Annual Giving for Good Shepherd
From the Vestry
Our celebration of Christmas, still fresh and with us, draws our hearts and minds to embrace wholeheartedly the truth that not only sets us free but changes everything in our lives; namely, that Jesus is Emmanuel, that is, God with us and for us, setting us free from a multitude of falsehoods and dead ends which rob us and our children of joy, purpose, and hope for our lives. Following Jesus, as we have sung this Christmas, brings "light and life" to all who welcome and love the heaven born Prince of Peace.
As Christmas proclaims the Good News and glad tidings of God's amazing grace and love available through Jesus to all, it also challenges us with the need to make grateful response to that same wondrous love. That response is known as discipleship and it includes taking on various Christian practices and disciplines to honor God and more effectively align our lives with his ongoing redemptive work in the world.
In this spirit, we encourage and urge you to prayerfully consider your practice of Christian giving that you might grow in the new life of grace and love made possible for us by our Lord. We have pledged ourselves to deeper discipleship in our lives and have committed ourselves to increase our own giving by 1% of our income for 2016. Join us, as together we live and grow in our understanding of the truth that sets us free.
Managing What God has Entrusted to Us: How to Give for God's Service and Glory
Financial Giving is, first and foremost, about our relationship with God. When we give our money to God, we give our lives to God for his work and purposes in the world. And, when we do this, we please and honor God as the source of our life. Good Shepherd is but one of many avenues for your Christian giving. We understand that, if we are to receive your gifts, then we must earn your trust and confidence every day as good managers of these gifts for God's purposes in this place. There is a four-step process for taking up the Christian practice and discipline of giving:
- Begin Giving. If you are not a giver, begin. Put a check in the Sunday offering as you are able. We believe that all of our households should be giving households.
- Make a pledge. A pledge is a promise to give a specific amount during the year. Pledges assist the Vestry to more accurately estimate the resources that will be available for the ministry of the parish in a given year. Pledges may be increased or decreased during the course of the year due to changes in circumstances.
- Be a percentage giver. Making a pledge is a more intentional approach than giving when you are able. Percentage giving is again a more intentional approach to Christian giving than pledging. The average for charitable giving in America is between 2% and 3% of annual income.
- Be a tither. Giving 10% of our income is the biblical standard for giving and, while the church teaches that tithing is the minimum standard of giving, in all practicality, it may be the actual goal for Christian giving. Many Christians have honest questions about the practice of tithing. The guide below for computing a tithe attempts to answer some of those questions. It carries no authority other than the appeal of its own reasonableness. We commend it to you for your consideration.
Giving Patterns at Good Shepherd
A Way to Compute a Tithe
- Begin with the total amount of all income received from wages, salaries, investments, rental income or any other source.
- Deduct the total amount of municipal, state, and federal taxes paid.
- Deduct the amount deposited or invested in a retirement account.
- Add the dollar value of any benefit you receive that most people pay for out of their income, like a car, housing, medical or life insurance.
- Total it up. Ten percent of this amount is your tithe.
Completing Your Gift Card
Please take time to talk with your spouse if you are married and pray about it.
If you are just beginning to give but are not prepared to make a pledge, then please check the I Will Give box.
If you would like to make a gift of a certain amount, then check the I Will Give Pledge box and declare how much you would like to pledge. If you are giving a percentage of your income or tithing, then also check the I Will Give Pledge box and enter the amount you wish to give.
Your financial gift is a confidential matter between you and God. Only the Parish Financial Secretary sees this information.
Please stop by the Church Office to pick up a pledge card or fill one out HERE.
Online giving is now available through Easy Tithe! We hope this helps to make giving easier and more convenient. You can also download the Easy Tithe App on the app store! It is an easy way to keep track of your online giving!
Take the 1% Challenge
The Rector and Vestry invite you to accept your challenge to increase your giving by 1% of your annual income. We believe this to be a reasonable and intentional way of growing in our discipleship of Jesus Christ. Increasing your giving by 1% of your income each year is a practical path to the Christian practice of tithing.
If your annual income is $30,000, giving or increasing your giving by 1% would be $300 per year or $25 per month. For an annual income of $50,000 your gift or increase in your giving would be $500 per year, or $41.61 per month, and if your income is $100,000 per year, a 1% gift or increase would be $1,000, or $83.33 each month.
Take the 100% Challenge
Christians give. It is one of the expected disciplines like prayer, bible reading and practicing the Golden Rule that mark a Christian life. We believe all Good Shepherd households should be giving households. Last year 442 of the 646 households that make up the Church of the Good Shepherd either made a pledge or gave for the ministry and witness of this parish. That is 68% of all parish households....a very positive statistic, as far as congregational life across the board goes, but we aspire to a higher percentage of faithful response here at Good Shepherd.
The 100% challenge invited all Good Shepherd households to make a financial gift sometime during this year for God's glory and purposes at Good Shepherd. At Good Shepherd we are confident that following Jesus Christ brings peace and joy into the lives of his disciples. If your household has not been giving in the past, we invite you to accept this challenge and take up your own Christian practice of giving for God's glory and service.
Gracious God, you are the giver of every good and perfect gift, and it is by your loving hand taht we have all that we possess: Grant to us grace, and grateful and generous hearts, that we may honor you with our resources and, remembering the account that we must some day give of our stewardship, make us faithful stewards of your gifts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.