Story of Faith & Finances: Azar

MARY LYN: I am a cradle Episcopal. There was never a time in my memory that I
don't remember putting money in the plate. From the time I was a small
child and I put my dollar into the plate as it went by. Of course saying
it was my dollars a bit of a stretch, as it was a dollar that my parents
shoved in my hand about 30 seconds before the plate was passed. So when
I became an adult and Steven and I were in our 20s and expecting our
first child and joined our first church out here in California it wasn't
a question of whether or not we would give but only how much. We started
by working out how much we could give where it would hurt a little bit,
but not too much. Our plan was to increase the amount by a certain
percentage every year until we reach our eventual goal of tithing. As we
added more children and struggle to get by in the Silicon Valley on a
single income our plan increase each year started to become more
difficult. Eventually we decided we could not increase our pledge each
year but again the question is not whether or not we would give but only
how much. We believe in the mission of the church end of serving others
in our community and around the world. We feel that one way we can help
to do this is by contributing meant money through our faith community.
So we faithfully give a pledge each year, sometimes holding the amount
steady and sometimes increasing, with the hope that our money combined
with that of all of yours will be able to be used to further the vision
of God in the world.


GWYN:  As a kid, you sorta learn by following your parents and those around
you’s examples. And, considering I’m a jobless 13 year old, pledging my
own money isn’t really an option. So I give back to the church in other
ways, whether that be with time, talent, or something else. One thing I
love about this church and where our money goes is the social justice
and outreach committee. Giving to the broader community is something
that I feel passionate about, and I continue the church’s work by being
the “community service organizer” of my class at school. And having the
church as a resource I can lean on for community service opportunities
for my fellow students and I is very helpful. I’ve taken a group to
Santa Maria Urban Ministry, another to do a lake clean up, and I’m
organizing for some of them to tag along to cook at the San Jose Family

Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.