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Why do you give?


I have to admit, I was much younger the first time I did it. So young, in fact, that I don’t remember when I started. I always just did it. 

Every Sunday morning, my parents gave me some money. I put it into a small envelope and licked it shut. Then I held tight to that envelope until Sunday School, when something called “collection” happened and I handed it in.

Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. I always just did it. And I watched my parents do it, too. Once I was confirmed and joined the church myself, I received a box of larger envelopes to use for giving. And I just kept doing it.

Some fifty-odd years later, I’m still doing it. The way I give to my church has changed. The amount I give has changed. How often I give has changed. But I still give. 

Offering envelopes given in-person on Sunday morning are a thing of my past; now it’s Pre-Authorised Remittance and online giving. I no longer give the quarter or fifty cents of my parents’ money, but the dollars and dollars I earn. My giving is no longer weekly, but monthly. And giving is still important to me.

How about you? How did you learn to give? To whom do you give?

And the most important question, why do you give? 

Not “how much do you give?” or even just “do you give?” but “why do you give?” 

For me, why I give has changed. I no longer give just because of what my parents taught me and expected of me. Now I give in order to help make the world more like God intended. I give as a way to fight back at greed and individualism. I share what I have in order to publicly say that we are all in this together, and that I am only stronger and healthier when we all have enough to eat and a safe place to live and when we all know that we are cared for and loved. It feels good to give.

That’s also why I give both to support the ministry of my local congregation and to Mission & Service. 

I give to Mission & Service because my local congregation can only do so much. Mission & Service allows me to help inspire meaning and purpose, making a real difference in the lives of people I will never meet in places I can’t go, in order to build a better world. And that’s important to me.

Maybe it’s important to you, too. If so, I invite you to join me in making a financial gift to Mission & Service.

It’s been a long time since those Sunday School days. So much has changed in my life and the life of the church. And through it all, for me, the importance of giving and generosity has just kept growing stronger. 

Have you thought about your own giving story? Why do you give?

Rev. Dave Jagger is the Community of Faith Stewardship Lead within the Philanthropy Unit of the United Church and also serves the stewardship needs of Western Ontario Waterways, Antler River Watershed, Horseshoe Falls, and Shining Waters Regions. 


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