What is a pledge?
A pledge is your personal commitment to make a financial gift that supports the ministries and mission of the church for the coming year. We believe annual pledging is a statement of thanksgiving and part of a spiritual practice of generosity. By pledging, you rededicate your love and support for UCCB’s mission and all the people who are touched by its ministries and make our community special, including yourself!
Why is pledging important?
Annual pledges support everything we do and are at UCCB – paying clergy and staff, supporting our outreach ministries, fellowship, spiritual nurture, music offerings and providing special services and weekly childcare.
Annual pledges are the financial foundation of our church. The single most important source of funding for our ministries and mission comes from pledges. They represent over 2/3 of the church’s annual income. Other key income sources are rental income and fundraisers like the Merrie Christmas Fair.
How will my pledge be used?
Based on the income from pledges and other revenue sources, the congregation creates and votes on an annual budget. You can participate in the process.
We create an annual budget that makes the financing of our church operations easy to understand. It shows how your money is used to support the different ministries of our congregation. We believe that it is very important to be transparent in our budget process and all financial matters. You can call the church office to request a copy of the current annual budget. Here’s a sample spending plan from a few years ago. We reflected on all of our expenditures in light of our mission statement to Welcome All, Care for the World, and Grow in the Spirit.
Who can make a pledge?
You! Everybody is welcome to share in the spirit of generosity at UCC Boxborough. You do not have to be a church member. Some people feel UCCB is their church home without becoming a member, and still love to express their support.
Why should I give?
Our community members give for a variety of reasons. Some give because they love our church’s hospitality; others cherish opportunities for spiritual growth, service and care for the world such as mission trips, prayer shawl ministry, women’s retreat, or its role as a welcoming presence in the community.
As a congregation, we view pledging as an important spiritual practice, encouraging us to grow intentionally in faith and generosity in every part of our lives. It is because of annual pledging and other generous support from our parishioners, that our church lives up to its mission.
Is there a right pledge amount?
Rest assured, you are not the only person who wonders if there is a “right amount” to give. At UCCB, every pledge, no matter the size of your gift, is valued! It also helps the church to know your giving plans so we can budget more effectively.
We invite you to prayerfully reflect on the money and resources God has entrusted to your care and decide on how much you feel you can give. Members of the Generosity Team are also available to help you reflect on this question; see the pastor for their contact information.
We believe that our standard of giving should reflect our standard of living. We ask each parishioner to consider making a pledge that is both responsible and significant based on his or her financial situation.
Tithing, the practice of sharing 10% of your income, has long been held as the standard of Christian giving. For most, it is a goal to be reached through incremental increases each year. At UCCB every pledge, no matter what amount, makes a valued contribution to our mission and ministry.
If you consider tithing or proportional giving, the following chart may help:
|Annual Gross Income||2%||4%||6%||8%||10%||12%|
When should I pledge?
We believe in celebrating generosity as a community. On Celebration Sunday, the day after the annual Merrie Christmas Fair, we all bring our pledge forms to church to celebrate and bless our commitment.
If you can’t participate on Celebration Sunday, you can mail your pledge form to the church. Timely submission helps us to establish the following year’s budget.
The spirit of generosity is not limited to one weekend. Pledges are always welcome throughout the year.
Do I have to pay when I pledge? Can I pay in installments?
A pledge is simply a promise to pay. Actual payments can be made in a lump-sum or through as many installments as you wish throughout the following year. Often, pledges are fulfilled on a weekly or monthly basis. Pledges are to be fulfilled within one calendar-year, beginning January 1.
Some families choose to set up regular direct payments through their bank. You can also give safely online, through our national UCC recommended service provider, VANCO, that accepts direct bank payments and/or credit card payments. Vanco Services charges the church a flat fee per credit card or e-check transaction plus a processing fee per dollar for online transactions. These fees average 3.5% for each donation. It would be greatly appreciated if you would consider choosing the option that allows you to help offset these costs directly through an additional donation. This will help the church to continue providing this convenient online giving service.
What happens if I wish to change the amount I pledge?
Your pledge is a promise to your church and the congregation. However, it is not legally binding. If your circumstances change, you may notify the church office or the Pastor if you need to make an adjustment. If you are blessed with unexpected extra income, you are always welcome to increase your pledge.