Compiled by: Rev. Fr. Macdonald Njalam’manu Banda
As it is a tradition of the Church, every year, members are encouraged to give 10% of their harvests to church for the work of God. Traditionally, these are brought to Church on Pentecost Sunday. My observation for the 10 years I have been a priest is that the harvest tithes are dropping. Poor harvests due to poor rains are some of the factors. But the main factor is that these days’ farmers are growing high breed varieties which mature earlier than the local breeds which we used to grow long time ago. The Pentecost Sunday is far much away from the time they harvest. Many farmers sell their surplus even before Pentecost and keep just enough for their household consumption.
Some also complain of difficulties in transporting the harvests to church. In response to these observations, we discussed as a Church Council and introduced a system of conducting Harvest Thanksgiving Eucharist services right within the small Christian communities. So a Ward chooses one place and they all come together with their harvests. The response has been so good and people have given happily. The collections have improved.
We have just finished that Harvest Thanksgiving tour and we have collected almost 70 bags of maize. Out of this, we will keep a certain percentage aside for the needy, especially the aged. A certain percentage will be reserved for the parish priest. Another small percentage will go to Leonard Kamungu Theological College for the priestly formation students. The rest will be used for the development of the parish in a way which the parish council will agree.