Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Book of Common Prayer, Prayer 38
Above all else, God is a Giver. When Jesus had given everything he had—through his teaching, feeding, healing, and prayer—he literally gave himself for us. And when we ourselves give to God and to one another, however and whenever we do that, we are following the example of Jesus and we are participating in God’s own gracious generosity to the world.
We give in so many ways—through offering support, encouragement, a helping hand, a meal, telling a child a story, buying a stranger a cup of coffee, telephoning a friend, or walking the neighbor’s dog. Any of these everyday things can be occasions when we voluntarily step back and put our own needs on hold, trusting that we will still have enough when we also share what we have for the sake of another. The more we make a habit of giving, the better we get at doing it. And the more we give of our ourselves, our time, and our financial resources, the more we exercise our trust in God.
In so many different ways, each of us chooses how to express our gratitude to God, in what amounts, and to what degree. Committing to the Church—and to our parish in particular—is one very important way we can turn our gratitude into the dollars and the muscle that fuels ministry.
We invite you to think, or re-think, your giving in the terms of a proportion of your disposable income (defined however you choose). If your current giving represents 2% or 3% of your income this year, for example, consider the possibility of raising it to 3.5%, or 4%, or 5% for next year. Or, if that is more than you can reasonably give, consider increasing next year’s gift by a certain percentage. The point is to think in terms of percentages. The Commitment Table shown below may be helpful.
Whatever the size of your gift may be, the gratitude expressed through the gift is what gives it meaning. And, translated into ministry, through our collective gifts we can do wonders in our time and in this place!