Well, what a week this has been! In light of all that’s going on, I find myself somehow less inclined to want to address a piece of legislation that, on the surface, seems so unrelated to the challenges we are facing right now. They can seem so impersonal. And yet, all of the resolutions we highlight are very personal because they have been proposed by people in our Church who worked diligently to prepare these resolutions because they will have positive impacts on the Beloved Community. Every resolution touches the lives of others in some way. So…with that as my foundation for this week, let me present to you –
B028: Continue Commitment to Growing Financial Generosity Within the Church
Resolved, That the 79th General Convention and The Episcopal Church celebrate and strategically support enhanced transformational giving among its members through a commitment to proportional giving to church ministry; and be it further
Resolved, That the church continue to embrace the biblical tithe of 10% as a standard for faithful generosity; and be it further
Resolved, That the Church continue its support of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship (TENS) and request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $150,000 for the years 2019-2021.
I find it interesting that, as I looked over the documents from General Convention 2018, I found that this resolution was presented without an explanation. The proposers obviously thought that the wording was pretty self-explanatory and I would agree. And, I think that sharing this particular resolution with you right now might actually be very appropriate. Most, if not all, of our congregations are not meeting face-to-face because of COVID-19. We are not passing a collection plate to receive our tithes and offerings during our virtual worship times so it might be easy to forget that we have a responsibility to continue the financial support of our congregations as well as support the ministries and missions of The Episcopal Church (TEC).
So, with all that being said, please remember to mail in your tithes and offerings to the address your treasurer, vestry or clergy has given you. Perhaps this is even a good time to increase your gifts so that your congregation can reach out to those suffering financial losses from lay-offs and illness.
My prayers are with you all during this time. Stay safe and wash your hands.
Let us pray –
Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;
teach me to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to seek reward,
except that of knowing that I do your will.
Amen. (St. Ignatius Loyola)
~ The Rev. Judith Schellhammer, chair, Resolution Review Committee, Diocesan Council