A Call to Finish Well in 2022
And to Continue the Mission in 2023
We, the Clergy of Saint Michael’s Church, thank you for your answered call to generosity this year. Because of your continued support, our shared ministries to witness Jesus, our Lord and Savior, is strong! The fruit being nourished through your giving is consistently changing lives – we praise God for all of you to finish well in 2022!
As we lean into the coming year, your Christian Stewardship is needed. We believe that stewardship is essential to the faithful practice of Christianity. It includes nurturing and using the talents and resources God gives us in a faithful, wise, and responsible manner. We stand with the Church's belief throughout the ages that the tithe (giving back 10% of one's income) is the normal, Biblical standard of Christian giving.
To this end, your St. Michael’s Church clergy, vestry and staff are pledging to strive toward this standard of giving and beyond, in order to lead by example and demonstrate trust in God to provide. We ask that you join us in faith and prayerfully consider your financial commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the future of His family at Saint Michael’s Church.
Please print and complete the Giving Card in the link below and place it in the offering plate on Sunday, or simply return to our front office. We are praying for you as we continue our journey together on mission at St. Michael’s Church in 2023!
The Rev. Alfred T. K. Zadig, Jr., Rector
The Rev. Randall R. Shirley, Assistant to the Rector & Chief of Staff
The Rev. Tim Surratt, Associate for Pastoral Care & Healing Prayer Ministry
The Rev. Greg Smith, Associate for Evangelism and Connection
The Rev. Taylor Daniel, Associate for Student Ministry
2023 Giving Card
At St. Michael’s, we want to see hearts transformed through Jesus Christ. We take seriously the Great Commission to disciple the nations. Budgets and mission work together. Our mission, all our supported ministries, are discerned and confirmed through your giving. Your tithe is a vital part of our discernment process for budget planning.
Stewardship is so essential to the faithful practice of Christianity, and we endorse stewardship to mean receiving, nurturing, and using the talents God gives us faithfully, wisely, and responsibly. Join us, as faithful and generous stewards, in the giving of tithes of 10% as the normal, Biblical standard of Christian giving.
Memorial or Gifts
The Memorial Fund of St. Michael’s Church makes interest free educational loans or grants to members of St. Michael’s and others outside the parish whom the committee of stewards deems eligible. Contributions and memorial gifts are sought as a way to help the fund grow. As funds are available grants are also made to St. Michael’s seminarians. The names of members honored with a memorial gift of $25 or more are beautifully inscribed in a permanent Book of Remembrance which is displayed in the glass case in the Center Narthex.
Flowers on the Altar
Every Sunday and the Flower Guild arranges flowers on the altar. Parishioners are welcome to donate money for the flowers on the altar in memory of their deceased friend or relative or in thanksgiving for a friend or relative. Their name will be announced during the “Prayers of the People” and listed at the back of the worship bulletin. Note: On Baptism Sunday (the 3rd Sunday of the month), “Prayers of the People” are NOT read at the 10:30 am service. It can however be listed on the back of the bulletin. There is no specific amount recommended, just whatever you feel called to donate.
Frequently Asked Questions on Tithing
“The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.” Deuteronomy 14:23 (LB)
What is a tithe?
The word tithe means a tenth part or 10%. In the Bible, God tells us that we are to give the first 10% of all we earn back to Him. Giving less than 10% is not tithing.
Should I tithe if I am in debt?
There are a couple of views to consider. Some Christians believe that you ought to pay debt, especially to those debtors who are unbelievers. In this way, you keep your witness intact. Others believe that you ought to pay the Lord’s tithe first and then trust the Lord for the funds to get out of debt. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider that the tithe helps us to honor and respect God (fear God), which is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). If there is anybody in the world who needs God’s wisdom in the area of finances, it is a person already in debt.
What is the difference between a tithe and offerings?
The tithe is the first ten percent of income given as an act of worship to support the general ministries of the church (Malachi 3:10; Proverbs 3:9-10). Offerings are special gifts which are beyond the tithe given to express one’s deep love and gratitude for God’s tremendous blessings. These are gifts which support our missions and building funds or other Christian ministries (Psalm 50:23; Proverbs 7:4).
Why should I tithe to the General fund (Ministry Fund) rather than a specific fund?
Because God says in Malachi 3:10, “Bring your whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.” Giving is another aspect of worship and to worship God completely involves submitting to God’s will. So when a person directs their tithe, it’s like giving with strings attached and saying, “God I will worship you my way.” (Read Leviticus 10:1-6; Acts 5:1-11 to see what God thinks when we worship Him our way and not His way).
Where should I give my tithe?
The Bible makes it clear that God expects the tithe to be given back to Him as an act of worship at the place where you worship. Again we look at Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” 1 Corinthians 16:2 also makes it clear this should be a plan and consistent act of worship. “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.”
Could tithe money be used to support organizations outside the church?
The tithe is given in God’s name and should be used specifically for His work. Tithing to my church helps me say no to all the appeals for finances without feeling guilty, because I know I’m doing what God desires. This does not mean that there are not worthy causes to give to, like the symphony or museum, but that these opportunities ought to be prayerfully considered after being faithful in giving the Lord’s tithe to your local church.
Should I tithe on the gross or on the net?
There appears to be some confusion as to whether we should calculate our tithe based on our gross incomes (before taxes and other deductions) or net incomes (after taxes and other deductions). According, to Proverbs 3:9-10, God has asked for our first fruits, which is the first and best of all that we receive. Therefore, we should tithe from our gross, or total, income before taxes. When we calculate our tithes based on net income, we put the government ahead of God.
If I pay tithe on the gross should I pay tithe on the taxes I get back from the government?
No, because you already paid it throughout the year.
I have no income, is it possible to tithe another way?
Yes, you could tithe on your free time…from volunteering in the office to serving food with our various mission partners, helping with the work of the Lord…this is a beautiful way of honoring Jesus Christ.
What is Non Cash Giving?
When we think of tithing, most of us probably think of giving money. But giving non-cash assets, such as stocks, also is an excellent way to support God’s work. Suppose you own 400 shares of stock valued at $30,000. You receive dividends of 1.3 percent on this stock, which amounts to $390 per year. You originally purchased this stock 10 years ago for $3,000. Therefore, in the last 10 years, you have realized a “gain” of $27,000 in the value of your stock. If you ever sell this stock, your gain will be subject to capital gains tax. If you give the stock to a nonprofit organization, you won’t lose a lot of annual income from dividends. In addition, you won’t have to pay a tax on your gain, and you will receive a tax deduction for the stock’s full face amount.
Does St. Michael’s tithe on her budget?
It is the responsibility of the leadership of St. Michael’s Church to keep the ministry of tithing and its importance before you. We do that by teaching and preaching the biblical call to tithe and challenge you to follow the scriptures to tithe. Yet, if we expect you to tithe, then: • Your leadership team of vestry and staff must be tithing • The leadership must also commit to tithing 10% of the operating budget of the church. Indeed, a minimum of 10% of every dollar that is received is given outside this church for ministry.
What should I do when my spouse disagrees?
Author and financier Larry Burkett puts it this way: “Because tithing involves money, it is a prime candidate for controversy between a husband and wife (many marital problems stem from finances). However, if both spouses are Christians, they should have a desire to please the Lord. It’s important for both spouses to be trained in God’s principles of finance. That way, they’ll understand tithing is God ordained, not just a personal desire that one spouse is trying to impose on the other.” The problem becomes more complicated when one spouse is an unbeliever. If tithing becomes a stumbling block to the spouse, try giving an amount smaller than the tithe for at least a year. If, at that time, you are better off, give more. In the last part of verse 10 of Malachi 3, the Lord asks us to test Him in tithing (Put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need). Often, this is just the opportunity for God to prove Himself to an unbelieving spouse.
Doesn’t tithing limit one’s giving?
Again Larry Burkett speaks to this. “One excuse for not tithing is that it “limits” the amount a Christian gives to God. But the tithe was never meant to be a limit. In fact, Jews were admonished to give early one-fourth of their income each year. With such giving today, the church could replace government welfare programs. But most people need a starting point. As best I can tell, God never asked less than a tenth from anyone. But if “10%” bothers someone, there’s no reason why they can’t give 11%, 12%, or twice as much should they so desire.” Again, the principle of God’s ownership comes into play. God doesn’t own just 10% of our money; He owns 100%. That’s why we should never tithe with the view that the remainder is ours. After giving our tithe, God may impress on us to give an additional amount to the mission fund, building fund, or other Christian work outside the church. Remember, the Lord wants us to be generous.
Have you remembered the church in your will?
The St. Michael's Church Simple Legacy Planned Giving Initiative provides your church with long term stability. Did you know that the top five reasons to join our simple legacy planned giving include:
- Legacy giving is a lot less complicated than you think: Today, more than 55% of individuals do not have a will. Legacy giving is the most inclusive strategy for giving. Many older members hold the majority of their wealth in liquid assets such as land, small businesses or collectibles. St. Michael's Church can convene legacy conversations and provide consultation on these important decisions.
- Your ministry in fulfilling the faith: Make legacy giving your ministry to seed the future for those who will follow. Every member of St. Michael's Church is encouraged to give by bequest your gift as an acknowledgment of giving being a significant part of spiritual life and in hope that their gift will impact the giving of future generations.
- Peace of mind: Your peace of mind in knowing your personal property and accumulated wealth will be shared with family and loved ones exactly as you intend. Being a good steward of one's resources includes responsibly managing the Lord's abundant gifts.
- Celebration of family's history: Many families want to document and celebrate their family's history with the church. The opportunity to create a named endowment for outreach, education, facilities or music excellence is a timeless way for families to document their history with the church.
- Legacy Giving is a healing ministry: Many church members suffer from the "wounds of wealth" and feel burdened by decisions about the distribution of their assets at their death. They may be inspired by the opportunity to express their values by making a significant bequest to the church.
To learn more about will planning, contact us now!
(Ms. Meredith Buyck, Chief Financial Officer, at: email@example.com / 843-723-0603 or The Rev. Randy Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org / 843-469-4594)