"This year we are being called to live generously during a major transition in the life of our parish."
On Sunday, October 9, we kick off our annual giving campaign: “Living Generously.” In the weeks following, we will explore together how we can live more generously as individuals and as a community of faith. Living Generously is more than what we do with our financial resources — though that is important. To live generously, we are also called to be open to new ideas, to welcome the stranger, to volunteer often, and to forgive those who have offended us. This year we are being called to live generously during a major transition in the life of our parish.
Many things will remain constant at St. Michael’s in 2017. Our missions and ministries will still be able to transform lives. We will continue to support organizations in our community such as Doorways for Women and Families, Rebuilding Together, AFAC and ASPAN. In the wider world, St. Michael's sponsors, through ChildFund International, five children in Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Indonesia and the Philippines; helps support a family involved in an aviation mission in Haiti; and a church and a pre-school in Uganda.
Here at St. Michael’s, we will continue to hear the Word on Sunday mornings and spend time together at coffee hour. We will continue to support our children and youth with Children’s Chapel and Sunday school. Our nursing home ministry will carry on. God is with us as we care for each other and think about what God is calling us to do next.
Your generosity, in response to the abundance in your life, will fund the mission and ministry of St. Michael’s.
Here is our roadmap for this year’s pledge drive:
Beginning on Sunday, October 9, and continuing throughout the pledge drive, our Sunday bulletin will include reflections written by Episcopal leaders from across the country. These reflections will cover stewardship and faithful giving in connection with the Gospel reading of the day.
Each Sunday, we will hear stories of personal transformation through the practice of intentional giving from your fellow parishioners.
On November 13, we will celebrate Commitment Sunday when pledges will be offered as an act of worship and in response to all that God has provided. Here is a 2017 pledge card. Please prayerfully consider your pledge commitment to St. Michael’s for next year. We are a self-sustaining parish and pledges cover 85% of our Mission Spending Plan. We do we not receive money from the Diocese and we are pleased to be able to send the Diocese the recommended 10-12% annual tithe of our revenues.
The vestry asks you to join us in intentional prayer that each of us will remain open to letting the Holy Spirit lead and guide us in a faithful response to being called to Live Generously.
Thank you for joining us as we consider how we can live more fully into a generous life. May our exploration open us to a new spirit of generosity.
The St. Michael’s Vestry
Stewardship FAQs What is a stewardship pledge? A stewardship pledge is a commitment, made after deliberate and prayerful consideration, to contribute a specific amount of money to the parish community. It is a reflection of your gratitude for God’s abundant grace in your life. Pledging enables the Vestry to make realistic budget projections for the coming calendar year. We hope all households will make a stewardship pledge — even if it is only a small amount per week — as an expression of a vital commitment to the parish. Click to download a 2017 pledge card.
Why are stewardship pledges needed? Most of our income comes from pledges. Under the Episcopal model, parishes are responsible for maintaining and growing themselves. Parishes receive no funds from the Diocese or the national church; instead, they must cover their own expenses, primarily through pledges. As a community of faith, we all share responsibility for our spiritual home.
How are stewardship pledges used? Pledges cover 86% of the St. Michael's operating budget in 2016. Other sources of income included special events and services, rental income, and offerings other than pledges. In 2016, 62% of the operating budget is allocated to personnel costs, 23% to maintenance and operations expense, and 15% to program support (including outreach and Diocesan contribution).
How much should I pledge? The traditional guideline in The Episcopal Church, based on scripture, is the tithe, a pledge of one-tenth of household income. For many, the tithe is a goal to work toward through yearly increases in your pledge. The distribution of 2016 pledges is shown in the table below.
2016 Pledge Distribution
$ Pledge No. of % of Amount Pledges Total $
$10,000 and above 4 31% $7,000 to $9,999 2 6% $6,000 to $6,999 4 9% Total Pledges: $265,294 $5,000 to $5,999 5 10% Average Pledge: $3,790 $4,000 to $4,999 6 10% Median Pledge: $2,400 $3,000 to $3,999 9 11% $2,000 to $2,999 13 11% $1,000 to $1,999 16 9% Under $1,000 11 3% However one defines household income (gross income, net income after taxes, net disposable income) is immaterial. The important thing is to establish through prayer a level of giving that is helpful for you — that supports your spiritual health.
When are pledges and pledge payments made? The Vestry asks all households to pledge on or before Commitment Sunday, November 13th. Newcomers who find that they are not yet ready to make a pledge and individuals who join the parish after Pledge Sunday are welcome to pledge at any time. We encourage these persons to discuss stewardship with a member of the clergy or vestry.
Pledge payments may be made at any time during the course of the year. Most households choose to make weekly, monthly, or quarterly pledge payments. Others opt to pay in one lump sum. A pledge also can be modified, especially if financial circumstances change during the year.
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