Jesus' message to us about how we use our resources is one of the most challenging elements of the Gospel. The call to Stewardship is an invitation to take up this challenge. When we are generous, we acknowledge the abundance in our lives - and our confidence in God's bounty. And when we give to St. Stephen's, we claim this community for our own with its rich and textured identity and its extraordinary potential.
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
If we follow the tradition of the "tithe," our challenge is to give 10 percent of our earnings to support God's work. That's hard to do overnight, but many of us at St. Stephen's start the journey by giving 2 percent and then try to increase that percentage each year. Nothing about that journey seems easy - unless we start by acknowledging the abundance of gifts and resources we have been given.
Each fall, the Stewardship Committee sponsors a pledge drive, asking parishioners to make a pledge for the following year. These pledges help the Vestry build a budget, as our fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Pledges can be paid in a single gift or they can be paid throughout the year, either by putting cash or checks in the offering plate in special envelopes provided for that purpose, or by automatic credit card charges. If you would like to make a pledge payment online, we recommend our secure PayPal option, adding a message to the church: "This is a pledge payment."
You can also support St. Stephen's financially through planned giving. A planned gift might be in the form of a bequest, a trust, or by naming St. Stephen's as the beneficiary of an insurance policy or a retirement account. These commitments support St. Stephen's in the long term and are gratefully received. If you do make such a gift, we would appreciate a written statement for our records.