Did you know that the benefits of the Elderly, Disabled and Children’s Program (EAEDC) haven’t increased since 1988? The MA Coalition for the Homeless is gearing up for a campaign to increase monthly grants for program recipients from $303.70 to...
Make a Stewardship Pledge
Have you seen this year's Stewardship booklet? You can read it online here, or find a large print edition in the church office.
What is a pledge and why does it matter?
A pledge is a commitment of financial support for the year, which runs from January through December. Typically pledges are paid in increments—weekly, monthly or quarterly. You can give to the church without pledging, of course. Some people put money in the offering plate at worship each week or once a month. Others give in a lump sum at the beginning or end of the year. We encourage annual pledging because making and keeping promises is an important spiritual discipline that fosters faithfulness and mutual responsibility. Pledges also help the congregation to plan more wisely.
How much should I give?
There are many ways to decide how much to give. One traditional way is “percentage giving,” calculating your pledge by a percentage of your annual income. This is a biblical practice—dedicating the “first fruits” of one's labor right off the top, rather than offering what remains after all other expenses are taken care of. Traditionally, a tithe is understood to be 10 %. Some people at FCC give at this level, but not everyone is able to do so. If you are a first-time giver, consider giving 3% or 5%. If you already give annually, challenge yourself to raise the percentage of your giving with each new year. No matter what you give, the point is to discover and commit to a level of giving that honors God’s generosity to you and that increases your joy.
Why we give
How much you give matters; but the why of giving also matters. Here are some reasons people at FCC give:
Nuts and bolts—FCC is self-supporting. Salaries, ministries, building maintenance—all are paid for from pledges, other financial gifts and income from building use. It costs a lot to support our community, carry on our ministry and care for our buildings and grounds. And so we give!
Belonging —FCC is not a charitable organization in the ordinary sense. It is our spiritual home. It makes a difference in our lives that other causes, worthy as they are, may not. Therefore, we give our fair share, and don't take a “free ride.” We give to us, because we belong to each other.
Saying thanks—All we have comes from God and belongs to God. By giving generously, we thank God for God's loving ownership of our lives and we dedicate what we’ve been given to God’s purposes. Giving is a practice of thanksgiving that over time makes us even more grateful. It opens our hearts to the awareness that all life is a wondrous gift.
Practicing trust—Giving generously teaches us trust God’s promise to care for us and the world. We want to see how much we can live without so that we can finally discover that what we really need most is God and each other! In turn, this leap of faith bestows many wonderful blessings—a simpler lifestyle, strengthened relationships, greater hope and deeper awareness of God's presence in our daily lives.
Is the money I give used wisely?
Financial decisions are made after prayer and deliberation during our congregational meetings as we discern God’s direction and priorities for the use of our financial resources. Each year our books are independently audited. Financial data are always open to scrutiny. We are working conscientiously to balance our budget, care for our buildings, support our ministries and plan for the future.
How do I make a pledge?
Each fall, we send out a stewardship booklet, along with a pledge card. If you are not on our mailing list, contact the church office and request a mailing and card. When you have prayerfully decided how much to pledge, fill out the card and bring it with you to Pledge Sunday in mid-November. If you miss Pledge Sunday, drop your card in the offering plate the next time you’re at worship, or mail it to the church office, to the attention of the Stewardship Committee Chairperson or Rev. Karen McArthur, Affiliate Minister of Stewardship & Finance.
How can I get guidance about my pledge?
Contact one of the ministers or members of the Stewardship Committee. Or talk with any member who regularly pledges. Don’t forget to ask the Holy Spirit for guidance too! And while you’re at it, pray for everyone in our community who, like you, will makes a pledge decision every year.