Build the Serving Church: Why We Gave
Susan Forsburg and Lisa Churchill gave generously to the diocesan capital campaign, Build the Serving Church. Here they share why they gave and their overall philosophy of giving.
We came to St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2008 searching for an inclusive faith community with a strong liturgical and sacramental component. Once we heard the sermons and the music, we were all in. The Cathedral has become our family, where we’ve shared life’s milestones, including its joys and sorrows.
We think a hallmark of maturity is an awareness of the world outside of our own interests. As new members of St. Paul’s, we were like teenagers, mostly concerned with ourselves and our own needs. As we’ve grown up in the community, we’ve given financiall, and also become active in service. Lisa is the head verger, and serves on chapter. Susan runs the Cathedral blog, helps with the Facebook page, and photographs events. With this maturity, we’ve become more aware of the larger body that is the church, manifest in the Diocese.
We choose to give because we know there are things that only a diocese can do. One we particularly care about is the formation and development of clergy, so we’re very supportive of the plan for mentorships and the School for Ministry.
Another is to support all our parishes as one community. As members of St. Paul’s, we are part of a big parish. But when we stay in Borrego Springs, for example, and attend St. Barnabas, we are part of a small parish. Yet we are all part of one diocese with common values. So the plan for low-interest loans to help congregations make improvements, which then feed forward to other loans and opportunities, is also compelling. And the Episcopal Church Center stands as a public representation of The Episcopal Church to San Diego at large.
Our philosophy of giving is from Lisa’s parents: you should spend some, save some, but also be sure to share some. We try to live up to that. We are fortunate to have good (if demanding) jobs. We still have a child in college, and other challenges, but we do try to share with organizations we care about, including St. Paul’s and now the Diocese. The Cathedral is our immediate family, but the Diocese is our extended family, and we are glad to support both.