We never spent much time thinking about where our church giving made an impact. Giving to church has always been something our family prioritized. We give out of a sense of gratitude and responsibility. Marinating on this topic made us look back at the history of our church membership and our participation.
Before joining Central we were members at a couple other churches in the area. Over time we grew restless or disenchanted. I ended up visiting several churches
and decided to call Central home. What grabbed me was the welcoming culture and inclusiveness. I used to tell friends, “I’m attending the hippie church. I can be in a pew with a business owner, a single mom, a gay couple and some guys with neck tattoos.” But more than anything else it was Central’s proud support for our LBGTQ+ population that pulled me in. I’m a 60’ish year-old white guy, married to the same woman for over 38 years, so that may be a bit unexpected.
One of our core beliefs is a church should be inclusive. It is the height of hypocrisy for any of us, but especially a church, to be exclusive instead of inclusive. Central is a church that has embraced all members and visitors. We value how Central leads with inclusion and unconditional love for everyone . . . yep, the LGBTQ+, the unhoused, singles, traditional families . . . everyone.
So our family gives to Central because it is a beacon of inclusion. Inclusion leads to better decisions and action. It doesn’t mean much if you have strong beliefs but there is no action.
We are eager for Central to continue to lead in this area but it needs our financial support to thrive. We feel strongly about Central mission and strategy. Our family has increased our giving for the coming year and we hope you will too. Our church needs you, our community needs you and our world needs you!
Jay Berger and Maureen Berger
Kathryn Tulgestke says
I absolutely adored all three of your children when I taught them. I would write on their report cards; “ Emma, Luke, Ben will make this world a better place”. They were a bright light for others at Eastern. AND I KNEW WHY!!
They come from a terrific family!
Thank you Bergers for being the people you are!
Sheri Grow says
What a beautiful testimonial to Central church. Thank you for reminding us how fortunate we are to have members like you among us.
Sue Halsey says
I love how you phrased inclusion. “LGBTQ+, the unhoused, singles, traditional families . . . everyone.” I am happy to be on the list of “all” rather than an “included” member.
Kathy Mead says
Thank you, John and Maureen, for helping me find the “right words” to explain Central Church and why I love MY church family… it is the broad variety of people. We are definitely not a “cookie cutter” church. I like to think that Jesus smiles when he sees who is gathered under our roof.
Sally Ellinger says
Thank you for your good words. We all need to be reminded how special Central is and what the church means to others in the community. Our wish is that every church would be so welcoming.
CNdice Wallace says
Ditto from the Wallaces