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Why I Give

 

July-August 2016

In the spring of 2016, United Methodist Communications asked United Methodists around the world why they give, specifically why they give through a United Methodist church. These are some of their responses.

I give as a response to a love affair that I have with God. I love my wife and children. I give them all that I have and all that I am. I should give God no less than my all, inclusive of my gifts.   The Rev. Frank Alegria, First United Methodist Church, Duncanville, Texas

I give because my parents taught me by example that it was the proper thing to do. I am sure there were times when funds were short for them, but they never failed to give to the church. My parents gave us an allowance every week and expected us to give part of it to the church on Sunday morning. I would say that example and expectation were building blocks of our present-day giving.   James D. Arnold, Grace United Methodist Church, Oelwein, Iowa

We give to The United Methodist Church because we believe that all we have belongs to God and that it's our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ to see that these resources are used to help bring about God's reign of love, peace and justice on Earth. Over the years, we've found that The UMC is one of the most effective human structures for accomplishing this holy task.   Cynthia and John Astle, St. Stephen United Methodist Church, Mesquite, Texas

Why do I give? It is simple. I give because God gave to me.   Sandy Berl, Idlewylde United Methodist Church, Baltimore, Maryland

I give because I am grateful for all of God's gifts – past, present and future. I also give because God asks me to and multiplies my gifts. I bless others when I give. My church does great work for God. Giving teaches my children to give, connects me to all of God's people and tells God, "I love you."   Beth Borchert, Poughkeepsie (New York) United Methodist Church

I give for two reasons: to fulfill a promise I made to my local church to support the ministries of the church, both locally and in the world; secondly, as a thank offering for the many blessings I have received.   Mary L. Brooks, Lyndon (Kansas) United Methodist Church

I give in action and money to support both our local and extended church's needs but, more importantly, to help bring the gospel to those who haven't heard about or haven't experienced the love that only Jesus can give. Edwin Bybee, Wesley United Methodist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri

I give to help provide a place of worship for our community and to support and promote the outreach of our church to show the hands of Christ working in today's world.   Bill Campbell, Juniata United Methodist Church, Altoona, Pennsylvania

My wife and I give together. We give because we believe that we have a responsibility to respond to the grace that God has shown in our lives. We give because we believe that the church, the United Methodist connection and other organizations accomplish greater good in the lives of people, animals and the environment than we could on our own. We give because we believe that giving is a spiritual gift.   Frank S. Dunnewind, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Montgomery, Alabama

I give to put a smile on someone's face!   Krista Edmunds, Burlington (Iowa) United Methodist Church

Why do I give? I guess, more than anything, it is out of a sense of obligation for the needs of the church. I was raised with the responsibility to return to those who serve me. My church serves my family and me very much.   Patrick L. Gallo, Fishburn United Methodist Church, Hershey, Pennsylvania

We give because our parents taught us to give and we know that The United Methodist Church will use the money wisely, plus it will change the lives of people that I will never be able to help personally.   Suzanne Hartley, Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church, Phoenix, Arizona

We give because all that we have is a gift from God to be used for his kingdom. Our gifts to our church, missions and missionaries support local and global ministries that connect people with Christ, making disciples. Our giving began with the tithe and grew as we were blessed. Giving helps us to remember that everything comes from God and has helped us learn to trust God for all our needs.   John W. and Ranelle Hockert, Rio Rancho (New Mexico) United Methodist Church

I have been so blessed in my life that the natural response has been to give back, and when we give of ourselves, blessings abound.   Judith Kim, Parker United Methodist Church, Kaneohe, Hawaii

I give because my Bible tells me so. For me to be blessed, I must give.   The Rev. James Odhiambo Lwande, Oyugs United Methodist Church, Homa Bay, Kenya

My roots taught me to be the first to volunteer, stay until the end and sweat with all my might. Giving of all that I am naturally involves financial gifts. Giving flows out of every drop. I give to The United Methodist Church because it teaches me that we are connected and that my ‘whole self' is not just those in my house but all. Giving is who I am and who we are.   The Rev. Michael Mann, Northern Illinois Conference

I love my church, I love God and Jesus, and I am grateful for all my blessings. I just have to give; it is just what we should do.   Joyce Morris, Tallulah Falls (Georgia) UMC

I give because it is scriptural, but it also is an expression of having our Lord first in our lives. Everything we have is his. It's all on loan. It's important we make our love (loan) payments.   Rich Musgrave, Parker (Florida) United Methodist Church

Why do I give? Because I can. Money, time, goods – none of those compares to the blessing of life ever after, the greatest gift of all. Julie Schumann, Sheridan (Oregon) United Methodist Church

I give out of gratitude for all I've been given. Although I was taught to tithe as a youngster growing up in a Methodist parsonage, I have found that giving 20 percent to a variety of charitable causes is a comfortable level. The connectional system of The United Methodist Church has enabled us to participate in a variety of Volunteers in Mission and NOMAD projects through the years.   Roger Tanquist, Puyallup (Washington) United Methodist Church

My United Methodist church is a beacon to me and all the people in my community that God is at work in our world. I give to my church because I cherish it as the place I go to worship God and draw strength from the witness I see in my Christian sisters and brothers.   Karen Tierney, John Wesley United Methodist Church, Fairmouth, Massachusetts

I give because I finally realized that the church budget is a work of theology (how we believe God calls us to use money as a church) and that to give is to give up my individual right to control God's money.   The Rev. Jason Villegas, associate pastor, First United Methodist Church, Morehead City, North Carolina

I give out of my love and faith. When I am faithful in my giving, God has always been faithful in return. I do not base my giving on the prosperity gospel, but out of faithfulness. I give so that the work of the church may continue through my gifts.   Cathy Webb, Union Park United Methodist Church, Des Moines, Iowa

Why do I give? I don't know why I wouldn't. I feel that we are all family, and of course, we would help others in need whether it be financially or with our presence or prayers. If we do not give, we cannot expect the world to get any better, and in fact, it would get worse. I don't believe God intended folks to be homeless or hungry or sick or frightened.   Jill Williamson, Richfield United Methodist Church , Minneapolis, Minnesota 

God is pleased when I give. Giving helps reduce the powerful grip money holds over us. Giving benefits the people and the causes I most care about. Giving can bring great joy to the giver. Giving serves as an investment in that which will last. Giving enables us to be most Christlike.   Ken Wilson, Harmony-Zelienople (Pennsylvania) United Methodist Churrch

I give back to God because I can. That is my personalized response for creation and salvation, and involves thankfulness for the individual blessings of my life – relatives, friends, home, education, health, fruit of the Spirit, spiritual gifts, baptism and Holy Communion renewal – and like the sparrow, enough to survive. I give because I can.   DeLoris Witherington, First United Methodist Church, East Brewton, Alabama 

I give because God says so in his word. Since my heart was born again, I want to give. I also give when I want to share in someone's life or ministry. Sometimes God speaks to my heart to give.   The Rev. Ekaterina "Katya" Zubkova, Tyumen United Methodist Church, Salvation, Russia