FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT STEWARDSHIP AT THE REDEEMER
What is Christian Stewardship?
Christian Stewardship begins with the notion that all of life and its gifts find their source in God. In response to God’s generosity, we faithfully return a portion of that gift to God in the form of time, talent and treasure.
What is a Pledge?
An important way Episcopalians set aside a portion of God’s gifts is through an annual pledge to their parish community. A pledge is a prayerful promise of financial resources that will sustain the parish’s worship, pastoral care, Christian formation, outreach to the community and the bricks and mortar of the church and grounds.
How much should I pledge?
A pledge is a holy thing. The amount is a private matter between you, your family and God. The Church will do its best to annually relate to the entire parish the financial realities of the parish, trusting you to prayerfully consider how much you can give. Many Christians aspire to tithe, offering ten percent of their income to the Church’s ministry.
What is the tithe?
The tithe is the ancient Israelite custom of dedicating the first ten percent of one’s income to the temple of God. Modern Christians consider the tithe a spiritual discipline of thanksgiving for all that God has given them.
What do most people pledge?
The short answer is: what they can. Every pledge is unique to an individual or family’s respective situation. The average pledge for 2015-2016 was $4000. With an annual budget of approximately $1.1 million, the Redeemer would need 250 pledges of $4,400 each to meet the budgeted operating expenses.
Who will know what I pledge?
To ensure confidentiality, only the Stewardship Campaign Chairs (both of whom are members of the Vestry) and the Financial Administrator of the parish will know the amount of your pledge. They are the only members of our parish community who will have access to this information. The clergy has chosen not to be privy to parishioner pledge amounts. Clergy and staff as needed are able to see the lists of individuals and families who have given in the past three years, without amounts. This allows the ministry staff and clergy to have the best sense of regular participation in parish life and budget and plan accordingly.
What does my pledge pay for?
Your pledge pays for the salaries and benefits of all parish staff, program expenses for fellowship, Christian formation and outreach, and utilities, maintenance and repairs for our plant and grounds.
Do pledges cover all of our costs?
No. For the last many years, pledges have fallen short of covering the whole cost of the Redeemer’s operations. The parish’s endowment has provided budgetary support at a gradually increasing percentage over the last ten years and is not a sustainable practice for our long term financial health.
How is a parish’s budget created?
In the autumn of every year, the Treasurers, the Rector and the Ministry Team meet to discuss needs and priorities for the coming fiscal year. A preliminary budget is created and reviewed through the Finance, Personnel and Policy Committee of the Vestry. Finally, the Vestry reviews and approves a final version of the budget at the December Vestry Meeting.
How do I make a pledge?
You may make a pledge through the pledge card provided in the pledge packet. Simple fill out the card and return it to the parish in the envelope provided. You may also pledge on-line through our website under the Stewardship section. (www.redeemerchestnuthill.org )
Don’t we get money from the Diocese?
No, we do not. It is the other way around. Unlike some traditions (e.g. Roman Catholic), we are NOT funded from the top down. In fact, the Redeemer pays an annual assessment to the Diocese to support the missions and operations of the whole Episcopal Church throughout the world. Your pledges and gifts go to our parish, not the Diocese, but we fund the diocesan and worldwide ministries of the Episcopal Church through this assessment.