Setting a price on a product for sale is relatively easy. Supply and demand determines the market value. No such formula works for charities.
All charities, churches included depend upon the good will of those who are interested in the work that charity does. Some charities appeal to a broad audience. Churches often have a much smaller group of people to depend upon, while serving the broader public. Each donor to a church generally has a greater interest in the work and well being of the church since the church provides for the member’s ongoing spiritual well-being, as well as pastoral care in times of crisis.
At the time of Moses an appropriate gift to the work of the temple was one tenth of what each person earned, Jesus cast that in a new light when he pointed to a poor widow who tossed two small coins into the temple treasury. He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43,44)
We suggest that each family discuss together their charitable giving as a whole. Make a decision about how much you want to give in total to all your favourite charities. Then decide what portion of that will go to each charity. Your gift should make a difference, both to you and to the church. Don’t give until it hurts but do give until it feels good. As a guide to how much money St Timothy’s needs from each family, please bear in mind that we have about 230 families that contribute, and our budget will be set at $350,000 from offerings. That works out to $1,500 on average. Use that as a guide, but bear in mind that some members, like the widow Jesus spoke about, can give only a very small amount, even though it is a sacrificial gift. Others give more than the average. Whether your financial picture is better than average in our parish is your decision to make. Sine we each do make our decision confidentially, without knowing each other’s income or expenses, your choice is between you and God!