I’m not sure what a proper weekly offering would be. We are basically middle class with a good amount of debt, but not struggling. We are self employed so our income is very unstable. Thank you.
What I’ve done is look at how much the weekly offering is in total (as reported in the bulletin) and divide by the number of families, and use the average as the absolute lowest to give.
Catholics don’t need to give as much as protestants to maintain the physical plant (the buildings) since we fill the church many times on Sunday and they fill it once or twice. Same size building, but we divide the upkeep by thousands of families (where I am) instead of hundreds. Anything above the physical upkeep goes to social action/ministry, and that’s important, too.
That doesn’t make any sense at all. You really shouldn’t talk about things you aren’t sure of. Offerings go to pay the light bill and the water bill and the staff’s salary. It buys books and snacks and Bibles, etc. Yes, churches have to be cleaned and upkept too. And I have seen Catholic churchs hire the help and at the same time I have seen Protestant churches clean and up keep done by members. So your statement doesn’t make any sense.
The Bible suggests a 10% tithe of your income.
Well, that statement was offensive and shallow.
Give what you can. If it’s only 2$ some weeks, and then 5 some other ones, that’s all that matters.
Perhaps instead of giving money you could do an act of kindness. Carry someone’s grocieres out to their car, visit a shut in, spend some time at a eldery housing unit…
Just an idea.
Feeling like an irritated Catholic today, Rascalking?
(I totally concur with everything else that you said though)
And maybe this is why so many parishes have had to go to charging for religious education, vacation bible school and a host of other things that protestant churches are able to offer for free. Could also be why Catholic schools are closing left and right, and bending to secular parents to “tone down” the doctrine in order to stay open.
Give whatever your family thinks is appropriate. Our income fluctuates as dh is self employed, therefore it varies from week to week and month to month.
10% is a good goal to have especially since it is deeply rooted in scripture and Tradition. That is what we do. However the church doesn’t hold us to a number. Some can give more some will need to give less. It is suggested that we give 5% to the support of the church and we can give the other 5 to other worthy causes. The main thing is to discern what God is calling you to do at this time. Also, pay attention to the other forms of stewardship besides our treasure - talent and time.
There have been several good threads on this topic. Do a search in the whole forum, because they fall in different sub-forums.
There is much Biblical basis for the 10% or tithe. Depending on your other necessary commitments, you may be able to do more or less. If you have quite a bit of debt beyond house and car payments, you need to be sure to cover those monthly payments because you cannot tithe what you do not have and that money belongs to your creditors.
If your contribution has to vary based on income, that is understandable. It may help you though to figure your average income for the past 12 months and base your contribution on that. Then you can increase or decrease from that amount as your needs direct.
The church does not require a certain amount, but as others have said the need is there for the parish to pay all its bills, be able to offer programs at minimal cost, and to contribute to diocesean charities.
If your income is unstable then you probably have some pretty good weeks. I’d frist set up a budget around the minimal amount you make with some allotment to the church. You could then set up brackets based on low average high. Then some fixed amount for a low week, 10% of the additional money you make in an average week, and 25% of the extra money you make in a high income week. Doing it this way allows you to share the money you were not counting on. I give a much higher percentage of my raises and bonuses than I do of my regular income.
You may also want to look at the bulletin and figure out the average expenses and divide that by the number of families that attend mass.
Time, talents, and money.
Ask yourself if you give in all three areas if able.
Just a thought.
Well, I see my ideas didn’t get a lot of agreement. I stand by them. Look at what the other families are giving, and try to at least give that much. If you can’t give the average, give less. If you can give more, go ahead. What’s wrong with that?
As to the idea that if everyone gave more then more services could be “free” - think about that for a moment. They aren’t “free” - it’s using other peoples’ contributions to pay for services instead of charging the recipient of the services. Well, I guess that’s right. It is “free” to the recipient.
I have to be honest. I haven’t found a lot of Pastors who have a clue about fiscal responsibility. I give to the parish generously, but I also give to charities that I know do a good job.
*I agree with this.
royalarcher–I also agree with how you splice it up. I also make a quarterly bonus, my husband makes monthly ones…and we tend to increase our offerings from those earnings. Interesting you do that, also. :)*
Doesn’t anyone consider what the catholic church has to say about offering not just your greenback, but your time and talent. Oddly silent there.
All three are to be considered? Or just the cash?
*Yes, all three are to be considered. Fr Corapi talks about this a lot, and I think that it isn’t just that we offer our time, talent, and treasure to the parishes, but also into the communities where we live…to anyone we see that we feel God is calling us to help. That’s how I have always tried to live those principles.
Reason for the ‘odd silence…’ It’s late for many, maybe everyone’s in bed. Maybe more will post about that, tomorrow. God bless, strawberryjam. I like your username by the way…when I see it, I think of Smuckers. I love that jam! :)*
I think the Smuckers family was religious, but not catholic.
I have a few other favorite strawberry jams I like as well as the good old standard.
Family made ones, seem to be the best so far.
Sorry if I sounded impatient, I really am not by nature. I just thought maybe I read it wrong that it is time talent and treasure that are to be considered.
Let’s not also forget you pay a different rate on tuition in some diocesces if you are not participating “getting envelopes and filling them up”
I don’t mean that in a bad way, or critical- just what I am seeing in bulletins. I think that is fair to ask.
When our parrish has a big fund raiser everyone is put on a work detail by default.
It is easier to talk about money because that is what most churches need. Even if their is an abundance of labor, somethings require cash. In our parrish we just seem to have a shortage of money but no shortage of people willing to helpout if needed.
My wife and I are currently unable to give 10%, but we give what we can (I would love to be able to afford to give much more). Since we send our kids to the school we’ve always been required to give a bare minimum each year to keep the parishioner tuition rate and for many years we aimed for that minimum as our goal. As I started coming back into my faith more fully, I reexamined my priorities and decided that I needed to make a bigger contribution to our parish. Monetarily, we now give at least three times what we used to just in our weekly offerings. We also volunteer at the church and school all the time and give extra to the fund-raising events and on Christmas & Easter.
Last week the pastor asked me to calculate the average offering for our small parish (~410 families – of whom about 25-30% attend semi-regularly to regularly).
Upon looking at the records I found that the average envelope holds $8.66, with an average loose collection of ~$187/wk. We had 97 envelope users. The top 10 gave 30%+ of the total.
The top 10 include some retirees who are also the top donors of time and talent. They are the ones who were there when the parish was founded 50 years ago, have worked tirelessly for the parish and continue to do so in their golden years.
I agree with those who said give what you can. If it is nothing or just a few dollars one week, then that is fine. If you are having a good week, and its 20 dollars, that’s fine. But if it comes down to that impulse snack or extra nice coffee one week or a church offering… you know what to do. We should be giving out of love, not out of obligation. What goes into the church basket is between the giver and God and nobody on earth has a right to judge this.
There’s a very simple reason why only money is being discussed in these replies - people are answering the OP’s acutal question: