Giving

MylesHow would I behave if I were head over heels in gratitude?

By Rev. Myles Fish, director of stewardship and discipleship

Like love and fear, gratitude is a powerful emotion that drives behavior. If we truly love someone our behavior toward them changes. We are energized by their presence, consumed by our thoughts about them and motivated to express our love in as many ways as possible.

Fear changes the way we behave as well. If we are truly frightened our senses become heightened, and we are more alert to even the slightest changes in our surroundings.

I want my gratitude to be just as powerful. So what would that look like?

How would I behave if I were head over heels in gratitude? What would dominate my thoughts if I were in such an emotional state and how would it influence me? I don’t know for sure what that would be like, but I suspect the starting point would have to be to identify what I am grateful for and to dwell on the multitude of blessings in my life.

Then, with the object of my gratitude clearly in mind, my behavior, my choices, and even my thoughts would be altered and influenced by my emotion of gratitude. The more grateful I became, the more I would change.

Scripture tells us that God loves a cheerful giver, but it doesn’t specifically tell us how to be cheerful in giving. I think this is the secret. It is a cultivated and nurtured gratitude that changes us and makes us cheerful. The gratitude comes first; the joyous generosity is a result.

So, I ask myself as well as you, what are we grateful for? How have we been blessed? Once those questions have been answered we can ask how that gratitude has changed us. I want generous joyful giving to be the result of my gratitude.

May God lead all of us to take just one more step down that path.

 

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Thank you for your commitment

Thanks to all who have made a pledge toward our 2017 ministry. Congratulations to Nancy Adams, who completed her Passport during the campaign and won the drawing for the three-foot bench hand-crafted from one of FPC’s original pews!

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The 1824 Fund (named after the year we were founded) is for people who find it easier to set up regular contributions via checking, PayPal, credit card or other accounts via computer, pad, phone, etc. Set up your giving here.

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Paisley Heritage Fund

Paisley Heritage Fellowship

Paisley Heritage Fund to make the church’s ministry part of your estate’s legacy. Through Paisley Heritage Fellowship, church members can plan estate gifts that will continue their legacies for future generations. Read about some of our "future givers."

Giving news

Charitable tax provision

Congress has passed a permanent charitable IRA tax provision in December of 2015. This change will permit people who are 70½ years of age and older to donate up to $100,000 to FPC (or another charity) directly from their Individual Retirement Accounts. These distributions will not be treated as taxable income. Depending on your circumstances, this could be an excellent way to fulfill campaign pledges, annual pledges, or to make a special year end gift to the ministries of First Presbyterian Church. Please consult with your tax advisor before making a final decision, but we wanted you to know that this provision is now permanent.

Richardson Trust to consider grant requests

The board of trustees of the L. Richardson Trust will accept grant requets Feb. 19-April 3. Requests for grants received after April 3 will not be accepted. Pursuant to Mr. Richardson’s will, grants may be made annually “for the benefit of Home and Foreign Missions and the benevolent causes of the church." Please submit any requests for grants to Ralph Paris, Chairman, L. Richardson Trust Board of Trustees, at 1852 Banking St., No. 9351, Greensboro, NC 27408. Grants will be acted upon in late April.