Categories: The Parish Column

2021 Stewardship Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pledge?
A pledge is a financial commitment to the church for the upcoming year. The Vestry depends on pledge commitments in order to accurately prepare an operating budget that supports the church’s ministries and day-to-day operations.

Why is it important to make a pledge commitment at St. John’s Norwood Parish?
Those who pledge to the work of God through St. John’s typically consider St. John’s to be their spiritual home. Your pledge, therefore, is an investment that brings greater health and wellbeing to your church home by supporting the necessary day-to-day operations of the church and strengthening its mission and ministry.

Why should I fill out a pledge card? Can I simply give when I am in worship or when I can?
St. John’s parishioners are encouraged to be generous in all ways at all times. A pledge, however, reflects a specific amount of money that the church can depend on when setting its annual budget. Without pledges, the church Vestry would have no concrete sense of what the church income will be for the following year.

How much should I pledge?
Giving is a spiritual practice that should be prayerfully considered. Scripture encourages us to give in gratitude and as a proportion of our income – i.e., giving a percentage of one’s income as an act of worship. The biblical standard of giving in the Episcopal Church is 10% of our income, or a tithe.  This may be a goal that is too lofty for some and many of us thus require a more modest approach.  Many parishioners plan their giving as a proportion of their income and gradually increase that proportion from year to year.  This is a helpful way to step forward on that path of generosity and gratitude.  Our hope is that everyone at St. John’s will pledge some amount. If you are already pledging, please consider “moving up one step.”  You may find a proportionate giving chart on the St. Johns website under the Pledge tab.  A useful tool for calculating a proportion of income is also found on the website.

What happens if I fall behind in my pledge commitment? Can my pledge change?
Yes. We recognize that circumstances change. If that happens, please contact the church accounting manager to make the adjustment to your pledge.

Will I receive a statement of contributions during 2021?
Yes. In addition, anyone who makes pledge contributions can use the church’s online tool, Breeze, to view and print their personal statements and record of giving to St. John’s at any time.

How are my financial contributions put to use by St. John’s?
Your contributions are used to support the ministries and operations that enable St. Johns to serve the needs of our community.  Highlights and details for the current year and 2021 budget year can be found in the St. John’s Norwood “Nourish and Grow” devotional booklet, and here. The 2021 budget narrative will be available after the final budget is approved in early 2021.

Will my pledge make a difference?
Yes, it will. Pledges represent our first and primary source of income. Every dollar makes a difference, and your generosity is a blessing to your church home.