Below you'll find a few tools like charts, interactive worksheets, and a note from Patrick. Thank you for carefully considering your 2022 giving. When you're ready, you can make your pledge online.
October 13, 2021
We have an essential role to play in our community. It has been that way since the first worship services were held under army surplus tents beside the dirt road we know as North Decatur Road. Our church exists to introduce people to the love of God and to transform our corner of the world around the compassionate heart of God.
Since 1948, North Decatur United Methodist Church has been active in serving the needs of a rapidly changing community. We have gathered and distributed food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothing to the naked. We have responded to countless medical and mental health emergencies. We have provided a safe space for children to learn and grow. We have stood to advocate against injustice, and we have consistently provided a safe space for all of us to grow in our knowledge and love of God and our commitment to one another.
Each generation has reaffirmed this work by devoting themselves to this vision of a community that is boldly inclusive, deeply connected, and consistently sent out for acts of service, invitation, and justice-making. And in each season of our church’s ministry, people—young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, cis, trans, and everyone between—have done that. Through prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, the diverse community of faith that calls North Decatur UMC home has taken intentional steps towards realizing the Kingdom of God.
The last 19 months have been illuminating. For many of us, it has been overwhelming, or frustrating, or maybe even boring, but I believe it has also been clarifying. I am more sure than ever that this church needs to exist here. I have a deep trust that God is doing something through our community, even today. In many ways we are scattered. Some of us worship in the sanctuary together. Some of us worship virtually. Some of us haven’t been able to worship for more than a year.
Church looks very different now than it did in 2019, and I think that is okay. In fact, it may even help us connect with our community that is unchurched, uninterested in church, or even wounded by church. And this excites me!
We are in a moment of great potential. More and more people are moving to our area who do not know the redemptive, gracious love of God. More and more people are seeking greater meaning in their lives. More and more people are looking for ways to have an impact and to make a change.
The church—our church—was built for this.
So, as we look to 2022 and the next season of ministry at North Decatur United Methodist Church, I want to ask you to commit with me to this next season. If we are going to re-emerge from a pandemic, prepared to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, it will take all of us.
In Scripture we are introduced to the idea of a tithe—10 percent of all that we have gets intentionally given to God. A tithe is meant to be a reminder to us that everything we have is a gift from God, and as such it is never fully mine. It is God’s and it will be God’s. So we share it together in common.
10 percent is a lot though. If you think about time, it means giving two and a half hours to God out of every day! Even just our work time—if you spend 40 hours a week in work, a tithe would be 4 hours per week in prayer or service to God, or about 45 minutes per day. Money gets even more complicated! If you earn $15 per hour, it would mean immediately giving $1.50 to God every hour.
For now, I would encourage you to think about what percentage is possible for you. With the time and resources you have, what percentage are you willing to give to the work God has laid out for us all? You can find a helpful interactive chart for determining a weekly giving amount based on a percentage of your income right above this note. And if you’re ready to make a pledge, you can go straight to ndumc.org/pledge.
I will say more about this in the weeks to come, but tithing started out as a very difficult habit for me and my spouse. But we worked at it, we adjusted our expectations, and we learned to live with less. Personally, that has led me to find more joy in simple things, small things, and in the things that we plan intentionally.
On Sunday, October 24, we will celebrate North Decatur Day, or Consecration Sunday at North Decatur. Consecration Sunday is the day we celebrate all that God is doing through the church and the day that we look with hope to the work that God will continue to do in the next year. It will be a day of celebration and anticipation. Please make plans to be with us in worship that day, unless, of course, you have a health concern that would keep you from being able to be present.
Thanks for all you do to uphold God’s church at North Decatur UMC. I’m so grateful to serve our God and our community with you.
Rev. Patrick Faulhaber