(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
March 17, 2019

Clif Christopher is the founder of Horizons Stewardship. This is the only company recommended by the Presbyterian Church in the USA Foundation for congregational partnership. Clif shares his view on the three pockets of giving.

The First Pocket: This is the “Annual Pocket.” I think we all know this. This is the offering we make to support everyday operations of a church. It pays the bills, maintains and cleans the building, contributes to mission partners in the denomination and special mission projects. It also pays the staff.

We give out of our income to support our church in the everyday ministry and mission that touches lives and brings hope to so many.

We are encouraged to give regularly, intentionally, and proportionally. Some of our most regular gifts come weekly in cash. This represents generosity from people who have very limited means.

The Second Pocket: is the ‘capital pocket.’ Accumulated resources, appreciated wealth, property and inheritances. We think of this as savings. We tend to give second pocket gifts to projects of a lasting nature, such as our “Brightening Our Future” campaign. We pay down the property debt now, to save interest costs tomorrow. 

Sometimes, very unusually, there will be an ask for gifts to operating funds, from the capital pocket. This only happens in a crisis, like the cash flow issue our congregation faces in 2019.

The Third Pocket: This is the one we tend not to think about. This is about estate planning. What happens after we are gone. We will want to remember and bless our loved ones at such a time as this. We also want to let them know, once again, the values and passions that we had in our life’s journey. Some choose to remember their church in their will. Some gifts are specific. Mary Holder passed into God’s safe keeping on October 4, 2011. She was born in 1915 and retired with her sister Margaret to live as one of the first residents in Luther Village Waterloo in 1997. They came to church three days later.

Mary was a retired professor who taught at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. Her passion in life was inspiring young people. Mary and Margaret rejoiced in worship at Knox with all the children. They loved this church and quickly made many friends. They were new members, and they were both over 80.

Mary remembered Knox Waterloo in her will with a bequest of $65,000 to support mission trips and education for youth in the church. We honour her gift by using these funds for this purpose alone. This gift perfectly reflected her passion and her love for God.

One question to ask, is this: “What do I want to pass on to reflect my loves and my passions?”

Three Pockets, One God: God is the source of all our gifts. We sing these words each Sunday:

For the life that you have given,
For the love in Christ made known,
With these fruits of time and labour,
With these gifts that are your own:
Here we offer, Lord, our praises;
Heart and mind and strength we bring;
Give us grace to love and server you,
Living what we pray and sing.