Why We Give
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"Our financial generosity is an expression of our love for God, for our neighbor and for ourselves. We are new people in Christ: compassionate and eager to share."
Why We Give
Understanding what the Bible says about financial generosity can help us achieve a balanced plan for our giving.
The faith practice of regular offerings to your congregation is grounded in a “first fruits” biblical principle (1 Corinthians 16:2). Your offerings express your thankful response to God’s gracious presence in your life.
Proportionate giving, or tithing, includes all undesignated giving to your congregation.
Many ELCA members refer to this kind of giving as their Sunday or weekly offering. “Undesignated” means that you support your congregation’s leadership in their decisions to allocate these funds.
About 90 percent of this giving stays in your congregation. This helps ensure that the ministry of the word flourishes in your community through local outreach and ministries.
Your congregation then shares a small portion of your offering, called mission support, with your synod and the churchwide organization. This financial commitment makes possible God’s work through ELCA synodical and churchwide ministries in this country, the Caribbean and around the world.
Additional giving, or special offerings, is above and beyond, and never in place of, your commitment to regular congregational giving.
This distinction helps you to differentiate between your financial commitment to your congregation and the special offerings you designate to specific causes, such as ELCA World Hunger or your congregation’s building fund.
Designated giving is our heartfelt response to the people Jesus mentioned in the 25th chapter of Matthew: those “least” of our sisters and brothers who are “less” in circumstance only and always our equal in their humanity.
The overwhelming response of ELCA members in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake is an example of designated giving. These designated gifts can go directly to relief efforts because of your mission support.
Without your generous gifts through mission support, the ELCA’s response would not have been possible.
Our financial generosity is an expression of our love for God, for our neighbor and for ourselves. We are new people in Christ: compassionate and eager to share.