Stewardship

Stewardship of our Mission

Maybe you’re familiar with the expression “what goes around, comes around.” We usually hear it in the context of someone who has done some wrong, inflicted some slight, or gotten away with something at someone else’s expense. Human nature often requires that we hope justice will be served. But, what if we applied similar logic to good things and good behavior? What if the good things we do, and have, primed the pump that made all that good stuff possible in the first place – what if everything good that went around came around – wouldn’t that be a nice thing to have happen? Maybe it already does.

How many times have you heard the term “blessing” used to describe St. James’? Chances are you’ve used it yourself. Whether you came through the doors for the first time 40 years ago or just four months ago, and for whatever purpose, you are receiving this letter because something or someone touched you and made you feel – admit it – blessed. Whether you are someone who pledges as a matter of course, or someone who gives but never quite understood the need to make a formal financial commitment, we want you to think about that blessed feeling. Think of all the blessings you have in your life – and all the blessings you have derived from St. James’ – and say “I am grateful, and I want those blessings to multiply!” We want you to prime that pump from which these blessing flow.

We’ll make it easy for you. There are pledge cards in the back of the church and inthe parish office. Take one and fill it out to let us know that you want to share the blessings in your life, knowing full well that those blessings will return to you. By sharing your blessings now, St. James’ can plan it’s year and ensure that the blessings it provides will multiply and flow consistently throughout the year. Know too, that as your situation changes throughout the year, you can adjust your pledge to reflect those changes.

The 19th century French poet Jean de La Fontaine wrote: “What God does, he does well.” What God has done at St. James’ is no less than a miracle. A miracle made possible by you and your generosity of time, spirit, and prayer and resources. As you count your blessings, you can count on St. James’. Can we count on you?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PLEDGING:
Our hope is that all who believe in what God is doing here at St. James’ will take that next step and want to support the ministry here for the year 2012. Our financial goal is to raise enough funds to balance the budget. What a party that is going to be! To get there it means raising $365,000. With average weekend attendance now averaging over 100 people, we know we can do this. Please join us by filling out a pledge card. Your help is needed.

What is a “pledge” and why does my pledge mean so much to St. James’ Church?
A pledge is your best estimate of what you will be able to give financially over a specific time period. This is the way that the church plans its budget. But, it is more, it is a commitment, one that enriches you. As you help the ministry at St. James’ grow, you will grow. Only you can decide what you can give and how you will give.

How do I know what to pledge?
What you pledge is between you and God. It is an incredibly personal decision. It is something you should take into your prayer life and approach thoughtfully. Even more important than the amount you pledge is that you pledge. It is a tangible sign of your commitment. It says, “I am here and I am going to help.” For example, even a $1 a week pledge will pay the electric bill for about three days. The biblical standard of giving is a “tithe,” which is 10% of one’s income. Most of us have a hard time starting out doing that. So, pick a proportion and begin there. If you have been pledging for a while, think about increasing it or pick another percentage.

What happens if I need to adjust my pledge?
Whether you need to move it up or down throughout the year, just let the parish office know in writing (via a note, email or by filling out a new pledge card). No questions asked. People’s circumstances often change. We understand that.

How do I pay my pledge?
You can pay it weekly, monthly, or as a one-time gift. If you pay your pledge by cash in the offering plate, please make sure it is designated towards your pledge. If it helps, we can provide you with envelopes. Simply indicate that you wish to receive them on your pledge card.

Why should I pledge?
To support the many and varied ministries and outreach programs. Outreach at St. James’ consists of the Last Resort Pantry, the Marshallese After-School Program, and the Shawl Ministry. We also have a growing Youth Program. Adult Education lecture series and Wednesday night Bible Study are important facets of life here at St. James’. Music at St. James’ is central to our worship and a joy and comfort to our souls.

Help pay the bills . . . Our life as a faith community is invaluable, and maintaining the St. James’ ministry and buildings will take all of us.

Please join us . . .God is doing great things in and through St. James’ Church. Please join in support of this wonderful ministry, and our life together as a faith community.