Tithing Settlement

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
idjeeper2
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby idjeeper2 » Fri Nov 28, 2014 4:06 pm

I love tithing settlement. I came to that over many years sitting in the clerk's office while my bishop interviewed faithful members. A bonus is that I get to visit with them while they wait their turn. It is a great opportunity to get to know people - some of whom have not come to church in years, but they come to tithing settlement when we invite them. My current bishop used this year's interviews to ask the members in what areas they felt a need to improve. And then challenged them to set specific goals that would lead to change. I have no idea what anyone else said, but I know for me it was an opportunity to reflect on my life and commit to some changes. In my opinion, tithing settlement can and should be so much more than a simple declaration of status.

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby johnshaw » Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:00 pm

idjeeper2 wrote:I love tithing settlement. I came to that over many years sitting in the clerk's office while my bishop interviewed faithful members. A bonus is that I get to visit with them while they wait their turn. It is a great opportunity to get to know people - some of whom have not come to church in years, but they come to tithing settlement when we invite them. My current bishop used this year's interviews to ask the members in what areas they felt a need to improve. And then challenged them to set specific goals that would lead to change. I have no idea what anyone else said, but I know for me it was an opportunity to reflect on my life and commit to some changes. In my opinion, tithing settlement can and should be so much more than a simple declaration of status.


This sounds to me like about 1% tithing settlement and 99% not tithing settlement. Isn't this an argument, in fact, in favor of revamping TS? This sounds more like a End of Year - Family PPI than it does tithing settlement. If Bishops want family PPI's then they should schedule them, if they want tithing settlement, then they should schedule that.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

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sbradshaw
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby sbradshaw » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:32 pm

Our ward did a "tithing settlement breakfast" yesterday and will do another next Saturday to get the bulk of the tithing settlement interviews completed (some members will still need to set appointments the old-fashioned way). It seems to go really well – everyone comes and enjoys a ward breakfast together, and members are called in one by one for their tithing settlement during the breakfast.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

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johnshaw
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby johnshaw » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:24 am

What a great innovation, this would be a very good thing, especially, for those that have a lengthy drive to the meetinghouse. Ward Activity / Tithing Settlement layering is a great... well done!
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”

― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

idjeeper2
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby idjeeper2 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:16 pm

johnshaw wrote:This sounds more like a End of Year - Family PPI than it does tithing settlement. If Bishops want family PPI's then they should schedule them, if they want tithing settlement, then they should schedule that.


You make a valid point but let me offer examples to defend my Bishop's approach: In Handbook 1 Section 5.2.1 the Bishopric is instructed to teach the Law of the Fast and encourage members to live it. It then states that this should be taught in all types of meetings, home visits, temple recommend interviews, and tithing settlement interviews. If tithing settlement interviews are appropriate to teach the Law of the Fast, it seems they would also be appropriate to offer other types of teaching and counsel. Handbook 2 Section 14.4.1 further supports this stating that tithing settlement should be used to discuss tithing, fast offerings and other relevant matters. Relevant matters is a pretty broad area for discussion. In my mind, a simple yes or no to full-tithe status meets the letter of the instruction, but completely misses the spirit of being able to declare to Heavenly Father and His appointed witness how I'm doing with respect to living this commandment.

In reality, I believe there is room for every viewpoint on this and it is ultimately the Bishop's call on how he wants to conduct tithing settlement. My job as clerk is to support him in the process. If that means I sit in the clerk's office for a couple of days, I'll gladly do it. The breakfast idea sounds like it could be a fun way to do things, perhaps something like a brunch that could be served over a few hours so everyone wouldn't have to be there at the same time. Or maybe have some service or craft projects to keep the members around. I may make some suggestions like this next year.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:34 am

idjeeper2 wrote:In reality, I believe there is room for every viewpoint on this...

Good. Please don't think I'm wicked just because I think there could be a better way, which, to me, is something President Hinckley was at least exploring a few years ago.

I'm reminded of the story of the mother and daughter who always cut the head and tail off the fish before frying them. They never knew why it was done this way but assumed it was an essential part of frying fish. Then the mother asked the grandmother (who taught her how to cook) and she said, simply, that the frying pan she was using in the old days wasn't big enough to hold the whole fish. There was no practical reason to cut the head and tail off anymore! Please take note of johnshaw's signature on his posts.

And so we continue to hold tithing settlement in a way reminiscent of when members paid tithing in-kind with livestock although I don't think it's necessary anymore. I can't help thinking that our primary purpose, nowadays, is providing statistics for some number-crunching department at CHQ. I would love to see the members, themselves, have the chance to choose what type of tithing settlement they want. Do they want "express" where they can just hand the Bishop a note with a box checked on it or do they want the "full version" which requires a special trip to the meetinghouse? (In the past, I certainly did see notes tucked into donation envelopes saying "I'm a full-tithe payer" and then those donors didn't sign up for appointments. Does the Bishop count that as a "member" or a "Bishop" declaration on his reports, seeing as how he didn't have a face-to-face conversation with the donor?)

My point in quoting President Hinckley is that, at some point, there was momentum towards lifting the "very heavy" administrative load from priesthood leaders and I think that tithing settlement would be a great thing to consider in this light. December is already a very busy month with any number of Christmas parties for families, co-workers, civic groups, clubs and the ward, along with shopping, cleaning, meeting any number of year-end deadlines and planning vacations and doing vacations… not to mention the increased number of weddings around that time of year. So we mix tithing settlement into that (along with a lot of bad driving conditions in many areas) and, well, could there not be a better way to do this (if it's really needed anyway)?

idjeeper2
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Re: Tithing Settlement

Postby idjeeper2 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:13 pm

The last thing I would want to convey is that someone is wrong because they have a different viewpoint. I particularly agree with your comments about the burdens placed on our good bishops. I believe that may be one reason the date for starting tithing settlement continues to come earlier. We were done before Thanksgiving except for a few reschedules. It's really nice to be able to go into the holiday season without having to work it into everyone's schedule.

Thanks to all for a good exchange of ideas. I appreciate the different perspectives.


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