2020 Stewardship Campaign: Gratitude
Dear Emmanuel Community,
None of us could have imagined or predicted what this year would be like. We have faced new realities as a society and as a community. While there is certainly much to grieve, I also find that I keep coming back to gratitude; the gratitude I feel for each of you, for our staff, and for our community at large, which has been a beacon in the midst of all of this uncertainty.
The resilience that you all have shown in the face of unprecedented times is a reflection of reflects the strength and joy of our church community congregation. You all have shown unwavering support for Emmanuel in your continued presence and participation as we have pivoted to online worship, formation, and community. You have remained committed to continuing in our practices of faith and devotion even though it has required thinking creatively and sometimes moving outside of our comfort zones.
In the wake of the pandemic, I have been heartened by Emmanuel’s commitment to providing resources for the community, for our tenants, and for our neighbors. We have remained committed to sharing our treasure and talent to support those who have been devastated by the changes in our world, and you have also continued to strengthen your relationships within the church and to support each other.
Truly, we have continued to live into our vision—forming ourselves, nurturing each other, and transforming the world—and for that I have an incredible amount of gratitude.
Our ability to do all that we have done has been bolstered by several years of strong stewardship. As parishioners, you have strongly faithfully supported Emmanuel, and we’ve we have seen the fruits of that support this year as we have weathered the pandemic.
As we move into a new year and a new stewardship campaign, there is great uncertainty about what the future holds in our induvial lives. As we each consider our pledges to Emmanuel for 2021,. While we have often asked you to discern how you might increase your support of Emmanuel, I recognize that our pledges may be changing in unexpected ways. As always, I am grateful for any support you are able to give to Emmanuel. For some of us, this may mean our 2021 pledges must decrease or hold steady, while for others it may warrant an increase in pledges. I know that we all give with faithfulness. Whatever one chooses to pledge, it is given with great discernment and care for not only the church but also your families and loved ones.
This year, for all you have given in the past and all you continue to give, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude. The way in which our community has shined this year reminds me of the importance of faith communities in the world. Personally, I cannot imagine having weathered 2020 without being a part of Emmanuel. The relationships, connections, and spiritual support have nourished my soul in these unprecedented times.
As you discern what you are called to pledge, please know we are doing all we can to continue caring for the Emmanuel staff and community while also reducing unnecessary spending as we faithfully steward the resources you so generously share.
Thank you for support Emmanuel through your many gifts. Thank you for being a part of this church and this community. I look forward to moving into 2021 with confidence in our ability to face whatever comes with creativity and faithfulness.
The Rev. Elizabeth Riley
Frequently Asked Questions
What is pledging?
Pledging is a spiritual practice of giving back to God in thanks for all we receive from God. Pledging is making a commitment to Emmanuel how much you plan to financial support the church in the coming year. It allows the church to build a budget around the income we expect to receive. Your pledge card allows us to know your commitment and plan accordingly.
Who should pledge?
Everyone! Really, everyone should pledge. Families, individuals, youth, and even children, are all encouraged to participate in giving back to God. This is in some ways even more important than how much one gives. What matters most is that all people are given the opportunity to give back to God. If you consider yourself a member of our community you are encouraged to pledge.
How much should I pledge?
This is a very personal decision. Every person pledges differently based on what they feel called to give and what they are able to give. Some people give a tithe (10%) of their income. Some give less. Some give more. There is no right amount to pledge. All pledges are welcome and help us do the work we are called to do at Emmanuel. What’s important is that each individual prayerfully discern what they are called to give.
How do I pledge?
You can pledge by filling out the pledge card that was mailed to you and returning it to the church office or rector. You can also fill out an online pledge card under the giving tab on the Emmanuel website. Please return your pledge card to Emmanuel by November 22.
How do I pay my pledge?
You have several options to pay you pledge. You are welcome to mail a check to the church and we do accept online pledge payments through the giving tab on the Emmanuel website. You can set that up to withdraw automatically.
Who will know my pledge?
We understand that pledge information is very sensitive. Pledge information is not public information and is limited to the rector, head of stewardship, treasurer, and bookkeeper.
What if I have more questions?
Rev. Elizabeth Riley and Michael Spencer, our Senior Warden, are always happy to have a conversation with you about pledging and supporting Emmanuel.