Giving Back to God
Justin: During our engagement process, one of the hardest things for Sara and me to decide was which charities to financially support with our tithe.
Sara: Since I’ve become a stay-at-home mom, we’ve been working on re-prioritizing how we give our tithe. One of the hardest parts of not having a salary is not being able to be as generous with some of our favorite charities. We’ve already had to say no to causes we would really like to support this year because we can only give so much money.
Justin: Currently, our diocese is embarking on a very large multi-million dollar capital campaign to do many important things in both our parish and our diocese. Recently, we attended an informational meeting sharing their vision for the campaign. After attending the meeting, Sara and I discussed how we felt called to give. We had already worked really hard on our list of charitable causes to support this year, and a capital campaign was not on the list.
As we began to share our thoughts regarding the capital campaign and how we specifically are called to give, I heard some pride in our voices as we discussed the campaign itself. Some of the items discussed in the capital campaign aren’t very important to us specifically.
Sara: Putting a new roof on the church (or something just as practical) would have been a very easy cause for us to sacrificially support even at the expense of some of our other favorite charities.
Justin: I think that one of the difficulties for me was that I felt some of the projects were extravagant or at least made plans above the scope that was necessary to solve the problem. I looked at how hard Sara and I work to stretch a dollar and felt like any project that is asking for my money should work just as hard to maximize the impact of every dollar.
Sara: This conversation was especially difficult to have because we both knew that had we still been a two income family, our diocesan capital campaign would have been on our list of priorities.
Justin: As I continued to listen to both of us speak, I realized that even with our very limited knowledge of our diocese and parish’s greater needs, I heard us acting like we felt we could more adequately determine where the funds should go than those charged to discern this. We’ve been very vocal in the past about how we trust Father to make the best decisions for the money we place in the collection plate.
Sara: When Justin pointed out how much pride he heard in our voices, I realized it was true. For the most part, I am very impressed with how Father decides to spend money. He seems to really understand that just like a family, our parish has to prioritize how to spend its funds.
I think I had decided before we even went to the meeting that I didn’t want to give money to this cause. The main reason I didn’t want to give had nothing to do with what the money was going towards – I simply didn’t want to have to reallocate our charitable funds! I also think it would have been easier for me had there been fancy charts and figures to help justify the need for the funds. However, I do need to place some initial trust in Father, our parish committees, and the leaders of the diocese that they are able to determine the greatest needs.
Justin: After further discussion, we realized that we do need to ask further questions regarding the capital campaign and usage. However, we have also decided that we do need to give to this campaign (if only a small amount) in order to take a step in conquering our own pride – even at the expense of some of our other favorite charities.