It’s time for another update. And a thank you.
Most of you have been tithing a portion of your income to Ananda Portland for a number of years, and we are deeply grateful for your support. As you know, it is your donations that enable us to exist. Officially, we are a 501(c)3 religious nonprofit. Thus, whatever income we receive is applied to our operating expenses and the development of programs and services.
Last year, as part of that development, we launched a number of new programs, which have shown increasing appeal: our popular Sage Series, which brings visiting ministers from Ananda worldwide to offer workshops, satsangs, and Sunday talks; more yoga classes; more group meditation hours, more public outreach – and just more in general.
This year we will also be celebrating Yogananda’s 100th anniversary of coming to America. A full weekend of festivities, featuring Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi, is planned for July 17-19. We are ramping up for that now.
One thing we have dropped is the policy that was formerly in place of asking for money every time a special event is held. We believe that when people are inspired to give, they will. And that has been the case. Last year our tithes and added donations were up by $8,000.
The tithing packets we handed out last month included an annual pledge form. If you have not done so, please return the pledge form you received. Even if the amount of your pledge is unchanged, and especially if you need to update your method of contribution or if you are new to tithing altogether, we need these forms for our files.
The greater reason for this, however, is spiritual. Tithing is an act of faith, based on the recognition that everything belongs to God, and that what we have been blessed to receive is an expression of His generosity. While we cannot directly tithe to God as a gesture of our thanks, we can help to further His work in this world. That is what we of Ananda Portland are dedicated to doing, and we hope you feel inspired to join us in this commitment.
When we tithe part of our income, we find that, far from depriving ourselves, our abundance actually increases. There is only one way to test this experience, and that is to make an ongoing pledge of support. If giving brings more joy and abundance in return, what would you be costing yourself by waiting or holding back?
We ask only that you consider what Ananda Portland means to you. What does it feel like to share this path with so many like-minded friends, and to realize how blessed we all are to have the guidance of great, Self-realized gurus, who have no other mission than getting us to God? What is that worth? Is anything worth more?
Thank you, and God bless you, for your generosity and your divine friendship.
On behalf of co-director Lorna and the entire Portland ministry
P.S… In the interest of financial transparency, we are also prepared to share with you a breakdown of our 2019 profit and loss accounting. On the whole the numbers were positive, but we did have four loans to the school that had to be repaid, which tipped the balance in the other direction. Let me know if you wish to see the report, and we can arrange a meeting.