Pray. We are members of St. John’s because of our love and commitment to Christ and the Christian life. Ask for God’s help to guide you.
Your life’s blessings. Your pledge should be given in a sense of gratitude and joy for all we have received in our lives.
Why is St. John’s special to you? Is it the liturgy, our service to others in the community and the world, our lifelong Christian education, the music, or just the pure joy of our fellowship?
Why is St. John’s not another “charity?” We all give to worthy causes and trust them to do good things. At St. John’s, we know all the great things we do are in God’s name. Your pledge to St. John’s is an affirmation of faith and your commitment to ensure the vitality of our parish, just as we have done since 1829.
Challenge yourself. In the end, pledging is about letting go of our plans so that we can say yes to God’s plan for us.
Every pledge matters. Some people think that St. John’s is funded primarily by a few very generous members of the parish. This is NOT the case -- and for that we are blessed. Since every pledge matters, your pledge matters.
A PLEDGE is a commitment to give a certain amount to the church in a given period (usually a year). A GIFT is any contribution made to St. John’s. Gifts may be applied toward existing pledges or may be one-time.
If you don't give, GIVE
Begin giving. Put a check in the Sunday offering or make an online gift. Our hope and goal is that all of our households will be giving households.
If you do give, PLEDGE
Make a pledge, or a promise to give a specific amount during the year. Pledges assist the Vestry to more accurately estimate the resources that will be available for the ministry of the parish in a given year. Pledges may be increased or decreased during the course of the year due to changes in circumstances.
If you do pledge, GIVE PROPORTIONALLY
Strive to be a proportional giver, which means committing to giving a percentage of your income back to God. Proportional giving is a more intentional approach to Christian giving than pledging. The average for charitable giving in the U.S. is between 2% and 3% of annual income.
If you do give proportionally, TITHE
Become a tither. Intentionally increase the proportion of your Christian giving until you reach the Biblical standard of 10%. Increase your giving incrementally, year-by-year, until you reach the tithe.
Have you ever wondered how your gifts are used for God's service and glory?
PROGRAMS account for 36% of our budget. This includes expenses for all program ministries to include staff for Music, Youth, Children, Nursery and Pastoral ministries.
Another 19% of our budget goes to CLERGY. This includes expenses for the rector and associate rectors, as well as salaries, benefits and ministry-related expenses.
ADMINISTRATION costs make up 16% of our annual expenses. This includes all necessary expenses in support of our ministries and programs, including office staff.
Another 19% of our budget goes to support our FACILITIES. This includes maintenance of the buildings, utilities, and support personnel for maintaining the buildings and grounds.
OUTREACH is funded with 13% of our annual budget. This includes our Diocesan Pledge and all community and global ministries. A more detailed account of the many organizations St. John’s partners with can be found here.
What is a pledge? It is simply a heart-felt, documented financial commitment to support our remarkable ministries in the year ahead.
Why not give as I can through the collection plate? Your pledge reinforces the importance of God and St. John’s in your life. Our pledges also provide the Vestry with an estimate of expected income essential to the preparation of our annual budget. St. John’s cannot operate and thrive without a reasonable estimate of its financial resources.
Doesn’t St. John’s receive support from the Diocese of Florida and the St. John’s Episcopal Church Foundation? The church receives no financial support from the Diocese and to the contrary, we are obligated to support the Diocese’s expenses. Our most recent annual contribution to the Diocese was $145,015. The St. John’s Episcopal Church Foundation provides program and educational support and is a very important resource for St. John’s, but the Church’s annual operations depend almost entirely upon pledges.
How much should I pledge? The actual amount, of course, is entirely a personal decision. But, it should be grounded in your faith, love and commitment to God‘s work through St. John’s. Your pledge should not be an afterthought or casual decision. It requires reflection, prayer and priority. At St. John’s we offer the following path to tithing: First, begin giving. Second, if you do give - make a pledge. Third, if you pledge, strive to be a proportional giver which means committing to give a percentage of your income back to God. The average for charitable giving in the U.S. is between 2-3% of annual income. Fourth and lastly, if you do give proportionally, tithe. Intentionally increase the proportion of your Christian giving until you reach the Biblical standard of 10%.
Is my pledge confidential? Yes. The Rector, Director of Finance and Stewardship and Financial Assistant are the only church employees who know the actual amounts of individual pledges. St. John’s will publish an alphabetical list of all who have pledged, with a provision for those who choose to remain anonymous. Included in our annual report, this list is intended to celebrate and thank those who have pledged. Donation amounts will never be shown!
How can I pay my pledge? There are several convenient ways to honor your pledge:
- Make regular payments by cash or check and drop in the collection plate or mail to the church.
- Use your bank’s online bill paying system and set up regular weekly, monthly or other periodic payments directly to the church.
- Create a My St. John’s user ID on our website and set up a secure one-time or recording gift online. Remember that annual fund pledge gifts are valid for one year only and are NOT automatically renewed. They must be entered each year by either you as the donor or the St. John’s finance office on your behalf.
- Use appreciated stocks or IRA distributions to pay your pledge. (If you are 70 ½ years of age your mandatory IRA distribution should be fully tax-deductible if given directly to St. John’s.) In either case please alert Kate Kile to insure that your pledge payment is properly credited.
- Look for online giving cards in the pews at St. John’s. These cards may be placed in the offering plate to represent online or electronic gifts to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
What if my situation changes and I cannot fulfill my pledge? We understand that life’s circumstances do change - often unexpectedly. In this case, please alert Kate Kile, Director of Finance and Stewardship at (850) 222-2636 ext 17 so that our records can be amended as needed.