‘Will God be pleased with my current contribution to the church?’

Churches and synagogues, like everyone else, are hurting financially.

Giving is down. Services are being cut. I’ve heard that a few local churches are in real trouble.

I’m on a lot of church/synagogue mailing lists, and I recently received an appeal from one Protestant church in the LoHud (it really doesn’t matter which one).

The letter asks for congregants to provide extra support so the church can meet its budget.

It includes this:

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It is never easy to ask for money, particularly during challenging economic times. The easiest way to do it is state the facts, present the needs, and ask each of you to respond according to your own willingness and ability. May our Living God help us share in carrying on the ministries of our church.

Before you fill in the pledge card for 2010 and bring it to church, please ask yourself the following questions:

What does xx Church mean to me?

Will God be pleased with my current contribution to the church?

Am I an obedient Christian according to biblical teachings?

Am I giving the best for my God’s church?

The Bible says when we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully. God honors an extravagant giver. God wants us to bring our tithes and offerings to His storehouse of ministries (Malachi 3:10).

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.