Reflections on Stewardship
by Pati Cunningham
The act of pledging to the church is one of the most powerful we undertake as Christians. When we pledge, we let go of what we might momentarily consider ‘ours’. We let go of measures that might separate us from one another, and instead, we affirm through our giving that we are part of something much larger than ourselves; that we are all members of the Body of Christ, inextricably linked in our compassion and love, joined as a family through the common experiences of struggle and joy, and nurtured through the corporal practice of common prayer.
From a practical perspective, our giving, our pledging, is what allows for this place. Our giving keeps the lights on, keeps the garden weeded and the driveways cleared of debris. Our giving provides our Rectors’ salaries and outreach funds. In the process, our giving becomes sharing- a way to do God’s work from this place.
Thirty-five years ago, my friend Peggy Flannagan asked me to give her a ride to church. She was around 80 years old at the time and giving up driving. For those of you who knew Peggy, you will understand as I did that I could not say no. Peggy was simply too lovely, too kind- and too clever- because over the many months of driving Miss Peggy to church, I discovered that it wasn’t just Peggy who wanted to get here, it was me too. I found a home I didn’t even know I needed.
Twenty years ago, my husband Allen and I were married here. So far so good!
God blessed us with children who were baptized and confirmed here. They were raised here. They’ve sung in the children’s choir, served as acolytes, been sheep in the Christmas Pageant, and they’re here today because they are home.
Elizabeth Scott once told me that the most powerful prayer is the simplest- it’s thank you. For our family, our pledge is partly a thank you, an expression of gratitude we feel to God and towards this community. It is also a responsibility, an action that we undertake to help us keep the doors of Emmanuel Church open, in honor of all those who held the doors for us and invited us in- Thank you Peggy!- and a promise to all those who have yet to discover the power of a church family, who have yet to find their way home. The doors here are open. We hope you’ll join us.
The 2017 Stewardship video
What Is Stewardship?
Being grateful and responsible stewards of the gifts we receive from God is at the heart of stewardship. It is about reaching out to build relationships and to serve God from a perspective of abundance instead of scarcity.
Each Fall, Emmanuel Greenwood solicits financial pledges for the coming year. Pledges allow the church to more effectively plan and budget for the coming year. Whatever your commitment, it is important to return a pledge card for our records and planning purposes.
To learn more about pledging or to request a copy of our Stewardship brochure that outlines the budget and allocation of resources, please contact the church office (540-456-6334).
As faithful Christians we contribute our treasure, our time, and our talents to serving others and sharing God’s love. Our Ministry Guide page outlines many ways you might serve our church or the larger community.
There are a number of ways to support Emmanuel Greenwood financially:
Online Through VANCO
This link will take you to our convenient new online giving page where you can schedule bank drafts from your account or pay by credit card. We have partnered with Vanco to provide a safe and secure online giving option for our parishioners.
Automatic Giving Through Your Bank
Schedule your monthly pledge via the online bill pay services at your bank. You can add Emmanuel as an account and schedule automated payments. Please contact your bank directly for more information. Be sure to give the mailing address to the bank: Emmanuel Episcopal Church, PO Box 38, Greenwood, VA 22943.
You can support the ministry of Emmanuel Episcopal by placing cash or checks in the offering plate during Sunday services, or by mailing checks, made out to “Emmanuel Episcopal” to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, PO Box 38, Greenwood, VA 22943. Once you have pledged you will be given the option to receive envelopes to use in the offering plate. Contact the church office if you need envelopes.
Stock, Securities, IRA Accounts and Donor Advised Funds
You can receive tax benefits with a gift of appreciated stock. For more information, call your personal financial advisor. You may also contact Sandy von Thelen, Treasurer, at 434 971-8557 or svonthelen@BBTScottstringfellow.com for details.
If you are 70-1⁄2 and have a traditional IRA, an IRA charitable transfer may be a good choice. You may transfer up to $100,000 annually directly from your IRA tax-free. For details, consult your financial advisor or call our office. Emmanuel can provide you a sample letter to send to the plan administrator.
If you have a donor advised fund (DAF), you recommend grants to charity from your DAF. Please let us know that you will use your DAF to makes gifts unless you wish to remain anonymous.
Check with your employer. Some employers match contributions to charitable organizations. This benefit may double your gift.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church PO Box 38, Greenwood, VA 22943
Federal Tax ID: 54-1349792