When you think about the special people in your life and the best gifts you have given or received, it is not the gift itself but the meaning behind the gift that makes it significant.
One way to increase the meaningfulness of a gift is through alternative giving. Alternative Giving is a form of gift giving in which the giver makes a donation to a charitable organization on the gift recipient’s behalf, rather than giving them an item. This form of giving is often used as an alternative to consumerism and to mitigate the impact of gift-giving on the environment. Alternative Givings helps us to rethink the tradition of gift giving and gets to the heart of why people give. “We love because (God) first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It provides a way to give a meaningful gift which says “I love you” and teaches about the joy of giving to others. Participants can browse and select from a variety of unique, meaningful giving options that change lives locally and around the world in honor of their friends and loved ones.
The Social Ministry Planning Group traditionally has offered ideas for alternative giving to members of the congregation, suggesting both local and global charities. Usually these ideas are represented by envelopes on our yearly “Giving Tree” and honor cards that can be given to the gift recipient.
- Local charities will be represented on the live tree in the narthex. This year’s envelopes are for ECHO, GIFTS, and the Pastors Discretionary Fund (i.e. SJLC Community Chest– See the message from Pastor Bond in this newsletter). Please choose an envelope from the tree. Place your donation in the envelope and put it in the offering plate or return it to the church office. Replace the envelope with a tree ornament from the box.
- For our Global gift suggestions we are using the ELCA Good Gifts Program. We will have ornaments representing the various options for gifts hanging on the windows between the narthex and sanctuary. You are invited to choose an ornament and give it as your gift to someone. Please put your donation in the envelopes provided and indicate your name, the gift you are giving and the amount given on the envelope.
For all donations, please make checks payable to St. John Lutheran Church so that they can be counted for matching funds from the SJLC Foundation.