WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP?
Put simply, stewardship is “taking care of the things you care about.” Scripture tells us “Each of you should use your gifts to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its many forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
DOES STEWARDSHIP ALWAYS REFER TO MONEY
Stewardship is how we devote our time, talents and our treasures in support of our church, programs, ministries, and each other. Every moment of worship, care and ministry has a financial cost; that’s a fact. Our individual financial commitments to AHCC determine the breadth and scope of worship, care and ministry our church can afford and provide.
HOW IS STEWARDSHIP INVOLVED WITH FINANCES?
AHCC’s Stewardship Committee oversees all the planning and communications related to our giving, especially our annual campaign. The Stewardship Committee conveys the impact of our gifts through messages of appreciation, education and inspiration. We do this through testimonials, announcements and reports in AHCC’s media and mailings.
WHAT IS OUR ANNUAL STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN?
Our Annual Stewardship Campaign (ASC) asks each of us to make an annual financial commitment to AHCC to support the financial costs of worship, care and ministry.
WHY IS THE CAMPAIGN IMPORTANT?
The gifts raised through the Annual Stewardship Campaign comprise approximately two-thirds of AHCC’s annual budget. (Income from our endowment is the second largest source of our income, providing 27% this year.)
WASN’T THIS CAMPAIGN ONCE CALLED SOMETHING ELSE?
Some history explains how the campaign’s previous names came to be. When AHCC was founded, it was the practice of churches to “rent” pews as the major source of income. The closer you were to the front, the higher the rent (location, location, location). That is why Mark Twain, though not a member, made a significant financial contribution to the church. When we abandoned this practice in 1930 (one of the last churches in Hartford to do so), the method of funding changed to making personal contact and asking (canvassing) EVERY MEMBER for their annual pledge. Hence, the Every Member Canvass (EMC) was born. Even after this practice was abandoned, we continued to call it the Every Member Canvass. (This is the land of steady habits, after all!) Several years ago, the EMC Committee decided to change the name, but keep the initials, and shift the focus from the ask (canvassing) to the act (commitment).
WHEN IS THE ASC?
Our fiscal year better aligns with the liturgical year, programs and ministries. So the annual campaign takes place in the spring now as opposed to the fall, and pledging covers July 1 - June 30.
HOW MUCH AM I EXPECTED TO GIVE?
Amounts are suggested, but each person makes their own decision.
WHY ARE WE ASKED TO GIVE MORE?
In recent years, AHCC has reduced programs, personnel and many costs. To pay for our core ministries and key priorities, last year our leadership identified the need to seek a 50% increase in pledge income by the year 2020. This increase reflects the increasing costs of maintenance, operations, and improvements. We believe the members of this congregation have the faith and resources needed to fully support this church.
HAVE PEOPLE INCREASED THEIR PLEDGES?
Yes! Last year our members and friends pledged an average of 15% more!
WHAT IS A PLEDGE?
A pledge is a promise. For the Annual Stewardship Campaign, a pledge is a promise to give, or a financial commitment. A payment is a fulfillment of that pledge or commitment.
HOW DO I MAKE MY PLEDGE?
To pledge – or make your commitment – return your Annual Stewardship Campaign reply form or pledge online.
HOW DO I PAY MY PLEDGE? You have several options to pay your pledge:
· Automatic recurring payments by charge card or bank check: When you pledge online, you can set up recurring credit card payments. Contact your preferred banking institution to set up automatic check payments.
· Cash: AHCC can provide envelopes for you to enclose cash to place in the offering basket in worship.
· Check: Checks with “pledge” designated in the memo section can be dropped directly into the collection plates.
· Stock Gifts: Donors of appreciated stock can obtain transfer information by contacting Deb Holden.
When you fulfill your pledge in these ways, AHCC is able to track and properly acknowledge your gifts.
I PUT MONEY IN THE PLATE, WHY SHOULD I PLEDGE INSTEAD?
We base our budget on the pledges we receive. Pledges and commitments enable us to plan worship, programs and ministry. Through our pledges and financial commitments, we serve as faithful stewards to support our growing church.