Giving at Church of the Pilgrims
For on-line giving, click here.
Why should you give?
We give for at least two reasons: As an expression of gratitude for God's gifts to us, and to support the mission and ministry of the church.
Giving as an act of gratitude is a spiritual discipline, a way of acknowledging God's gifts, and reminding ourselves that we belong to God, and are called by God to share all that we are in response to God's love.
At Church of the Pilgrims, our financial resources support our staff and outreach, including support for local, national and international mission, as well as our building. (We are fortunate to have many other organizations, such as the School for Friends and the National Coalition for the Homeless, that share our building with us, and share the expenses as well.) We have a small endowment that provides a resource for emergencies, but does not generate much income annually, so our largest source of income is from contributions from members and friends.
How is the money used?
Each year the budget is set by the Session (our governing board) and shared with the congregation at our Annual Meeting. You can see the entire budget here on page 4 in our Annual Report, along with a lot of other information about the church.
What should you give?
How much to give is an individual decision. For those who are a regular part of our community of faith, we encourage you to make a pledge in the fall for what you plan to give in the coming year. A pledge is not a contract, meaning that you can change your pledge if circumstances change. Making a pledge helps the leaders of the congregation plan responsibly for the coming year.
Last year our average pledge was $4,080 dollars, with pledges ranging from $500 to $22,000. Many in our congregation "tithe," a Biblical practice of giving ten percent of your income to the temple, or in our case, to the church. Jesus was critical of this practice, not because he thought it was too high, but because it was too narrow. Some thought that if they tithed then they were "off the hook" with God. Jesus insisted that all that we are, and all that we do, belongs to God. We are, in the words of the Apostle Paul, to "present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1).
While not all of us tithe, tithing provides useful principles for thinking about giving:
Give regularly. Pledging requires disciplined giving, and pledging allows church leaders to plan for the coming year. We pay our pledge weekly, or monthly, or quarterly, whether or not we happen to be in worship on a given Sunday.Give proportionately. We don't have "dues" in the church. We are not assessed our "share" of the church budget. Instead, tithing encourages those with greater incomes to give a greater amount. If giving ten percent seems too much, calculate what three percent or five percent of your income would be, and give that. Then try to increase your giving by one percent each year.Give sacrificially. Pledging requires us to reflect on the place of the church in our lives. In relation to other monthly expenses, what can we give to support the mission and ministry that God has set before us at Church of the Pilgrims?
We are now contracting with Vanko Services to provide the option of on-line giving. Vanko works with congregations across the country, and has been endorsed by the United Methodist Church as a secure and reliable provider. Giving on-line allows you to make a direct deposit from your checking or savings account, or to give using a credit or debit card. You can make a one-time contribution (including for special offerings) or you can set up to make recurring payments, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Vanko Services charges a fee per transaction. The costs for a direct deposit is $0.25 per transaction. The cost for using a debit or credit card is $0.45, plus a 2.7% fee to the to the credit card company. You can choose, if you wish, to pay these fees along with your contribution. The church also pays a monthly fee to maintain the on-line contributions web page. If you have any problems with your on-line payments, please contact Church Administrator Marcia Mapp at 202-387-6612.
For on-line giving, click here.