What is Christian stewardship?
“Stewardship is everything I do,
with everything I have,
after I say, I believe.”
Christian stewardship is not first and foremost about collecting dollars to pay the bills, though this is not unimportant! Rather, it is an opportunity to express, in an outward and visible way, the spiritual truth that God is the owner of everything—our time, which is in his hands; our talents, which are from God; and our treasure, which is that portion of the world’s wealth that he allows to us. God is the owner, we are his managers (stewards).
How is the Advent funded?
About 35% of the Advent’s operating budget comes from the Sunday giving of our parishioners (gifts of the living). Our endowment (gifts of the dead) keeps the building standing and the lights on; your pledge provides for the ministry we do from this building.
How much does it cost to support the mission and ministry of this parish?
It costs about $4,600 each and every day to meet our obligations to our parish family and to do ministry beyond our doors. Over $1,600 of this comes from pledge and plate. Or to put it another way, $1.16 put in the plate pays for one minute of ministry!
How much of our budget is given to ministry beyond our doors?
About 18% of our operating budget is given to support the ministry of the church and various charities in the community, our nation and the world. This does not include funds given to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, Associate’s Discretionary Fund, and various parish organizations, for outreach.
Why is it important that I make a pledge?
Could you imagine how difficult it would be to plan your household finances if you did not know how much income you could count on or when you would be paid? Your personal finances would be in chaos. It is the same with the household of God. We cannot plan if we don’t know what our resources will be. Simply put, we ask you to pledge so we can plan.
What is the average annual pledge in the Episcopal Church?
According to the 2020 parochial report data, the average pledge across the church is $3,205. BUT, averages are less important than the goal that our giving be in proportion to our income.
What is proportional giving?
As opposed to habitual or “random dollar giving,” giving proportionally means calculating our giving in relation to our wealth or income. Because we have different financial circumstances, it is not so much how much we give, but what that amount represents – think of the poor widow with the two copper coins!
I don’t know what my finances will be like next year. It depends on my commission, or how my investments do.
Your pledge is not a legal contract. It is an “estimate of giving” which helps the parish leadership plan. We understand that sometimes financial circumstances change. If you find yourself in this situation, please speak to the Stewardship Chairman about modifying your pledge.
What is our target date for turning in pledges?
As is our custom, we ask that pledges be returned by Advent Sunday, November 28th. This deadline reflects our Feast of Title, an appropriate date for us to return our gifts to God.
How to arrive at your pledge amount
1) Write down the amount of your annual income.
It doesn’t matter whether you use before-tax income or after; you decide. If your circumstances change you can always adjust the amount of your pledge!
2) Decide a proportion of God’s wealth that you will return to him.
If you’re new to proportional giving, try using the national charitable giving average of 3 to 4%. Or, if you’ve been a proportional giver for a while, take last year’s percentage and try adding 1% or 2% to it.
How do you feel about this number? Have you prayed over it? Is it in proportion to the importance of God in your life? Is it in proportion to the importance of the Advent in your life? How is it in proportion to the other ways you spend money?
Collect for Stewardship.
Eternal Father, merciful Creator, thy hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for thy loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account we must one day render, may be faithful stewards of thy good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.