What Is Stewardship?
Stewardship begins not with a campaign, strategy, or plan. It is not rooted in the nuts and bolts of running a church. Stewardship begins with our awareness of God's abundance and our response. 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.
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.
What Is A Pledge?
A pledge is a commitment to give a certain amount of money to help the Emmanuel community sustain and grow. You are welcome here, and your pledge helps us extend that welcome to others. Annual pledges and the Sunday offerings are the main source of funding for Emmanuel's operating expenses.
Why Should I Pledge?
Pledging is about your relationship with God and Emmanuel. Pledging to Emmanuel is different from financial contributions you might make to your alma mater or charitable organizations. A pledge acknowledges that everything we have comes from God. It allows you to share your many blessings while simultaneously furthering God’s mission of love and compassion in the world. Pledging gives you an opportunity to put your faith in action and deepen your connection with God.
Practically speaking, a pledge lets you plan your charitable giving for the year and makes tax accounting easier.
In addition, pledging benefits Emmanuel greatly. The church depends upon your financial contributions, in addition to your commitment and participation in other parish activities, to do its work and ministry. Making a pledge enables our vestry to better plan how to use our resources. The Vestry establishes an annual budget based upon the total amount pledged to the church. While regular non-pledged giving is important, a pledge helps the Vestry plan more accurately and better enables our ministries to thrive and grow.
How Do I Pledge?
Pledge cards will be mailed at the end of October. You may fill one out and return it to the church, either by mail; by placing it in the offering plate during worship services; or by delivering it to the Church office. Complete a pledge card online here.
If you have any questions, please contact:
Stewardship Chair, Karyn Rader, 434-962-3824
Senior Warden, Lea Robinson, 434-242-4444
How Do I Fulfill My Pledge?
Returning your pledge card represents your promise to make a financial contribution to Emmanuel Episcopal for 2021. You may pay your pledge on any schedule that suits your needs: weekly, monthly, quarterly, or in one annual payment.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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
How Much Should I Pledge?
Because pledging is about your relationship with God and Emmanuel, your pledge should be made thoughtfully and deliberately.
Proportional giving is based on the premise that the first fruits are given back to God in grateful response to what God has given us. It refers to a conscious effort to determine an appropriate level of giving. Each parishioner is asked to consider making an annual pledge in proportion to income, moving toward the Biblical norm of a “tithe” – 10%. Not many of us can begin giving at that level, but all of us can begin with a percentage, a proportional gift, and move toward the tithe.
All pledges are accepted with deep gratitude and recognition of the sacrifices each of us makes in our lives. If you have not pledged before, please give serious thought to making a pledge this year. If you are among the many generous-hearted people who have pledged before, please consider the possibility of raising your pledge as a way to further support Emmanuel.
If you have any questions about Stewardship or making a pledge, please feel free to call the office and speak with The Rev. John T. Thomas or Karyn Rader, the chair of our Stewardship Committee (434-962-3824). They would be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.
Reflections on Pledging
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.