On Easter Sunday of 2014, First Lutheran began a project called the Reverse Tithe. An allotment of capital from the church funds were broken down into small increments of varying amount and placed in individual envelopes; some envelopes only had $5, others had more, one had $200. These envelopes were then given to every person in attendance at our Sunday morning Easter Service with the instructions that they were to be tithed – given back into the world. There were a few strictures. The money could NOT be:

  • Given to First Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Given to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod
  • Used for Yourself
  • Given to Family
  • Given to Friends

This money was to be paid forward, to go and do good. First Lutheran asked that people send an email or a note to the church with the story of how they shared their reverse tithe. These are those stories.

I contributed the $200 I received in the reverse tithe program to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless to help those that we as a church are unable, and sometimes unwilling, to help.  I chose this program because they provide numerous resources to the homeless so they can receive the individual help they need, such as medical help, mental illness screening and treatment, community voice mail, job and housing assistance. Jesus reached out to those that were despised by, and sometimes invisible to, mainstream society.  Shouldn’t we?

Thanks for giving us all something to think about other than ourselves.

-K.B.

 



Jack and I are giving our gift to Midtown Meals on Wheels.

-J.&S. N.

 



May 5, 2014

Dear Big Brothers and Big Sisters-

Yesterday at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, Pastor Rob Martin gave the whole congregation envelopes with different amounts of money in each envelope. It is a Reverse Tithe. The instructions were for the individual to not use the money on yourself, cannot be given to family, or cannot be given to friends.

Right away, I thought of how wonderful the Big Brothers and Sisters are to children without mothers or fathers.

About 1971, my 5 year old son was given the gift of a Big Brother. We lived in Champaign, Illinois at that time. I cannot remember his name, but I can picture him in my mind and remember the wonderful things that young man did for and with my son to encourage him to be honest and thoughtful of everyone around him and created a deep desire in my song for learning everything he could.

The big brother went to the Gas Company when they had charged me by mistake in an enormous monthly bill. The Gas Company would not listen to me, but they listened to my son’s Big Brother and found the mistake. Then the Big Brother paid the new amount and made it right.

I remember the Big Brother was in college to become a Veterinarian and was very talented as an athlete. It is hard to imagine how the Big Brother found time for all he did for my son and me while keeping everything else going in his life.

My donation was to match the $5.00 given by my church.

Thank you Big Brothers and Big Sisters for being there for the children that need you so much.

Sincerely,

J.P.

 



Jim and I sent our money to a young woman who lives in Edmond.  We don’t know her, but do know that she is getting ready for a 3 year missionary trip to the Middle East, where she will work with Muslim women.  This money will travel a long way! Loved this!

– J.&L. H

 



I had $5 and added some of my own to buy a basketball for one of my students who has been homeless off and on all year. He has 3 brothers and they’re all great. He got the ball today, anonymously, and I hear he was thrilled. The other teacher explained it as a pay-it-forward situation and he said he would find a way to do something kind for someone else.

-J.D.

 



We received 3 envelopes during your Sunday Easter service.  We combined the contents of them and will be purchasing plants/flowers from Sander’s Nursery for planting at our home church, St. Patrick’s Episcopal.  The flower beds there are in great need of some TLC! Thank you, on behalf of our church.  What a wonderful idea to do reverse tithing!
– J.C.



People often end up at the hospital on an emergency basis. Many of them are there for days with critically ill loved ones, often without means to support. I gave my reverse offering to the Patient-Family Representative in the neurotrauma ICU at St. John – to provide a meal for a family in need.

-J.B.

 



I put my money towards  a care package for a friend that is going through a battle of breast cancer. She had surgery a few weeks ago, got some bad news, and has ow started chemo. She is my age. Prayers for Margaret, please.

– H. Y.

 



The Dorcas “girls” have combined their “money” into one fund and have decided to buy eggs.  In Broken Arrow, there is a shop called “Arms Around Broken Arrow” sponsored by the First Baptist Church in B.A. from which the needy can get clothes, household items, food, etc. Most of the food is donated packaged/canned goods. However, they rarely get fresh goods.

So the “girls” are going to be buying 4 dozen eggs each month for as long as their funds last (around 9 months right now) and donate 4 dozen eggs each month to be given to families with children so that they can have fresh eggs to eat. We think it is important that kids have fresh egg and one of the “girls” has a source monthly.

We hope that this is a donation that meets the requirement of the program.

– Dorcas Sewing Circle

 



On Main Mall, a young woman asked me for $1 so she could buy a pop at the bus station (I have no idea why the bus station and not the convenience store we were in front of). Then she saw I had $5 and she asked for that so she could eat. She said she had not eaten in two days. I told her where the money came from, First Lutheran at 13th & Utica, and she told me to have a blessed day.

– B. L.