September 20, 2012

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In last week’s bulletin I invited you to participate in the upcoming Faith In Action campaign by doing three things:

  1. Offer prayers of gratitude to God for his many blessings.
  2. Give back to God a share of your blessings.
  3. Consider tithing this year’s PFD
    1. 10% for adults
    2. 5% for those under 18 (or in college).

In asking you to contribute to the Church, I am inviting you to imitate the first disciples who brought their first fruits and laid them at the feet of the apostles for the work of the Church (Acts 4:32-37). In the same way, I strongly encourage you to consider giving a portion of your PFD (which comes to us as a fruit of this creation) and offer it back to God and the Church – the Body of Christ.

With this letter, I am asking that you tithe this year’s PFD which will be $878.  That is to say, I am asking each adult to contribute $88 to the Faith In Action campaign and for those under 18 (or in college) to give $44.  This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to speak to their children about the importance of giving to the Church.

For many of our Protestant brothers and sisters tithing their yearly income is a way of life.  I recognize that this may be a new way of thinking for many parishioners.  At the same time, I recognize that there are some who are able to give more than the 5 or 10% that I have proposed. Our contribution is to be a sacrifice to the Lord, recognizing that sacrifices indeed sting. As I prayed about writing this letter to you, I offer two promises:  first, my own involvement must be a share in the sacrifice of giving to this Diocese. For it to be a true sacrifice on my part, I will contribute 50% of my PFD ($440) to the Faith In Action campaign and I invite others with the means to do so to join me.  And secondly, the Diocese will always be a faithful steward of your sacrificial offerings.

I recognize the seriousness of addressing you about sacrificial giving and I am grateful to you for your contributions to the work of the Diocese. As Faith In Action commences, I assure you of my prayers and support. In turn, I ask that you offer a prayer for me as I continue to Shepherd the Diocese of Juneau and Southeast Alaska.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Edward J. Burns

Bishop of Juneau