I took out my checkbook and wrote a check to Pilgrim Church my home congregation for one-tenth of my paycheck.
Along with the other money I give to the special mission offerings Neighbors in Need, One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, and the Christmas Fund and to other ministries of the wider church, and to charities I support, and the money I give to my children…all of those are the happiest checks I write. But then I discovered two more things.
First, I feel calmer about money in general. For me, the gift of tithing is like the gift of the Sabbath — both of them establish a kind of balance and proportion in our lives — they are, quite simply, good for us. Last spring, Ally stayed with us for eight days.
But for those eight days, I had to be aware of her at all times, to provide everything she needed, to think about where she was and whether she was safe, feed her, bathe her, clothe her…I had to invest a lot of my time and my self in her. When the time came to hand her back to her parents, though, I thought my heart would break. I had bonded with her in a very special and powerful way. That was what I discovered when I decided to increase my giving dramatically, all at once, to the church. I found that I love my church even more.
And, mysteriously, at the same time, the more I trust that the leadership of the church will use my gifts well. Generosity, I have come to understand, is a discipline to be practiced and yet, mysteriously, at the same time, it frees our spirit. This experience, which transformed my life — this movement into a spiritual, everyday practice — would not have happened if two women of faith had not quietly trusted that group with their own stories of giving that summer morning over a year ago.
What steps might you take to increase your giving, a little bit at a time, to reach a tithe in the future? This page is under construction.
Giving and Tithing: Includes Serving and Stewardship - eBook
While we are in the process of evaluating the year-round stewardship resources we provide on this page, we encourage your use of the archived stewardship resources below. Thank you for your patience. Here is a PowerPoint overview of this resource. Genesis God's call of Abraham is a summons to the people of God not to let old ways of living and conventional belief prevent moving into a quality of life far "richer" than heretofore known?
God's people are the means but not the end or sole example of blessing and being blessed. Deuteronomy A prayer from The New Century Hymnal sums up the thrust of these key verses that begin with the "great commandment" ; Mark ? Deuteronomy The wealth or "abundance"of our lives is a gift, not just a given.
That is, no more than with life itself do we have this as something we can earn or deserve. It is not entitlement but blessing in which others are meant to share see Genesis above.
He is not about to make an offering to God that, in effect, costs him nothing. I Chronicles About the giving required to build the temple, the house of God.
- The Watcher from the Beacon;
- Jugend und Freizeit in der DDR - Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Pionierpalastes in Dresden (German Edition)!
- Why I Don’t Teach Tithing.
- Des poètes derrière les barreaux: F. Villon, J. Genet, A. Sarrazin... (Amarante) (French Edition).
Psalm The temple or house of God welcomes and celebrates the truth that God's kingdom or "realm" includes the entire earth; God's love embraces all of life. This sovereign love "lifts up" us all, and any denial closes the doors on God's presence and prevents us from sharing in the divine blessing of life.
Isaiah Giving is futile sacrifice, religiously superficial and unacceptable to God, unless directed to enabling others to know the abundance, the quality of life, that is theirs too? Malachi God's house—in those days, the temple—was the place from which the produce, the abundance, of the land was redistributed. Dereliction in fulfilling one's rightful "tithe" upset the harmony that alone could assure prosperity in the land. Restoration of this commitment will issue in "overflowing blessing" for all.
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Matthew "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Where the one is, the other is also. We easily pretend otherwise, making faith immaterial or money unspiritual. Matthew see also Mark , Luke , John Jesus feeding the five thousand with "nothing here but five loaves and two fish. It is from what we have, not what we don't, that we find what we need Matthew see also Luke Wanting more, thinking what we have is not enough, we squander opportunity presently ours, "just as I am, without one plea," in the words of the gospel song.
In this well-known parable of the talents, as in Luke's of the pounds, the message is use it? It is in the use of what we have, not the amount, that we learn and practice, or practice and then learn still more, the abundance already ours. Mark In this story of the poor widow's generosity, the irony of abundance is made clear. Less is more when what we give exceeds what we withhold. All you are unable to give possesses you" see note 14 to Chapter 1. Luke , 48 The parable of the rich fool is clear: life's abundance does not consist in possessions.
Those who "store up treasures for themselves" v. Real security is found? Luke Easily confusing, this parable of the shrewd steward is also provocative. It emphasizes the importance of being astute in using possessions so as to gain rather than lose one's future. There is no way to acquire money that is pure and perfect, unsullied by questionable means and motives. That should not become a pious excuse to avoid responsibility for its wise use. I Corinthians The word rendered "servants" means, literally, "under-rowers. Their most important quality, given the challenge involved, is fidelity, faithfulness?
See Isaiah and Matthew II Corinthians "Abundance" is not a function of good times; a "wealth of generosity" can "overflow" even "during a severe ordeal of affliction" v. It is the "genuineness of love" in response to the joy of life made known in Jesus Christ that makes us eager to give "according to what one has? Also emphasized see v. II Corinthians God provides "every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
Galatians a NRSV "Abundance" is the truth about life made known in the spirit or disposition of Jesus, the driving force of the church. So Paul says in these verses that "generosity" is part of the "fruit" of the Spirit.
Giving and Tithing: Includes Serving and Stewardship by Larry Burkett
It is impossible to turn on the lights of greater giving when the power is off Morale, or what the church calls Spirit, is "the power that turns on the lights"? Ephesians Contrary to what God's people often believed, outsiders "Gentiles" not just insiders "Jews" have always been part of the divine plan wherein all are meant to know the good news of abundant life.
Paul sees himself as making this "mystery" plain. He prays that the power of God at the heart of life? To "take hold of the life that really is life" v. Not being rich or money, but "the love of money" is "a root of all kinds of evil" v. That love fuels insatiable desire, makes for unhappiness, and reduces the blessing of life to something we must gain rather than seek to share. Order these resources from UCC Resources or calling Annual Stewardship Theme Materials Newly designed every year, these colorful, coordinated materials based on scripture can greatly help your congregation with its annual stewardship effort.
Materials include full-color poster, four motivational bulletin inserts including giving chart , worship folder, letterhead and envelope, note card, and commitment cards.
Stewardship for Vital Congregations , by Anthony B. Stewardship for Vital Congregations includes questions for reflection, discussion, and action in each chapter. A great ice-breaker for stewardship conversations! Format is small, 8-page pamphlet, suitable for distribution in pews or to groups. From the Stillspeaking Writers' Group. A new approach for local church giving that is accessible, achievable, and effective.
The Gratitude Path is a five-session study designed for use by churches, leadership teams, and small groups. This step-by-step guide helps congregations grow in generosity by focusing on gratitude for God's blessings.
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Local Church Planned Giving Manual , 4th edition. From wills seminars to church endowments and more, you and your church can explore theological, rational, and hands-on worksheets enhancing your ministry through the stewardship of planned giving. Funding Your Future: A Capital Campaign Manual from the United Church of Christ A capital or major fund campaign can be the greatest faith-raising experience in the life of your church! The more challenging the campaign goal, the the more heightened the experience for your congregation. God's Gifts, My Gifts Teaches that God is the source of who we are and what we have, and is our model for being generous and faithful.
Elementary-age children will have fun in class or at home using these five colorful and snappy foldout sheets with individual and group activities, including scriptural texts and prayers to reinforce the church; personal decisions, loving God, self, and others.