What is Stewardship?
Christian stewardship is the responsible use of God’s gifts in a purposeful way that reflects our faith and commitment to God. By saying we are all Christian stewards, we declare our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, and actively take our part as disciples of God’s love by caring for all that we have in our lives with a faithful and holy intention. This includes our responsibilities for our families, our work and play, our possessions and our income.
As Christians we are each called to support the work of the church through our “time, talent, and treasure.” In the book of Genesis, God entrusts us to use and care for His entire creation. The Gospels and the Epistles remind us of these responsibilities repeatedly. We are called to be stewards of God’s grace and hope in all aspects of our lives by addressing the needs of the poor, the needy, the lonely, the grieving, and the vulnerable (justice), and by giving generously of our resources, time and money to support the work of the spread of the Gospel of Christ to all people. The call to stewardship is a call to be faithful in all things in our lives. As Christian stewards we join with others in an expression of faith that demonstrates our gratitude for God’s grace and all the blessings of our lives as a witness to the world.
What is a pledge?
A pledge is your personal and faithful commitment to provide a set amount of financial support to be used for the ministries and mission of United Presbyterian Church. By pledging, you are demonstrating a conscious commitment to give back to God a portion of the gifts in your life. Your pledge is a personal covenant between you and God, but it has a direct and essential impact in the life of the community of the church we share. Your pledge makes a difference.
What is tithing?
Tithing means to give 10% of our income back to God. It is a biblical standard found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The first mention of tithing in the Bible is in Genesis 14, when Abraham, already aware of the tradition, prepares to make his tithe. While United Presbyterian Church encourages tithing, we recognize it may be a goal to strive to. Ultimately, the amount you choose to pledge is a personal, prayerful decision.
How much should I pledge/How much should I give?
This is a question that each of us must answer individually. Regardless of our individual income, each of us is called to share a portion of our blessings to help provide for God’s work in the world. A conscious discernment is needed by each of us to determine our appropriate level of giving. Your pledge and your giving should reflect the importance of your relationship with God and the church. A good place to start is trying to give a certain percentage of your income and try to increase that percentage each year until you reach a tithe.
When does a pledge commitment begin and end?
A pledge covers a calendar year starting January 1st.
Why should I pledge?
Pledging allows you to make intentional decisions about your financial giving. When you plan ahead for your giving, you make conscious choices about spending your money in ways that reflect your faith and values. Receiving your pledge allows our Session, the church’s governing board, to do for our church family what you do for your household: plan wisely for the use of our resources in support of the mission and ministry to which God has called us. The Session sets a budget based on the total amount pledged to the church. While plate offerings are important to the church, your pledge lets the Session plan more accurately for the ministry we can accomplish.
By making a pledge to UPC we are affirming our financial stewardship in support of the continuation of our ministries and the realization of our mission “to share the love and grace of God through worship, education, mission, and fellowship.” Your pledge, along with all the other pledges received, helps UPC to make the most informed and effective use of the resources we have to plan the annual budget in support of our principle mission and ministries.
Can I change my pledge?
You can change your pledge at any time. If you wish to change the amount of your pledge, contact the church office at 309-693-2002 and ask for Sabrina, our Financial Secretary.
I’m not sure what I can afford next year. How can I pledge?
We understand that sometimes it is difficult to know what your income and expenses will be in the year ahead. You could make your pledge based on a conservative estimate of your income for the next year. Making the commitment is an important way to make the support of the church a priority in our lives. If you find your situation changes during the year, you can change your pledge and giving as needed.
How and when should I pay my pledge?
Pledges can be paid on a schedule that fits your needs - weekly, monthly, quarterly or even in a one-time lump sum. Statements are issued quarterly so that you can track your pledge payments and balance. Offering envelopes are available for use when making a pledge payment by cash or check. Offering envelopes can be placed in the offering plate at any worship service, or mailed to the church office.
Alternatively, you can sign up for the E-Pledge program, in which the church works with your bank to make automatic payments from your bank account to UPC on whatever schedule you desire (bi-monthly, monthly, quarterly). This saves you the time and cost of writing and mailing checks, and assures your payments will be received by UPC on a regular basis. Information is available about E-Pledging at the church welcome center or information can be sent to you. If you have any questions, please call Sabrina at the church office at 693-2002.
What is a MAP Pledge?
MAP is the Mortgage Abatement Plan of the church. When UPC built the new sanctuary and addition, we took out a mortgage for $1,992,000. We currently make payments of $12,555 per month. We need continued pledges to MAP so we can continue to make our mortgage payments and pay down the principal in order to shorten the length of the loan and save thousands of dollars in interest.
Pledge cards include a place to pledge to the MAP program as well as the Operating Budget.