Determining Your Financial Contribution to the Church
Why do we give
We give to show our thankfulness for God’s love, forgiveness and presence in our lives in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We symbolically give to the church because the church is going about God’s work in the world. We come to CGS with others to wrestle with questions about life and God. We value the worship; music; the weddings, baptisms and funerals at those critical times in our lives; the Christian Education programs for all ages; the outreach programs to the those in need; the pastoral support given by our clergy and lay people as we support those in crisis; and the laughter and fellowship we share. Financial support is also needed to heat, light, and maintain our historical building.
How do we give
We strongly encourage people to give via electronic giving using one of the following:
Automatic Withdrawal (ACH) - Bar Harbor Bank provides this service at NO charge to the church. Your donation is automatically withdrawn from your bank account either weekly or monthly and it will go directly into the church’s account. The amount can be changed at anytime. This method is most preferred by the church. Contact our Parish Administrator to begin.
Online Banking: - Add CGS’s information to your Online Banking Program and manually or automatically direct your bank to pay your pledge monthly, as you would pay other items in your budget.
Master Card or Visa: Those trying to build up points for various purposes can always make your donation on your MC or VISA. Contact our Parish Administrator in the office.
Envelope System - You will only be given one envelope for each month. Most people budget and pay their bills monthly. This allows you to systematize your church contributions in your monthly budget. That envelope can be submitted on any Sunday during the specific month - or mailed in. On the other Sundays of the month, put nothing in the plate since you already (or will) submit your contribution on a different Sunday in that month.
How much should we give?
The church will not tell you how much to give. However, we encourage you to consider “Percentage Giving”. This means determining a percentage of your income (gross or net) that you feel is appropriate to give. Once you determine a fair percentage (tithing percentages), continue giving that percentage whether your income goes up, down or stays the same. The church should not be in the business of asking you for “more, more, more” every year. If everyone is giving a percentage of their income, then what the church receives to spend for its ministries will be in line with how its parishioners are faring from year to year in their personal incomes. We feel this is a fair system for everyone.
But what percentage should we give?
We encourage you to adopt the concept of “Sacrificial Percentage Giving.” God made a sacrifice for us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, so that we might have life! Therefore we are called to symbolically make a “sacrifice” of our financial income so that God’s presence may thrive in the world through the work of the people of the church. We do not want you to give such a small amount that it means nothing to your faith relationship with God. We also do not want you to give so much that you neglect other important aspects of your personal budget. Therefore, give a percentage that “hurts some” - it is a sacrifice for you. We do not teach tithing because giving 10% may not be sacrificial at all, and you may need to consider a higher percentage. For some giving less than 10% may be very sacrificial. Practicing “Stewardship,”means being wise with how we spend all of our money, and making sure our budget coincides with the priorities we set of the things we value.
What does it mean to “pledge”?
Every November you will be asked to indicate to the church how many dollars you will be contributing in the following calendar year (Jan – Dec). This is called making a “pledge”. The church adds up everyone’s pledge. Then the parishioners approve a budget at the annual meeting in January. We all decide together how best to spend this money for the church’s ministries. The church will budget 100% of the amount you pledge. It is therefore imperative that you contribute 100% of what you say you will in your pledge, since the church will spend its budget expecting to receive those funds during the year. You can adjust your pledge during the year upward or downward if your financial circumstances change by simply contacting the church administrator or clergy.
For more information on Stewardship and Pledging, you can click HERE to see the 2020 Stewardship Letter that was sent out to the Parish. Click HERE to see the 2020 Pledge Card.