What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Recalling the prophet Micah, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry reminds us that as followers of Jesus, we must ask ourselves and our communities “What would love do?” Answering this question is our life’s work, and we are privileged to stand among the saints who have done what love required of them in their time and place. Now it is our turn to answer the question and focus on the many ways in which we can respond in love to the needs around us.
Over the past few months, when our physical buildings have been closed, the courageous and necessary work of ministry has continued. We’ve seen love in action — collecting and distributing food, offering a witness for justice, standing in solidarity with marginalized communities, and continuing to support the Faridullah family, Despite the restrictions of stay-at-home orders, like many other churches, Grace Church identified opportunities to continue to worship, learn, study, and be in fellowship with one another.
“Doing What Love Requires” also includes the continued financial support of Grace Church. More than ever, we must express our love and gratitude by continuing to pledge to this parish that is our spiritual home. In the midst of the pandemic, your on-going financial commitment has enabled Grace to continue to pay clergy and staff as well as provide the support for ministry. Going forward, it will be essential for that support to continue and grow. Although we face a future marked by uncertainty, challenges, and change, God’s love and faithfulness is constant. We can reflect that love by “Doing What Love Requires.”
Grace has a proud tradition of receiving financial pledges from 95% of our members and we hope that amazing support continues for this year’s Annual Giving Campaign. Materials for this year’s pledge drive was mailed on Wednesday, October 14. If you have not received your materials, including a pledge card, please contact Tracy Holmes, our Parish Administrator at email@example.com
You can submit your pledge by completing and returning the form including in the packet of materials. You can also submit your pledge using the online form on our website – www.graceepiscopalchurch.org. You can also send your pledge information directly to the Fiscal Officer, Gib Baily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for “Doing What Love Requires” during these most unusual and challenging times.
Stewardship begins with an understanding that everything we have comes from God. We are blessed in so many different ways by a God who is active in our own lives as well as scripture, history and all of creation. Grateful for the gifts, large and small, which God has given us, we are invited by God to respond to God’s grace by generously giving back, by sharing the gifts and blessings that have been bestowed upon us, and by caring for the world which God has entrusted to us.
Stewardship is about getting involved – giving your time, sharing your gifts and talents, and supporting the church financially. Your involvement enables Grace Church to do its work and ministry. We strongly believe: the more involved you are, the more we can do for God.
The Stewardship Committee is one of the busiest and most important ministries at Grace. Every year, the committee host Ministry Sunday early in September so parishioners can learn (or relearn) about our many ministries and the ways in which they can get involved. In recent years, the Stewardship Committee has also been working on making Grace more environmentally friendly.
Every October, the Stewardship Committee oversees our Every Member Canvass when we ask parishioners to make a financial pledge to Grace for the upcoming year in support of the church’s work and ministry. Our hope and expectation is that all members of the Grace Church family will support the church by making a pledge. The commitment and support of our parishioners enable us to proclaim the Good News of God, to love our neighbors as ourselves and strive for justice and peace among all people.
What is a Pledge?
A pledge is your promise to provide a certain amount of financial support to Grace Church for 2016. Annual pledges and Sunday offerings are the main source of funding for everything we do at Grace Church.
Why Should I Pledge?
Pledging is about your relationship with God and Grace Church.Pledging to Grace Church is different from financial contributions you might make to your alma mater or charitable organizations. A pledge acknowledges that everything we have comes from God. It allows you to share your many blessings while simultaneously furthering God’s mission of love and compassion in the world. Pledging gives you an opportunity to put your faith in action and deepen your connection with God.
Practically speaking, a pledge lets you plan your charitable giving for the year and makes tax accounting easier. A pledge also makes you feel good, like any gift you give from the heart.
In addition, pledging benefits Grace Church. The church depends upon your financial contributions, in addition to your commitment and participation in other parish activities, to do its work and ministry. Making a pledge enables our Vestry to better plan how to use our resources. The Vestry establishes an annual budget based upon the total amount pledged to the church. While regular non-pledged giving is important, a pledge helps the Vestry plan more accurately and better enables our ministries to thrive and grow.
How Do I Fulfill My Pledge?
Returning your pledge card represents your promise to make a financial contribution to Grace Church for 2020. You may pay your pledge on any schedule that suits your needs: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or in one annual payment. If you wish, you may receive a box of numbered envelopes with which you can make your payments.
Any check with your name printed on it that you place in the offering plate on Sunday or send to the Church office will be credited to your pledge. You may also satisfy your pledge with the transfer of stocks, bonds or other marketable securities. Appreciated securities are often excellent for this use, as you receive an income tax deduction for the full market value of the security and incur no tax on the capital gain. For more information on fulfilling you pledge, please contact our Fiscal Officer, Gib Baily, at email@example.com.
How Much Should I Pledge?
Because pledging is about your relationship with God and Grace Church, your pledge should be made thoughtfully and deliberately.
Historically, Christians have shown their gratitude to God by tithing, that is giving one-tenth (10 percent) of their gross income to the church and other charities. We see this throughout the Bible, and so the Episcopal Church and Grace Church Vestry affirm the tithe, encouraging members to tithe or be working toward the tithe.
Of course, we realize that tithing may seem daunting, and at this time in life, you may not be in a position to tithe. One suggestion, then, would be that you commit a certain percentage of your income to the church, say 5 percent or even 2 percent. By committing to proportional giving like this, you actually return to God a portion of what God has given you
All pledges are accepted with deep gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices each of us makes in our lives. If you have not pledged before, please give serious thought to making a pledge this year. If you are among the many generous-hearted people who have pledged before, please consider the possibility of raising your pledge as a way to further support the good works of Grace Church.
If you have any questions about Stewardship or making a pledge, please feel free to speak with Rev. Richard (301-585-3515) or Linda Baily, the chair of our Stewardship Committee (301-586-8244). They would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.