“And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more.”
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 2020 for 2021?
A. We are not asking you to give anything for 2021 now. The church is simply asking you to make a pledge for 2021. In other words, let the church know what you plan to give during the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2021.
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 2021).
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 2021 budget will accomplish?
A. Our 2021 budget is designed to continue our new innovative online ministries and ensure a strong return to in-person worship, service, and programming when it’s safe and wise to do so.
The 2021 budget includes:
• Clergy and lay staff salaries at current levels
• Support for outreach and our local mission partners
• Resources for continued online ministries
• Worship and ministry supplies for a return to in-person worship and programming in mid-2021
• Ongoing expenses for utilities, maintenance, insurance, and upkeep
Q. Is the church asking members to increase their annual pledge?
A. The vestry hopes to maintain current staffing and programming levels in 2021. In this time of economic uncertainty, it is possible that some members may decrease their giving. Those members who sense God’s call to increase their pledge will help the parish continue our mission in this unusual time.
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. Our median pledge for 2020 was $2,100.
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. Do we talk about money too much?
A. We have talked about money due to the recently concluded Our One Foundation Capital Campaign (for the Parish Hall and Welcome Center), and the upcoming Renew & Restore Capital Campaign (for the church and organ). We’ve talked about these important campaigns because these exciting projects are our projects. As you entrust your gifts to St. Alban’s, we believe it’s important to let you know how those gifts are being put to use. The annual Stewardship campaign, however, is just four weeks as in past years. 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. 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 2021 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 2021. To pre-pay, please contact our Business Manager, Nancy Bennett: email@example.com or (254) 752-1773 ext. 1001.
Q. Once 2021 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Being Sanctuary annual stewardship campaign and the
upcoming Renew & Restore capital campaign for the church?
A. The Being Sanctuary 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. Should I decrease my annual stewardship pledge for 2021 so that I can give to the
Renew & Restore capital campaign?
A. No. We ask members to maintain their annual giving. The ongoing ministry and programs of the church are simply not possible without your annual giving. A capital campaign pledge, no matter the amount, is a sacrificial “over and above” gift for this special building project to the glory of God and the service of God’s people.
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!
2021 Stewardship Committee- Dean Riley (Chair)
- Kristyn Miller
- Chris Pieper
- Amy Sielaff
- Nancy Bennett: email@example.com or (254) 752-1773 ext. 1001.