Interim Rector The Rev. Dr. Rick Miles discusses stewardship, tithing and giving in his October 13th sermon.
Christ Church has been entrusted to us: the people who use this space to worship, be formed as God’s people, socialize, raise our families, and do God’s work in the world. As Christ Church celebrates 225 years as a neighborhood church in Capitol Hill, we continue to kneel in the pews, cook in the kitchen, and picnic on the front lawn of our predecessors’ good stewardship. Some of us will just be in DC for a few years . . . some of us for decades . . . Christ Church relies on all of us to care for it.
Making a commitment of our financial resources is also a way for each person to make giving a priority in their life. Making giving a priority helps to shape a generous heart. A generous heart helps one to live more faithfully. That is the major reason the church exists – to help us live more faithfully as God’s people in this world.
Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Giving
Why pledge? Can’t I just put money in the plate on Sunday? From a spiritual perspective, pledging asks us to reflect and intentionally align our financial resources in service to God’s work in the world. On the practical side, pledging helps the church to budget responsibly.
How do I pledge? There are pledge cards available in yellow envelopes at the church, or you can pledge online here.
How much should I give? The amount you give should be prayerfully considered and based on your financial realities. Many first-time pledgers find $50-$100 a month to be a doable place to start, and others find that a financial burden. Please remember that a pledge is really an estimate of giving – if life circumstances change, you can change your pledge at any time.
How do I give? About 25% of congregants set up to do automatic giving through their credit card or bank – just mark that option on your card and we’ll follow up with you in mid-December with instructions. We can also provide you with envelopes or you can simply put a check in the offertory plate during worship. You will be sent quarterly updates during the year about where you are in giving so you don’t need to keep track!
Does the church budgeting process really rely on my pledge? For the past few years, about 30-40 households have given regularly but not pledged, adding up to around $40,000 a year. Not having this money pledged made us needlessly reluctant to make financial investments in staffing to support the church’s growth. Since 2017, we have also invested in staffing (in a second full-time priest) that has shown great benefits to our ministry which has been possible with increased pledges. So yes, filling out a pledge card does really affect our ministry. As we prepare to call a new rector, it is vitally important that the church demonstrate financial stability and offerings from the congregation is critically important in creating a budget for 2020.
How does the church spend its money? That’s a great question. A 2020 budget will be released at the beginning of 2020 based on stewardship season and 2019 end of year numbers. Our finance committee and our Vestry oversee our spending, and we as a church also strive to be good stewards of the resources we’ve been given. To give you some history of Christ Church spending and important information about giving, please see the attached. We give a full report on the past year’s finances at our annual meeting and in our annual report in January/February.