If you don't find the answer to your question here, or if you have a question about your personal pledge, please let us know!
Considering Your Pledge
As each of us begins to consider what our pledge might be for 2017, here are some ideas for how and where you might start.
1. Pray. This vital step is often overlooked in giving. Take some to time to ask for God’s help to guide you in this decision. Hold this question and consider including it in your daily or weekly prayers as you think about your financial commitment for the coming year.
2. Consider the many blessings in your life. Giving should come from our gratitude and with a sense of joy, not out of guilt or obligation. Our culture teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, but Jesus teaches us to love and serve others with what we have already been blessed with. Begin each day by thanking God for all the blessings in your life, and ask yourself if your giving reflects your gratitude.
3. Ask why St. Andrew’s is special to you. Each of us has come to call St. Andrew’s our spiritual home for different reasons. For many, it’s the youth and children programs, or our commitment to the full inclusion of all of God’s children. For some of us, it’s the liturgy and music, for others it is our commitment to outreach. As you consider your giving for 2017, remember that your pledge enables St. Andrew’s to make God's intention a reality.
4. Challenge yourself! Ask if your pledge reflects your values and priorities. God is calling us to connect more deeply in our relationship with God and one another. Does your pledge move you closer to God? Many have noted the life-changing impact that a simple pledge can have – and how little they missed the money – as they received so much more in return. At the end of the day, giving is about letting go of our agenda, so that we can say yes to God’s. This year, why not try “shocking yourself” with your generosity and then see how this connects you to God's kingdom?
Three Ways to Calculate
The Biblical Tithe Pledge 10% of your gross income. The tithe is also the historical Christian standard and is the official teaching of the Episcopal Church. If that’s not possible right now, try starting with Proportional Giving and make it a goal to increase your proportion each year until you reach a full tithe.
Proportional Giving Base your gift on your annual income using the chart below. If you have used this method before, increase your pledge by 1% or 2%. Keep increasing each year, and soon you’ll be tithing!
The Vision Challenge If you pledged last year, help St. Andrew’s expand our efforts in the areas of creating peace, outreach, facility improvement and clergy support by increasing last year’s pledge by $2000 or 20%.
Q & A
Q: What is a pledge?
A: A pledge is simply an estimate of your total giving to the church to support its mission and ministry in the year to come.
Q: Why not just give through the plate when I can?
A: Pledging has two very important benefits: 1) It provides us with an estimate of our overall income in the year to come, allowing us to make careful budget decisions. 2) It transforms your giving into a spiritual practice: by intentionally making a financial commitment to God and your church family from your “first fruits” rather than randomly from what’s left over, you reinforce that God is a priority in your life.
Q: I can’t give much. Does my pledge really make a difference?
A: Yes! St. Andrew’s relies almost entirely on your pledges to support its ministries and mission. We don’t have a large endowment or receive support from The Episcopal Church. Like your family, our church family relies on all of us playing a role: Every pledge matters, every pledge counts.
Q: How can I pay my pledge?
A: You can mail your pledge or place it in the offering plate on Sunday. We also offer secure electronic payments on our website at www.standrewsepiscopal.org/give, and you can set up automatic payments with your debit or credit card.
Q: How much should I pledge?
A: How much you give back in thanksgiving for all you have received is a conversation you should have first and foremost with God. Proverbs 3:9 says “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” When we budget what we have after giving, rather than giving what we can afford after meeting our other spending priorities, we put God before Netflix and Starbucks.
Q: What is a tithe?
A: For centuries Christians have used the tithe—10% of your income--as the standard for giving. Financial planning experts often recommend the 10-10-80 recipe for a life of contentment and financial freedom: give 10%, save 10%, and live off the remaining 80%. Many people start with a smaller percentage, 4% or 5%, and work toward increasing it each year until they reach a full tithe.
Q: Is the tithe 10% of net or gross income?
A: The tithe is not an accounting exercise, but a spiritual practice to help us put God first in our lives. Whether you strive to give 5% of your net income or 10% of your gross, God is not interested in the math, but in your prayerful, intentional commitment.
Q: What if I can’t pay my pledge?
A: We understand that things change. You are completely free to change the amount of your pledge at any time, with our blessings. We just ask that you let us know so we may adjust our records: simply call the office or send an email to email@example.com.