Frequently Asked Questions about Pledging and Stewardship
What is “stewardship”? Stewardship is our care of all that God has entrusted and blessed us with. Christian stewardship grows out of gratitude and is an important element of our relationship with God.
What is a “pledge” to the church? A pledge, also called an “estimate of giving,” is an individual’s or family’s financial commitment to the Church for the coming year.
I give to the church already; why should I pledge? The answer is twofold:
1) Practically speaking, the vestry needs your commitment to form a budget for the coming year. It is difficult to make commitments to staff or plan for new and expanded ministry unless we have a reasonable idea of what income will be.
2) More importantly, pledging has spiritual implications: making a written commitment to regularly return a portion of our income to God for God’s work in the church is an important spiritual discipline and helps us to grow in our relationship with God.
Can a pledge be changed during the year? A pledge signals your realistic intent at the time. If your financial circumstances change, you may revise your pledge upward or downward at any time by simply contacting the financial secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I pay my pledge? You can pay weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. The preferred method is to set up a recurring payment through Grace’s online payment portal on the website. On the Pledge Form there you can make your pledge and set up online giving all at once. Not only is this a convenience to you, but it will also streamline the integration of pledging and accounting directly into our Realm database system and save countless hours for our finance volunteers. Of course you can still mail in a check if this is most convenient to you! During in-person worship, you can place cash in an envelope with your name on it in the offering plate. You can also place a standing order for your bank to transfer funds at the interval you specify. Lastly, you can fulfill your pledge by donating appreciated securities. This method can have significant tax advantages for some people. However you pay your pledge, you will receive a reconciliation statement with the total amount donated to the church and the necessary wording for IRS tax deductibility purposes.
What is the tithe? The Episcopal Church has held up the tithe, returning 10% of one’s annual income to God, as the Biblical standard of giving since 1982. Many who have adopted the tithe have found that their life in Christ has changed dramatically as they have become peaceful and faithful givers. If a tithe seems out of reach right away, some commit to increasing their annual percentage of giving each year until reaching 10%.