From the Wardens
Each fall, we reflect on how we plan to devote our time, talent, and treasure to the church in the coming calendar year. During stewardship season, we hear from our fellow parishioners about how God is at work in the community of Christ Church and we prayerfully discern how we can commit ourselves to God and to each other. We finish stewardship by writing down that pledge as an offering of hope and thanksgiving to God.
Our pledges help make Christ Church run, from keeping the lights on to keeping fresh flowers on the altar, from paying our staff to teaching our children in Godly Play. Our pledges transform the building at 750 Main St. into a place of spiritual growth, fellowship, and outreach to the broader community. Pledging also transforms each of us. No matter how much time or money we give, through pledging we commit ourselves to a continued communal life in Christ and to using our resources to heal the broken world around us.
A year ago, we had a permanent rector who had been with us for a decade. A year from now, we will likely again have a permanent rector who will be with us for years to come. This year, however, we are in transition, and our future is not always clear. It may be tempting when considering our pledges to say, “I’ll just wait and see” or, “If I like the new rector, maybe I’ll increase my pledge then.” But Jesus calls us to follow him into the unknown. The Gospel of Matthew describes Jesus calling his first disciples in the following way:
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20)
Simon Peter and Andrew didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. They didn’t know whether Jesus would turn out to be quite the spiritual leader they were hoping for when they filled out their survey for the Search Committee. But they heard God calling to them, they had faith, and they left all that had been comfortable to them before and “at once” followed Jesus. Through this act of faith, they transformed from fishermen into disciples. We are called in the same way to trust the Holy Spirit at work in this place and to give of ourselves not only to serve others but as part of our own spiritual growth — our efforts to become the people who God calls us to be and who we long to be.
This interim period is intended as a time of reflection on who we are as a congregation and of preparation for our next rector. To facilitate that preparation, your pledges of time, talent, and treasure are more important than ever. We are proud that Christ Church is able to maintain a full-time rector, three additional staff members, our own building, and rich programming that serves our members and our community. Your generosity gives our congregation vibrancy beyond what is typical for our size.
We have been continuously inspired by the hope, generosity, and faith of the Christ Church community during this transition and we look forward to entering 2018 with all of you.
You can enter your pledge online by clicking here
Committing to Community talks:
10/29 Mary Lou – https://youtu.be/wDajTxXA97A
Frequently Asked Questions about Giving
What is a pledge?A pledge is an annual commitment made in good faith to give a designated amount in regular installments (weekly, monthly, annually). This year, we invite you to make a pledge of your financial resources and your time and talents.
Why pledge?For two reasons. Practically, pledging allows the Vestry to create an accurate budget for the parish’s expenses. Spiritually, pledging is an expression of our faith. We invite you to promise to support the mission and vision of our church by pledging.
How do you give your gift?We have all been blessed with the gifts of time, talent and treasure. As a community of faith, we depend on monetary contributions to cover operating expenses, salaries for staff and the overhead of our ministries. We depend on the time and talent of our members to do the rest. We invite you to hear where God wants you to pledge your time, your talent and your treasure to further God’s work in our church and this world.
Can I give online?Yes! You can set up an automatic withdrawal from your bank’s online bill pay to go to Christ Church. Just ask the office what your pledge number is and you can put it in the memo line of the payment and send it to the parish address weekly or monthly. Pick up an “I gave online” card in the narthex so your gift can share in the weekly gifts that are blessed at the altar in the offertory. You can also enter your pledge with an online form by clicking here
Where does the money from my pledge go?The money pledged pays for the upkeep of the building, as well as outreach, children’s formation, salaries, music, and contributions to the diocese and other ministries. The staff of Christ Church includes three part-time staff members who work between 8 and 20 hours a week (organist, sexton and parish office manager) and a full time rector. Staff members are compensated according to diocesan and professional guidelines for a living and fair wage.
When is the best time to pledge?During the Fall, we focus on stewardship. Pledging during this season enables vestry to accurately plan for next year. We hope to have all pledge cards by December. However, it is never too to late pledge and newcomers are asked to pledge when they join the parish.
How do I decide what to pledge?We encourage Christ Church members to prayerfully consider giving in the spirit of gratitude for the abundant gifts received from God. Considering our pledges as a fraction of our incomes gives us perspective on how our pledge is part of our overall financial picture. Tithing, or pledging ten percent of your income, is our ancient model for giving and described in the story of Jacob who promises “…of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you” (Genesis 28:10-22). Our current median pledge is $20 per week. For a typical resident of Waltham, that amounts to less than 1.5% of annual income. The ten percent tithe may feel very far away but deciding to increase our pledges or pledge a percentage of our incomes encourages us to give meaningfully and joyfully. This ten percent might include donations given to other important endeavors–we give to God in many ways! For many of us our church home is the primary place we give our gifts to God. Sharing our treasure here makes it possible for others to receive the gift of God’s love as they come through our doors.
How do I pledge?You can fill out a pledge card online. Pledge cards are also distributed at church on the third Sunday of November and can be handed in that day or throughout the month. If you would like for one to be mailed to you, please let the office know.
What is my next step?On your pledge card, you will be asked to receive envelopes for your pledge offering. The envelopes help our counters keep track of the amount you give for the year. You will receive a quarterly statement telling you how much you’ve given and how much more you’ve pledged for the rest of the year. This document also attests to your donation for tax purposes.