Stewardship – Giving from the Top
Faith Sharing is a regular part of our worship of God at White Plains Presbyterian Church. The following was shared by a member in the October issue of RESPONSE, our monthly, online newsletter.
I just purchased a book recommended by Pastor Jeff for my Kindle. As soon as I “clicked” the convenient 1-click option, I said a bad word: I’d forgotten to go through the church’s Amazon website link! The church’s budget isn’t going to be seriously affected by the cents not recouped from this sale, but I order from Amazon a lot and “missed cents” add up.
Like many of us, I live on a fixed income. I tithe (when my monthly income is direct deposited to my account, the first check I write is for 10 percent of that income made out to WPPC) and budget for our planned special offerings. There isn’t a lot of room for me to do more financially for our church, so I appreciate opportunities like the Amazon Affiliate Program.
In the last year, members of your Stewardship Team have repeatedly shared stories of how we or others have honored increased pledges, continued to tithe, made special contributions, contributed to ministries or provided financial assistance to a person or family in need – all the while wondering how we would meet our own financial obligations that month or week. At other times talk about how wondering how we’re going to take on this next task to serve the ministries of our church, or attend one more study, or reach out to a member…it’s not like we’re not already juggling
Every story ends this way: “I didn’t know how I was going to be able to afford or do this, but I did.” The implication being that we expected to be disadvantaged by the offering of time or money…but we weren’t.
We believe that this is because each of us is clear that we give not because we “ought to.” We give in praise of and thanksgiving to our God who showers us with blessings – in times of joy and times of distress. God responds by relieving us concern when we follow the examples of Abel who gave God the “firstlings of his flock”, the widow with two small coins, the Christians we read about in Acts of the Apostles who “had all things in common”: giving from the top.
As we move through the season of our annual stewardship campaign, we encourage you to think and pray about the next step in how you respond to God’s generosity: what can you do in 2013 to give from the top – of your financial blessings, of your God-given gifts and talents, of your time. Join us in experiencing your own miracle of the loaves and fishes.