Saint Patrick's Episcopal Church will carry out the mission of the church by building a welcoming community where all people can find Christ in themselves and others by practicing the Gospel in the world.
ONLY TOGETHER DO WE MOVE FORWARD
Our giving to God is an outward sign of our gratitude for what God has done for us, and several questions often arise regarding the process or attitudes behind pledging. We have been very adamant about keeping the language we use to describe giving as arising out of gratitude and never through a sense of duty, guilt, or as a pre-requisite for involvement.
HOW DO WE GIVE?
Some people choose to just give by putting money or a check in the offering baskets on Sunday morning. Many more choose to use an automated recurring draft or monthly check through their bank, use a credit or debit card online through our website, give money once a year from their mandatory distribution of an IRA, and some even donate stock which is immediately sold through our
broker and deposited. Our goal as a church is to provide easy, safe, and accessible ways to give to God.
WHY MUST I COMPLETE A PLEDGE CARD?
A pledge card gives the ability for your elected leaders to plan what we can accomplish in the coming year and is the main advantage over people just giving when the “spirit moves us.” This honors intentionality as a mainstay of spiritual maturity.
WHERE DOES THE CHURCH GET ITS MONEY?
There is no “Office of They,” as in “they should give St. Patrick’s more money to do what we need to do.” Money does not come from the Bishop’s office or national
Church; in fact, we support the larger Church! The people who come and worship at St. Patrick’s are the ones who give and support God’s work in this place. Without our giving, St. Patrick’s would close.
WHAT IS A TITHE?
Biblically, the word “Tithe” is understood as 10% and is the traditional standard of giving. Many give higher than that percentage, while others are on a disciplined multi-year process of growing into the tithe. Any amount you give is considered a sign of gratitude to God for what you have already received. We do not preach or believe that giving is a quid pro quo with God or a heavenly
lottery whereby you will receive more money by giving a “seed.” That would be magic and not faith.
WHAT IF I HAVE A FINANCIAL CHANGE DURING THE YEAR?
Feel free to let either the Parish Administrator or Fr. Shelby know, and that confidential information will be used to inform anticipated financial reports. If you are in financial need, please talk to Fr. Shelby or Fr. Omar. We have some limited resources available to you from the parish discretionary fund in times of financial distress.
IF I DON’T HAVE FINANCIAL FREEDOM, HOW ELSE CAN I GIVE?
The Church sees stewardship as responding to
God’s love with all of who we are, and while finances are a profound symbol of our being, your time and
abilities are also gifts from God which empower us to serve God’s people in the world. Let the office
know how you want to serve, and we will help you find a way.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THIS WHOLE SUBJECT MATTER MAKES ME FEEL UPSET OR GUILTY?
The Bible is full of stories of how our finances reveal inner struggles and values. So first, give thanks to God for the awareness that feelings of unease might be calling you to seek healing and a new understanding of how God wants us to have freedom, recognition of the abundance in our lives and to learn to be dependent on God alone to meet all of our needs. Clergy are always willing to share our own stories of struggle and insights from decades of learning how to be better stewards of God’s gifts to us.
WE HAVE HEARD OF CLERGY AND CONGREGATIONS WHO USE DONATIONS FOR PERSONAL WANTS…HOW DO WE KNOW
OUR GIFTS TO GOD ARE NOT BEING MISUSED?
(Doesn’t Father Shelby have a big boat?) The Episcopal Church has business practices which mandate safety around our financial fiduciary responsibility. These include audits, two counters, oversight by a treasurer and Finance Committee and healthy separation between clergy and bookkeeping. Who gives what is confidential and available only to a few selected parishioners, but the money you have given to God is under scrutiny and undergoes many checks and balances.
HOW WOULD I GET MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE FINANCIAL PRACTICES AND EXPENDITURES OF OUR PARISH?
You are welcome to see budgets, reports, and year-end statements. We are also always searching for people
with the ability to understand fund accounting or financial practices to serve on the Vestry, Finance Committee or as Treasurer. Let the clergy know if you feel called by God to this ministry!
I WANT TO LEAVE A LEGACY GIFT OF MY ESTATE AFTER MY DEATH. HOW SHOULD I DO SO?
All Christians are invited to make provisions for end-of-life distribution of your estate. St. Patrick’s has several vehicles through which you can make a lasting impact on the ministry of this place. Options include the St. Patrick’s Gratitude Trust (which has a corpus generating funds to be used in the area of youth, education, outreach, and evangelism), Memorial Funds, as well as the areas of capital maintenance, youth scholarship funds, or the EFM scholarship fund. Please talk to Fr. Shelby or Treasurer Brandon Ford for more information.