Living the Vision
FAQ’s (And the words of our Stewardship Consultant, Rev. Michael Piazza)
- Why are we changing the way we fund mission giving outside the church? We hope to understand our vision as St. Peter’s church as a year-round commitment, and not simply “giving to a budget.” We are giving to change tomorrows for many of our sisters and brothers in need.
Change the focus from the annual stewardship pledge campaign to a year-round plan to create a culture of generosity in the church. (p. 9 of the May, 2016 Consultant Report.)
People are more like spenders than givers these days. They want to see their gifts in
action, to have skin in the game with their gifts, and to change lives (even their own).
- Why has mission giving been separated from the annual budget and pledging? The annual operating budget is for ministries, building, staff, and administrative costs. Giving to the church regularly is part of being a member. Mission giving is different, and challenges us to do more.
The Ultimate Goal is to make St. Peter’s the “charity of choice” for your congregation, and to help your members to all be involved in ministry. (Ibid)
- Why are we doing this now? We are beginning this Changing Tomorrows mission offering during Lent to tie it directly to our faith lives, and to separate it from the fall pledging and budgeting efforts.
Creating a Culture of Generosity in most progressive churches means helping people to see that generosity is one of the spiritual practices of their faith. …This is best done in small groups… Lent is the recommended time of year for this. (Ibid)
The Epistle of James says, “You have not because you ask not.” Sisters and brothers,
“ask” is not a four-letter word. Millard Fuller, the founder and leader of Habitat for
Humanity, likes to say, “I have tried raising money by asking for it and by not asking for
it, and I always got more by asking for it.” (The Vital Vintage Church, p. 112)
- Will this be happening every year? Yes. Each Lent we will generate a Changing Tomorrows offering, with a different subtitle. This year’s theme is “Living the Vision.” We also hope to increase the amount we give to others every year.
We must move from “survive” to “thrive.” (Ibid, chapter 8)
- Why do we pledge in the late fall? So we may plan an operating budget and goals for ministry, which will cover church programs, building needs, staff and administrative costs. The budget is “goals for ministry” (staff, programs, building). Mission giving is about creating generosity and trust.
- Who decides where the mission dollars will go? Our Core Missions Team. They will continue to support services with those whom we have historical relationships, as well as vet recipients that are new to us.
When we have struggled to make ends meet, we managed to look up and see that much of the world around us didn’t even have ends. (Ibid, p. 102)
- Why are we using an Endowment Fund grant of $10,000 as a matching gift?
-There are left over funds from the 2016 endowment allocation to Council
-This is a one-time incentive
-The matching fund is a non-annual NEW initiative
-Jesus told us to. We are compelled to feed, clothe, shelter, and care for
those who are in need. As Christ said in Matthew 25: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…
Just as you did it to one of the least of these in my family, you did it to me.”