Thanksgiving has come and passed. And with Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. I write this article to you on Giving Tuesday.
What is giving Tuesday? It’s a time where people are starting to recognize that so much of the last week has been about finding the best deals, saving as much money as possible by spending as much as possible, but to what end? Giving Tuesday is chance for people to consider other ways to use their money than to simply get the best deals for Christmas presents… or a new flat screen.
You may have noticed that we have not sent out fall stewardship letters this year. This is because the Stewardship Ministry Team is trying something a little different this time around. While we have still been emphasizing the Psalm 98 campaign, we felt that we did not want to inundate people with discussions about stewardship throughout the whole fall.
In addition, the Stewardship Ministry Team has discovered through recent years of study that the pledge campaigns are more a tool for the individual believer rather than the church. Annual pledge amounts do not factor into the budgeting process and many people give to the church without submitting a pledge card.
That being said, the Stewardship Ministry Team encourages all of our members to prayerfully consider how they can contribute financially to the life and ministry of our church 2017. It is through your regular, generous contributions that we are able to make plans for our programs and missions in the coming year.
Please keep in mind we have the option for electronic giving to help you make your donations easy and systematic throughout the year. Your contributions can continue to be made even if you are not able to be in attendance for church services. We have added a new “2017 Offering Pledge” category to the electronic giving site, which can be utilized now to make your 2017 giving commitment.
If you find that a regular pledge card is a helpful exercise for you as your consider your commitment, we will also have those available for your use. They will be made available during the next few weeks on Sunday mornings and you are invited to submit a pledge card in the offering plate.
As you consider what God is calling you to give this coming year, I would like to offer a few statistics. In 2015, over 57% of all congregational giving was from members in their 60’s and older. Seven families with members below 50 years old give more than $5,000 per year. The largest giving range is of people who gave between $100 and $999. There were 99 families who gave within that range. I share these numbers as a way to help you consider where you fall within the range of giving in our church and how God might be challenging you in this coming year.
We are thankful for your commitment to the ministry of First Presbyterian Church.
Austin D. Hill