FAQ

Q.  Why do we give through the church?

Everything we have comes from God. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above....” When we give, we simply offer God a portion of the abundance God has already given us. Giving is an expression of our thankfulness and praise to God. It comes from a heart of worship. Being a Christ-follower means we give God control of all our resources including our money. Our generosity through the church is about our need to give rather than the church’s need to receive. Giving is a spiritual issue. It is not about the church budget.


Q.  What is the concept of first fruits?

This refers to giving God the first and best portion of the harvest. Giving God the first fruits of our labor acknowledges that all good things come from God and all we have belongs to God.


Q.  How can I give?

You may give online, by cash or checks during weekly worship, by dropping off contributions at the First Washington UMC business office or by mail. Please use an offering envelope if you are giving cash so that we will have a means of providing you a giving statement. You also may give through non-cash gifts such as stocks, bonds life insurance and retirement plans and by including the church in your estate plan. Contact financial team leader Doug Klabzuba at 314.640.6444 or dougklabzuba@gmail.com if you are interested in these non-cash options.


Q.  How much should I give?

The Bible teaches us that we should return a portion of our financial resources to God in the form of a tithe (10 percent). While the tithe is the Biblical standard in both the Old and New Testaments, the New Testament calls people beyond the tithe to the principle of generosity.


Q.  Should I tithe on net or gross income?

The most important thing we can do is follow the guidance of 2 Corinthians 9 and give “not reluctantly or under compulsion,” but “cheerfully.” If you have not been in the regular practice of giving, then set a goal and work toward a tithe of net income and then gross income.


Q.  How should I tithe if my income varies from pay period to pay period?

Depending on which is more feasible for your situation, you can handle tithing with a fluctuating income in a couple of different ways. Some people choose to give exactly one-tenth of their earnings for each individual pay-period. Others estimate earnings for the year and give a portion of the total tithe each week or month throughout the year.


Q.  When I make a contribution, how is it used?

Your contribution supports the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ and transforming the world. Funds received sustain the complete range of activities of the church including those for children, youth and adults, worship, reaching new people, outreach and missions, hospitality and the day-to-day expenses associated with providing a staff and facility to equip the congregation to do ministry. One change for 2018 is that both general operating expenses and capital expenses related to debt retirement will be managed in one overall budget. Your contribution helps to fund the complete scope of the church's ministry. You may still choose to make a designated gift for debt retirement if that is your desire.


Q.  How can I keep track of what I give?

Your giving to First Washington UMC is tax deductible. You will receive a year-end statement (no later than January 30) recapping your contributions for the previous 12 months. You also will receive periodic updates throughout the year.


Q.  What if I need to change my giving?

You may change your giving at any time. As a courtesy, please notify financial team leader Doug Klabzuba at 314.640.6444 or dougklabzuba@gmail.com.


Q.  How do I approach giving as a retiree?

Nearly 23 percent of those who are retired continue to do some work. Many who are fully retired continue to receive income from a variety of sources. Although we may view this income as fixed, we still have the ability to choose how it will be spent.


Q.  Why should I complete an estimate of giving card?

The church’s leadership team will use the completed estimates of giving to help determine the priorities for ministry over the next year. Please complete and return a card. We understand that some people are unemployed or experiencing a time of crisis in their lives. If that is your situation, please complete the name and address portion of the card and return it on celebration Sunday. Know that we are praying for you.


Q.  When do I turn in my estimate of giving card?

You will receive an estimate of giving card in the mail. There will be a special time of dedication during worship on November 26.  If you will be out of town, you may turn in your card to the church office prior to that.


Q.  What are the anticipated 2017 operating expenditures?

It is expected that 2017 total operating expenses will be $187,439. The 2018 budget has not been completed and will be developed after estimate of giving cards have been received.


Q.  What is the current debt?

Just as many people have a mortgage on their home, the church has a mortgage on the building. Since 2009 the church debt has been reduced by $437,024. The current debt is $344,836 (as of 12.01.2017).


Q.  What is a church note?

Church notes are a low-cost means of receiving a loan from individuals. First UMC previously has sold notes to fund capital expenditures. Individuals receive a modest interest payment. Some elect for the church to keep what would have been paid in interest; in addition, note holders may choose to forgive this debt entirely as a gift to the church.


Q.  What is extra-mile giving?

Extra-mile giving is a contribution above and beyond regular weekly giving. The leadership team identifies special projects for contributors who wish to make an additional gift. Examples of projects funded in this manner are enhanced audio-visual panels for the worship center, exterior grading to address a drainage issue, replacement of the exterior doors and installation of the auto-assist door to make the building more accessible, painting and installing new flooring throughout the entire upper level, sound system replacement and music equipment repairs and enhancements.


Questions?

Doug Klabzuba | 314.640.6444 |