Re-Emerge, Rejoice, Renew
UCW Stewardship Campaign 2021-2022
As our beloved faith community looks ahead to re-emerging and a return to in-person worship, we rejoice in the community that has sustained us through this dark time. A community of connection, love and faith, we have held each other in presence, spirit and prayer; over zoom and in masked participation; in chat texts and drive-bys. Now we look forward to coming together once again in our church home.
As we do so, it is with the heaviness of our loss of Pastor Stacy, yet with the joy of hearing her call to bring forth the spirit of God and the risen Christ into other places on earth. We join together with a sense of our own renewal as we grow though our process of discernment in search of our next chapter and settled minister.
This is a call for us all to grow in our faith, our love and our commitment to the powerful presence of this faith community – in all that it can be and become. This Eastertide, perhaps like no other, opens us through the darkness of the empty tomb into the possibility of what can be. The gifts we share with the church not only sustain and fortify, but make real the capacity of our church to grow into greater fullness of the expression of God’s love on earth. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, grown ever so by the love of Pastor Stacy. It is now our journey to walk even more fully into, and all the gifts of our community are indeed what make it possible.
Eastertide is our season of stewardship, where we are invited to once again consider our financial gifts to the church. Just one of the gifts we share, these contributions are vital to the ongoing work of the church and supporting our ministers and staff. We ask you to take time to reflect on your gifts to the church and to make a pledge to our annual campaign.
The pledge period begins Sunday April 11, and we hope to have all pledges in by Sunday, April 25. Pledging within this time allows us to craft a budget for review at the Annual Meeting on June 6.
We thank you in advance for your support of this remarkable faith community.
The UCW Stewardship Committee
Pledging to a church is a very personal matter, based on various factors. For members who ask for guidelines in their giving, the following information may be of help:
One method of arriving at a pledge amount is proportional giving. This method is advocated by our affiliated denomination, the United Church of Christ, and is the model of stewardship emphasized in the teachings of Christ. In this model, your pledge is determined by the proportion of your income that you feel you should “give back” in gratitude and praise for what has been given to you. While biblical reference suggests a “tithe” (10% of earnings) as a reflection of a faith commitment, each member has his or her own faith commitment relative to the various commitments in one’s life. The important step is to first consider what you would like to give, and then consider how you will grow to give at that level. For example, if your current gift is 1% of your earnings and you would ultimately like to give 5%, you could plan to increase by 1% of your earnings over the coming four years. The steps involved are:
- Take time to discern how much of your earnings you would desire to “give back.” Take time to reflect upon what kind of giver you would like to be — what proportion would feel “right” for you.
- Review your current gift and calculate what proportion of your earnings it represents.
- Develop a plan to become a proportionate giver at the level you wish to attain, understanding that this may not happen in one year.
A second method is to use a needs-based pledge, which uses the needs of the church to arrive at your pledge. The average pledge needed to return to our pre-pandemic staffing and programing would be approximately $3,940. A needs-based approach helps the donor target what is needed to keep the church “afloat” and giving accordingly. This average, of course, indicates a number of pledges above and below that figure.
Thirdly, one can create a systematic increase based on their current pledge. Here, the giver used the current pledge as a reference and commits to increase it by a certain portion (10-15%) each year. This method combines the needs of the church with growth in stewardship.
In all cases, the goal is for each family to reflect on their giving potential and making their gift reflective of their desires for personal stewardship and their ability.
In addition, please consider the option of having your pledge directly debited from you bank account on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. This option simplifies both the donation itself and the bookkeeping required for each pledge.
As always, every pledge is deeply appreciated.
We hope this information is useful as you plan your 2021-2022 pledge.
The Union Church Stewardship Team