Giving to St. John
Stewardship is a lifestyle. It is everything we do after we say, “We believe!” We are called by God to be good stewards of every aspect of our lives including our time, talent and treasure, our estate (accumulated assets) and the environment. Here you will find resources to help you in becoming a good steward.
The Stewardship Committee
Frequently Asked Questions about
Giving to St. John
Q. What is Stewardship?
A. Stewardship is a concept based on the teachings of Jesus who often told parables about stewards who were asked to manage the gifts and property they had been given. The stewards were not owners but ones entrusted with property and funds for a greater purpose. Every good thing we have comes from God and we are stewards of it. We care for God’s creation, we offer our talents for the good of the Church and the world, and we share our funds with others knowing that it is God who has been so generous to us.
Q. When is our pledge due and where do I pledge?
A. Our in-gathering is in the fall of each year but please turn in your pledge card as soon as we send our Stewardship packet to you and you have taken the time needed to pray about it. You can pledge here or by mail. We will bless the pledge cards at a Sunday service in October and have a big party that afternoon.
Q. How can I pay my pledge?
A. You can pay your pledge however you would like: in advance, in the offering plate each Sunday, by setting up an automatic transfer, or by using our website. Talk to Stacy, our Parish Financial Assistant, for details.
Q. What is pledging and why is it necessary?
A. Pledging is a way of engaging in financial stewardship that is practical and faithful. Because we are giving back to God a portion of what God has given us, we make a pledge in faith to the Church so our community of faith can responsibly plan for our mission and ministry each year. It also is a significant step of faith that, regardless of the amount, is to be honored.
Q. How much am I to pledge?
A. Giving away 10% of one’s income is a good place to start. The Old Testament imperative was to set aside one-tenth of our income to be holy before the Lord (Leviticus 27:30-34). In the New Testament, Jesus talks with his followers constantly about how important one’s relationship with money is. He often challenged those with great wealth to give it away and he honored those with little for still being willing to share. Indeed, Jesus seems to be telling us to give away everything and follow him. For a lot of us, tithing or giving away 10% of our income is a great place to start. Many of us start with less and are working towards being tithers. Others are called to give away even more. You can discuss this with your priest if you would like, because our relationship to money truly is a spiritual matter.
Q. Can’t I give without making a pledge?
A. Yes, and we thank you for it! Making a pledge, however, allows the parish to know that you are with it and invested in it. Pledging also allows the clergy and vestry to plan ahead in mission and ministry. The number of pledgers is just as important as the amount that is pledged!
Q. What if I make a pledge and cannot follow through on it?
A. Your pledge is not legally binding. It does not create a “bill” that must be paid. It is simply writing down the amount you intend to give to the church for the year ahead. Each year, there are a few people who are unable to complete their pledge because of unforeseen life circumstances. Other folks end up giving more than they pledged because they have a year of abundance. These swift and varied changes of our world are a part of the journey of faith. You can always let your priest know that you are unable to complete your pledge and he will be there to support you.
Q. How do I decide how much to give?
A. Begin with prayer:
Almighty God, you have given us everything that is good including life itself: Guide us in giving for the year ahead. Help us to share generously and joyfully all of the gifts we have been given and use us for your glory, for the building of your Kingdom, and for the good of your Church. We pray in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who gave his life for us. Amen.
Take time to discern and pray as needed for a couple of weeks while taking an honest look at your finances and lifestyle. Continue to ask God for guidance, and you’re welcome to talk to your priest during this process, too.
Q. How else can I give to the Church?
A. In addition to pledging, please offer your time and talents in ministry at St. John. Try on a new ministry in 2022 and discover the joy that comes with doing God’s work. Talk to the rector or a ministry chair!
Q. Can I make an annual gift to capital or endowment funds?
A. Yes, and this makes a real difference at St. John, but these gifts should be in addition to and should not decrease your annual pledge. Special gifts tend to be larger and come from accumulated assets such as retirement and investment accounts. Gifts to the endowment are especially needed so that the church can be supported in perpetuity.
Q. Can I leave money or property to St. John in my will?
A. Yes, the Book of Common Prayer encourages Episcopalians to have a will and to remember the Church in it. You may join our legacy society, the Baring Society, by including the church in your will and notifying the rector. Funds can be designated to the endowment or for the vestry to decide where the need is greatest. You can also name St. John as a beneficiary to your IRA or other planned giving instruments. Talk to your attorney or financial advisor about the best way to do it and remember that we are here to help.
Q. Who is the best person to talk to about giving to St. John?
A. The rector can help in your discernment as you pray through giving to the Church. Our Parish Financial Assistant or Treasurer can assist you in the logistics. Your attorney, estate planner, or financial advisor should be consulted before any major gift is given to determine the best way to do it.