On Consecration Sunday, October 14, we will be invited to complete a pledge card as an act of worship during. In discussing this with a group, one person suggested that some of our members don’t make a pledge because they don’t understand why it is important to them or to the Cathedral. Perhaps the following thoughts will be helpful.
What's it all about?
Financial stewardship is an important component of a balanced spiritual life. We emphasize the giver’s need to give rather than the Cathedral’s need to receive. Our generosity toward God is a grateful response to God's generosity toward us. When we make giving to God our first priority, it helps us remember that everything we have - spent, saved, or given away - is a sacred trust from God. We are the stewards of all of it and we want to be faithful in using what God has given in ways that align with our faith. Maintaining a healthy relationship with our possessions keeps them from getting in the way of our relationships with God, our neighbors, and our own inner being. Returning to God from what God has given us is a tangible way to express our faith. When each of us gives, together we fund ministry within our parish and to the community and the world.
What is a pledge?
A pledge is an estimate of giving and a statement of intent representing your commitment to a spiritual practice within the community of Christians. The amount of your pledge may be changed at any time as your financial circumstances change.
Why should I pledge?
Pledging allows you to make intentional decisions about your giving along with the rest of your financial commitments. When you plan ahead for your giving, you make conscious choices about spending in ways that reflect your faith and values.
The pledges of our members also allow our Vestry, the Cathedral’s governing board, to plan wisely for the use our resources in support of the mission and ministry to which God has called us. The Vestry sets a budget based on the total amount pledged. While regular giving that is not pledged is important to the parish, your pledge helps the Vestry plan more accurately.
How do I pledge?
Annual giving pledges at St. Andrew’s are made each year. While our annual giving campaign is held in the fall, pledges may be made at any time. Every new member during the course of the year is invited to make a pledge.
How do I fulfill my pledge?
Contributing toward your pledge is a matter of your personal preference. You may give weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly via cash, checks, credit card, or electronic fund transfer (EFT). You may place your contribution in the offering plate. You may also initiate your own bank payments, via Paypal, Online, or you can arrange for the Cathedral to charge your credit card or debit your bank account. Some members make gifts directly from a retirement account or a donation of stock. Many companies have matching funds for charitable donations of their employees. For assistance, contact Tom Williams, Business Administrator at 601-487-2742 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much should I pledge?
The amount of your annual pledge is between you and God. The Cathedral offers some guidelines to assist you as you make this important decision. HERE are two charts that may be helpful. You may download and print them. The main thing is your commitment to the spiritual practice of giving to God.
What is proportionate giving?
Proportionate giving is basing your pledge amount on a percentage of your income.
What is a tithe?
A tithe is 10% of your income. Since its General Convention in 1982, the Episcopal Church has affirmed the tithe as the minimum standard for giving and encourages members to tithe or be work toward a tithe. A tithe may sound like an unattainable goal to begin with, but if you start with a certain proportion of your income and increase the percentage each year, you will be tithing in a short time. You could start with 5%, a half tithe. Another option is 2½%, which is equivalent to the first hour’s pay of a 40-hour work week.
Just do it!
Where you start or whether you tithe on your annual or gross income is not nearly as important as simply making your first pledge.
If you have questions about financial stewardship or tithing, your clergy are happy to talk with you in confidence. You can reach us at 601.354.1535.
I'll see you in Church!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
St. Andrew’s Cathedral