Q: What is the purpose of the Annual Stewardship Campaign?
We are stewards of the many gifts we have received through God’s grace and love. Financial giving is an act of faith, and bringing your pledge to church and placing it before God on the High Altar is an act of worship.
The Annual Stewardship Campaign occurs once a year in the fall timeframe. It is a time when all parishioners are asked to make a financial commitment to St. Michaels’s for the coming year, guided by the principles of Grace, Gratitude and Generosity: reflecting with grace, expressing your gratitude and sharing with generosity.
Your pledge commitment is instrumental in the creation of our annual budget supporting all expenses necessary to live out the ministries at St. Michael’s. Each year, we strive for 100% participation from our parishioners. No pledge amount is too great or small.
Q: Why Pledge?
Stewardship is about being grateful, responsible stewards of the gifts we receive from God. The tradition of giving back to God and to the church comes from the Biblical practice of “tithing,” which means to give back a tenth of our earnings to God (Numbers 18:26). The Episcopal Church sees stewardship as more than simply contributing money to the church; it’s also about contributing time and talents, and volunteering for ministry and mission. It’s about reaching out to build relationships from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity.
As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Pledging enforces our connection to God through our support of God’s house. It is our duty to support our church; this is how we live out good stewardship.
On a practical level, there is no membership fee at church. Instead, we are asked to join in the voluntary practice of pledging. Our pledges help St. Michael’s to organize its mission and ministries for the coming year when preparing the budget.
Q: How does a pledge differ from a donation?
A donation is an outright gift, while a pledge is a promise to donate later. Pledges let us know how much money we can count on.
Q: How will I determine the size of my 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. The Bible describes, in several places, a standard of giving one tenth of our produce to God (Genesis 14:17-20, 28:18-22, Deuteronomy chapters 12, 14, 26, Leviticus 27:30-33).
Q: How is our budget determined?
Our budget supports the ministries pivotal to St. Michael’s: Christian Education, Fellowship, Music and Outreach just to name a few. The majority of the budget is comprised of the building blocks that support St. Michaels’s commitment to its mission and its parishioners. Clergy and staff including salaries, benefits and pension as directed by the Diocese, facilities usage and services such as utilities, maintenance, along with outstanding debt payments to cover.
In December, based on the pledges received during the Stewardship Campaign, The Finance Committee begins to create the annual budget incorporating all elements vital to support St. Michael’s mission. The budget is recommended to the Vestry by the Finance Committee for review, revision and approval in January. Details of the annual budget are shared with the parish at the Annual Meeting following approval by the Vestry in January of next year.
Q: How do I make my pledge?
There are many options for communicating your pledge. Pick what is easiest for you:
- Pledge Card: Pledge cards are available at the church entrance, on our bulletin board, in the backs of pews, or can be Downloaded Here. Place it in the offering plate or mail it to the church office (St. Michael’s Episcopal Church 1500 North Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, Texas 78746).
- Pledge Online: This will be communicated directly and confidentially to the church office. Click Here
- Email: You may also email the church administrator with your pledge information. The office email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please submit your pledge anytime between now and the end of November.
Q: When should I pay my pledge?
Returning your pledge card, or notifying the church of your pledge, is a commitment to pay that amount over the course of the year. Once you’ve made your pledge, you can fulfill it in as many payments as you wish during the year.
Q: How do I pay my pledge?
There are many options for paying your pledge. Pick what’s easiest for you:
• Offering Plate: Place a check into the plate on Sunday morning.
• Mail: Mail a check to the church office (St. Michael’s Episcopal Church 1500 North Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, Texas 78746).
• Online: Click Here You may use a credit card.
Q: Is it enough for me to donate money in the collection plate, rather than making a Stewardship Pledge?
Donations through the collection plate are one way to give and are certainly welcome. The amount of these donations, however, varies significantly from week to week, and does not provide the predictability needed to plan for the mission and ministries of the church. Plate offerings only represent about 5% of our annual revenue. Annual Stewardship Pledges provide a solid basis for the church to plan for the coming year. In order for cash contributions to be included on your year-end Statement of Giving, they must be placed in an envelope with your name on it.
Q: Is there a way to endow my support of St. Michaels in perpetuity?
Yes. By including St. Michael’s in your will or other estate plans, you will be helping to sustain our church’s commitment to liturgy, preaching, study, service, and stewardship in our community well into the future. Leaving a one time gift, trust, or endowment could help St. Michaels fulfill its mission in perpetuity.
Q: If I fulfill my pledge in a way other than putting my envelope in the offering plate, what should I do when the offering plates are
passed during the service?
For people who are uncomfortable not physically contributing anything on Sunday mornings. 1) Feel free to put some money in the plate anyway! Loose bills and change do make up a portion of our budget, and they are much appreciated. 2) Leave a prayer request, or thanks giving note into the plate on Sunday.