Why is the 2019 Stewardship Campaign called "Closing the Gap Together"? In the past decade many of our church's largest givers have passed away. People in the 'greatest generation,' especially those of means, were giving a large proportion of the money. As they have passed on, a "gap" has developed between the amount of money we need to run the church and the money that is coming in. This year, we are focusing on closing that gap by asking everyone in the church to give a little more. When we all chip in together, we have already seen how quickly it adds up to abundance-- that's exactly how we reached our Project Welcome goal! Together, we can close that gap!
How much should I give? Before making a pledge, it is important to prayerfully review your budget and talk with your family about your priorities for the coming year. It can help to think of the annual gift in terms of weeks. How much per week will feel like a generous gift for you and your family? Talk about if there might be something small you can sacrifice to increase your pledge--this year many people are taking the Coffee, Cable, or Cooking In Challenge in order to increase their pledge amounts! Read more about it below:
What is the Coffee, Cable, and Cooking In Challenge? These are three creative ways you can create some room in your budget to increase the amount you give to the church: 1. The average American spends $14 per week on coffee. Your pastor is one of them. Fellow coffee addicts, what if we get out the french press, make our coffee at home a few days a week, and give the amount of weekly Coffee savings to the church?
2. The average cable, internet & phone bill in the US is $165 per month! A congregant shared that he always makes sure he gives at least as much to the church as he pays for cable--could you make the "Cable pledge" and increase your pledge to match your cable bill? (Better yet, ditch cable, get TV online and pledge the savings to the church!)
3. The average American spends $232 per month eating out. By replacing just one meal out a month with a meal at home, most of us would save a lot in a year! What if you were to pledge the amount you saved in 2019 by Cooking in just one night a month?
So...what is a "pledge"? A "pledge" is simply a written promise of how much you are planning to give in the coming year. We have pledge cards that we will distribute in the coming week. On the card you fill out how much you will give in 2019. The pledge cards will be gathered and blessed during a special worship on Sunday, November 18th. Pledges are kept confidential.
Why can't I just give money in the offering each week instead? You can and we are always grateful for any money we receive! But there are two reasons why pledging is important. The first is practical-- the church sets a budget so knowing how much we are going to receive in the coming year helps us budget more effectively. The second reason is spiritual-- in scripture, God repeatedly commands us to give our first and best to God. By pledging, you are setting aside a certain amount of money at the beginning of the year to go to God's work, rather than waiting until the end and giving God what's left over.
How is the money I give to the church used? Our church is thriving with ministries that create meaningful worship, foster community, deepen spiritual learning, love our neighbors, and promote compassion and justice in our world. Your gifts and pledges cover the cost of all these ministries in a variety of ways. From the salaries of our staff who lead and organize these ministries to the materials required to do them, to the historic building in which many of them take place, your money makes all of it possible!
Okay, I want to pledge, how do I do that? Great! Submit our online pledge form here. We will also have hard copies of the pledge cards in church on Sunday mornings. They will also be available in the Church Office.
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