AIMING FOR RENEWAL
What does it mean to be a steward?
A steward is responsible for the oversight and protection of something worth caring for and preserving. It means caring for your body, your relationships, your work, your play, your community, your environment, your heart and mind and soul—not as rights or guarantees owed you—but as gifts given freely to you by a generous God.
The American poet Mary Oliver ends her poem The Summer Day by asking the question, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” At its most basic, to be a steward means to care—actively and intentionally and regularly and generously—for “your one wild and precious life” which is a gift from God.
What does it mean to be a steward of St. Chrys?
To be a steward of St. Chrys means making a personal thanksgiving offering to God in the form of a recorded financial pledge to the work of God through this church. It means taking the journey into generosity as the path to spiritual maturity. It means choosing to live with the open hands of gratitude.
A Collect for Generosity
Lord Jesus, you came among us not to be ministered unto but to minister. Bless our church community as we seek to follow in your steps, giving ourselves to the service of others; that with grace, gratitude, and generosity we may minster in your name to all those who hunger for you. For your love’s sake we pray, AMEN.
Does my pledge really matter?
Yes it most certainly does! To many people, it comes as a big surprise to discover that St. Chrysostom’s is not a wealthy church. The beautiful buildings, the glorious music, and the great speakers and classes all seem to say we’ve made it. But the truth is that St. Chrys manages to do all these things only through the giving of members and friends like you—we rely on everybody. Unlike some churches, we do not have a large endowment to fall back on in times of need—just those precious pledge envelopes!
What is proportional giving?
Proportional giving is simply committing to give a specific percentage of your annual income to the work of your church. The Episcopal Church has the wonderful language of “striving to tithe,” or moving incrementally toward the 10% Biblical standard of giving. The minimum average contribution needed to meet our 2016 budget is $3500 per pledge.
We ask respectfully that you take this year’s annual campaign as seriously as we are all taking God’s call to change lives for the better through all we do as a church. Everybody is important to this effort.
Determining what to pledge
There is no “correct” way to come up with a pledge amount for you and your family. However, there are some questions to ask yourself as you consider the amount that feels right:
- What is my current pledge as a percentage of my income? Does this reflect God’s generosity in my life? Does this reflect the importance of St. Chrys in my life?
- What did I pledge in 2015? How might I consider “striving to tithe” by increasing this amount by one percent of my annual income?
- Do I feel good about this pledge commitment?
Proportional Giving Percentages