In recent weeks, testimonials by members during worship have served as moving reminders of the many ways in which Plymouth Church changes lives. This change starts within our community, as we welcome people “no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey”, make new friends, pray together, teach each other, and comfort one another. And then it extends beyond our church as we reach out to serve neighbors near and far.
Within our community, some of the ways we change lives includes our new Sunday School curriculum - Storymakers - and our work to overcome white privilege through an intentional focus in adult education. We move beyond our church through service to neighbors near and far, such as our commitment to Pathfinders, Guest House, St. Ben’s, Cathedral Center, and other agencies.
The work within and beyond our church can happen because of the generous financial and volunteer support of our community. Because of you, Plymouth Church changes lives.
While there are many ways to support the congregation, our annual campaign provides a chance to think in a particular and prayerful way about the choices we make with our money in support of the church.
Pledges of financial support provide over 75% of our budget as a congregation. Without your gifts to the annual pledge campaign we would not be able to engage in the programs, projects, ministry and worship experiences that define our community life.
Deciding how much of our income to donate to charitable organizations can be difficult. The Board of Stewards lifts up the Biblical model of a tithe, a gift of 10% of one’s income to charity. Knowing that Plymouth is one among many organizations doing good and meaningful work, we encourage our community to think of a tithe as giving 5% of income to the work of Plymouth and 5% to the work of other charities one supports. We see tithing as the goal in our practice of abundant generosity.
Some in our community already tithe, providing 5% or more of their annual income to our congregation. We are grateful for the leadership and example giving at this level sets.
Many more of us are on a journey towards abundant generosity. As you think about your own practice, we suggest steps in moving towards a tithe.
Getting Ready: The first step in tithing involves getting ourselves financially ready. This may include finding work, paying down debt, or starting to budget. What would you need to do to get yourself better positioned financially?
Starting Out: The median pledge in our congregation is $25 a week or $1200 a year. Could you stretch to move to this level of giving?
Stepping Up: The church council and Stewards are challenging our congregation to consider adding an additional $10 or $20 per month as a way to increase one’s overall giving to the church. Can you take this step up in generosity?
Increasing Each Year: Moving from 0 to 60 might work for a car, but when it comes to tithing most of us need to make incremental changes each year. The most manageable way to move towards a tithe is to increase your pledge by 1% or a half-a-percent of your income each year. Thus, if you earned $50,000 a year, could you increase your pledge by $10 to $5 a week or $500 to $250 this year?
Tithing: Once you reach a tithing range in your giving (5% to the church and 5% to other charities), the next challenge is to find helpful ways to share your experience with others. What could you do to tell why you tithe and how you tithe with others?
We hope that as you consider your giving for the coming year, you will take a step towards greater generosity in your pledge. A chart on the next page will help you translate your annual income into a percentage gift per week.
All pledges and gifts to our congregation help strengthen who we are and what we are able to do together.
Not in Use >