“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We joyfully respond to God's gift of grace to us in Jesus Christ, and to God's work in our midst at St. Alban's, by faithfully giving towards the work of this parish. Annual Stewardship is a joyful and generous response to God's gracious gift to us.
You may return your pledge card by filling out an online pledge card, mailing it to the church office, or placing it in the offering plate in our worship services.
Please see the Stewardship Frequently Asked Questions below. If you have additional questions about giving or need to request a pledge card, please contact Nancy Bennett, Business Manager. Thank you for your generosity to St. Alban's Episcopal Church.
Stewardship: Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Stewardship?
A. Stewardship means taking care of something that belongs to someone else. In an example from popular culture, in The Lord of the Rings, when the King of Gondor is in exile, a Steward rules in his place. In the Bible, we are called stewards of God’s creation. That means everything in creation belongs to God, not us. That includes our planet, our bodies, our fellow human beings, and our financial resources. And we are called to take care of those things for God and to wisely use those gifts for godly purposes.
Q. What is Annual Stewardship?
A. In the Episcopal Church, stewardship commonly refers to stewardship of money. Typically, churches will conduct a stewardship campaign every fall where we invite members to make a financial pledge for the church’s annual budget in the coming year. In other words, we ask members to prayerfully commit to a certain level of stewardship of money to fund the church’s mission and ministry for one year. Hence, annual stewardship.
Q. Are you asking me to give money in 2021 for 2022?
A. We are not asking you to give anything for 2022 now. The church is simply asking you to make a pledge for 2022. In other words, let the church know what you plan to give during the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2022.
Q. What is a pledge?
A. An annual pledge is a commitment in faith to give to the church’s annual operating budget in the coming year (in this case for 2022).
Q. Why is the annual stewardship campaign happening now?
A. Traditionally, St. Alban’s, along with most Episcopal churches, conducts a Stewardship campaign in the fall for the following year. This takes the guesswork out of planning next year’s budget and gives the vestry (our 12-person board of elected laypersons) plenty of time to plan ahead. It also helps the rector and staff know what the budget will allow for next year.
Q. What does the vestry hope the 2022 budget will accomplish?
A. Our 2022 budget will continue to provide for the excellent ministries that St. Alban's has had over the years, while also including a 10% increase to help support increased programming for 2022, and staff cost of living increases (which we were unable to do last year).
The 2022 budget includes:
• Cost of living increases for clergy and lay staff salaries
• Support for outreach and our local mission partners
• Resources for continued online ministries
• Ministry supplies and support for an increase of church events when we are back in the church
• Ongoing expenses for utilities, maintenance, insurance, and upkeep
Q. Is the church asking members to increase their annual pledge?
A. We are asking for 10% more for our overall budget, and therefore we are asking individual members to prayerfully consider if they can increase their pledge by 10%. So, for example, if you pledged $3,000 last year, we are asking for you to pledge 3,300. If you pledge monthly, that is only $25 more a month. We also understand that we live in uncertain times, and are grateful for whatever you can pledge to St. Alban's.
Q. When I make a pledge, what will the money be used for?
A. Pledges in our annual stewardship campaign go towards the operating budget of the church. This includes all of the expenses that support day-to-day ministry at St. Alban’s. It covers things like Communion bread, livestreaming costs, local outreach, utilities, diocesan ministries, maintenance, and staff salaries The annual stewardship campaign is completely separate from capital campaigns, which raise dedicated funds for improvements and additions to our physical spaces.
Q. How much should I give?
A. St. Alban’s encourages our members to use the biblical standard of the tithe (Numbers 18:21). Of course, this is a decision for each household to reach prayerfully. We are grateful for all gifts.
Q. What is a tithe?
A. Tithe means “tenth,” or 10%, of annual income. If you feel you can’t give at that level, we still encourage you to think about your giving in terms of percentage of income. If you’re retired or on a fixed income, a tithe might mean something different at this stage of life. The important thing is that God calls us to joyfully give towards the work of the church from what God has given us.
Q. Why are we talking about money?
A. All healthy families, including church families, communicate openly and honestly about money. For Christians, money is not secret or taboo. It belongs to God. Jesus talked about it a lot. Our Stewardship Campaign is only four weeks long in the fall. We feel four weeks a year is reasonable.
THE DETAILS OF GIVING
Q. How can I submit my pledge?
A. We encourage all members to fill out and submit their pledge card online, if possible, at stalbanswaco.org/stewardship. Physical pledge cards were also mailed to all members and will be available at our church office and any in-person worship services. Completed physical pledge cards may be returned via U.S. mail, in the offering plate, or in the mailbox adjacent to the entrance of the church office building.
Q. Can I pay my 2022 pledge now?
A. Yes. Each year, some members choose to pre-pay next year’s pledge in the current year. They often do this for tax planning purposes. When you pre-pay, the church deposits the monies now, but will keep these gifts in a separate account and will not use them until 2022. To pre-pay, please contact our Business Manager, Nancy Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 752-1773 ext. 1001.
Q. Once 2022 rolls around, how do I send in monies towards my pledge?
A. There are several ways:
(1) Give securely online. Go to www.stalbanswaco.org and click the blue “Give” circle in the lower right corner. You can give via credit card or bank transfer; you can also set up automatic recurring giving.
(2) Set up a recurring gift using your bank’s online bill pay service.
(3) Mail or drop off a check to the church office. Be sure to write “Annual Pledge” on the memo line.
(4) Place a check or cash in the offering plate at any of our in-person services. If you use a check, please write “Annual Pledge” on the memo line. If you use cash, put it in an envelope that has your name and “Annual Pledge” written on it.
(5) Transfer stock or other securities. Contact our Business Manager, Nancy Bennett, with any questions about how to give: email@example.com or (254) 752-1773 ext. 1001.
Q. How often should I make a contribution towards my pledge?
A. That’s up to you. Members give weekly, monthly, quarterly, or in a one-time contribution. Use your pledge card to let us know when to expect your contributions. If your giving schedule changes, please let us know.
CAPITAL CAMPAIGN & ANNUAL STEWARDSHIP
Q. What’s the difference between the Gifts from the Heart annual stewardship campaign and the Renew & Restore capital campaign for the church?
A. The Gifts from the Heart annual stewardship campaign asks members to make a one-year pledge for the day-to-day ministry expenses of the church. The Renew & Restore capital campaign will support the installation of our new organ and renovation of the sanctuary. In a capital campaign, pledges cover specific building improvements and are usually spread out over three to five years. A capital campaign is conducted only when necessary in response to significant need. Gifts to capital campaigns often involve gifts of annuities, real estate, IRA distributions, or securities, as well as regular income.
Q. I’ve got other questions. Whom can I contact?
A. You can reach out to your Stewardship Committee members; the vestry; our business manager, Nancy Bennett; or the clergy. You can always feel free to call the church or send us an email. We’re glad to talk stewardship!
2022 Stewardship Committee- Dean Riley (Chair)
- Anna Beaudry
- Chris Pieper
- Stephanie Drum
- Nancy Bennett: firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 752-1773 ext. 1001.