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Pledges: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

By the Rev. Chris Harris, Associate Rector

What is a pledge?

Practically speaking, a “pledge” is an estimate of your giving for the coming year, which in turn, fund everything we do as a faith community – from paying the salaries of our clergy and staff, to supporting our outreach ministries, our pastoral care, our worship, our education programs, our music and our facilities.  Pledges allows to dream big and to make bold plans as we made decisions about our priorities and possibilities in the year to come.

Spiritually speaking, your pledge is your response to God’s abundance in our lives. It is both a statement of thanksgiving and an outward and visible sign of our commitment to follow in the way of Jesus, by giving as God gives to us.  A pledge can thus help you to grow in your faith and trust in God.  By giving in a regular, committed way, a pledge can turn your giving into a spiritual practice just like prayer or worship which in turn helps to keep God as a priority in our life.  When we give in a committed way, it helps to keep us focused on God.  Where are money goes, our heart will be found also.

 

Do we need pledges?  Why can’t we rely on the weekly offering plate or our endowment?

Weekly, non-pledge offerings amount to 1% of our annual revenue. The single most important source of funding for our ministries comes from the pledges made during our annual stewardship campaign, which provide 62% of the church’s income. The draw from our endowment provides an additional 20% of budgeted income. The remaining 17% comes from other contributions made throughout the year.

 

How much should I pledge?

At Christ Church Cranbrook, every pledge matters, regardless of the amount.  The average pledge is about $3,200 a year or about $60 a week.  But we are all in a different place.  We ask instead that each of us prayerfully consider an amount that is both responsible and significant based on our individual financial situation.

Our standard of giving should reflect our standard of living. A tithe (10% of your income) has long been held as the standard of Christian giving. If 10% feels out of reach at the moment, start with a lower amount and incrementally increase each year. To calculate your pledge or tithe, the following chart may help:

 

Annual Gross Income 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12%
$10,000 $200 $400 $600 $800 $1,000 $1,200
$20,000 $400 $800 $1,200 $1,600 $2,000 $2,400
$30,000 $600 $1,200 $1,800 $2,400 $3,000 $3,600
$40,000 $800 $1,600 $2,400 $3,200 $4,000 $4,800
$50,000 $1,000 $2,000 $3,000 $4,000 $5,000 $6,000
$75,000 $1,500 $3,000 $4,500 $6,000 $7,500 $9,000
$100,000 $2,000 $4,000 $6,000 $8,000 $10,000 $12,000
$150,000 $3,000 $6,000 $9,000 $12,000 $15,000 $18,000
$200,000 $4,000 $8,000 $12,000 $16,000 $20,000 $24,000

 

 

How should I pledge?

You can make your pledge one of three different ways:

  1. You can submit your pledge with a simple online pledge form, here: chirstchurchcranbrook.org/pledge
  2. You can mail or drop off a written pledge, using an actual paper, pledge card (call the office at (248) 644-5210 to have one mailed to you if needed.)
  3. If you plan to pay your pledge with an automatic debit from your bank account or a credit/debit card, you can make your pledge by setting up a monthly or weekly reoccurring gift online here (select ‘give multiple times’): christchurchcranbrook.org/give

 

How can I pay my pledge?  Can I pay with a stock gift? 

You can pay your pledge in one lump sum or you can pay it in instalments – whatever works for you.

  • Make payments on your pledge online at: christchurchcranbrook.org/give
  • To set up an automatic debit with a bank account or credit/debit card, at the same link, just select “give multiple times.”
  • Checks which are mailed to the church or dropped off in the offering when you come to church.
  • To make a gift of stock or financial securities, or through a donor-designated fund, email Gina Morgan our Director of Finance to set it up.

 

What happens if my circumstances change and I can’t complete my pledge?

If your circumstances change, for whatever reason, just let us know and we can adjust it anytime.  No need for explanations, simply email Gina Morgan our Director of Finance. (And of course, if you’re receive unexpected additional income, you are always welcome to increase your pledge.)

 

Thank you for all you do to support God’s mission and ministry through Christ Church Cranbrook! 

 

If you have additional questions about pledging, feel free to contact Rev. Chris Harris at charris@christchurchcranbrook.org or Gina Morgan, our Director of Finance at 248-644-5210 or gmorgan@christchurchcranbroook.org