UU Church Today, Society & Culture

Why We Pledge To All Souls

At All Souls, each member has a story of a personal journey that brought them to our church. During our current pledge drive, we’ve been able to hear some of those stories from our members directly. Recently, we heard from two of our members – Dorothy Checotah and Eileen Kenney – about what led them to our community and why they’ve stayed and pledged over their years. We want to thank Dorothy and Eileen who graciously shared their stories, each a testament to why All Souls is more than a church—it’s a destination for seekers, a haven for diversity, and a vessel for change.

Dorothy Checotah: A Steward of Commitment

When Dorothy Checotah recounts her reasons for pledging to All Souls, she reflects on a tradition of commitment that has been with her since childhood. As someone who has always seen the value in supporting her spiritual home, the transition to All Souls was a natural one. “When I was asked to explain why I pledge to All Souls, I immediately asked, ‘why do I pledge?’” Her story unfolds from a childhood steeped in the tradition of tithing to her active choice to support All Souls, where her sense of responsibility flourished.

Serving as the secretary of the board not once, but twice, Dorothy knows the weight and worth of every contribution. “I can tell you firsthand that the board works very, very hard to be good stewards of the money that’s pledged,” she assured. Her story is not just one of giving but of meticulous guardianship over the resources entrusted to the church by its members.

Dorothy’s involvement with the church goes beyond her roles on the board, however, resonating with a profound belief in the inclusivity of All Souls. “It’s a place that is open to all people, a community bold enough to love out loud.” Her decision to stay and support All Souls is intertwined with this commitment to inclusivity, “Our church name is All Souls, and to me that means All are welcome to come here.” For her, pledging is more than a financial act — it’s a reaffirmation of faith in the church’s power to unite a diverse congregation in purpose and spirit.

Eileen Kenney: A Pilgrim’s Homage to Faith and Community

When Eileen Kenney reflects on her path to All Souls, she thinks of the song “Pilgrim” by Enya. It was this melody that echoed through the church during one of her first visits, encapsulating her search for a spiritual refuge where she could explore and express her true self. “In many ways, I was a pilgrim,” she says, “in search of a place of belonging.” Her journey was not just a search for answers but a desire to embrace a community that upheld her beliefs and values.

Eileen’s involvement with All Souls deepened over time, culminating in her role as the president of the Board of Trustees. With the memory of her first visit still close to her heart, she now helps steer the church with a clear vision and a dedication that’s both personal and pragmatic. She speaks of the church’s vibrant programs — from the music department that first drew her in, to the outreach initiatives like the OWLs program and the refugee relief team — all flourishing because of the pledges made by the congregation.

Each year, as she pledges anew, Eileen does so with a keen awareness of the church’s profound impact on her life. Her increasing support is a testament to the fulfillment she’s found within the church walls. “I was searching for my community, my place, and I found it here,” she says, her voice a blend of gratitude and inspiration. It’s this sentiment she shares when encouraging others to pledge, to ensure that All Souls remains a sanctuary for pilgrims like her, who arrive seeking and stay for the heartfelt connection they find.

Thank You For Your Stories & Support

We extend our deepest gratitude to Dorothy, Eileen, and one of our newest members, Aubrie Howell, who have all shared their journeys with us this last month. We also want to thank everyone who has already returned their pledge cards. If you haven’t had a chance to return your pledge card yet, please do by November 12. You can visit allsouls.me/pledge to fill out your form online. You can also return your pledge card to the church directly or mail it to 2952 S. Peoria Ave.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Phil Brubaker at pbrubaker@allsoulschurch.org. Your contributions help sustain the vital programs and inclusive embrace of All Souls, allowing us to continue being a destination for all souls seeking solace and strength in fellowship.