Stewardship begins with an understanding that everything we have comes from God. We are blessed in so many different ways by a God who is active in our own lives as well as scripture, history and all of creation. Grateful for the gifts, large and small, which God has given us, we are invited by God to respond to God’s grace by generously giving back, by sharing the gifts and blessings that have been bestowed upon us, and by caring for the world which God has entrusted to us.
Stewardship is about getting involved – giving your time, sharing your gifts and talents, and supporting the church financially. Your involvement enables Grace Church to do its work and ministry. We strongly believe: the more involved you are, the more we can do for God.
The Stewardship Committee is one of the busiest and most important ministries at Grace. Every year, the committee host Ministry Sunday early in September so parishioners can learn (or relearn) about our many ministries and the ways in which they can get involved. In recent years, the Stewardship Committee has also been working on making Grace more environmentally friendly.
Every October, the Stewardship Committee oversees our Every Member Canvass when we ask parishioners to make a financial pledge to Grace for the upcoming year in support of the church’s work and ministry. Our hope and expectation is that all members of the Grace Church family will support the church by making a pledge. The commitment and support of our parishioners enable us to proclaim the Good News of God, to love our neighbors as ourselves and strive for justice and peace among all people.
What is a Pledge?
A pledge is your promise to provide a certain amount of financial support to Grace Church for 2016. Annual pledges and Sunday offerings are the main source of funding for everything we do at Grace Church.
Why Should I Pledge?
Pledging is about your relationship with God and Grace Church.Pledging to Grace Church is different from financial contributions you might make to your alma mater or charitable organizations. A pledge acknowledges that everything we have comes from God. It allows you to share your many blessings while simultaneously furthering God’s mission of love and compassion in the world. Pledging gives you an opportunity to put your faith in action and deepen your connection with God.
Practically speaking, a pledge lets you plan your charitable giving for 2016 and makes tax accounting easier. A pledge also makes you feel good, like any gift you give from the heart.
In addition, pledging benefits Grace Church. The churchdepends upon your financial contributions, in addition to your commitment and participation in other parish activities, to do its work and ministry. Making a pledge enables our Vestry to better plan how to use our resources. The Vestry establishes an annual budget based upon the total amount pledged to the church. While regular non-pledged giving is important, a pledge helps the Vestry planmore accurately and better enables our ministries to thrive and grow.
How Do I Pledge?
Complete a pledge card and return it to the church, either by mail; by placing it in the offering plate during worship services; or by delivering it to the Church office. Download a pledge card here. You may also make a pledge by emailing our Fiscal Officer, Gib Baily, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Do I Fulfill My Pledge?
Returning your pledge card represents your promise to make a financial contribution to Grace Church for 2016. You may pay your pledge on any schedule that suits your needs: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or in one annual payment. If you wish, you may receive a box of numbered envelopes with which you can make your payments.
Any check with your name printed on it that you place in the offering plate on Sunday or send to the Church office will be credited to your pledge. You may also satisfy your pledge with the transfer of stocks, bonds or other marketable securities. Appreciated securities are often excellent for this use, as you receive an income tax deduction for the full market value of the security and incur no tax on the capital gain. For more information on fulfilling you pledge, please contact our Fiscal Officer, Gib Baily, at email@example.com.
How Much Should I Pledge?
Because pledging is about your relationship with God and Grace Church, your pledge should be made thoughtfully and deliberately.
Historically, Christians have shown their gratitude to God by tithing, that is giving one-tenth (10 percent) of their gross income to the church and other charities. We see this throughout the Bible, and so the Episcopal Church and Grace Church Vestry affirm the tithe, encouraging members to tithe or be working toward the tithe.
Of course, we realize that tithing may seem daunting, and at this time in life, you may not be in a position to tithe. One suggestion, then, would be that you commit a certain percentage of your income to the church, say 5 percent or even 2 percent. By committing to proportional giving like this, you actually return to God a portion of what God has given you
All pledges are accepted with deep gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices each of us makes in our lives. If you have not pledged before, please give serious thought to making a pledge this year. If you are among the many generous hearted people who have pledged before, please consider the possibility of raising your pledge as a way to further support the good works of Grace Church.
If you have any questions about Stewardship or making a pledge, please feel free to speak with Rev. Andrew (301-585-3515) or Linda Baily, the chair of our Stewardship Committee (301-586-8244). They would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.