“Come to me all you who are weak and burdened and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
America is a wonderfully blessed country. We have enough food and opportunity to go around. But some miss out and go hungry. 20% of children in Pennsylvania do not know where their next meal will come from. Food security is a problem for many in our community.
People come to Central Church who haven’t eaten for days. Some have been out of work for years and don’t expect to find work anytime soon. They have no money. They’ve run out of benefits. They feel that life will only get worse. They are hungry and need someone to care, and the numbers of the hungry coming to us continue to increase as we move through 2016.
Every meal that we serve is hot, nutritious, and wholesome. A warm welcome and a promise from God go a long way to life a heavy heart. When someone knows how much God cares, they don’t feel lonely and powerless anymore.
Please join us to care for those in hard times. Your gifts meet desperate needs for food, and you pave the way for hurting people to be blessed.
This is our prayer for everyone who walks through our door – providing hope for new life.
Central Church reaches out to hundreds of people in our community and beyond by giving our time, talent, money and support.
Your gift helps make possible our mission work of Reaching Out with God’s love. Thank you!
Central United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 311 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1227 Sixth Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA 15010 phone: (724) 846-3474
Three Questions about Giving
Q: I want to give to the Church, but I have a lot of debts to pay off. What should I do?
A: One reason debt is such a pain is that it limits our freedom. It cuts off our choices. Christians must honor their creditors and pay off their debts: as Paul taught, “Let no debt remain outstanding” (Romans 13:8). And Jesus teaches in Mark 7:9-13 that it’s not right to use a charitable donation as a way to avoid our prior commitment to love our neighbor.
So the painful reality is that paying off your debts must be a high priority for your financial life.
Having said that, do not wait until your debts are fully paid off before giving to God. You need to give for your spiritual health, for your connection to the church, and for your own dignity.
God will deny no one the honor of giving. Your giving will be lower than you want it to be right now, but over time, as you pay down debts, you will regain the freedom to give more.
Q: I can’t decide how much to give. Part of me wants to give a large, reckless number. Another part of me knows I’ll need some money for expenses coming up.
A: That’s normal. It’s in part because the Bible has several overarching themes about money that it holds in creative tension.
How do you honor both themes? That requires a lot of prayer and conversation with wise spiritual friends and mentors. You’ll know you’ve reached the right number, though, because it will have these three qualities.
1. It’s not sparing but generous. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
2. It’s not under compulsion but freely chosen. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion” (2 Corinthians 9:7). You should be able to say of your gift: “I chose this. I wanted this. I wasn’t manipulated or guilt-ed into it.”
3. It’s not given reluctantly but cheerfully. “For God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Q: What if I want to give more, and my spouse wants to give less?
A: It’s funny how that happens. In matters of giving, one person is usually the accelerator and the other is the brake. God must think the car needs both!
The Bible places such a high premium on unity in marriage (“the two shall become one”) that couples should keep talking until they reach a number they both feel good about. There must be zero coercion.
This may mean that the person who wants to give less, gradually comes to accept a higher number. Or it may mean the person who wants to give more yields the right of way and accepts a lower number, knowing that this is the number that can be given with joy and with unity.
It’s in this kind of decision that married people learn how to do what Paul said: “submit to one another”
and to "bear with the failings of the weak."
When couples bring this spirit to “how much should we give?” they end up closer to each other.