A pledge is your personal commitment to provide a set amount of financial support to the ministries, and day-to-day operating costs of Trinity parish. By pledging, you are demonstrating a conscious commitment to give back to God a portion of the gifts given graciously to you. Your pledge is a personal covenant between you and God. Pledges range from $100 to $10,000+. But rather than focus on amounts, we ask that you consider what percentage of your resources (time and money) you wish to give back to God at Trinity.
Tithing means to give 10% of your income back to God through the church. It is an ancient tradition of Judaism and Christianity that is found in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. A “modern tithe of 5%” has emerged since we realize that people fund things we believe critically important to a healthy and humane society via taxes and other charitable giving.
Most important is that the Church is concerned with and committed to the winning of souls, not to control them, but to open them to an awareness of the God who loves—who loves each of us and continually gives forgiveness and grace and mercy to us and restores hope to us. No other organization besides the Church is concerned with salvation, with opening hearts to an awareness of and the taking in of the Presence of God. If you believe in salvation at all, if you believe that you have been saved from despair, that you have been lifted out of grief, that you have been blessed with lovely children, that you have discerned/discovered/found the vocation that you can most respond to and most fills your soul, that you have had an improbable healing, then, we ask, in what ways is your heart as grateful as it is blessed? Gratitude is always giving generously/investing in those who have not yet tasted and experienced what we rejoice in and give thanks for.
Proportional Giving asks all of us to give in proportion to our income and resources. There is probably no way to measure the blessings and gifts God gives us personally, both in our individual lives outside of the Church, and also through those powerful ways in which our soul-friends in the Church have sustained and nurtured us—even and especially when we were in a fog and unaware and only came to realize what this faith community has given to us and means to us.
Proportional giving recognizes that giving back to God is a journey and that tithing is a level of giving to work towards. It requires us to make a conscious effort to determine an appropriate level of giving for today, and then to be open to allowing our giving to grow in the future. The Proportional Giving Chart below might be helpful. Consider increasing your pledge by one percent of your income each year. This practice of giving has the power to transform lives and shape the souls of many.
We know that some of you have been convinced that a tithe (in some dimension) is the deepest response of our saying “yes” to God. We also know that countless circumstances get in the way of our doing what we most want to do, and call us to responsibilities that diminish our capacity to act on the basis of where our heart is.
This is not a time of judgment. It is a time of hope and living out a promise. (As a bishop, I am intruding here, to say that I have never encountered a congregation that wants to place a demand on a pledger—although, of course, they hope that when you make the pledge your intentions are honest. So, therefore, if someone has a change in circumstances and needs to reduce a pledge, there is no judgment, and no one shares that information nor heaps on guilt.) Remember that every promise we make to God, we say, “With the help of God.” Who among us who work with stewardship and budgets is not called to be faithful to that promise you make.
So promise boldly according to the means you believe you have in place, and know that “we have your back.”