Thinking about Annual Giving
We can define the annual gift of wealth to the parish in several different ways. Before considering methods, you should understand the essential principles of giving as established in the Bible: that it come from the heart and that it be sacrificial. With those principles as a foundation, you can determine the particulars of how and how much you decide to give.
Both the Old and New Testament establish proportional giving of income as a best practice. These methods are only a few examples:
• The tithe—or 10% of income—was established in the Old Testament as a way for the Hebrews to give back to God in gratitude for what God had given them. The tithe was used to support those who could not support themselves including the Levites, widows, and children. It is often regarded as the benchmark of Christian giving and was established as the minimum standard for giving by the Episcopal Church USA at General Convention in 1988.
• The partial or half tithe is a way to look at your charitable giving holistically. In this case, you choose to tithe (10%), yet some portion goes to other good works with half or more going to the church.
• There are several methods of proportional giving. One is the “part-of-the-work-week” method in which you consider the hours that you work and ask which you would be willing to give over to the church: the first hour every Monday, one half-day in each pay period, one day per month, etc. Determine the value of that time and make your pledge.
• Another means of proportional giving is to pick a percentage—say 1%, 2% or 3%—and then pledge that amount. Then you can increase your pledge every year by some amount until you reach the tithe or some other goal.
When thinking of your proportional gift, you should also consider proportional increases. If you were blessed with a pay increase in the last few years, then your annual gift should increase by a proportionate amount. Of course, the opposite can be understandably true.
Finally, there is the age old question of pre-tax or post-tax income. Some would argue that before you make a gift decision, you should “render onto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” In fact, there is no rule and the decision lies with you.
Please fill out the below pledge card and submit to the church office.