A Living Sacrifice, week 5, practical matters and closing act

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Secular people don’t easily understand the commitment that Christians have towards giving to their churches. It is easily confused as a tax imposed upon the believer, or the cost of attending the show. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Giving in church is the willing sacrifice of the believer in the most ancient act of worship revealed in Holy Scripture. As such, the offertory is a central act in the service of Holy Eucharist, when the tokens of our living sacrifice are presented at the altar to God.

As a practical matter, our gifts are the operations and maintenance funds for the parish. Having recently been on the Vestry and still regularly following the parish financial statements, I personally testify that our gifts are thoughtfully and carefully used. You may be confident that Holy Trinity is a worthy recipient of your tithes and offerings. As an aside, Lindisfarne Hall, even though the school is a ministry of Holy Trinity, is funded through student fees and gifts that have been designated specifically for that purpose. The school maintains separate accounts which it reports to the Vestry for oversight. Although the school would be pleased to receive your gifts, such gifts should not be made in place of your regular offerings to the parish.

This is the last article of this year’s in-gathering of estimated giving. Thanks to all of you for your participation. It is also the last week to actually put your card in the box. After this week, if you have not yet participated in our campaign, such as it is, you may keep your eyes peeled for our letter that will contain an estimated giving card and a stamped self-addressed envelope with which to return it. That’s not nearly as satisfying as dropping a card in the box, and you may also save us more than a dollar and some administrative effort by doing that now before you go home.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:15-16

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