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Q. Why do we give through the church?

Everything we have comes from God. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above....” When we give, we simply offer God a very small portion of the abundance God has already given us. Giving is an expression of our thankfulness and praise to God. It comes from a heart of worship. Being a Christ-follower means we give God control of all our resources including our money. Our generosity through the church is about our need to give rather than the church’s need to receive. Giving is a spiritual issue. It is not about the church budget.

Q. How can I give?

You may give online, by cash or checks during weekly worship, by dropping off contributions at the First Washington UMC business office or by mail. Please use an offering envelope if you are giving cash so that we will have a means of providing you a giving statement. You also may give through non-cash gifts such as stocks, bonds life insurance and retirement plans and by including the church in your estate plan. Contact financial secretary Megan Cribbs if you are interested in these non-cash options.

Q. How much should I give?

The Bible teaches us that we should return a portion of our financial resources to God in the form of a tithe (10 percent). While the tithe is the Biblical standard in both the Old and New Testaments, the New Testament calls people beyond the tithe to the principle of generosity.

Q. Should I tithe on net or gross income?

The most important thing we can do is follow the guidance of 2 Corinthians 9 and give “not reluctantly or under compulsion,” but “cheerfully.” If you have not been in the regular practice of giving, then set a goal and work toward a tithe of net income and then gross income.

Q. How should I tithe if my income varies from pay period to pay period?

Depending on which is more feasible for your situation, you can handle tithing with a fluctuating income in a couple of different ways. Some people choose to give exactly one-tenth of their earnings for each individual pay-period. Others estimate earnings for the year and give a portion of the total tithe each week or month throughout the year.

Q. How can I keep track of what I give?

Your giving to First Washington UMC is tax deductible. You will receive a year-end statement (no later than January 30) recapping your contributions for the previous 12 months. You also will receive periodic updates throughout the year.

Q. What if I need to change my giving?

You may change your giving at any time. As a courtesy, please notify financial secretary Megan Cribbs at the number listed at the bottom of this section.

Q. What is proportionate giving?

Proportionate giving is about each of us giving what we can in proportion to what we have. Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of Jesus observing people making their offerings in the temple. A poor woman gave a few coins, yet this was a great amount in proportion to what she had. Her gift was greater in portion than those who were wealthy and gave only a fraction of what they had. Faith is more important than finances, and the quality of the gift is more important than the quantity.

Q. When I designate a gift for capital, how is that used?

In 2016 and 2017, funds received for capital use will be allocated 80 percent to debt retirement including payment of principle and church notes and 20 percent to facilities and grounds improvements, updates and major maintenance and repairs. Examples of items covered by this 20 percent are repairs or maintenance over $500 and could include furnace or air conditioning; significant painting of the interior or exterior; playground repairs. Consider designating 15%-20% of your giving to capital.

Q. When I designate a gift for operations, how is that used?

Funds received for operations support the complete range of activities of the church including those for children, youth and adults, worship, evangelism, outreach, hospitality and the day-to-day expenses associated with providing a staff and facility to equip the congregation to do ministry. Consider designating 80%-85% of your giving to operations.

Q. Why is paying down debt important?

Just as many of us have a home mortgage, the church has the same. The facilities and grounds create a wonderful place for ministry to take place. Reducing the amount spent on the debt frees more funds for other ministries of the church.

Q. How do I approach giving as a retiree?

Nearly 23 percent of those who are retired continue to do some work. Many who are fully retired continue to receive income from a variety of sources. Although we may view this income as fixed, we still have the ability to choose how it will be spent.

Q. What is the concept of first fruits?

This refers to giving God the first and best portion of the harvest. Giving God the first fruits of our labor acknowledges that all good things come from God and all we have belongs to God.

Q. Why should I complete an estimate of giving card?

The church’s leadership team will use the completed estimates of giving to help determine the priorities for ministry over the next year. Please complete and return a card. We understand that some people are unemployed or experiencing a time of crisis in their lives. If that is your situation, please complete the name and address portion of the card and return it on celebration Sunday. Know that we are praying for you.

Q. When do I turn in my estimate of giving card?

You will receive an estimate of giving card in the mail. There will be a special time of dedication during worship on November 20. If you will be out of town, you may turn in your card to the church office prior to that.

Q. What is the current debt?

Since 2009 the church debt has been reduced by $209,216. The current debt is $572,644. From January – September 2012, $23,146 has been paid in debt retirement.

Q. What are the anticipated 2012 operating expenditures?

It is expected that 2012 total operating expenses will be $165,000. The 2013 budget has not been completed and will be developed after estimate of giving cards have been received.

Q. What is a church note?

Church notes are a low-cost means of receiving a loan from individuals. First UMC previously has sold notes to fund capital expenditures. Individuals receive a modest interest payment. Some elect for the church to keep what would have been paid in interest; in addition, note holders may choose to forgive this debt entirely as a gift to the church.


Doug Klabzuba

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