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Thread: Supporting Your Religious Community

  1. #1
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    Supporting Your Religious Community

    I have been trying to determine what is an appropriate level of support for the religious services I attend and am curious what others do. Percentage of income? Fixed dollar amount?

    The building, which is owned, is old (1880's) and probably costs a lot to heat. Members do repairs on a volunteer basis. Nuns run the program so there are no salaries per se, but they do have very basic living expenses. I have seen one woman donating big bags of rice to them.

    Control is at the local level, nothing coming from or going to a national organization, though they have clergy exchanges/retreats with travel expenses. I do not know what their budget is, and could ask but communication is challenging due to a language barrier.

    English services draw about two dozen people and I do not know about the Vietnamese services. The area is socioeconomically challenged, and I do not imagine there are any large donors.

    Service expenses are minimal for things like incense and tea. Donations are accepted but never solicited. This is a huge difference from my faith of origin, which frequently expressed in great detail what they needed and that people should give, and which supported clergy paid middle class salaries and a large international hierarchy as well as schools, missons, hospitals, etc. So my familiar frame of reference is missing.

  2. #2
    Senior Member UltraliteAngler's Avatar
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    For the local atheist group I am part of I pay $60 flat fee for membership. I donate a couple bucks to each even I attend, which comes out to one or maybe two events a week. Not exactly what you are asking, but kind of still applies.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  3. #3
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    Thanks UA. I have been doing a few dollars per service also but thinking of maybe something more, or consolidating payments and writing a monthly check in case I ever itemize income tax deductions again.

  4. #4
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    Ask what the needs are? And give from the heart. If today it's $1 and next month it's $100 or a box of candles so be it. Your heart will lead you

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I give $20 per service that I attend. I know that the expenses are covered for the facility at present with a fairly good amount in reserve.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
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    in our group I offer $5 a week, our rent at the yoga studio is $40 and although we rarely meet it the studio owner really likes us being there. We tend to attract people in recovery or having a rough time. I also send each of my nun teachers $10 a month through a regular paypal set up. Not much but I also give other support.

  7. #7
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    We pay in several thousand per year. That includes tuition for the Parish school, general operations and maintenance and various educational and charitable activities. Between my wife and myself(well, mostly my wife), we also put in about 300 volunteer hours annually.

  8. #8
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Most bible teaching religious organizations go by the biblical "tithe" of 10% your gross, beyond that is an "offering". My church never mentions money and our budget is healthy.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for responding. To me 10% is high because some of the social services previously provided by religious organizations are now covered by taxes for safety net programs but I would like to do more than I have been.

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