This is the final week of our series on being Committed to Christ: 6 steps to living generously. Financial giving tends to be the subject that makes us the most uncomfortable to talk about and to hear about. Perhaps the reason is because it is personal to us. I believe it is between us and God. Our Scripture passage was from Luke and is commonly referred to as the "Widow's Mite" (Luke 21:1-4). How she didn't have much but she gave what she had, and Jesus spoke about how it was more than those who gave lots, because they were giving a portion out of their abundance, but she was giving all she had.
Today, in one of the Facebook Clergy groups I belong to someone posted a link to a web-site that is entitled The Chronicle of Philanthropy. You click on your city (Estherville) and then it gives you the information for giving to any charity (including churches) for 2012. For Estherville our overall giving ratio for 2012 was 2.54% this is down from 3.14% in 2006. Then if you want you can click on the breakdown of the giving at each income bracket. https://philanthropy.com/interactives/how-america-gives#zip/51334
This to me just proves one of my points from Sunday that in church we teach and preach on giving 10% but most of us, if we are honest, do not give at the 10% level to the church. In my opinion this isn't something that will happen overnight but will take time and commitment to do. So I encourage each of us to look at our income and to really make a commitment to God for the 2016 year.
My husband, Allan, and I moved to Estherville in June of 2015. We are excited to be here, and to be in ministry with Estherville UMC!