Every Sunday the offering plate comes past you again in church. To whom, or to what, are you giving? I’m not looking for an answer like ‘To God, of course’. Where do you believe your money is going? Christians are called to be generous. If your gift is going to help your congregation meet its budget, you may not be passionately moved to give generously. Budgets are hard to get really enthused about – unless you’re a congregation treasurer! We don’t give to budgets; we give so that people may be better equipped to do God’s work. Or we give to meet the needs of people who are hurting in some way. Or we give so that our pastor may continue to equip us for our ministries. Or so that new pastors, lay workers and teachers may be trained. Or so that some lonely person listening to a radio may hear the gospel. We are called to be generous. We are called to help people.’
—From a devotion by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
Planned giving from congregations to the district is a very important part of each congregational budget. Planned giving supports the staffing of the District Office, which in turn provides support back through training, assistance with advice, managing risk and the various other high-level administrative and compliance tasks that arise in our congregational communities.