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The biblical concept of stewardship challenges us to recognizethat everything was created by God and is ultimately owned byGod. We are only stewards or managers of these resources.“Show me your checkbook and I can tell you your values orpriorities” is a common saying of uncertain origin. Money ispowerful, and how we invest it, spend it, or give it speaksvolumes about what we value. Our finances are one of the keyareas where Christians practice stewardship, mindful of how weuse resources to further God’s kingdom andcare for others – all children of God.Tithes and offerings have been the chief way financialstewardship has been practiced by God’s people throughoutScripture. Please pledge what you can to supportSt. Nicholas’ life-giving ministries.What is Tithing?Despite the fact that many people use the word “tithe”synonymously with any church-related giving, the word titheliterally means “tenth.” The tithe was an obligatory offering fromthe law of Moses requiring 10 percent of an Israelite’s firstfruits. These tithes were given as “first fruits,”meaning God was given the best of what they had.We first see the tithe in the story of the encounter of Abraham,our father in faith, with Melchizedek. Melchizedek, whose namemeans King of Righteousness and who had the title King ofSalem or the King of Peace, as well as being priest of God MostHigh, brings out bread and wine and blesses Abraham.
Abraham in turn gives Melchizedek 10% of all he has.(Genesis 14:17-20; see also Hebrews 7:1-3).Tithing is mentioned many times in Scripture.See for example: Leviticus 27:30-34; Numbers 18:26;Deuteronomy 12:5-6 and 14:28; 2 Chronicles 31:4-6; Nehemiah10:35-37; Amos 4:4-5; Malachi 3:10; Mark 12:41-44; Luke 11:42.Tithing is officially the minimum standard of giving in theEpiscopal Church. See for example: General ConventionResolutions 1982-A116; 10988-A164; 1997-A138; 2009-D055.“Stewardship Statement and Affirming Tithing, GeneralConvention Resolution 2000-A106.Giving 3 percent, 5 percent, or 7 percent of one’s incometo the church is proportionate giving and a method on thejourney to tithing, but it is not a tithe. To tithe is to give 10%Fewer than one-quarter of any congregation tithes.On average, Christians give about 2.5 percent of theirincome to churches.Tithing is associated with many spiritual benefits.Through tithing one may deepen one’s trust and relationship withGod. It also gives one a greater sense offreedom from material things.Please pledge (at whatever amount) to show your support forSt. Nicholas and our life-giving ministries.Please also prayerfully consider Your journey on the road totithing by making a proportional pledge relative to income.
Stewardship of our finances is a gift that we share. Is this an area of our lives that we can faithfully proclaim the gospel? Giving is a way to strengthen our relationship to God. As people of faith, we give faithfully and generously.