YOUR PLACE TO EXCHANGE IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES
PEOPLE DON’T TALK OPENLY ABOUT WHY—and how
much—they give to the church. Money is often considered a private matter. But we can choose how and when
we disclose information.
During the last stewardship campaign at my church, I
wanted to move the conversation about money into the
light. I was tired of the shame. I wanted freedom. So I
invited three people who were tithing (or near tithing) to
share their “Why I Give” stories with the congregation.
Since this was new and scary, I went first. Here is my
When I was a young adult I only gave when I attended
church, and never committed to an amount. Then I
became a minister and I saw the church’s struggle to
meet budgets. I started giving regularly. But for years I
felt guilty that I wasn’t giving enough. Then I came to
Robert McClure United where the board passed a motion
giving me permission to see what members give. I was
moved and inspired by the incredible generosity. And I
started working towards tithing.
I was giving about seven percent of our total family
income but still feeling guilty. So I talked to my ministry
leadership coach. She said, “You only have to worry about
tithing your income. If you give 10 percent of that, you are
tithing.” I thought I had not been giving enough, but I was.
Recently, I was guided through a meditation on money,
which included questions such as, “What do you believe
you will lose if you earn more money?” In that moment, I
realized I didn’t need anymore; what I earn is not tied to my
value as a person. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism,
capped his income and I can, too. I am due for a raise and
while my wage is the minimum for a minister with my years
of experience, I will give back any increase I receive.
I give to the church because I love the community and
the relationships I have with people. I give because I want
to be free of my desire to want and buy more. Last year,
I donated $5,840. This year, I will give more. That’s what
tithing is: an invitation to live generously. And the feeling
that comes with it is the end of guilt.
The “Why I Give” stories really seemed to inspire people
in my congregation. By the end of our stewardship campaign, Robert McClure United’s givings had increased by
just over $1,000 a month. People seem more committed
than before the campaign.
The Rev. Kelly Osgoode is the minister at Robert McClure
United in Calgary R o
ROBERT MCCLURE UNITED, CALGARY
• Location: urban congregation
• 101 members
• People gave $6,170 to Mission & Service in
Money sense By Kelly Osgoode
Talking tithing in the church Osgoode and husband Chris celebrate the
recent confirmation of their daughters.