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Giving Intentions for 2019

posted Oct 18, 2016, 12:56 PM by Cameron Hubanks   [ updated Dec 1, 2018, 5:26 PM ]

The season of Thanksgiving is an appropriate time to prayerfully and intentionally respond to God’s grace and generosity with a plan for generous support of God’s work through Zwingli Church.

As a congregation we support our ministry in a variety of ways, but unconditional gifts from our own members remain (and should remain!) the foundation of our mutual work.

Even so, why make a “pledge” of that giving? Isn’t it good enough to give spontaneously or habitually?

Certainly, giving of ALL sorts is pleasing to God. But if our giving is to be an intentional part of lives of spirituality and devotion, then making it a matter of intentional planning can actually foster our own spiritual growth. When we THINK about what we might give – when we PLAN what we might give – when we PRAY about what we might give, there is a better chance that our giving becomes a matter of heart and faith instead of merely being habit (or accident). And when we write that number down – even if it will never be “legally binding” (which it won’t be!), we are still more apt to take itseriously than when the number only exists in our heads.

It is hard to faithfully suggest specific amounts that a church member “should” give. The concept of the “tithe” – 10% ofone’s income – is an ancient and admirable goal, but it is NOT law. And besides that, while most younger people give out of current income (making percentage giving easier to determine) some older people give out of accumulated wealth. For those people, the concept of the tithe is harder to apply. Rather than fixate on a set percentage, it might be more helpful (and more realistic) to decide whether you (as a family or an individual) wish to increase or grow your giving over time. A long-term plan to increase giving over time may be more honest and practical than getting to that higher level all at once. For example, a family wishing to become more generous might decide to increase their giving by 1% of combined income per year until they reach a level they wish to maintain.

It’s important to know several things: Pledging hasn’t been our congregation’s habit for quite some time. We’llundoubtedly need several years to effectively relearn this discipline. Because that’s true, we’ll not be using the results of this year’s pledges to build the church budget. It’s also important to be assured that your pledge card will be handled withcare and as a confidential record. Your pledge will never become a public matter. Finally, this is not a binding contract. You will never be billed for the amount of your pledge (though the amount might appear as a reminder on contribution receipt letters that only you see). This exercise is intended to challenge you to think and pray about your giving in an intentional and purposeful way.

By God’s grace the Church Council asks you to be as generous as possible. But remember, even though your gifts areused to pay for things like electricity and heat and mission support and (mostly!) the pastor’s salary, ultimately your givingis to God. Make your pledge with a generous and thankful heart!

God bless you!
The Church Council and Pastor Rich Pleva

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