Stewardship encompasses all aspects of sharing and caring for God's gifts to us. We all need to give our time, our talents and our money to serve God.
Why should I give money?
Giving money to a church or towards any charitable organization is an important part of our Christian responsibility, but it is also a very personal act. We recognize this at Ark and Dove, but in these days of growing skepticism towards giving financial contributions to churches, it is important to review the basic, Christian stewardship tenets outlined by the PCUSA statement above. All that we are, all that we have, all that we will be, is of God. We can give nothing that we have not first received from God. Christians are commanded to be the caretakers of all the gifts from God. We are the stewards of our life, talents, time, relationships, gospel and property.
God asks not only for the gift of our money! Money cannot be a substitute for the sharing of the other personal, non-material wealth that God has given us. The principle of giving applies to these treasures as much as to one's bank account. Giving of our time, talents and money towards this goal then becomes a normal expression of grateful faith.
What I spent I had,
What I kept I lost,
What I gave I have.
(Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1877)
What is the purpose of giving?
The Disciple or church member is provided insight into four purposes of giving in a comment to the Corinthians about their share in the offering (II Corinthians 8 & 9).
To glorify God.
To serve the needs of humanity.
To discipline the self in growth toward higher levels of maturity in the Christian life.
To support the life, ministry and mission of the church.
Reflect back to the six areas that we are charged to care for as Christians: life, talent, time, relationships, gospel and property. These purposes will address each need.
Are there any rules to giving?
It is important how we give at Ark and Dove. Certain principles throughout the Bible inform how we give in a variety of situations.
Put first things first. Seek first the kingdom of God and all else will fall into place, including responsible giving.
Give the self before any material gift.
Give God the first and best that we possess. Make our contributions of time, talent and money to our church be our first consideration, not what is left after other goals have been met.
Give voluntarily. It must be from one's own free will. God loves a cheerful giver.
Give generously and give proportionately. Give as you have been blessed.
We give Thee but Thine Own,
Whate'er the gift may be;
All that we have is Thine alone,
A Trust , O Lord, from Thee
William Walsham,"We Give Thee But Thine Own," The Presbyterian Hymnal (Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1990), Hymn 428.
Ark and Dove asks everyone to consider these factors and share what God has given them with others in need. We hope that each member of Ark and Dove will devote time and efforts to personal spiritual growth, glorifying God by participating in one of our ministries and helping financially. Many churches place overarching importance on tithing (10% of your income) and we acknowledge this is the proper and correct Christian expectation placed upon each one of us. However, we realize that home and family situations may dictate otherwise and we expect responsible giving. God entrusts each one of us to be stewards, giving of our time, talents and money towards this goal then becomes a normal expression of grateful faith. We ask each member of Ark and Dove to reflect upon these rules and pray about their own circumstances. Praise God!
Can I give by EFT?
Yes! Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a great way to give.
Ark & Dove uses Hubbard Press, which is affiliated with PCUSA, as our service provider. We have set up two automatic withdrawal dates per month, the 5th and the 20th. You may choose either or both. Just complete an authorization form by noting the day(s) and amount(s) to be debited from your account and attach a voided check. You may customize your EFT to suit your needs. Once the authorization form is completed, turn it into the church office and we will submit it to Hubbard Press to begin processing. We will notify you of the date of the initial withdrawal once the forms are submitted. Any fees associated with the program (which are minimal) will be paid by the church and will not affect the charitable contribution amount reportable on your income tax return. If for any reason you need to cancel or make changes to your withdrawal amounts you may do so by notifying the Administration Elder or church Treasurer in writing with the changes. We will then notify Hubbard Press.
Instead of receiving pledge envelopes, we will provide you with commitment cards to place in the offering plate each week. We will continue provide you with envelopes for any special offerings throughout the year. The church will receive statements on a regular basis and will provide you with quarterly statements as usual.
If you would like to participate in the EFT program, please complete the authorization form. Once completed you may drop it in the weekly offering plate or put it in the Administration Elder's mailbox. If you have any questions or concerns, you may contact Brooks Emrick by email at brook2dogs(at)verizon.net.
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