Church and dontations


#1

Hi all

The church I go to sends me envelopes for donations. I really want to donate but I don’t have money to. I am not working and dh and I are struggling paycheck to paycheck. It’s a bad situation, I even told dh we should get rid of the internet and we can save some money that way but he said we need it for email and business stuff…ect

My question is, what do I do? I don’t want the church I am going to think we are being cheap. Do I call them up and tell them? I feel bad.


#2

A parish doesn't run on money alone... it also requires volunteers who can share their time and talent...
Call the parish and "donate" in a different way... teach religious education, volunteer to visit the sick/elderly, collect and categorize food donations at the parish pantry... whatever!


#3

Aren’t these envelopes anonymous. I get envelopes too (not in the mail) for certain occasions and it’s usually optional if you want to address them. Also they don’t ask for specific amounts it is always up to the donor. Make a small anonymous donation or none at all.


#4

Remember the widow who put the two small coins. Try for $1 a week. That’s all. You don’t have to give $20 or $50 or $100 or even $5. I’m single, paying off high student loans, have familial obligations (my brothers keep getting married :p), I pay alot in gas just to work, I try to cook dinner for a needy person which tends to blow my food budget out of the water. (I spend $36 on months I just feed myself but $75 on a month I’m intertaning). Plus my car is old.

God understands that I don’t have alot of money. But no matter how hard things are I try to give $5 a week. There are weeks when I gave up my laundry quarters $1 and there are weeks when I got milage reimbursed and gave $20. But God loves sacrifice and tends to bless it graciously.


#5

A lot of people get the envelopes and don’t use them, I for one just put my $ anonymously into the collection bin and I’m sure the church knows that. I don’t think they’re checking everyone’s envelopes out to see who’s being “cheap”… I wouldn’t worry about it and do what you can as far as maybe donating some time or other help.


#6

FYI about the "envelope system"...

It's used mostly as a way for the parish to keep track of all your charitable giving as a service to you - because they will send you a statement at the end of the year for tax write-off purposes...

Ours is also used as more of an "attendance" purpose - since our kids go to the parish school and receive the "practicing Catholic" tuition rate - it shows that we are actually attending Mass and they aren't looking at the dollar amount at all...

So it's a benefit system, not a way of *forcing *weekly donations...
HTH!


#7

No, they aren’t, they have my name and address on them. I get over 20 envelopes every so often with dates on them. “donation for x/x/xx”


#8

i would go with what other people are suggesting. donation is more than just money, you can give your services to the parish

also, if you can’t financially give, tell the parish office as well, help them save money by not sending you envelopes. i’m sure they will understand your situation. it is ineed a tough time for everyone


#9

I agree with purplesunshine. Give something. Even one dollar. If you were willing to give up the internet, surely you can find something to give up even from your grocery bill to put a dollar in the envelope once a week.

I realize times are tough, and God knows this too of course. But we are not called to give of our excess. We are supposed to give from our heart as a sacrifice.

In our parish, we have envelopes even for children. Printed on them is: time, treasure, talent. Our previous pastor explained to the children that even though they may not have money to give, he encouraged them to write down and drop in the envelope any good deed or time they spent helping others as their donation.

I would encourage you to meet with your priest and explain your situation if you are comfortable and ask him what you can do to help your parish. There may be some small thing that they need to have done and you may have the talent they need- gardening, cleaning, stuffing envelopes, whatever.

May God bless you and guide you. :slight_smile:


#10

I get those envelopes too, along with a letter that states what I gave last week. And included is a little handy thing we should give 20% of our weekly income! What? Like I sould give money to something that is medicore at best (Seattle area churches are horrible, I feel bad giving them any help). So I give nothing, attend Mass, and give my time and money to things that matters to me.

My parish wants to be greedy? So will I. :p. I serve at a soup kitchen, and give money to the Humane Society.


#11

Wow. I didn’t realize that our donations should be based on our opinion of the service – like tipping a waitress. I find that offensive.

I agree with you that 20% is an awful lot. However, I think it’s sad that you can’t even give a dollar or two to help the church pay it’s electric bills.


#12

Our parish uses the envelope system. But parishioners use them in different ways or not at all. The main purpose for them is to be able to keep track of your contribution amounts for income tax purposes.

Some people contribute weekly, some monthly, and some ignore the envelopes and use a bank debit system. Once a year there is a stewardship talk to try to get people to complete commitment cards, for the purpose of having a parish budget.


#13

Here’s an old thread on the topic.

Those DARN envelopes!
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=255392


#14

One parish I went to published the cash donations and prayers
so
$6,432.35
59 hours of adoration
85 hail Mary
19 Our Fathers
10 acts of kindess towards strangers
8 helped mom
11 helped sibling

and so forth

one day it read the regular list and concluded with

1 did not bite dog back :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

[quote="purplesunshine, post:14, topic:199570"]
One parish I went to published the cash donations and prayers
so
$6,432.35
59 hours of adoration
85 hail Mary
19 Our Fathers
10 acts of kindess towards strangers
8 helped mom
11 helped sibling

and so forth

one day it read the regular list and concluded with

1 did not bite dog back :p

[/quote]

This is about 10 different kinds of awesome!


#16

I know what you mean about “mediocre”. I don’t know what your Church did specifically to offend you, but mine turned really really liberal, complete with women dancing in the aisles in long dresses, bare feet and flowers in their hair. So yeah, I stopped giving to them and gave to other charities. We would put money in the basket where we did go to Church, and we gave a lot of donations to a missionary who had a house a few blocks away from hom. I like to donate to ASCPA and the humane society as well.

Yeah 20% is quite a bit. But maybe they think that by asking for high, they might get a little more than if they low-balled their request.


#17

At my old parish, I had signed up for automatic donations to be taken out every month. And when I moved out of state, I forgot to turn it off. I was looking through my checking account yesterday when I realized this.

I am giving money to the Church. But the to one I grew up in. That should count right?

I really like my old priest, I would so steal him and bring him here, but my hometown parish would fight me. :smiley: He tells it like it is, unlike the priests here. They are weenies who teach if it feels good do it.


#18

[quote="CountrySinger, post:17, topic:199570"]
At my old parish, I had signed up for automatic donations to be taken out every month. And when I moved out of state, I forgot to turn it off. I was looking through my checking account yesterday when I realized this.

I am giving money to the Church. But the to one I grew up in. That should count right?

I really like my old priest, I would so steal him and bring him here, but my hometown parish would fight me. :D He tells it like it is, unlike the priests here. They are weenies who teach if it feels good do it.

[/quote]

I think it counts. I think the point is to give. You technically are supposed to give to your parish, to support your parish. But I think that if you give to an entity that you love, it's easier to give. And I'm sorry to sound snotty, but if you want things to change because an entity isn't living up your expectations, no where makes a difference better than hitting the pocketbook. I find it difficult to give to my (old) parish, when I lived in that area, because they were blatantly liberal and it bothered me.


#19

Our envelopes are assigned by number, and we get one box for the whole year. There are plenty of extras for building expenses, Christmas/Easter flowers, etc. Most of my envelopes end up in the recycling bin. I write a check once a month for my cash offering, and it isn’t a whole lot because I haven’t had a steady job in nearly a year. But my parish gets a LOT of my time and talent, because I serve as a cantor, sing with the choir for the OF Mass, and play the organ for the EF Mass, all as an unpaid volunteer. And they can’t give me the “evil eye” for not putting anything in the basket, since I’m up in the loft with the choir! :wink: There are plenty of other things to do around the parish for those who don’t have musical abilities, but who want to contribute something other than money.


#20

There are lots of reasons for identifiable envelopes when giving to the church. First of all, the service the parish can provide from a tax standpoint is very important. I forget the exact figure, but I believe if the amount given to a charity is above 400, you need an acknowledgement from that charity that you gave the money and received no goods or services in return. By far, the easiest way for a parish to do this is with an envelope system.

The parish uses the envelopes for many things. For large parishes, it is a good way of “cleansing” its registered parishioiner database. People move and do not tell their parish all the time.
Also, we need to remember that supporting our parish/local diocese is not charitable giving. It is an obligation we have as catholics and as such there should be no expectation of complete anonymity with our normal sunday contributino. Not that it should be made public, but there is nothing wrong with pastors having some level of evidence that a parishioner is fulfilling his obligations.

Finally, and most importantly, using an envelopes as opposed to reaching in their wallet/purse for whatever bills are available at the time, makes us consider how we are living up to our responsibility to our community on a regular basis. As such, all tother hings being equal between two families, the family which regularly uses the envelope gives more and consistently that the family who simply digs out their loose change.

Use your envelope always, even if you are poor and can only afford a couple of bucks a week. It is a good habit. There are a myriad of good reasons to do so.


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