From the Pastor 1/27/19:
Of all that I have made this year, how much did I return to God? In other words, as I start to think taxes, I also challenge myself to not just look at what I gave to the government, but also what have I given to God, i.e., donations. This week our parish "Contribution statements for the year" were mailed out. I choose to use the electronic transfer as I'm usually not in the pew when the basket goes around in church. I try to track my giving to see if I am really generous. I know I give a set amount per month, but I also make other donations through the church such as tuck-pointing, so I appreciate a statement as part of my accountability.
As I am accountable to the government for my income tax based on my income, am I accountable to God for using what God has given me to help others? Next month when I prep my taxes, I will pull out of the drawer all the receipt letters from the various places I have donated to over the last year like Bishop's appeal, christian radio station, seminary, Rails to trails (cause I like biking), look in my check book register for other donations, and add them all up. Even though the government would not accept raffle tickets, I count that as a donation along with other fund raisers, like the boyscout popcorn that I buy from my grand-nephews. Then I ask myself, am I generous enough, did I do better than last year? Did I just give a little off the top or did I tithe?
What about you, how do you review your generosity? How much might one give? I suggest that you add up this past year, compare it to your income and grow from there. Might our giving not be based just on what I can deduct from my taxes, but rather, what I can do with what God has blessed me with.
Thank you to all who attended our annual meeting last week, and to our staff and volunteers, that helped prep and present. You can catch the slides, annual report, and video on our website if you are looking for the details. Important to note is our plan for our Catholic school and our facilities cost analysis. This information is important for all of us to know as we make decisions going forward for our parish. This will be important input to our parish planning process this year.
P.S. I so firmly believe that our offering of the video series "Financial Peace University" by Dave Ramsey is so helpful to couples, especially to those engaged or recently married, that I am offering to pay half out of the Pastors Discretionary Fund, as a real way to make a difference, a holy difference, in relationship with one another and with God. If you know someone or a couple that this might help, please do encourage them.