One of the terms used in this year’s giving campaign is “transformational Giving”  Just what is transformational giving” We all give to make something better, or, at least, less bad.  We hope we make a difference to some one, some cause, or come condition.  This is all good, but to me, it is not transformational. I understand it to be a kind of giving that changes, or transforms me.  This requires a kind of giving that involves the heart and the soul, not just the checkbook.

A few years ago, I “adopted” a small family. They were not like me! They were homeless, poorly educated, and they smelled! Certainly not what I would choose, but somehow, by the grace of God it clicked. While they certainly benefited from our friendship, I received so much more from the,; they changed the way I feel about and relate to people. I finally grasped that it really ISS in giving, we receive! When we are personally, even spiritually involved in our giving, we have a relationship with the recipient. By this connection, I feel, we are even more nourished by our giving and strengthened personally.  Time and again I find myself in awe of transformations created by small, personal deeds I see around me.  Small individual monetary donations can make books and school possible and someone finds a better way of living. Time spent listening to a troubled adolescent helps keep her in school and demonstrates that someone really cares about her. Feeding hungry people with nutritious food in an atmosphere of welcome pushes aside loneliness and includes them.

In our giving to St. Paul’s, we are not just supporting bricks and mortar; we are supporting our friends, families and community in many and varied ways. This is transformational giving; we and they are supported and strengthened together in ways neither can achieve alone.