Every parish is a large family, consisting of several families. The members of the family share a common bond and identity. In every family, there are some, who because of special circumstances need extra care and attention. Some have more than they need, others lack basic necessities.
The idea of the Community Fund is linked to that of Christian Stewardship. As Christians, we believe that God is the author of all life. All that we are and all that we have are ultimately gifts from God to us. We are only stewards, who have to render an account of our talents and of what we own.
In acknowledgement of the fact that we are stewards and all that we have belongs to God, we are invited to pay a tithe. The Jews, the Protestants and the new religious movements pay 10 percent of their income as tithe. You are being invited to contribute at least 1 percent of your income. Every German today is required to pay 7.5 percent of his/her income as Kirchensteuer, which is deducted at source.
Since the funds are meant for the parish community, the disbursement takes into account the following needs of the parish :
- Medicine and Education of the needy
- Community activities
- Church maintenance and Parish related activities
It is true that in our parish there are people who are poor. Perhaps they are earning only Rs. 5000 per month. Their contribution will be only Rs. 50. However, when the same family is in need, educational or health, they can draw from the Community Fund several times more than what they are contributing. Besides they will have the feeling that they are being helped from a Fund to which they have given something, even if a little.
- There are people who have their favourite charity e.g. Don Bosco’s, Fr. Agnel, the Missions, SVD, etc. Aren’t people free to give in charity wherever they would like to?
People are free to help anyone they would like to. But it would be odd, to say the least, that they would help their neighbour’s family and the family of others and neglect their own family.
- There already are organizations like the SVP, the Andrean Social Service, the Centre of Social Action, the Navjeet Community, etc. that are looking after the poor, do we still need the Community Fund?
All these organisations are doing excellent work and serving different groups of people. Their work will go on. They would like to reach out to more people, unfortunately, because of the limited funds available to them, they cannot.
The Community Fund Project will help them to expand their work and reach out to more needy persons. Besides the Community Fund Project will be an expression of the entire parish’s care and concern for the poor and needy in our neighbourhood.
Many parishioners contribute regularly and faithfully. Many others forget and need to be reminded from time to time. We shall keep informing you through announcements and the Andrean Notes.
GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER