What’s it all about?
At St. David’s, we know that financial stewardship is an important component of a balanced spiritual life. Returning to God from that which God has given us is a tangible way to express our faith. When each of us gives as we are able, together we fund ministry within our parish, to the Austin community, and to the world.
What is a pledge?
A pledge is an estimate of giving; some call it a statement of intent. Your pledge amount may be changed, increased or decreased during the year, at any time as your financial circumstances change.
Why should I pledge?
Pledging allows you to make intentional decisions about your financial giving. When you plan ahead for your giving, you make conscious choices about spending your money in ways that reflect your faith and values. Receiving your pledge allows our Vestry, the church’s governing board, to do for our parish community what you do for your household: plan wisely for the use our resources in support of the mission and ministry to which God has called us. The Vestry sets a budget based on the total amount pledged to the church. While plate offerings are important to the parish, your pledge lets the Vestry plan more accurately for the ministry we can accomplish.
How do I pledge?
While our annual giving campaign is held in the fall, pledges may be made at any time. Make a Pledge Online
How do I pay my pledge?
You may pay weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly via cash, checks, credit card, or electronic fund transfer (EFT). Pay by credit card or debit via online giving. You may also pay your pledge with a donation of stock. Many companies have matching funds for charitable donations. If your company has such a plan, please let us know.
How much should I pledge?
Determining the amount of your annual pledge is between you and God. However, as you make this important decision, reflecting on your vision of stewardship may be beneficial. Bishop Claude Payne, retired Bishop of Texas, has a helpful perspective on a common maturation of the Christian Vision of Stewardship. Bishop Payne suggests that we consider our personal vision of stewardship in terms of a spectrum:
- I give because I am supposed to give — a sense of duty
- I give to pay my own way — a sense of fairness
- I give to return a portion of my blessings — a sense of gratitude
- I give to keep church ministries free to all — a sense of generosity
There is no secret as to how you move along this progression. However, when you push yourself to another level, you will find your faithfulness expanding as well.
What is proportionate giving?
St. David’s is committed to proportional giving, with the goal of tithing (10%). If you are not pledging 10%, pledge a lower percentage and consider increasing your pledge each year. We ask that you prayerfully consider what level of giving is right for you and your family.
What is a tithe?
A tithe is 10% of your income. At its General Convention since 1982, the Episcopal Church has affirmed the tithe is the minimum standard for giving and encourages its members to tithe or be working toward a tithe. St. David’s Vestry has also passed a resolution in support of tithing. Both resolutions recognize that many persons choose to divide their tithe among the church and other worthy organizations. A tithe may sound like an unattainable goal to begin with, but if you start with a certain proportion of your income and increase the percentage each year, you will be tithing in a short time. You could start with 5%, a half tithe. Another option is 2½%, which is equivalent to pledging the first hour’s pay of a 40-hour work week. The “Giving Percentage” chart below may help.
A Guideline To Proportional Giving
Every pledge, every amount matters.
Where you start or whether you tithe on your annual or gross income is not nearly as important as simply making your first pledge. Every pledge make a difference, regardless of the amount.
How many households make an annual pledge?
Over the past five years, the pledge participation has grown from 42% to 56%. This is wonderful. However, our goal is to increase participation even more. Please make a pledge, even if the amount is not as much as you’d like it to be. Every pledge and everyone is needed.
What if I make a pledge but later find I can’t pay it in full?
Parishioners raise and lower their pledge all the time. A pledge is an estimate to help church budgeting; it is not a legal or moral obligation. Please don’t let your uncertainty prevent you from making a pledge. If you have financial difficulties or other unexpected events, simply notify the Stewardship office.
Isn’t there additional income that supplements the budget?
70% of the budget comes from gifts from parishioners. While the average pledge in 2015 was $3696, half of the pledges were under $1,300. The remaining 30% of the budget comes from the garage, building rental and investment income from bequests. St David’s depends on your faithfulness and generosity. Our ministries are supported by the commitment you make.
If you have questions about financial stewardship or tithing, your clergy are happy to talk with you. Please call for an appointment, 512-610-3500.