Rector's Blog: Your Commitment in 2021
I’m writing to you today about how I’d like you to make a financial commitment to Church of the Redeemer in 2021. If this makes you uncomfortable, I hope you stick around anyway: Your understanding of what’s going on at your church matters a great deal.
I’ve written a lot in the last couple years – some would say exhaustively – about the spiritual aspects, theological reasoning, and personal benefits of giving to your church. I’m not going to do that today (though if you want to read more of that, check out my blog posts from July of this year). Today, I want to speak on a simple, practical level with you about why your commitment to Church of the Redeemer is so important in the upcoming year.
The vast majority of giving to Church of the Redeemer goes towards our staff. When you give, you are helping to support the work of a number of faithful servants who have been doing brave, difficult, creative, life-giving work during the most difficult time in our collective memory.
When we abruptly shut the doors of our building this past March in response to the coronavirus pandemic, nobody stopped working. Nobody took a vacation. Our team immediately moved Church of the Redeemer completely online, transitioning the bulk of our ministries, programs, and communications to accommodate our forced isolation, and to maintain the strength of our connections. In the midst of unprecedented uncertainty, Church of the Redeemer has remained a source of hope, transformation, and strength.
We mobilized dozens of parishioners to create neighborhood groups, helping us to stay connected and be community. We continued with our Sacred Ground class, our Bible Studies, our Theology Circle, Stephen Ministry, Children’s Liturgy, Inquirers’ Classes – the list seems endless in retrospect. Speaking personally, I am so proud of this church. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done together in the last year.
We don’t know what next year will bring, but we do know that Church of the Redeemer will be here to walk alongside you and guide you into deeper connection with God and your neighbor. And we know we will need your help for this to happen. Your giving equips us for the work God is giving us to do.
In what’d we’d call more normal times, we collect offerings, both pledged and non-pledged, every Sunday during worship services. Our custom is to estimate how much we will receive in non-pledged giving and build that into our budget. This amount makes up nearly 10% of our budgeted giving. In 2020, we have not collected regular plate offerings since early March, and we don’t know when we will again, or what they will be like when we do. As you can imagine, this strongly impacts our budget. We need to make up for this gap and create a more sustainable system. We need your help. Your financial contribution makes a difference to your church.
For 2021, we ask that you make your commitment through regular scheduled electronic giving. Whether it be weekly or annually, giving electronically is a safe and sustainable way to ensure your continued financial support. Some of you already do give in this manner (I know I do!) and we encourage you to continue doing so. For those of you who have not tried this method, we ask that you commit to doing so for your 2021 gift. Instructions can be found on our website.
I know some of you have been negatively impacted by the economic ramifications of the pandemic. We understand if you have to reduce your giving. But for those of you have maintained economic stability (or even growth) during this time, it is my fervent hope that you will either continue or increase your giving from last year. In March, we made the decision to keep the staff intact – to commit to them that we’d continue their employment as long as possible. They’ve responded powerfully, engaging us all with thoughtful, experiential, and dynamic ministry. Put simply, I want to us to continue our commitment to this staff, and to keep building on the excellent work Church of the Redeemer has been doing.
You have heard me say throughout these last months that we’re in it together. And we are. We are united to each other in relationships of holy connection and communion. One way we show this unity is in our commitment to our worshiping community, and I'm asking you to make that commitment today.
Tags: Rector's Blog