One of the things I love most about Common Change is that it is empowering and humbling at the same time.
I first heard about it when I was at a crossroads, relocating after 38 years in the same city. I yearned for community but had little idea how to find or create it. And my spiritual life was also changing, much to my surprise drawing me closer to Jesus (I grew up in a family that was not religious). My whole life was up in the air, and I was looking for ground under my feet, for home. That was how things were a couple of years ago when I heard Darin Petersen speak about relational tithing. It made so much sense, I couldn’t wait to get started. All the things that made me uncomfortable about institutionalized giving, like wondering why so much of the money had to go to administration, and whether the help offered was the best that it could be… Common Change took care of those.
“One of the things I love most about Common Change is that it is empowering and humbling at the same time.”
Instead of being part of an anonymous mass of givers, I became part of a group of like-minded people with a common goal: to be good neighbors, to care for each other in times of trouble, to help people in our lives through their crises not just with money but with love and encouragement. Common Change doesn’t attempt to solve the macroeconomic issues of poverty and inequality. It’s grounded in real life and real time, and it happens between us, right here. But I think it is revolutionary, and that this way of being and sharing has huge implications for how we help and relate to each other.
“Instead of being part of an anonymous mass of givers, I became part of a group of like-minded people with a common goal.”
For one thing, instead of isolating those with needs as problems to be solved, they’re just us – any of us – in a tough spot than any of us might face. There’s no hierarchy among Common Change groups and their members, no higher-ups or leaders whose opinions or ideas are more important or powerful than anyone else’. We all give, we’re all welcome to present needs, and we’re all welcome to weigh in on the best way to help. It gives me an experience of participating in a restorative economy. When I think about it, it seems quietly radical in a gentle, not-in-your-face way. I feel honored to be a part of it.
What do YOU love most about Common Change?