A Note from the St Francis Business Office

Thank you to all parishioners who support the mission and work of St Francis.

Please be aware that you can give to St Francis via credit card payments. Just call Margaret Riddle, the business manager, to speak with her about how to set it up. Call the church office (301-365-2055) and ask to speak with Margaret.

Those who make regular payments by checks can offer kind assistance in our record keeping by noting these requests:

  1. Checks should be payable to “St Francis Episcopal Church” or to “St Francis Church” with the purpose (pledge, special event, flowers, etc.) clearly marked in the memo.
  2. Please do not combine regular payments for pledges with checks intended for the capital campaign. They are posted in different accounts, so a single check won’t work for two destinations.
  3. Checks are processed through an electronic reader, so it is helpful if the checks are not folded. (We do understand larger checks do not fit into the pledge envelopes.) We are happy to help arrange donations of stocks. We can also make provision to receive contributions charged to an individual’s credit card. Simply contact the church office and we’ll be happy to accommodate you!

Remember that in the summer months the work and the expenses of the church continue. We are especially grateful for faithfulness in sending pledges during this time when it is easier to forget “our bounden duty and service.”

Committed Giving 101

Whenever the subject of money comes up, we hear a number of good questions regarding the mechanics of committing a proportion of our treasure towards the mission and work of St Francis Church. Here are some answers to those questions:

What exactly do you mean by proportional giving? Does that mean the same as tithing—that would be tough for me?

  • No, proportional giving does not necessarily mean tithing, which is the Biblical standard of giving God the first 10% of your income. While tithing is a worthy goal, it would be tough for many of us to achieve in one leap. Proportional giving does, however, mean committing to give a specific percentage of your income to St Francis. Choosing the appropriate percentage is entirely up to you.

Why is proportional giving better than agreeing to give St Francis a flat dollar amount?

  • There are several reasons why we believe proportional giving is the better approach.

First, stewardship should be intentional. Committing to give a percentage really helps you focus. You make a decision about the level of financial support you will work towards. Then you reaffirm that commitment every time you give. This is different from seeing what is in your wallet on Sunday and putting that amount in the offering plate.

Second, proportional giving has a built-in flexibility for any ups and downs in your personal situation: as your income changes from year to year (or for many of us, month to month or project to project), you can adjust the amount you give and still attain the percentage you’ve committed to. So, as you prosper so does St Francis. If you need to tighten your belt in a down year, your church gratefully accepts that. As more people practice proportional giving, the church’s resources expand. History proves this.

How do I figure out what percentage is right for me?

  • That’s a hard question to answer in general terms since everyone’s situation is different. (It’s a little like asking what percentage of your income you should put in your 401(k) savings plan at work.) Furthermore, St Francis doesn’t set any expected percentage. If you’ve been giving a flat dollar amount, why not estimate what percentage of your income that amount represents and start from there? If you haven’t given on the record before, consider starting at, say 2%. Then see if you can increase that a little each year. Just like any significant goal in life, your financial commitment should be a stretch, but should also be attainable. (Not to put too fine a point on it, but in deciding on your percentage try to determine what percentage of your income you spend on something like coffee or commuting—you’ll be surprised!)

How do I give on the record?

  • If you want to commit to intentional giving right away, call Margaret Riddle in the St Francis business office (301-365-2055) and give her the details of your commitment. Or use the 2017 pledge cards available from the church office. Or when at church get a pledge card from the workroom of the church office, seal it in an envelope and had it to a member of the church staff.

If you have any other questions, email Margaret Riddle in the business office. We’d love to hear from you. 

Generous, at the heart of all we do

At St. Francis we say that worship is the heart of all we do. Giving cheerfully and sacrificially of our finances is part of our worship. Why?

A Christian works not to store up personal wealth or possessions, but to steward God’s resources faithfully, following the model of Jesus who is as generous as it gets. Like Jesus, we’re called to serve the Most High in all things, and one of the primary ways we do so is by cheerfully giving God our “firstfruits” (2 Corinthians 9:7, Proverbs 3:9).

We call our parishioners to give in proportion to what we’ve received because God expects at least that of us, and to give generously because that is what people do who follow Jesus.

Our stewardship campaign for 2018 has begun. We’re asking you to give generously to support the work God does in and through you at St. Francis. You can pledge by the traditional method, filling out a pledge card and returning it to us through the offering plate at a service or at the church office.

Look for more in our newsletter ‘Sounds’ on how and why this is a meaningful opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with our church and our Lord.