Woven Together -
In the past year, First Congregational Church of Boulder entered a new season of ministry with new pastoral leadership and fresh opportunities for growth. As your Stewardship Committee, our goal is to enable the fresh ideas and energy by raising the funds that make our Church happen - the 2017 budget.
This church is a nurturing, vibrant community of faith, woven together by God as we pursue our collective spiritual journey. It takes each one of us to create this beautiful tapestry. We hope you will read the information carefully and prayerfully as you consider your giving in support of the church for the coming year. There are so many reasons to respond with generosity when you make your pledge. Please join us in supporting the 2017 church operating budget. As we give our gifts to the church, we weave ourselves, all that we have and all that we are, together into the ongoing ministry of our congregation, and into God’s unfolding work. Thank you for your commitment to the church!
With Deep Gratitude,
Libby Black, Chair
Stewardship Committee: Betsy Barrett, Rev. Chris Braudaway-Bauman, Jon Hinebauch, Cezanne Mascioli, Bob Matthias, Laura McCutcheon, Tania McEvoy Champlin, Tom Stiers
Why Make an Annual Pledge?
Many of us financially support a number of worthy organizations. However, giving to the church is unique in a number of ways. Contributions to the church are also something else – an offering. We do not give to the church simply to support a cause. We do so as an act of faith, as a form of worship. Our money is an important expression of our gratitude to God because it is an offering of our lives.
Money given to the church goes further than money given to many other charities. The reason, of course, is you. The dollars you give support the ministries that are carried out by church members in countless ways.
When we give, we invest in each other’s ministries and growth in faith. Our church depends on the financial gifts of members and friends. About 93% of our annual budget comes from the annual pledges of church members. This means that every offering, every dollar, makes a difference to our life together and the ministry we are able to do.
Today, more than ever, the world needs the strong, bright witness of faithful congregations like ours. In a time of fear and division in the world and in our country, there is an urgent need for religious communities that value openness and inquiry, and practice compassion, collaboration, acceptance and love. Faith communities like ours with deep commitments to inclusiveness and service have a critically important role to play in this moment in history. These are all compelling reasons to respond generously to the church!
How do I Give?
We have a number of ways in which you can give your gift to the church – at whatever time intervals suit you best. A check dropped in the offering plate or mailed to the church. Through automatic withdrawal at your bank. You do this through your bank’s online banking page or speak with a banker. You can also set up automatic payments to the Church where the Church electronically requests payment from your account at intervals and amounts determined by you. To set this up, you need a login to our church database which allows you to set up automatic payments as well as check your pledge and payments. If you need a login, click here and follow the instructions (the page is about checking payments, but has instructions for getting a login.) If you have a login, click here to set up automatic payment.
Where Does My Pledge Go?
You might think of our budget as a line item, specific budget or you might think of it as how it funds the ministries and functions of the Church. Below is an overview of both. Our total 2017 target budget is $939,141. Of this, 93% is composed of our pledges and contributions. Our Financial Policy requires that our budget is based on pledges made, so your participation is important. There are two important factors that determine church giving. One is a person’s ability to give. The other is a person’s inclination to give. Perhaps it is helpful to think first about what you want to give – what is your inclination? How do you value the role the church plays in your life? What might your pledge be if you had unlimited resources? Would your pledge be one day of the church budget ($2,573) or maybe one week ($18,011)? Unfortunately, many of us cannot give what we are inclined to give, but it is a great way to begin thinking about it.
Within your ability to give, there are still many choices to make. People sometimes want guidance about how much to give to the church on an annual basis. We have compiled several different ideas that we hope will be helpful to you as you discern your 2017 gift to the church.
The guidance of the United Church of Christ is to share 5% of your gifts (your gross income) with the church and 5% with other charities of your choice. Some of our members tithe to the Church which means they give 10% of their gross income. The tithe is part of our biblical heritage and is a central part of faith for some people. We even have members who have borrowed money to be able to meet their tithe!
Noteworthy architectural features include the asymmetrical façade of Boulder sandstone in hammer-squared ashlar pattern, pointed arch tracery windows with stained glass, the crenelated tower with its stone gargoyles, narrow slit openings and tall narrow windows with wooden louvers, and its unique side entrance ramp. The ramp’s original intent was for ease of rolling coffins in and out of the church. Today it is used as the main entrance and offers handicap access to the sanctuary. The ornamental hinges on the original main entrance doors, as well as those on the Broadway entrance, are exact copies of those at Durham, the oldest cathedral in England.
If you are not accustomed to pledging, 5% or even 10% might seem like a lot to start with. Some people start at 2% or 3% and then plan to add 1% of their gross income each year. Do you know what percent of your income you give to the Church and other non-profits? If not, take a look at this figure because it can help you set a giving goal.