Greetings St. Andrew’s family! As we pass the official end of summer, I am reminded that we are about to enter our Stewardship Season where we a little more focus on pledging. Question: what does pledging mean? Is that the annual commitment to the amount of giving promised for the following year; or does it refer to the regular giving we do throughout the year? The short answer is yes, and to be honest with you it always confused me since the two definitions are somewhat different – a promise versus an act. So for my article, and for future refence, I will refer to pledging as the amount you commit to give throughout the following year, and joyful giving as the actual act of giving on a weekly basis.
In future articles and communications, I will be talking more about next year’s pledging and how it folds into our planned budget and the activities and programs we are hoping to bring to the congregation in 2023; but this month I would like to focus on our current joyful giving standing and what we are hoping to achieve in these last few months of the year. Let’s go ahead and start with the nuts and bolts of where we stand so far this year. Through July, we have collected about 54% of our annual pledge goal which is also about 43% towards our annual budget. Since we are 58% through the calendar year, we are a little behind where we’d like to be but are doing better than we did last year. One reason we are trending low is due to the common effect of light attendance during the summer months when families travel and visit loved ones while the kids are out of school. We’ve all taken some time to visit new places and meet new friends this summer, but now it’s time to rub the summer out of our eyes and get back to focusing on our commitments to our families, work and, yes, church. I urge you to do a little accounting on your pledge as compared to your joyful giving so far this year and try to reconcile the difference sooner than later so we can continue to provide the services and programs we are planning for this fall. In the coming weeks, we will be reaching out to you to highlight the programs we are planning and the staffing updates we’ve made and are still planning to pursue in order to be completely transparent and for you to see exactly where your pledge dollars are going.
I am always filled with warmth when I see how generous and truly joyful the St. Andrew's community really is when it comes to supporting the hungry, the needy and the desperate souls affected by natural disasters or man-made calamities. So, too, does our community support the church knowing how much the church supports us in return, and is the conduit for doing so much good for our fellow men and women around the world. I want to thank you for your generosity and overall support of the St. Andrew's vision and ministries.