“You all know that last Sunday (December 24) was Elim’s ‘Giving Sunday’ event. We committed to ‘give away’ all undesignated funding that came in through the offering that day (providing our income to spending actuals remained “in the black” as they currently appear to be) to three worthy causes, all above and beyond our approved 2017 church budget.
Some of us were a bit concerned when we looked around the sanctuary, the morning before Christmas, and attendance seemed a bit sparse. Would Giving Sunday be a bust?
So you can imagine our excitement when we were told that the total offering last Sunday was $28,161 … nearly five times Elim’s average weekly offering, and one of our largest ever! God is so good, and we are so thankful for faithful givers who responded to His leading.
Some have asked whether there would be another opportunity (a second chance!) to contribute to the Giving Sunday project (benefiting the Future Expansion Fund, the Benevolence Fund, and the Tabitha Center ministries in the Congo). The answer is yes! If you missed out on Giving Sunday due to vacation schedules and would still like to contribute, simply designate any gift made before the end of 2017 to ‘Giving Sunday’ and it will be included in the total.
And, as you begin the new year and consider what goals you might set or resolutions you might make, be sure to seek God and thank Him — that ‘His mercies are new every morning,’ that He will complete the good work He has begun in you, and that His grace is enough!”
This is an excerpt from this week’s Last Word blog, “Does God Give Second Chances?”. You can read the entire post here.
Check out this quick video about our upcoming Giving Sunday:
GIVING SUNDAY Q&A
What is Giving Sunday?
It’s a special event designed to show our gratitude for and trust in God’s goodness. On Giving Sunday, we take whatever comes in for the offering, and instead of it going to the normal church budget we give it away to purposes that help expand God’s Kingdom, both here and abroad. This year, “Giving Sunday” will occur on December 24 (Christmas Eve).
Has it happened before?
Yes, we’ve held a Giving Sunday twice in recent years, and it’s been a great experience for all who participated.
How will the funds contributed on Giving Sunday be designated?
Funds contributed (beyond any required to bring our year-to-date expenses into balance with revenues) will be distributed three ways:
- To the Future Expansion Fund, for future facilities growth at Elim. This is a fund that is regularly supported from our church budget, with the priority being to expand classroom space for Children’s Ministries, as well as other ministries, and to replace the Youth House.
- To the Benevolence Fund, to help meet the short-term needs of people in our congregation and community. The Benevolence Fund is typically supported by specially designated donations.
- To the Tabitha Center, a ministry to widows and orphans in Kinshasa, Congo, operated by the Evangelical Free Church.
Note: If our annual expenses are in the red on December 24 (i.e., actual expenses year-to-date are higher than actual income), our first commitment that day will be to bring it into balance. The elders will then determine precisely how to disburse any additional funds to the three purposes specified above.
Is Giving Sunday the only time during the year that Elim contributes money to these designations?
Absolutely not! Elimites contribute regularly to a variety of outreach and missions objectives through the missions portion of our regular budget. Once a month (typically the first Sunday) Elimites are also encouraged to give “above and beyond” to the Benevolence Fund. And finally, Future Fund giving is also typically built into the regular Elim budget. Our 2017 budget calls for $10,000 to be transferred into the Future Fund.
However, Giving Sunday is a day when we can make a very specific expression of thanksgiving and faith by giving to each of these “above and beyond” purposes.
For us Elimites, should this giving be considered above and beyond our tithe?
We recommend you give your tithe as you normally do this Giving Sunday, but then prayerfully consider making an above and beyond gift additionally, as the Lord leads. The offerings on past Giving Sundays have (by far) been some of our best offerings of the year, thanks to above and beyond givers!
What about any gifts made for designated purposes on Giving Sunday?
By law, designated gifts must be honored in accordance to their designation, if accepted. So any designated giving will not be included in the Giving Sunday distribution as specified above.
Are Giving Sunday gifts tax-deductible?
Any undesignated gifts (or gifts designated for ministry purposes) made to Elim’s ministry are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations, and you will be issued a receipt reflecting this after year’s end.
What are some ways to give to Elim’s ministry?
In order of preference (based on processing costs):
- Cash or checks
- Bill-pay (ask your bank for more information on setting up bill-pay)
- Online donations made on the Giving tab at Elim’s website
- Donations made through Elim’s app (text-to-give) via either credit card or your bank account
- Texting the amount you wish to give to (253) 466-7320 and following the instructions replied by return text
Also consider looking to see if your employer has an employer match program. Elim is a non-profit organization and many employers will match contributions to charities made by their employees, making your donation stretch even further!
For more information, see the Ways to Give FAQ on Elim’s website.