It is October! The fall schedule has started and I am now a Sunday School teacher. It was a week moment.
It is also time to start thinking about next year. I have completed my pledged giving for this year already, and am now looking at how I might give even more. But now is also the time to start thinking about next year.
It is three months away, but what is my giving? Does it match how much God has blessed me this year and the many years of the past? I keep getting requests in the mail and on the phone to give to countless charities, some of which I don’t know, but how does this giving actually get to the people in need? I look to my church and actually see where my giving goes in the church. Has our church told us enough about where the money goes? Let’s look.
My church actually tells me how the money is spent every year! Most requests for money don’t tell how much is used for administration and the cost of these telephone calls for money. One telephone caller, when asked, actually told me that more than 10% went to the charity and they were better than other similar charities. 10 PERCENT, WHAT KIND OF CHARITY IS THAT?
I look to my church and they have complete transparency. They tell me where the money comes from and where it goes. When I looked at ELCA Disaster Relief, 100% of the money will actually go to where I designate, be it for the relief of those suffering in the war in Syria or those affected by the floods in Colorado. WE ARE A GREAT CHURCH!
I am starting to think about my pledge for next year. We have been blessed and have tithed or more in our giving to charity for many years. Can I do more this year! This will take more effort and thought, but I can only reflect on how blessed I have been. Yes I worked hard. Yes I made great contributions at work. Yes increasing my giving might be more than others. But it doesn’t matter how much others have given when I look at the blessings I have received. I look at the lessons and see the story of Lazarus and Dives and the challenge that you can’t serve both God and mammon. Teaching Sunday School makes you look at what you are actually saying.
May we reflect on our Gospel as we look for how we will respond to our church pledge this year. I hope that you can be generous in your giving.

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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