Stewardship: What Fewer Pledges Mean
Last week I told you those who have pledged are sharing even more generously. But we have many people who have yet to make a financial commitment. If you are the one who got your pledge in last week THANK YOU. If you are one of the 49 people or households we have not heard from, please pledge today. Your pledge shows us you are committed to our covenant and mission. Having 49 pledges missing from the budget is going to be felt.
We are working hard to bring everyone people back, but this is more than a gap. Thank you to all the folks calling to see how people are we have not heard from at all in two years. Thank you to the Board members who are calling those who have not pledged. You are all helping build the congregation back.
These numbers will mean a change in the congregation. Member size and contributions directly impact the pay we give our staff, the projects we can take on, and if we need to cut out services or change structures.
The Board, Staff, Stewardship and myself are all working on ways to address our missing connections, after two years of the pandemic. More than anything we need you to reach out to people we have not seen or heard from. We need you to invite your family and friends back to the congregation and to support it.
While we work to re-engage people, we have to look at the budget with a serious eye. Having cottage meetings while coping with the Omicron shutdown slowed us down. But we were pleased to be able to launch a best of the best – a new way to do stewardship this year. It took advantage of in-home meetings like we used to do, which are a best practice for church stewardship. Cottage meetings were a way we could have personal connections in a safe way this year. Many of you also said you appreciated the financial transparency and having your questions answered. You were able to understand where money goes that you share and how it is used to care for the whole community. But if you are among those who missed the chance but still would like to see a slide version of the presentation from the cottage meetings, ASK us and we will send it to you.
By and large, people who attended cottage meetings gave more generously. In fact, the majority of people who pledged, raised their gifts this year. We received more than 70 pledges at a HIGHER amount. WOW! Thank you so much. You are so very generous. We also note that about 20 of you had to reduce your pledge, with some because of retirement or income reduction. You may have reduced your pledge because you were not engaged in online offerings. Some let us know that not only did they never attend an online service, they also stopped reading the e-news.
While we have done everything we can to reduce expenses while continuing the work of the church more than ever to keep us together, the bills did not go away even though we could not be in person. We also stepped up to meet increased needs to care for this community. At the cottage meetings, many of you reported with delight knowing more about the needs of this congregation and appreciating the deeper connection with one another.
2022 will be a year of rebuilding and reengaging. A lot is happening that is wonderful. I hope you are a part of it all. And please know that if you need a waiver, just contact me or Vicki. If you gave already, thank you so much for supporting the caring at this congregation. If you need to turn in your pledge please do so today.