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Old 12-12-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
Janepod
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Sensitive Question - How much to donate at church?

We are Catholic, so we donate to the collection plate every week, but the church does not do a set amount. E.g., you're not asked to tithe a tenth of your income.

I always thought I was giving a fair amount. It's always a check in an envelope (which is how most people in the congregation give).

This Sunday, I was next to a man I know. See him at mass every week & our kids are friends. He put in cash, more than triple what we give every week. So I started to think, am I not giving enough?

I guess my question is, for you Catholics (or anyone) -- how do you know how much to give?

Second question: how much do you give at Christmas mass? Same thing you give on a Sunday? More?

I just don't know how to find the answers to these questions. All along I thought I was generous; now I'm wondering if I'm a cheapskate.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janepod View Post
We are Catholic, so we donate to the collection plate every week, but the church does not do a set amount. E.g., you're not asked to tithe a tenth of your income.

I always thought I was giving a fair amount. It's always a check in an envelope (which is how most people in the congregation give).

This Sunday, I was next to a man I know. See him at mass every week & our kids are friends. He put in cash, more than triple what we give every week. So I started to think, am I not giving enough?

I guess my question is, for you Catholics (or anyone) -- how do you know how much to give?

Second question: how much do you give at Christmas mass? Same thing you give on a Sunday? More?

I just don't know how to find the answers to these questions. All along I thought I was generous; now I'm wondering if I'm a cheapskate.
I put in what I feel comfortable with. That amount varies by person. At Christmas, I try to double or triple that amount. Again, when times are tight the amount in the envelope is less.

I had a priest that wanted full participation at church. He wanted to treat the regular parishoners to free or reduced services such as baptisms, etc. However, if you were just coming in and not a regular parishoner you were charged for baptisms and more for weddings. He said that he didn't care if we stuck in empty envelopes every week. He just wanted attendance. And he was true to his word. When times were much tighter there were weeks that I put in an empty envelope. We flooded a couple of years later and I received a check from the church for $1500. I had never spoken to the priest to let him know. I had never complained that times were tight. He saw a need based on a disaster and funded us.

A couple of years later the priests changed and we then got the whole 10% thing from the new priest. And he did expect it. Totally turned me off. I tried harder to contribute when I was told that my presence was the only that was wanted.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Give however much you feel inclined to and are comfortable with. No one here can tell you what you should give, to be honest.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:31 PM   #4
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I give what I feel comfortable each week. I could care less what the person sitting next to me gives. Maybe he doesnt have any kids, and has lots of money.

We have a tithing program at our Catholic Church, encouraging the 10% thing. I ignore the requests and will continue to give what we have in the budget. Maybe some day when I dont have tuitions due, new sneakers to buy for the kids, doctor's copays etc, and college in the future to think about I will give more.

The ones who get me are the ones who dont go every week, dont give a dime ever to the Church and then get mad when they want their kid baptized or want to bury grandma and the Church asks for a donation. Then they are all up in arms about the Church being money hungry. Really????? I mean the Church does have electric bills, heating bills and payroll. But they cant give something when they actually utilize the Church. I get if they dont have it but the ones I hear complain do have money for other things. They want the Church to be there in their time of need but dont want to give anything back even one time
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
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I believe it is in the book of Matthew where it talks about being a cheerful giver. I think that is extremely important. You should be happy about the amount that you are giving, and it sounds like you are. You should not give grudgingly, or due to guilt.

I also think the Bible is very clear about tithing 10%. I think that should be our goal, as Christians.
But for many of us, ourselves included, if we did tithe (which we do not) we would no longer be cheerful givers.

I am sure all of that sounds very muddled. As for the man next to you, he may have come into money recently. He may have not given for weeks prior. You never know what is going on in his life. That's why I think anonymous giving is so very important. (I am not saying you looked on purpose.)

Ultimately pray about it. Ask God if what you are giving is the right amount for you.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:38 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. It's a weird issue in my family. Although my husband is Catholic, he does not attend church - just me and my son. I don't think I give enough, husband thinks I give too much. Add to that the fact that he's the one making the money while I stay home (yes, it is our money, but he's the one working the 75+ hour weeks) and it just hard to arrive at the "right" number.

Double or triple for Christmas, that sounds right.

Thanks!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill in Chicago View Post
I am sure all of that sounds very muddled. As for the man next to you, he may have come into money recently. He may have not given for weeks prior. You never know what is going on in his life. That's why I think anonymous giving is so very important. (I am not saying you looked on purpose.)

Ultimately pray about it. Ask God if what you are giving is the right amount for you.
I didn't look on purpose. He gave it to his toddler to put in the basket, and the son handed it to me rather than putting it in. It's literally the only time I can think of in my life that I've known exactly how much someone else put in.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:42 PM   #8
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Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
If you feel like you aren't giving enough, give more. But don't feel guilty just because the person next to you gives 3x what you do.

And as much as people don't like being asked or hassled for money at church, the church does need money to operate. The pastor has to be paid. The building has to be heated and lighted. I know it stinks, but I've been on church boards and committees for the past 10 years, and sometimes it is HARD to make ends meet.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:43 PM   #9
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Okay -- don't want to necessarily turn this into a religious thread, but regardless of what might be taught from the pulpit of any church denomination, biblically we're told to tithe. Tithing is 10% of your income.

There's no question, there's no comfort zone, it's 10%. We're promised return -- and it's a statement of faith.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." Malachi 3:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill in Chicago View Post
I believe it is in the book of Matthew where it talks about being a cheerful giver. I think that is extremely important. You should be happy about the amount that you are giving, and it sounds like you are. You should not give grudgingly, or due to guilt.

I also think the Bible is very clear about tithing 10%. I think that should be our goal, as Christians.
But for many of us, ourselves included, if we did tithe (which we do not) we would no longer be cheerful givers.

I am sure all of that sounds very muddled. As for the man next to you, he may have come into money recently. He may have not given for weeks prior. You never know what is going on in his life. That's why I think anonymous giving is so very important. (I am not saying you looked on purpose.)

Ultimately pray about it. Ask God if what you are giving is the right amount for you.
ETA: In reading your situation, where the house is divided on the issue, I think Jill's response is more appropriate.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janepod View Post
Thanks everyone. It's a weird issue in my family. Although my husband is Catholic, he does not attend church - just me and my son. I don't think I give enough, husband thinks I give too much. Add to that the fact that he's the one making the money while I stay home (yes, it is our money, but he's the one working the 75+ hour weeks) and it just hard to arrive at the "right" number.

Double or triple for Christmas, that sounds right.

Thanks!
If you think that you are not giving enough, and your husband thinks you are going too much, it seems to me like this is a perfect set up for you to give more, but in a different way...give TIME. I'm not Catholic (actually I don't do church at all at this point, but I used to) and in our congregation giving time and effort was as much or more appreciated than the money. Maybe you can help teach religious education, help with programs at the church, help make baked goods/set up/clean up for the social hour after church services, serve as a communion assitant, etc.

Comparing what you give to what someone sitting next to you gave that particular week is not productive...his might have been a random donation that was unusually generous, you don't know. And yes, at Christmas time or when there is some special appeal going on is a good time to give extra if you can.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesmurfs View Post
Okay -- don't want to necessarily turn this into a religious thread, but regardless of what might be taught from the pulpit of any church denomination, biblically we're told to tithe. Tithing is 10% of your income.

There's no question, there's no comfort zone, it's 10%. We're promised return -- and it's a statement of faith.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." Malachi 3:10
I'm also not trying to make it a religious thread, but do want to point out that this quote is from the Old Testament and Catholics are no longer under Old Testament law. For us, it is as a PP stated and as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #12
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Flightless duck thanks for the Bible verse! Where did I get Matthew from?

Original poster I was sure you didn't look on purpose!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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Flightless duck thanks for the Bible verse! Where did I get Matthew from?
No problem. I had to look it up
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:00 PM   #14
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Like others have said, there's no 'right' amount. There's the bible story (don't remember where) about the poor woman who gave a very small amount, but that was nearly everything she had. I don't think your chuch donations should be your spare change - it should be more important and significant than that - but only you know what your situation is and how much of your 'time, talent, and treasure' (not just treasure!) you have and how much of that should be dedicated to doing God's work.
Also, while giving directly to the church is important, I've always considered other charitable giving equally as "faithful" so consider that aspect of your life as well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:02 PM   #15
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It's up to you and your husband to come to a decision about this, and what other people think is irrelevant.

One church I once attended dedicated an entire month to shaking down the congregation, complete with weekly powerpoint shows including statistics about what various demographics within the congregation gave as an average donation. They could have told you to the dime what was "expected."
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