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Fall 2023 Stewardship Campaign

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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

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

Saint Mark's Expenses for January through September of 2023. Maintenance and repair totals pictured do not include $13,200 for new water heater and roof for rectory due by December.
Saint Mark's Revenue for January through September of 2023. Contributions and Rental income are roughly equal and together fill the bulk of the pie. Fundraisers make up a small sliver and the remainder comes from Other sources.
Saint Mark's Revenue vs Expenses for January through September 2023. Expenses fill nearly 2/3 of the pie chart.

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

Staff Funding

  • 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

Ministry Goals

  • 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

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