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Giving and creativity

Giving and creativity

One of my deepest convictions has long been that we are called to work with God in the ongoing process of creation – which means that we are called to be creative. I used to think being creative was limited to being able to make something: a painting, a poem, a lasagna, a birdhouse. Something concrete, and infused with artistic expression. That is all part of it, but since many of us are hampered by the notion that we have little capacity for artistic expression, we feel that the opportunity to be creative has passed us by.

It hasn't.

I have since learned that there are many dimensions of creativity, and we are now in an unofficial season of the church year when we can exercise one aspect of it.

It's the creativity of giving. In our diocese, we are being invited to make a pledge to our respective congregations. We can do that out of duty or obligation, or what we think we can afford – which, in my experience, usually invites resentment and reinforces the cultural commitment to scarcity. And, we end up not giving as much as we could.

Or we can give as an expression of creativity. To be sure, our giving enables the church, or other entity that does God's work in the world, to be creative. But more than that, our giving – especially if it is done out of abundance – deepens our need to give (as opposed to the church's need to receive). Giving challenges the commonly held notion that we are defined – or held hostage by, our money.

Giving generates creativity.

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