Fall 2023 Stewardship Campaign
They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. - Jeremiah 17:8
This year’s theme, “Rooted in Abundance,” celebrates our
deep roots as a community of faith. From the small shoot
reaching out from its seed and finding the sunlight, to the
mightiest tree, standing tall and strong, offering sheltering
love to those who need it. You are those trees, each drawing
strength from our community as the Body of Christ and
showering the world with the love and grace you have come to
know as God’s faithful people in Burlington and beyond. We are a mighty forest comprised of ancient trunks and sprightly saplings, each of us contributing our gifts to one another and a world that needs us. As you hear this year’s stewardship reflections, keep these images in mind as we keep our eyes focused on the forest of God’s Kingdom.
Please help us reach our 2024 stewardship goal:
$70,000 from 30 households
in total pledge commitments
Pledges are due by Sunday, December 3. Thank you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Stewardship
What is a pledge?
A pledge is a financial commitment to the church for the upcoming year. The Vestry depends on pledge commitments to accurately prepare an operating budget that supports the church’s ministries and day-to-day operations.
Why is it important to make a pledge commitment?
Those who pledge to the work of God through St. Mark’s typically consider our parish to be their spiritual home. Your pledge, therefore, is an investment that brings greater health and wellbeing to your church home by supporting the necessary day-to-day operations of the church and strengthening its mission and ministry.
Why should I fill out a pledge card? Can I simply give when I am in worship or when I can?
Parishioners are encouraged always to be generous with time, talent, and treasure. A pledge, however, reflects a specific amount of money that the church can depend on when setting its annual budget. Without pledges, the church’s Vestry, our governing board, would have no concrete sense of what the income will be for the following year.
How much should I pledge?
Giving is a spiritual practice that should be prayerfully considered. Scripture encourages us to give in gratitude and as a proportion of our income – i.e., giving a percentage of one’s income as an act of worship. The biblical standard of giving in the Episcopal Church is 10% of our income, or a tithe. This may be a goal that is too lofty for some and many of us thus require a more modest approach. Many parishioners plan their giving as a proportion of their income and gradually increase that proportion from year to year. This is a helpful way to step forward on that path of generosity and gratitude. Our hope is that everyone at St. Mark’s will pledge some amount. If you are already pledging, please consider “moving up one step.” Please see the chart below to determine what’s right for you and your household.
Don’t we get money from the diocese?
No, we don’t—it’s the other way around! Episcopal churches are usually financially independent, raising most of their operating funds from members. Unlike some churches (e.g., Roman Catholic), we are not funded from the top down. Your pledges or gifts go directly to our parish, and we are then charged an annual assessment to help fund the diocese, supporting it and the missions of the Episcopal Church throughout the world. Our diocesan assessment is $4,130 for 2023.
What happens if I fall behind in my pledge commitment? Can my pledge change?
Yes. We recognize that circumstances change. If that happens, please contact the treasurer to make the adjustment to your pledge.
Will I receive a statement of contributions during 2023?
Yes. In addition, you can always contact the treasurer for an up-to-date statement at any time.
How are my financial contributions used by St. Mark’s?
Your contributions are used to support the ministries and operations that enable the church to serve the needs of our community. The 2023 budget will be available in January.
Will my pledge make a difference?
Yes, it will. Pledges represent our first and primary source of income. Every dollar makes a difference.
Proportional giving means that your gift is in proportion to your income. You give a certain percentage of your annual gross income as a gift. The scriptural concept of a “tithe” is to give back to God one-tenth (10%) of what we have received from God. If 10% is too high for you and your household, start thinking about your commitment to proportional giving with a small step, perhaps give two percent each year, or three and then grow towards the tithe level as you feel comfortable doing so. If you can give over 10%, please consider doing so. The important point is that the biblical teaching of proportional giving is a fair way to support your church family. You pledge and give in proportion to what you have or make.
Thank you for your prayerful consideration.
This Year's Financial Snapshot
Pledge Amounts for 2023 Number of Households
Under $1000 3
$1001 to $2000 11
$2001 to $4000 9
$4001 to $5000 2
$5001 Plus 2
Total pledges: 27
Total amount pledged: $64,900
Total budgeted expenses: $140,349
Amount needed from other sources $75,449
to balance the budget:
Notes from 2023
We increased the rental income from all of our buildings
We reestablished a parish administrator position and hired a new staff person
We paid for major expenses to address significant building upkeep and repairs, including what may be upt to $12,000 for the rectory's roof replacement
Worship attendance has decreased, resulting in fewer offering plate contributions
Financial Priorities for the Year Ahead
half-time priest (approximately $58,000 per year)
quarter-time music director (approximately $17,000)
choir soloist (approximately $6,000)
5 hour/week parish administrator ($5,000)
Benefits (approximately $2000)
Capital Projects and Property Upkeep
replace and repair education building roofs (as much as $64,000)
stain and repair church exterior (approximately $10,000)
repair church building handicap ramp and main entrance stairs
continue dedicating 10% of pledges to support our outreach organizations
provide funding for church fellowship events like game nights and potlucks
provide funding for children's ministry programs
ensure that our church remains involved in local interfaith activities
support Green Team initiatives, including a recycling education program