As Christians our priorities in life are different because Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) In God’s economy confident trust in God’s faithfulness replaces our constant pursuit of money. So we learn to faithfully submit to God’s loving will and trust in His gracious provision. That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread.” We are taught to be faithful in giving to God today while trusting Him for tomorrow. And because we “cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24) when we give freely and joyfully to the Lord we demonstrate that money has lost its power over our lives and we recognise that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
For many of us giving our tithes and offerings is a central part of our discipleship: it is giving back to God from what he has given us! Here at Milngavie UF supporters contribute through the open plate, the weekly envelopes and also by paying directly into the Church’s bank account, to support not only the work of our Church but also God’s wider work. However by participating in the UK Government’s Gift Aid Scheme your giving could be increased at no additional cost to you. The Government recognises that if you have given money to the Church (or any registered charity) you have not had the benefit of that money. So, they will give the tax that you have paid on that amount to the Church in order to recognise your generosity and the work that will be done with the money you have given. The scheme applies to anyone who pays income tax or capital gains tax.
This is not a plea for increased giving but purely an attempt to maximise the opportunity to increase the Church’s income by reclaiming tax. All you need to do is sign a Gift Aid Declaration Form and ensure that you pay an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax at least equal to the tax that the Congregation reclaims on your donations in the tax year (currently 25p for each £1 you give). It is then up to you to decide whether to give your offering by Freewill Offering Envelopes, Bank Standing Order, Annual Lump Sum or Irregular Payments. Just think about it, your donation of £10 would be worth £12.50 to Milngavie UF Church as we would reclaim the tax at no cost or work to yourself. This could not be simpler and you are not promising to give a stated amount; you can increase, decrease or cancel your contribution whenever you wish.
It is appreciated that many people do not pay tax and therefore cannot participate in the scheme, but for those of you who do pay tax please do consider Gift Aid. You can rest assured that everything will be treated confidentially and please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any further information of any issues you may have.
Kathleen Johnston, Treasurer