To share our gifts
"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion ..." 2 Corinthians 9:11
St. Mary's Church is a gift from God to all who enter our doors. God has richly blessed us and has shown us time and time again that we can be generous in thanksgiving for His love. By pledging generously to support St. Mary's, we share the gifts God has bestowed upon us to serve all people through worship, outreach, education and fellowship.
What is stewardship?
Stewardship is a spiritual commitment to giving of our time, talent and treasure, and it is based on our belief that we give because we receive. All that we have comes from God and for this we thank God in many ways. Stewardship goes beyond a pledge of financial support – it is a way of life for Christians that is at the center of their relationship with God. The scripture is filled with teachings about the importance of giving and doing so out of a spirit of generosity rather than mere duty.
Episcopal churches use the term “stewardship campaign” to describe the annual effort to collect pledges of financial support from parishioners to support the operating budget for the coming year. Pledging gives us a chance to assess our priorities in a planned and thoughtful way, rather than randomly giving what is “left over” after we have paid for other expenses. In this way, we are intentionally giving from the “first fruits” of our annual harvests and not just from the gleanings.
When people give to the church, they are not just giving to an individual congregation. They are giving to God, because they experience the congregation as a place where God’s work is being done.
Pledging is not a requirement for membership at St. Mary's. There are no membership dues for joining the parish. We do fervently urge you, however, to pledge something -- during the pledge "season" in the fall or at any time of the church year -- regardless of the amount. Each pledge is a treasure.
How do I pledge?
You need to fill out a pledge card, either electronically or in print. Those cards are mailed to members of the congregation in September and are also available at the back of the church all year long. Just fill out a card and return it to the church office or put the card in the collection plate on Sunday.
The easiest way to pledge is to make your pledge online via the St. Mary’s website: www.stmarysardmore.org. Go to the “Giving” tab and choose “Pledge online 2013.” Be sure to complete the security code at the bottom of the form.
When does the pledge campaign take placd?
The stewardship campaign - -or more specifically, the pledge campaign -- typically lasts from six to eight weeks during the fall months. However, parish members can make a pledge at any time during the year.
How do I pay?
You decide on your own schedule of payments whether it be weekly, monthly, annually or on some other timetable.
How much should I give?
We encourage parishioners to consider first what proportion of their income they wish to give to the church each year. Tithing is a scriptural tradition of offering 10% of one’s annual abundance back to the work of God, and as such it represents a standard by which to judge our own giving.