Beloved Ones !
October is Stewardship Season, our Season of Giving—the time of year when we ask that you prayerfully consider how much to pledge to support the church’s mission and ministries in the coming year. Your pledge will enable us to create a budget for 2017 that supports a living wage for our pastors and staff, provides vibrant and meaningful Sunday worship, uplifts our children’s spiritual formation, sustains our ministries of hospitality and of racial and economic justice, and provides a place of sanctuary, refuge, and community for everyone.
In truth, stewardship is about much more than money, and it’s not limited to a particular time of year. Stewardship is about the generous disposition of our hearts, and about managing the abundance that God has made ours. It is not so much about giving “in return” for what we “get” from church, but about offering praise to God. It’s about recognizing all that we already have, and about helping both ourselves and others to know and enjoy the abundance in which we can all share, right now.
As Laura Ruth and Courtney remind us each week, nothing can separate us from the love of God, from the expansive love at the heart of life. By deepening our awareness of this truth, by recognizing that we have all that we need and more, and by sharing this abundance, whatever the odds we face, we help shepherd in the Kingdom of God. This is the work of stewardship!
We are asking you to pray for guidance on what to pledge in 2017. We are aiming for a 2017 operating budget of $280,000, and you will help us get there. If you have belonged to Hope Central Church for years, know that we are deeply grateful for your support in the past as we ask you to consider increasing your pledge by 10% over last year, or to move to the next level of giving, as shown on the enclosed “2017 Giving Chart.” If you are new to Hope Central, or have not pledged before, we are asking you to look at this chart and consider making a foundation, stewardship, or leadership pledge. We trust that you will give what the Spirit calls you to give!
As you prayerfully consider your pledge, we are asking everyone, newcomers and old-timers alike, to consider why you come to church and what makes giving to Hope Central Church distinctive. Many worthy causes compete for our attention and support, and we may question whether the church accomplishes as much as other programs and projects. But the church is more than a place that meets needs. And it doesn’t only send people into the world to practice justice and compassion, though that is a vital part of our work. The church also incarnates in its gathered body a spirit of gratitude, wonder, solidarity, and generosity that transforms our lives and equips us to be sent. Hope Central Church does not just do mission—it is mission!
Hope Central inspires a way of life that fosters the whole sensibility of giving and compassion, inside and outside the church. When we come to church, we are reminded that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. We are drawn out of our individual preoccupations, worries, and wants, and we participate in something broader and deeper than anything we can experience on our own. Being church together opens our eyes and our hearts to the abundance with which God has gifted us, an experience of being lifted up in something beyond what we can know alone. This is what stewardship is all about!
We ask that you pray on this. When you are ready, please fill in the enclosed stewardship card and bring it to church on Sunday, October 30, and put it in the offering plate during the Parade of Pledges. If you prefer, you can mail it to the office in the return envelope provided.
Our Season of Giving is one way we support each other as we explore our faith and live into our mission. We give so that we can see the divine more clearly, so that we can deepen our spiritual practices, so that we can discern and grow into God’s claim on us. We give out of a sense of who we are and what we believe to be true.
In all of this, we are truly blessed!
In Peace and Love,
Your 2017 Stewardship Team
Candace Chang, Laura Ruth Jarrett, Abra Mims, Hez Norton, Seth Robinson, Nina Swift, and Suzanne Wolk
2017 Giving Chart. Please bring your completed pledge card to church on Sunday, 10/30, for our annual Parade of Pledges (or return it by mail to the office). We ask you to consider the following levels of pledging, and to increase your pledge over last year’s amount by moving to the next level of giving. This is how we will reach our goal of an operating budget of $280,000 in FY 2017:
|Annual Income||Foundation Pledge||Stewardship Pledge||Leadership Pledge|
|1% – 2% of income||3% – 4% of income||5% – 10% of income|
|$25,000 or less||$250 – $500||$750 – $1,000||$1,250 – $2,500|
|$25,00 – $50,000||$500 – $1,000||$1,000 – $2,000||$2,500 – $5,000|
|$50,000 – $75,000||$750 – $1,500||$2,250 – $3,000||$3,750, $7,500|
|$75,00 – $100,000||$1,000 – $2,000||$3,000 – $4,000||$5,000 – $10,000|
|$100,000 – $150,000||$1,500 – $3,000||$4,500 – $6,000||$7,500 – $15,000|
|$150,00 – $200,000||$2,000 – $4,000||$6,000 – $8,000||$10,000 – $20,000|
|$200,000 – $300,000||$3,000 – $6,000||$9,000 – $12,000||$15,000 – $30,000|
|Foundation Support||Stewardship Support||Leadership Support|
|Suggested for an individual or family who values Hope Central Church and attends worship on special occasions.||Suggested for an individual or family who is actively involved in the life of Hope Central Church through worship and ministries.||Is suggested for an individual or family who is committed to the faithful growth of the life and work of Hope Central Church..|