Frequently Asked Questions About Stewardship And an Estimate of Giving (Pledging)
What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is using the gifts God has given us, to do the work God is calling us to do. We are stewards of the many gifts we have received through God’s grace and love. Stewardship is about the choices we make about how we spend our lives in response to God’s love and generosity. Our ability to pursue the mission and ministries to which God has called us depends on the generosity of spirit of those who are a part of our community of St. Luke’s. Giving of your time, talent and treasure or financial resources makes it possible for St. Luke’s to assist and nurture people and to teach about God’s love. What is an Estimate of Giving?
An Estimate of Giving is a written estimate of the financial support you are willing to give for the year to help carry out the ministries, programs and day-to-day operations of the parish of St. Luke’s for the year. This estimate of what we hope to give is an affirmation of our commitment to give back to God a portion of the gifts God has given to us. Our written estimate is an intentional plan to give our gifts from the top, our first fruits. It reflects the need to put God first. A commitment of oneself to God includes a pledge of our financial resources. I put my money in the offering plate. Can’t I just do that?
Loose offerings in the plate are appreciated and help to support St. Luke’s. But by writing down an estimate, you are making a purposeful decision to put God first instead of giving based on what happens to be in your wallet. In addition, it is difficult for the Vestry to plan and operate the church based on plate offerings. By providing an estimate of giving, you will support the Vestry’s planning of the operating funds for the year to sustain our ministries, programs, and day-to-day operations, which support every parish family and others beyond our church community. How much should I estimate or pledge?
This is between you and God. Scripture calls for 10% of our time, talent and treasures or a tithe. Some tithe and many have made a commitment to work toward tithing by starting with a percentage of income and increasing it over time. Another way is to estimate your weekly income and determine how much to give each week. The important thing is that we give in gratitude for all our blessings and make a conscious effort to determine an appropriate level of giving for today and allow our giving to grow in the future. For giving back to God is an act of worship enabling us to grow deeper in our faith. Giving is to experience God’s grace. What happens if I need to change my estimate or I encounter financial hardship?
In the event your circumstances change, please contact the office or our rector, not only to revise your pledge downward or upward, but in case you might also desire pastoral care and support. You are a valued member of St. Luke’s no matter how much you give. God honors your faithfulness. Can I submit an Estimate of Giving any time during the year?
During the Stewardship Campaign at the end of the year (November – December) we would like to have all the pledges by December 31st so we can build the budget for the annual meeting. Otherwise, you don’t have to wait until the annual Stewardship Campaign to submit your estimate, you can submit anytime.