Each year right around now my wife and I consider how much to pledge to our home parish for the next calendar year. We have pledged financial support to an Episcopal church since we started attending 25 years ago. Giving to our parish is deeply satisfying. We have received so much in return and our participation is a given and automatic.
For many years, we would pledge a certain amount per week. At some point, we started pledging a percentage of our income. Thinking about our pledge this way felt more in line with Christian teaching on tithing and giving as an act of discipleship - a way of being a dedicated follower of Jesus. Matthew 6:21 states: “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Giving to our parish is a major part of our whole financial picture. For us, thinking of our pledge as a percentage of our income makes sense.
We fulfill our pledge by scheduling automatic monthly payments available through online banking. I encourage everyone to do this and for parishes to make it easy for you. I can provide you with resources if you would like more information about electronic and monthly giving upon request.
We also consider other charitable and religious giving. We think about this proportionately, too. While by far the biggest chunk of our giving is to our parish, we give smaller gifts to not-for-profits and other religious organizations that are doing work in the world that aligns with our values, and we share our financial gifts as a way of participating in the work ourselves. We feel inspired to share the many gifts we have received in our lives with others who are doing the work and being the change we would like to see in the world.
New on my list of organizations that are doing the work I want to see in the world is Human to Human.
Human to H
was created to be an umbrella for the organizations in our diocese that are doing the humanitarian work of Jesus in the world. These are programs where we get a chance to practice respecting the dignity of every human being. Walking Together, a ministry of presence in South Worcester, and Building Bridges Veterans Initiative are the two Diocesan run ministries which are fully funded through Human to Human. In addition, there are several programs run out of our parishes that
we support through grants. You should have received a copy of
where you will find stories about each of these ministries. If not, let me know and I’ll be sure you get a copy.
I believe that we are called to share all that we have received with others. As followers of Christ we understand the joy that comes from sharing our gifts. Human to Human creates an opportunity for religious giving beyond one’s local congregation. There
are also opportunities to participate as volunteers and advocates. Over the next year you will hear more about Human to Human. I hope you will consider partnering as you are able with one of the ministries under the umbrella. And please reach out to me if you would like to talk more about Human to Human.