the back row spoke up, "Amen ... let's walk."
This preacher and his congregation come back to me every time a pledge campaign comes around, as it does in this month of March. I like this story because it suggests three choices of moving forward that the congregation "Amen'd" in its various ways -- ways open to the members and friends of KUUF. In the first instance pledges can be continued at their present rate, and KUUF can walk benignly into the future losing ground as the economy plods forward and the cost of liv- ing increases. Or, in the second instance, pledge contributions can be increased a bit, the cost of living kept up with, the whole economy might improve, and perhaps even a few new activities
can be added to our program. If this rate of moving forward is cho- sen, the truth of the White Queen's dictum to Alice (in "Through the Looking Glass”) surely will be-
come apparent: "Now, here, you see," said the Queen, "it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."
However, the third choice would get this Fel- lowship moving forward and off the ground into those higher reaches of program and influence in the community to which we all aspire. Taking flight in this way can happen if this Fellowship really means to everyone what they tell one an- other it means. For this to happen everyone must truly believe that free religion should “fly.”
This will require not just an enthusiastic "Amen" (or "Right on" -- whichever fits your the- ology) but also a vigorous flapping of monetary wings. It means truly believing in and working for the difference KUUF makes in the quality of life in this so conservative area. Wings primed with serious pledges will surely bear KUUF aloft and confidently into the future. But, walk, run, or fly – one of these will move KUUF into the future.