Pledging allows our vestry, St. Martin’s governing board, to plan for our parish community in the same way that you plan for your household. The vestry sets a budget based on the total amount pledged to St. Martin’s. And while regular giving that is not pledged is important, a pledge allows the vestry to plan more accurately for the programming and ministries St. Martin’s can accomplish.
An annual pledge submitted in the Autumn for the next year helps us to set an accurate budget, make our payroll, fund our programming and outreach, and plan for the future. Pledges fund the general operating budget that is set and approved by the vestry each year.
A giver may give weekly, monthly, or annually, through stock transfers, online, with cash, giving envelopes and/or checks. To provide you a record of your giving for tax purposes we will need to receive your gift in the form of a check, or in a numbered giving envelope. If you give through stock transfer please have your broker identify you as the source of the stock so we can give proper credit.
Restricted giving, i.e. gifts designated for specific ministries in the church, are discouraged unless the person has already pledged. As a community, we need to work together to finance our common life and mission first before we focus on individual passions and interests.
An annual pledge to St. Martin’s is required:
A “Free Church” is a congregation without dues or pew rents. Everyone is welcome without regard to his or her ability to support the church financially. In its day, this was a radical innovation. The wealthy could not rent the best pews and leave the poor to the back rows!
Then and now we invite our worshippers and church members to make a free will offering to support the mission and ministry of the church. We call this annual gift a ‘pledge.’ We call the process of making a pledge ‘stewardship.’
We could call our annual campaign by the more conventional word ‘fundraising’ but we choose to use the more spiritual word ‘stewardship’ instead. Fundraising is certainly a necessity. We choose to make it an opportunity for spiritual growth as well.
Jesus spoke about money over 500 times in the Gospels. He knew that money can be a powerful force for good and a powerful force for confusion. Jesus was concerned that people often make wealth into an idol, i.e. a mistaken source of freedom, security, love, and salvation. Jesus teaches that God is our primary attachment and desire in life and that all other attachments find their purpose from our ultimate dependence on God.
Stewardship is an opportunity to order our lives in relationship to God and experience the freedom and grace which come from that relationship. As one member of St. Martin’s said, “I try to give enough away to leave room for God in my life.” Another said, “When I make a financial gift before I pay my bills every month I am reminded that my finances don’t control my life.” (See “A Stewardship Story”)
Our lives are gifts from our abundantly generous God. We respond to God’s gift by generously blessing the world around us. A pledge is a part of this ‘giving back’ to God. A pledge supports the mission and ministry of the church as we spread the Good News that God’s loving kindness is for all people and all living things.
At St. Martin’s we recommend the giving standard called “The Modern Tithe.” A modern tithe takes the biblical standard of giving (10% of income) and divides it between the church and other good works in the world: 5% for the mission and ministry of the church and 5% for other charities. A tithe is a percentage of post-tax income. Percentage giving means that folks of all income levels can give equally meaningful gifts and it gives almost all of us room to grow in our generosity as we aspire each year to this standard.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
Morning Prayer is offered at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
Mid-week Eucharist is offered at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdays, in the Mary Chapel.
Choral Evensong with sermon is held at 5:00 p.m. on the first Sundays of the month from October to June in the Church.
We would love to have you join us.
This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.