Tithing standard for many religions

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    By Michael Hollingshead

    Make your pennies count; give them to God.

    Donating funds and tithes to a church is standard operation for most church-going people, regardless of their faith.

    A 10 percent tithing is a staple of life for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They know what it means and how to pay it.

    But other denominations have their own bills to pay and charges to cover.

    Latter-day Saints may be unaware of the differences that exist among other religions.

    Covering expenses for facilities and clergy is necessary for churches to operate. Though most churches take up a collection plate, every denomination does things just a little differently.

    Like many denominations, Saint Marks Lutheran Church in Provo takes collections each Sunday during worship services.

    “It”s what we call giving from the gospel heart,” Rev. Ronald E. Saatkamp said. “A lot of it is trust in the Lord to take care of us.”

    In addition to collection plates, some churches also ask their members for tithing.

    “We believe in tithing as it”s written in the Bible,” said volunteer Mary Wille of Rock Canyon Assembly of God. “People can mail in their tithing or they can just put in the collection plate during service.”

    Rock Canyon Assembly of God supports its missionary program with special donations from members outside of tithing. In a few instances, it also does fundraisers.

    “Fund-raising is the least-used program,” Wille said. “Sometimes the kids will do a car wash or something like that, but very seldom.”

    Saint Mary”s Episcopal Church in Provo has a unique way of collecting donations.

    “As far as the Episcopal Church is concerned, we do not ask for tithing,” said lay reader W. Nelson Abbott. “We ask our members to be stewards and we ask for a yearly financial commitment.”

    Abbott said some members do tithe a 10 percent tithing, but the numbers are relatively few.

    “We re-run the stewardship campaign each year and set goals with each steward,” Abbott said. “This year, we actually exceeded the goal we set.”

    Abbott said the 40 percent increase in membership this year at Saint Mary”s Episcopal Church has been great for contributions.

    “Priests are also paid with the funds, but that”s because they put in three years of schooling to earn their position,” Abbott said.

    Ruby Arnold, the pastor”s wife of the Provo United Pentecostal Church, said the church also uses basic collecting plates.

    “We do tithe, but people decide for themselves how much to give,” Arnold said.

    As far as joining with other branches of their same faith to assist in covering expenses, most religions say they take care of the funds at their own church.

    “We don”t do that,” Arnold said. “We”ve never done that.”

    Most people are aware that the Catholic Church passes around a collection plate to the congregation.

    However, the church also has tithing and members are encouraged to offer a tithe at their own discretion.

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