What is Stewardship?
A steward is one who is called on to manage something that belongs to someone else. That means two things: First, what we have isn’t really ours, and second, ours is a position of trust and responsibility for that for which we are called to care. As Christians, we are to be stewards — servants of God — caring for everything in God’s creation, including each other. We are responsible for the physical resources necessary for existence, and we are expected to be diligent and trustworthy in the very earthy tasks assigned in the world, for the very fate of the community depends on our custodianship.
Why pledge? Can’t I just put money in the offering plate?
The pledge is the identification or good-faith estimate of what we intend to return to God for a year’s worth of mission. At the deepest level of meaning, a pledge card is a signed document saying, “I am committed to the ministry of this congregation.” Pledges are also known as commitments or covenants. Signing a pledge is a concrete way for us to saying that we are members of St. Luke’s. Pledges are also an act of kindness to the leaders of the cathedral who are tasked to create a meaningful budget by which to manage the affairs of the Cathedral for the coming year. It is very difficult to do this without a good idea of what commitments will be made by our members. So, it is both a spiritual and practical exercise. According to church canons, members are expected to be faithful in worship, working, praying, and giving for the Kingdom of God. Very simply, this means that members are expected to come to church and participate in the church’s life. Pledging is a concrete part of doing this
What is Proportional Giving?
This is a way of giving that begins with the question, “How has God blessed me?” rather than “What does the church need?” Then the decision is made to return a proportion or percentage to God in gratitude.
What is a Tithe?
The tenth. It is referred to 67 times in the Bible. It is a proportion or percentage. When one is tithing, one is giving a tenth of their resources.
A tenth of what? Net income? Gross income? A tenth of assets? And, a full tenth to the church, or a tenth to all charities, including the church?
These are tough questions. We might best consider committing these questions to prayer and act as we feel God wants us to act. Making a commitment is more important than detailed answers.
Is my pledge confidential?
Yes. For organizational purposes, and for the mechanics of day to day financial management, there are a handful of people who do see pledge data. But this pledging and payment information is treated with the utmost privacy and is considered strictly confidential.
Can I change my pledge if unexpected circumstances arise?
Of course. Remember, we want to be cheerful givers, whatever amount we give. Just let us know if circumstances unexpectedly change.
Why do we reflect on bible verses when we talk about Stewardship?
The Bible has much to say about money, and by carefully considering biblical passages about money, we can learn and become more comfortable in how we feel and talk about God and want to be learning and growing in our faith.