The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Nancy Bacon

Let's Get Rich!

From the Pastor'sDesk


The presidential conventions are over and the vicious campaigning season continues. Lord, help us. We can expect to hear about many issues, but especially about jobs and the economy.

I like hearing ideas about good paying jobs. In Central California, faith groups have been conducting listening campaigns with thousands of people and identifying the need for more good paying jobs as the top priority for easing poverty, providing dignity, and building brighter futures for individuals, families, and the region.

These listening campaigns have also identified health and environmental concerns related to clean air and clean water as vital priorities for central California residents.

Clergy of different stripes have been coming together to share their experiences and build consensus. Recently, I sat with Catholic priests, an Episcopal bishop, various Protestant and non-denominational pastors, a Jewish rabbi, Unitarians, and a female Muslim community organizer.

A large regional interfaith community gathering is being planned for September 10 in Fresno, to awaken people to their collective potential, as people of faith, to make positive changes for people in central California. There will be music, singing, real stories of real people, invited political officials and business guests, and specific suggestions for good paying clean energy jobs that could help to address primary concerns identified from the listening campaigns.

This should be an inspiring experience not to be missed. I’ll keep you posted.

Mahatma Ghandi once said “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” A nation’s faith is reflected in its economy and budgets. Follow the money and you will see what we value most…where our heart is at. It’s not surprising that our nation spends a lot on social security, healthcare, and defense. Social security shows that we value taking care of our weakest members. We also value our health and safety.

All three of these top expenditures are related to security of some form.

Beyond security, are we taking enough risks? Faith is about taking some risks - trusting that something bigger than ourselves exists. We can reach out to others with the faith that God is good and able to accomplish more than we could ever hope for. God’s abundant grace and generosity knows no limits. In God’s pocket, we are cared for. If we want to get rich, a faith tradition can point us in the direction of treasures galore.

“For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also,” states the gospel writer of Luke (12:34).

Luke was advocating that we build up treasure that can not be stolen. Possessions can deprive us of wealth. They require our time and care and deflect us from greater things. Luke was suggesting that to become truly wealthy, we should liberate ourselves from stuff, and rearrange our lives to care for others. This caring for others builds up divine treasures enriching our souls.

We can plump up our spiritual bank accounts by visiting the sick, listening to a friend, advocating for good paying jobs, caring for our earthly common home, smiling at strangers, donating to orphans, assisting the homeless, apologizing and forgiving as often as we wish.

Let’s get rich making these investments!

Imagine tuning out rancorous political statements in the weeks ahead and investing in our spiritual economies instead.

May God bless your deposits,

Pastor Nancy

About Tehachapi Congregational Church:

No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life’s journey, you’re welcome here! The Tehachapi Congregational Church is an open and welcoming community of faith that believes that each person, created in the image of God, holds a piece of the truth. Therefore we respect each person’s unique spiritual journey. We invite you to experience the difference that religious freedom in a caring community can make in that journey. We are located at 100 East E St., in Tehachapi. Worship and Sunday School are at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Please join us for coffee and fellowship at our Friendship Hall after worship (approximately 11:30 a.m.). All are welcome.


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