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The Vital Connection: Rev. Jenene Earl discusses tithing, apportionments, and being led by the Holy Spirit

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Rev. Jenene Earl. File photo.

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In this episode of The Vital Connection, Rev. Jenene Earl, who serves Sturgis UMC , shares a challenge she made to her congregation to pay apportionments. Earl boldly asked her members of Sturgis UMC to make apportionments a priority, even before they pay her salary. In this conversation, Jenene shares the story and what she is learning about faith, finances, and trust.

Three ideas about giving and finances

1. Apportionments for churches are comparable to an individual tithing. Pastor Jenene teaches and models for her parishioners that tithing and giving to God should come first in your list of priorities.  It occurred to her that her congregation should be doing the same with apportionments. “Tithing is good for your soul in helping you trust greater in the Lord,” said Earl. “Apportionments can be good for the corporate soul of a congregation. It can help the church grow greater trust in the Lord.  It gives us courage in following where the Holy Spirit is leading us.”

2. Obedience to whispers from the Holy Spirit precedes blessings in our faith journey. We all want to have a more profound, greater faith. We all want to feel closer to God. We hope to see God do something amazing in our own lives and our local congregations. Are we willing to take a step of faith and obey those whispers from the Holy Spirit? Hints may lead us to greater faith and greater closeness to God.

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Photo by UMNS.

3. The church blesses the businesses throughout the community. Sturgis UMC has a new outreach. The congregation chooses one local business each month to bless. During that month, the church will be in prayer for that business. Congregants are encouraging and making an extra effort to buy from that business, except the month the funeral home was selected. This outreach communicates, in a compelling way, that Sturgis UMC loves their community. How is your church expressing this?

Resource links:
Dakotas Conference apportionment news article and video
Dakotas United Methodist Foundation website, phone, e-mail 
Chuck knows church explains apportionments (video
Imagining Abundance by Kerry Robinson
UMC Giving resources  


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