Stewardship is our personal response to God’s generosity in the way we share our resources of time, talent, and money. Stewardship reflects our commitment to making God’s love known through the realities of human life and our use of all that God has given us. It is also our service to God’s world and our care of creation. In the Catechism of the Book of Common Prayer, we find the question, “What is the duty of all Christians?” The answer is “to follow Christ; to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God” (BCP, p. 856). Since the stewardship pledge enables us to fulfill our duty as Christians, parishioners are encouraged to make an annual stewardship pledge.
The Psalmist tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it” (Psalm 24:1). Proportional giving is offering to God in a committed and faithful way a portion of what God has given to us. Proportional givers consider how much they give to the Church in proportion to their other expenses. Giving a percentage of our income helps deepen our awareness of the abundance of God’s love, as well as our understanding that we have control over our money, not the other way around. “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God,” we read in the First Letter of Peter, “serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received” (1 Peter 4:10).
Trinity Episcopal Church functions due to members and friends who pledge their financial support for our annual operating budget. Pledges ensure that our mission and ministry is funded and the growth of our common life together is ongoing, while our clergy and staff are paid and our buildings are maintained. Pledges empower our vestry to make responsible use of the resources offered for God’s work by preparing a realistic budget based on pledged income.
Every pledge matters, no matter how large or how small. “The point is this,” Saint Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Sometimes a major change of life circumstance compels pledgers to decrease or increase their pledges. There is no dishonor in altering that commitment.