Q and A about our Stewardship program
What is Stewardship?
Christian stewardship is a transformational way of living, understanding that God is the source of all life, and that we are entrusted as stewards of God’s world. It rests on the belief that an abundant and generous God provides us will all that we truly need.
What is Not Considered as Stewardship?
Stewardship is not fundraising, charity, or philanthropy. While all of those have useful purposes in society, they assume that donors “own” the goods and services they donate. Stewardship recognizes that all of our gifts (both physical and personal talents) stem from God, and that Christians are simply “giving back” some of what has been bestowed upon them by God.
Why is my Estimate of Giving important to St. Gabriel’s?
Your signature on a pledge card allows the church to meet its financial obligations to carry out our mission. Other sources of income come from plate offerings, use of the building and grounds, and our new scrip program. In addition, our number of pledging units determines how many delegates our congregation is allowed to represent us at Convention.
How much should I pledge?
That is between you and God. The Episcopal Church has adopted the tithe, one-tenth of your income, as the standard of giving. This is scripture-based, and calls for 10% of your time, treasure, and talents in support of the church. Many have, however, made a commitment to work toward tithing by starting with a percentage they felt manageable, and increasing it annually. These annual steps forward are a huge part of our escape from the confines of finances, and toward the focus on God.
Can I practice stewardship without pledging – by just putting money in the plate?
By making a pledge – a promise – you are making a commitment and helping the church to practice good stewardship. Pledges give us purposeful decision-making when we assess the resources we have to carry out our mission. AND, by pledging, you help document the membership at St. Gabriel’s, which determines our appropriate representation at the Diocesan Convention each year.
What happens if I need to change my pledge during the year?
In the event that your circumstances change, please contact the Treasurer or the Vicar, not only to revise your pledge downward or upward, but also in case you might wish for pastoral care and support.
Can I offset my pledge by purchasing items for the church?
Occasionally members recognize a need and make purchases for the church. These are always welcome donations. However, just as in the case of putting money in the plate rather than pledging, these gifts do not allow the church to identify or manage its resources. While the gifts are welcome, they should be considered outside the pledge.
Who has access to my pledge information?
Only a very few, very discrete people have access. The Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Finance committee Chair, and office secretary who prepares the quarterly statements know this information. Occasionally it is shared with the Vicar when there are pastoral concerns.
May I make my pledge payment directly from my bank, electronically?
Yes, and please do! Many set up automatic payments from their bank account directly to St. Gabriel’s. Ask for help from your bank if you don’t know how to arrange this. It is a real time saver!
Who can I contact for personal help or information about pledging?
Ask any member of the BAC, the Treasurer, or Chair of Finance. If you have a theological question or pastoral need, please contact a clergy member.
What does my pledge pay for?
84% of your pledge is used to run St. Gabriel’s, support its ministries and pay our Diocesan assessment. The other 16% is used to make our mortgage payment, maintain our facilities, and provide for future building expansion.