Serving God With “One Heart and Soul”
JEWS and proselytes gather around the disciples of Jesus Christ. It is the Festival of Pentecost, and these visitors have come to Jerusalem from as far away as Rome to the west and Parthia to the east. Various languages are heard in this crowd. Yet, Jesus’ disciples who are talking to them are Galileans. Some of the bewildered visitors ask: “How is it we are hearing, each one of us, his own language in which we were born?”—Acts 2:8.
The apostle Peter stands up and explains the basis for the miracle they are witnessing. The response is immediate. Thousands of new ones are baptized! (Acts 2:41) Although the congregation grows rapidly, it remains united. “The multitude of those who had believed had one heart and soul,” says the Bible writer Luke.—Acts 4:32.
Thousands who got baptized on the day of Pentecost in 33 C.E. wanted to remain in Jerusalem longer in order to learn more about their new faith. But they had not come with the thought of staying for some time. Hence, there was a temporary pooling of financial resources. Certain believers voluntarily sold possessions and brought the proceeds to the apostles for distribution to those in need. (Acts 2:42-47) What a fine spirit of love and generosity!
True Christians have always had such a loving and generous spirit. Today, the Christian congregation continues to serve Jehovah unitedly with “one heart and soul.” Individual Christians generously contribute their time, energy, and funds to preach the good news and promote the interests of God’s Kingdom.—See the box “Ways in Which Some Choose to Give.”
[Box on page 6, 7]
WAYS IN WHICH SOME CHOOSE TO GIVE
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK
Many set aside, or budget, an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled “Worldwide Work.”
Each month, congregations forward these amounts to the office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves their respective countries. Voluntary donations of money may also be sent directly to Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., Attention Treasurer’s Office, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves your country. Checks sent to the above address should be made payable to “Watchtower.” Jewelry or other valuables may be donated as well. A brief letter stating that such items are an outright gift should accompany these contributions.
CONDITIONAL-DONATION TRUST ARRANGEMENT
Money may be placed in trust with Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania for use worldwide. However, upon request the funds will be returned. For more information, please contact the Treasurer’s Office by writing to the address noted above or by telephoning (718) 560-7500.
In addition to outright gifts of money, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These include:
Insurance: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan.
Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, in accord with local bank requirements.
Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania as an outright gift.
Real Estate: Salable real estate may be donated either by making an outright gift or, in the case of residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. Contact the branch office in your country before deeding any real estate.
Gift Annuity: A gift annuity is an arrangement whereby one transfers money or securities to a designated corporation that is used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. In exchange, the donor, or someone designated by the donor, receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor receives an income-tax deduction for the year in which the gift annuity is established.
Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania by means of a legally executed will, or Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania may be named as beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages.
As the term “charitable planning” implies, these types of donations typically require some planning on the part of the donor. To assist individuals desiring to benefit the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses through some form of charitable planning, a brochure has been prepared in English and Spanish entitled Charitable Planning to Benefit Kingdom Service Worldwide. The brochure was written to provide information on a variety of ways that gifts may be made either now or through a bequest at death. After reading the brochure and conferring with their own legal or tax advisers, many have been able to help support our religious and humanitarian activities worldwide and maximize their tax benefits while doing so. This brochure may be obtained by requesting a copy directly from the Charitable Planning Office.
For more information, you may contact the Charitable Planning Office, either in writing or by telephone, at the address listed below, or you may contact the branch office that serves your country.
Charitable Planning Office
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
100 Watchtower Drive
Patterson, New York 12563-9204
Telephone: (845) 306-0707