Here are some Qs and As we hope will help. Also, feel free to contact us with more questions.
What is a “pledge?”
Basically, it’s a commitment. You’re saying, “This is what I think I can give every month to help make this place that I love continue to bear Christ’s light and live faithfully in service to the community and world.” It’s how we act out our mission in the world.
Annually in the fall we collect the pledges for the next year on cards and bless them, asking God to help us uphold our commitment and to use the gifts we give for the betterment of the world.
Can I give electronically?
Yes! We can do electronic check withdrawals just like you pay your cell phone or utility bill. You tell us how much and give us the bank info one time, and we’ll do the rest of the work for you. No need to feel guilty about forgetting! (You can also do it with your credit card, but it costs a bit more to the church if you do.)
For more info, go here: http://union-church.org/donate/
I like to give when I feel inspired. I don’t want to make a commitment.
We understand. Believe us, we get it. And if you do this intentionally, it’s a great help. But think about it this way, too: giving is a spiritual discipline, and when you pledge, you get to carry and feel connection and empowerment to all that good work. You get to feel good about it being a regular, dependable part of who you are, and a regular, dependable way for the church to function. We get the hesitation, but also know that giving regularly can also be a powerful way to deepen and grow on your journey!
I don’t know how much I’ll make next year, so I’m afraid to pledge. Can I still participate?
YES! You can make your best guess, and then change it whenever you need to. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances mean you can’t do all that you’d hoped. Or, an unexpected blessing makes possible an amount you couldn’t have anticipated. Either way, our financial secretary keeps track of any changes you need to make so you can feel good, and the church can plan. Don’t let fear keep you from the growth you receive by challenging yourself to grow in generosity.
How much does it cost to run a church, anyway?
Next year’s budget for Union Church will be about $420,000. Whoa, right?!
Most of this cost is salaries for the ministers and staff who create the amazing experiences you have at Union Church (worship, bible study, prayer and support, visits to those at home, etc.), and the building that creates a space for the community to gather and worship together. Plus, we give away a minimum of 10% (we try to do lots more), to places around the town, state, and world that are working for justice, relief, and peace.
How does pledging help the church?
Working together, lots of gifts help us offer service by leaps and bounds. Your pledge gets put together with all the other pledges, and we use that number to help us decide what we can do in ministry together this year. In other words, it helps us plan. We can act with more confidence if we know what’s likely to be given. Giving by automatic electronic withdrawal helps even more, because we know it will be regular and dependable.
How much should I pledge?
This is a very personal decision. The traditional answer is 10% of your income. For some, that is way too hard right now. But even if you start with some lower percentage now, you can work up to it as you see how good it feels to give more. Basically, if it feels like you’re stretching a bit and risking God’s help, you’re on the right track.
I can barely survive on the money I’m making. How can I still participate?
We do not believe that God wants you to lack the basics of life in order to give to the church. That is not helpful. A pledge can be a very small amount if it’s what you can do. A pledge can also be a promise of service. People volunteering their time is beyond value! Perhaps you can consider a way to stretch yourself in that way. Either way, if it helps you practice generosity, it’s a spiritual win for all.
When should I pledge?
You can make a pledge anytime, but we have a special service in October to celebrate. Come to church on Consecration Sunday, Oct 300, and offer your pledge with others in the community. If you can’t attend that Sunday, pledge online or mail in your pledge card anytime that is convenient for you. Every pledge makes a difference.
THANK YOU! Together we will faithfully grow, love, and serve by leaps and bounds!