Dear Friends in Christ,
All Saints' Church has been abundantly blessed throughout our history with members and friends who give generously to support God’s ministry in this place. As we prepare for 2017, All Saints' is as healthy and strong as we have been in many years, with four straight years of small budget surpluses, staff and volunteers that are second to none in their dedication, and a remarkable range of meaningful ministries.
For our ministries to succeed, they require our time and talent. Our ministries also need your financial support. During this fall stewardship campaign, your Annual Pledge will join others to provide the vast majority of our ministry budget for the coming year. With our modest program fundraising, and even more modest endowment, All Saints' relies on each and every pledge - no matter how large or small - to sustain these valuable ministries. While we always appreciate plate donations, we can do so much more with pledged gifts, for the simple reason that they enable us to plan ahead.
Pledging a proportion of income in thanksgiving for God’s blesings is a traditional and meaningful demonstration of our gratitude. We have included a guide for spiritual reflection and a giving chart on the back of the pledge card. After prayer and conversation with loved ones, please return your pledge no later than Sunday, November 13th, 2017, our Commitment Sunday.
May God bless you and All Saints', and unite us in God’s service in 2017.
All Saints’: Where the Heart Is
A big part of our pledge campaign this year is encouraging more participation. Over the last four years, our pledged dollars have gone up every year (good news!), while the number of people pledging has gone down (not so good news!). In other words, fewer people are giving more to support our church. It is not that fewer people are attending church, but that, for whatever reason, fewer people are pledging.
Is this a cultural or generational shift in charitable giving? Are people continuing to feel strained in their family finances? Is there an assumption that, because All Saints’ church has had four years in a row of small budget surpluses, we don’t need everyone’s pledge? It may be all these factors, and others. But whatever the reason, our hope is to increase the number of people making pledges to around 400 (roughly the number attending worship on weekends). We hope all our members and friends will join together to support our ministries that mean so much.
If you are a long-time member and pledger, please consider how God has blessed your life and the lives of others through All Saints’. In prayer and conversation with your loved ones, set a percentage of income that reflects your gratitude. Since I began here seven years ago, Megan and I have tithed, giving at least 10% of my salary back to All Saints’ every year. I share this not to brag, but because I think it’s important that I not ask anyone to consider doing something I am not doing myself. Perhaps 10% isn’t possible. Perhaps 3 or 5% are more realistic. But I urge you to consider a percentage, both because it is the traditional giving practice of the Church for centuries, and because this “first fruits” giving encourages deeper intentionality and spiritual reflection.
If you have never made a pledge to All Saints’, either because you are new to our church, or because you’ve always given in the plate, please consider making a pledge this year. A pledge is simply an estimate of giving for the coming year, and can always be changed. It helps us budget responsibly, and often blesses the giver in surprising ways. Make a pledge, in any amount, and see what affect this act of gratitude has on your faith and life. Help us get to 400 pledges!
This is an amazing time at All Saints’ church. Our traditional areas of strength, like our worship, music, and education for all ages are as strong as ever. Our year with the Saint John’s illuminated Bible has inspired us and touched the wider community through guest speakers, events, and displays. We have a beautiful new website as our virtual “front door,” and a new emphasis on serving others through outreach (now called “Faith in Action”). And our partnership with RenewalWorks is giving us data about the spiritual lives of our members, with strategies for turning our congregation’s feedback into new programs to deepen our faith and our connection to God and each other.
Jesus said that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). I know that for many of us, our heart is at All Saints’, our spiritual home. May God give us grace to support with our time, talent, and treasure this place that we love, and through which God loves us.