From the Vestry
Every fall, our thoughts turn to the last days of the harvest and sharing its bounty with our family, our friends and our community. This fall, our thoughts turned to thinking of stewardship as sharing our individual abundance with our church home.
Home means different things to different people. For some of vestry it means feeling safe, for others feeling cozy and warm. Home could be the place where we feel all is right with the world. Sometimes “home” isn’t a place—sometimes it’s a presence, of people we love and families of choice. For many of us Christ Church is our second home, a place where we feel we belong and we are known and loved for who we are. We feel God’s love for us radiating from those around us.
Like our familial homes, our church home needs us as much as we need it. That love is sometimes expressed by taking care of the physical and material needs of the building and the work of the parish gathered here.
This fall we invite you to willingly offer what God has given to you to your church home so that together we have the resources to keep our household running smoothly and fulfill our call to joyfully serve God in all we do.
From the Rector
“Who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly?”
I love this part of the stewardship theme this year, as it invites us to think not just about the importance of giving, but also the privilege. It is a blessing to be part of “this people” gathered here.
Who are we that we get to be part of this marvelous faith tradition worshiping in this beautiful space? Who are we that our offerings join in the lineage of bigwigs like the Paines and Lymans and ordinary factory workers like the Winns? Who are we that God’s work in this place includes–needs!–us?
From all of our different experiences and all of our different life circumstances, we have been called here to be the church in this time. We meet at the altar and are fed by the same body and blood of Christ that has long nurtured people and will continue to do so. We’re here for the person who stumbles in on a cold winter morning looking for a break from the storm. We’re here on the summer day that starts too early for restless children. We’re here for the student who needs to remember life outside of their campus exams. We’re here for cans of food and diapers and prayers and pancake suppers. “We” are only here because you are here.
Week 1: Chloe and Erin Jensen talk about belonging at Christ Church.
Week 2: Chris Leonardo and Mike Hughes talk about Christ Church as our second home, and how we maintain it.
Week 3: To come.
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.
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 16 hours a week (organist, sexton and parish administrator) 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.