First and foremost, we would like to thank you for your commitment to Central Square Congregational Church, UCC, and the work that we do in Jesus’ name. As our mission statement says, “We are a Christian community of people who are reaching out to our neighbors, at home and abroad, sharing our faith and our resources.”
It is that time of year where we usually run our Stewardship campaign, in preparation for building our next year’s budget. As you know, we depend on your annual giving commitment to determine what level of resources we have to offer as a church community.
In other words, the annual giving pledges we receive (our revenue) are what we use to determine what expenses we can incur, and what programs we can support. Expenses for such things as our Pastor and our small number of crucial part-time support staff; our music program; our Sunday school and youth programs; heat, water, lights, and other utilities; everyday repairs and maintenance; keeping our spaces clean; insurance; office supplies and expenses; and of course, our Christian outreach.
And remember, the amount of our budget that is allocated to the work of our Board of Christian Outreach is solely dependent on the pledge commitments we receive. While any donation, any offering put into the collection plate, and funds raised by such events as the Fair and the Golf Tournament, are gratefully received by the church and put to good use, the money that Christian Outreach has available to work with is a percentage of the pledged amounts for that fiscal year. If you don’t make a pledge, none of your contributions are used for the projects coordinated by the Board of Christian Outreach.
In past years, we have asked you what you are able to give for the coming year. This year, we’re simply asking you if you are able to give a bit more this year if you pledged last year. The 2018-19 budget year commitments will be our starting point, and we’ll build from there. Are you able to give another dollar per week? Perhaps another $5? $10? Perhaps more. Or, perhaps you aren’t able to do any increase at this time. Perhaps you expect a bonus or commission at work at one specific time of year, and that’s where you are able to draw from to give a little more, when it happens. Whatever your situation, we understand.
If you didn’t pledge last year, we ask you to consider doing so this year -- for budget planning purposes, for the sake of our Christian Outreach budget, and to empower you with the knowledge that you have made not only a spiritual commitment to doing good in the world, but are actively helping to make that happen.
Whether you can consider committing to more this year, or are able to make a new pledge commitment, we ask you to please fill out an annual giving form (see below). Remember, our fiscal year runs from July through June, so the budget we are building now would begin July 1. Your new annual giving amount would take effect at that time, unless you decide you are able to start it earlier. If you are keeping your pledge the same as this year’s, you need not fill out a form.
And as always, there is no penalty if circumstances change and you are not able to meet your annual giving pledge. While we ask that your amount be realistic for you, things sometimes change unexpectedly, and so must your commitments. Conversely, sometimes we also find ourselves in a surplus of resources, and we welcome any additional amount you find you can give along the way, even if it is above your pledge amount, and even if it’s just a one-time extra donation.
And please know that your giving amounts are kept confidential. Online forms are sent directly to the Treasurer’s inbox, and sealed envelopes are put directly in the hands of our Financial Secretary.
Please feel free to share this page, the links to the forms, or the paper forms with family, friends, and neighbors, or anyone you know who wants to help support our work. Additional forms can be picked up at the church office.
And remember a few things:
* There is never a penalty for not meeting your pledge. Life is unpredictable. Circumstances change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Should it become unrealistic for you to contribute as you thought you might, we would always want you to do what is best for you and your family.
* Your pledged figure is kept confidential. The Financial Secretary is the only person who processes pledges in our church, with the support of our Treasurers (for electronic submissions).
* Giving additional amounts above your pledge is always an option. It seems odd to say, but you are not constrained to the amount you pledge should you find you have more to give, either on an ongoing basis, or on a one-time occasion. Your additional gifts will further help us meet our budget obligations and to support our ministries.
* You need not be a church member to commit to annual giving. Again, total pledged giving drives our annual budget, and allows us to plan our ministry. Commitments in the form of pledges are welcome from all.
Thank you again for your support of God’s work in our world.