Giving at St. Andrew’s
Giving at St. Andrew’s is a spiritual practice. Each year we set aside particular time in the autumn to reflect anew on our gratitude for all God has given us (psst! that means everything!). In celebration of our gratitude we offer a part of our gifts back to God in the form of an annual pledge. This reflective form of gratitude-giving goes back deep into the relationship of God to God’s people.
Along with “giving from gratitude”, the other piece of longstanding wisdom that we emphasize is “proportional giving”, or what is sometimes called “giving from the first fruits”. We invite each member to notice what percentage of their annual income they give back to God presently, and to listen for what percentage God is calling them to give in the year to come. The people of ancient Israel were called to give the first fruits of their annual harvest back to God, and in that way they valued their relationship with God before all else. Today, not many of us make an annual grain harvest, but by giving proportionally, “off the top”, we continue to practice the same love of God in our financial stewardship.
“Tithing”, the annual gift of 10% back to God along with periodic celebratory gifts above and beyond that, has never gone out of style, and is still a guiding teaching of scripture. Some of our members tithe. We also recognize that the 10% number is not magical. Giving proportionally at any percentage has a way of “blessing” the whole of one’s income, with the reminder that it is all from God, and that our most lovely purpose is to send it all back to God, one way or another. Some will feel called this year to a lower number. Some to a higher number. Since it’s a practice, we get to try some amount out, experience the effect of that giving in our life, and then try whatever is next. What will you give?
For a peek at how our community puts our combined gifts to work living out our gift back to God, click through the many ministries and acts of worship found on our website, or better yet, join us for worship and for loving our neighbors!