"Our giving is an expression of our faith. It’s an expression of our commitment to serve as a strong, bright witness to God’s love in the world..."
Wow! 2018 was a magnificent year for First Congregational, UCC Boulder in many ways. At the very beginning of the year, the congregation spoke up through our 2018 pledging: “We love our church, its program and the contributions we make in our community and our world.” We sent this message through a big leap in our collective pledging and then giving. The challenge this year, for 2019, is to sustain and continue to grow our annual giving in ways that provide the church with a budget that makes a difference in our individual lives and the world around us.
We will meet this challenge together as a community of faith. Those of us who can give more, will give more so that those who may not be able to pledge as much as they would like will also go forth into the light rejoicing in the knowledge that we are, each one of us, a vital, contributing part of this church – a body which cares and supports one another as we do God’s work in the world with money, time and talent.
With Abiding Gratitude,
Your Stewardship Ministry
Libby Black, Betsy Barrett, Chris Braudaway-Bauman, Allison Hamm, Jon Hinebauch, Jeanne Lounsbury, Eric Malmborg, Bob Matthias, Laura McCutchen, Nancy Stevens
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?
- Automatic withdrawal: You can automatically pay your pledge from your bank account each month. You set this up through your bank. It will help the church office if you make your payment due date between the 5th and the 10th of each month and indicate “2019 pledge” in the memo.
- Personal check: Place your check in the offering plate at church or mail to the church. Please write in the memo “2019 pledge.”
- Credit card: Text 73256 with the message joy2givefcc. Choose 2019 pledge payments.
- Assets: You can transfer assets to the church to pay your pledge. Appreciated assets are great for the potential tax benefits. For instructions, please email our front office with the words “instructions for asset transfer” in the subject line.
What Does My Pledge Support?
Your annual pledge helps to provide financial resources which support our church’s ministry:
- Our worship, music, learning, care, and fellowship,
- Our outreach and service ministries with the wider community and church, including our partnerships with 32 organizations, serving people in need and working for social justice,
- The maintenance of our facilities, which we share with nearly 40 organizations in Boulder, making our church a vibrant center of community life. Many groups meet in our building free of charge or for a modest fee.
As we are expanding our ministry in a number of areas — a church-wide mission project, growing youth and young adult ministries, a search for new staff in finance and communication, a visitation ministry, and a monthly evening dinner church worship service – we are also working to contain costs. Our target budget for 2019 includes a 4% increase over 2018.
How Much Should I Pledge?
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 gifts 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!
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?
What is Planned Giving?
Planned Giving is a way to support First Congregational United Church of Christ, Boulder in the future through arrangements you make today utilizing a planned gift.
A planned gift to your church is an expression of you and your family’s values and commitment to Christian Stewardship. It is a way of saying that after your family and loved ones, these are the causes that matter most, and providing for them is important to you. A gift from your estate to First Congregational United Church of Christ, Boulder strengthens our endowment and sustains God’s mission through the ministry of the Church – a lasting legacy and powerful response to God’s generosity.