Many parishioners at St. John’s make their financial gifts through direct deposit from their checking account. Direct deposit is practical. It eliminates the need to write checks or keep track of how much of the pledge has been fulfilled. It benefits the church as well, since the gifts come on a predictable schedule.
One concern raised by people considering automatic deductions is that their gift would no longer be placed in the offering plate. Passing the plate is not only a tangible expression of faith and support, but it sacramentalizes our gifts to God. It becomes an outward sign of grace.
It is a significant ritual for many reasons:
- Our gifts are offered communally; individual contributions, large and small, combine for the good of all
- Our gifts are taken to the altar and blessed
- Children witness giving by their parents and other adults, and can participate in the offering themselves
Laminated cards are available in the pew racks so that parishioners who give electronically have the option of adding their gift to the offering plate if they chose. The cards say, “My Offering through automatic deduction to SJE’s mission and ministry.” If you choose, place the card in the offering plate as a symbol of your electronic giving. Cards will be returned to the pews each week so that they can be reused.