Giving to the Church
When we experience God's generosity and witness the generosity of others, we become inspired to give as well. Essentially, giving begets giving. Such giving recognizes that it takes staff, facilities, and ministry or program funds to equip the church to undertake and complete its work.
One important thing you can do, no matter what you are offering, is to make a pledge and return the pledge card. Pledge cards enable the church to know what we can budget and plan for in the upcoming year. Your pledge enables the Church to plan for both our present and our future. In an ever changing world, pledge cards and the commitments they contain always can be changed if circumstances in your life necessitate. You need only inform the Church Office.
Members of our Gratitude + Genersity Team have prepared this letter to the congregation about your 2017 pledge to the Community Church.
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.
- 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
- The Community Church
- P.O. Box 579
- Sebastopol, CA 95473
- 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!
How Will My Pledge Be Used?
Income from operating pledges are used to fund:
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
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
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.