Why We Do It
Does Church Giving Come Back To You?
When I joined the Lutheran Church in my twenties, I was unfamiliar with giving money to a church. I didn’t give much initially partly because I didn’t see the need. But I learned that a church needs a place and a staff to function and there are associated expenses as well. On the positive side, churches are typically venues for doing good things within and beyond the church community (e.g., social justice, children’s and adult education, caring for the ill, music). The church also provides a place for our spiritual involvement and well being.
After a while, someone told me that when you give to a church it comes back to you. I was pretty dubious about that. I decided it must come back in good will or esoteric feelings of accomplishment. In any case, I decided to gradually increase my giving to see what happened. I needed money for everyday life, but there was usually some money spent on things I didn’t really need.
Anyway, after some time I noticed that I received more money on my job. Even my small investments did well. I also felt a bit better about myself because I had a hand in helping good things happen. It could be coincidence, but in my case it was still a fact.
Some years ago, I sought a truly liberal church more in line with my thinking. I continued to give with the same positive result. I cannot guarantee that this will happen to everyone, but it could. I did a little research on line. Here are a few of many related quotes.
“The heart of a giver makes the gift dear and precious.” — Martin Luther
“I have observed 100,000 families over my years of investment counseling. I always saw greater prosperity and happiness among those families who gave than among those who didn’t.”— Sir John Templeton (billionaire investor)
“Give naught, get same. Give much, get same.” — Malcolm Forbes
“Of all the varieties of virtue, liberality is the most beloved.” — Aristotle
— Bob Graham
Tell Me Why or How Do I Love Thee?, Let Me Count the Ways…
Why our church is important to me, why I give and why I am working with the stewardship committee.
We have been members of this church community for 30 years. We came here soon after we moved to Charleston. Like many UUs we were seeking a spiritual home where we both could be comfortable and where we could raise our children. I love our church for giving us that.
We did raise our children here- both came through the RE programs and we taught for years. I am proud of the way the religious education program has grown. It’s wonderful to see our little ones come to the front of the church to participate in the story for all ages. I love that as a church, their development is a top priority for us.
I come to this church for inspiration, for guidance, and sometimes for answers to my struggles. Our services call me to ponder who I am and what my role is in this world. I love the fact that many days I am able to take away nuggets of wisdom from the sermons and readings.
I love this church for its beauty. When I sit in the sanctuary and see the sunlight come through the windows, my soul is nourished and I am filled with gratitude that I am able to experience this. I feel its history- the generations that have come before me and my responsibility to those who will follow.
I come to this church because it calls me to be my better self and to act on my principles. I am proud that we work together on behalf of social justice and that we are concerned about protecting the environment. I am glad we are politically active. Our actions should be a reflection of our faith and values, and I love it that we are working to live them through our collective work.
I love this church for its community of people and friends- some of whom I know very well and so many others that I admire and would like to get to know better.
I love that this church has allowed me to grow as a person and as a leader- giving me opportunities to participate, to lead, and to follow.
I love this church for holding me, and so many others, close in times of sorrow and helping us move through them.
My relationship to our church is like a marriage- sometimes it’s passionate, sometimes you are closer to each other than other times, but the commitment is always there and I always want to find it stronger and better. My giving makes that possible.