Community Church of Sebastopol

United Church of Christ

Come and Find the Quiet Center

1000 Gravenstein Hwy North           707.823.2484

Your Pledge

Journey to Generosity

On October 8, we will kick off the Annual Appeal to gather pledges from members and friends of The Community Church of Sebastopol in support of the 2018 Ministry and Mission of our local congregation.

Our theme this year – “Journey to Generosity – The Way of Jesus” will help us focus on what it means to be a community “on the way” toward grateful living and generous giving. This appeal is not only about funding the church’s ministry and mission in 2018, it is also about becoming the generous people God is calling us to be, inside and outside of the church.

Jesus talked about money a lot, as much as any other topic save the kingdom of God itself. It seems that Jesus wanted to heal peoples’ relationship with money because he knew that an unhealthy relationship with money would get in the way of a healthy relationship with God and neighbor. Jesus helped his followers heal by leading them out of a mindset of scarcity and into a mindset of abundance. His message was: “God provides for your needs, now let the gifts of God flow through you.”

We are all in this together. That’s what it means to be a congregation. In support of our 2018 ministry and mission budgets, we want to increase the number of households making a pledge as well as the overall pledged amount so that our congregation can provide fair staff compensation, develop additional high-quality programs, and increase our facility maintenance and improvement.

The local church ministry and mission outreach of Community Church saves lives:

    • Over forty 12-step groups meet every week
    • People with no home take showers every Tuesday – Friday
    • Middle Schoolers engage in interfaith dialogue
    • High Schoolers in Confirmation explore their faith with trusted adults
    • Women in Bible Study knit hats for newborn babies
    • Men go on retreat to consider spirituality for the two halves of life
    • People sing together like almost no other place in our culture
    • A hopeful word is preached that defies the dysfunctional politics of fear
    • Groups of youth and adults are sent to plant trees, serve food, and build homes

    Join us October 8 – November 19 on the “Journey to Generosity” as we attempt – stumbling, no doubt – to follow in the Way of Jesus.

    Your 2018 Plegge Card will be available soon!

    How Much Should I Pledge?

    Pledges are confidential and are up to the individual. There is no set expectation, but we are challenged to give generously within our individual means.

    How much should I pledge? is an important personal decision to make prayerfully in conversation with others in your household and with God. Your pledge should be realistic based on your financial situation, but it should also be exciting to allow resources to flow to the church you love. Here are several ways people think about how much to pledge:

      • Proportional Giving The Bible talks about giving first fruits of the harvest (as opposed to giving what’s left over), and making a pledge that is proportional to one’s income. For example, 5% of $60,000 is $3000 or $250/month. Some people choose to tithe, pledging 10% of one’s income. Others practice a “modern tithe,” striving to give 5% to the church and 5% to other organizations that one values.
      • Comparative Giving - Look at the other things you spend your money on. Does your gift to the church match the value you place on this community vis-à-vis other priorities in your life? Your daily espresso drink might cost $5 or $1825/year. A week-long vacation might cost $5000. How does your gift to the church compare with other ways you use your money?
      • Share-Based Giving - The annual ministry budget of the church is currently around $400,000. With 323 people on our membership rolls, that’s about $1200/member annually.
      • Grace-Filled Giving – Whatever you decide to pledge will be just right and just enough. Gifts large and small given with a grateful and generous heart are equally wonderful.

      How Will My Pledge Be Used?

      Income from operating pledges are used to fund:

      • Programs - worship services, education, community outreach, youth and other programs.
      • Staff - salaries and benefits for our ministers, and other staff members.
      • Operational Expenses - utilities, facility maintenance, office supplies, and other overhead.
      • Reserves - money set aside for future major expenses
      pledge

      Additionally, you may pledge to our congregation’s wider mission, for the work of the wider UCC, the local Inter-Church Food Pantry and other outreach ministries

      Once you submit your annual pledge card, you have several choices on how to fulfill you commitment. The traditional method of giving during the offertory at church services is always appreciated. Envelopes are in the pews for those who prefer this method. However, some may also consider automated bank payments.

      Automated Bank Pay allows you to setup scheduled and automated contributions to be sent from your checking or savings account directly to the church. Please check with your bank for details – most authorized payment programs only need the Church Name, Address and a Phone Number

        • The Community Church
        • P.O. Box 579
        • Sebastopol, CA 95473
        • 707-823-2484

        While away on vacation, you have peace of mind knowing that your pledge has been received and is contributing to the work of the church, especially during those otherwise low cash flow months of the year.

        Other reasons to sign up for Automated Bank Pay

        • You have moved away, but still want to support the Community Church of Sebastopol
        • Peace-of-mind knowing that the church is receiving your contribution even if you are unable to attend
        • All contributions are recorded for you on your bank statement with date of settlement!

        Estate Planning

        Finally, please consider making The Community Church one of your beneficiaries of your estate. By naming The Community Church in your will or trust, you can create a lasting legacy for future generations. Contact your Financial Planner or Estate Attorney for details.