Chair: Richard Garen
Our Stewardship Ministry seeks to foster a culture and discipline of year round Stewardship at St. Julian’s focusing on using all of God’s gifts for the furthering of God’s kingdom in gratitude for all of life’s blessings (time, talent and treasure).
All who participate in the life of St. Julian's are invited and encouraged to find a ministry that suits your particular gifts and interests. For more information about each ministry, including joining a team, please contact the leader directly with the links provided. You are also welcome to reach out to either of our clergy if you would like help in discerning the a meaningful way to serve.
“All things come from you, O Lord: A Life of Gratitude and Giving”
What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is the Christian practice or discipline of stewarding (caring for, using well) all the gifts and blessing that God and others have imparted in our lives. These gifts are many and include our talents, time, energy, health, experience, education, homes, vocations (professions), and financial resources (among others). In the church, we often speak of time, talent and treasure as way of encapsulating all the gifts and blessing we have received though surely our blessings are too many to number.
How is Stewardship understood at St. Julian’s?
We believe that stewardship is so much more than financial contributions to our church. We believe stewardship is way of living each moment of our lives in gratitude for the abundance we experience in all aspects of life. Living a life of gratitude for God’s provision and all our blessings can look like everything from food given to a hungry person, to holding the hand of a grieving friend, to signing up for one of our ministries, to making an annual pledge of financial support to the church. Any intentional act of giving that arises from a deep place of gratitude to God is an act of Christian stewardship.
What are In-Gathering and the In-Gathering Season?
The In-gathering season that begins mid October and ends the Sunday before Thanksgiving each year at St. Julian’s is the season we ask our community individually and as families to prayerfully reflect quite specifically on how they intend to share their gifts of time, talent and treasure to further God’s work in and through St. Julian’s in the coming year. This season culminates on In-gathering Sunday (the Sunday before Thanksgiving) when we “gather in” at the altar a Ministry Commitment Form from each person, which states specifically what gifts of time, talent and treasure each person or family pledges to share with God through St. Julian’s in the year to come.
What is the Ministry Commitment Form (MCF)?
These forms, provided during the In-gathering season and collected on In-gathering Sunday, give us the opportunity to express our gratitude to God for all the blessings in our lives through a commitment of prayer, time, talent and a financial pledge to continue God’s ministry in and through St. Julian’s. Again, we “gather in” these forms as one church, a sign of our common commitment to God in Christ and to one another, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
What is the financial pledge on the MCF for?
First a financial “pledge” is a commitment to give with regularity a certain predetermined amount of money to the church over a year. Second our financial pledges allow our church leadership to responsibly and wisely budget for all our financial needs in the year to come.
These include salaries for our priests and staff, covering our mortgage, insurance and other building related expenses, funding our ministries (worship, music, evangelism, education, retreats, hospitality, pastoral care, outreach, etc…), support for the ministry of our Bishop and Diocese, and support for those in need outside our own community. In regard to this last item, we commit a minimum of 10% of every dollar pledged to St. Julian’s to those in need or doing good work outside our own doors. St. Julian’s is making a difference for good and for God in the lives of many, many people, and our financial gifts assure us that God’s mission and ministry through St. Julian’s will surely continue.
How much should I pledge to St. Julian’s?
This is a very personal decision, but there are biblical and traditional guidelines that can help. To begin with, Jesus reminds us over and over that generosity leads to blessing for the giver and receiver. Much more specifically, the Biblical tithe, found in the Old Testament, is 10% of gross income and is a worthy goal. However, we think an individual or family should prayerfully come to a dollar figure that feels like you are serving God and stretching yourself, while not placing yourself in a position to accrue debt or that is financially uncertain. Then we encourage you to move up in regular increments each year. The average pledge at St. Julian’s last year was $4,140 (or $80 a week). If pledging for the first time, perhaps you might consider making this your goal for the coming year and a place to begin moving toward a tithe.
What value is there for me in making a pledge to St. Julian’s?
In a time of economic uncertainty, when there are many demands on our pocketbooks and many worthy groups in need, this is a fair question. We believe that a regular financial contribution to God’s work through the church is first and foremost a spiritual discipline. It is a practice that says we believe that our ultimate security, provision and salvation come from the goodness and grace of God in Christ, not from the things we gather or collect in life. Further, sharing our financial resources is an act of simplifying one’s life in a way that reminds us of the things like faith and family that truly matter, and sharing helps us more clearly define what is, in fact, “enough”. Lastly, one of the many blessings in God’s economy is that we are, in fact, the beneficiaries (we are further blessed) by our own willingness to give. This speaks to the fact that our giving to St. Julian’s ultimately sustains a community that “feeds us”. Every time a sermon inspires us, a hymn moves us, an education program challenges us, a youth event affirms our child, we are the beneficiaries of our own generosity.
How is the good stewardship of my financial gift assured?
St. Julian’s leadership, called the Bishop’s Committee, diligently oversees the finances of the church by a monthly review of financial reports provided by our Treasurer and Bookkeeper. We have an annual internal audit, which will move to an external audit when our annual budget crosses a threshold determined by the Diocese. Each January, we have a parish meeting at which the entire congregation approves the annual budget with welcome input. There are financial policies provided by the Diocese in place that are available to all upon request that assure expenses are approved and checks and balances are in place to create transparency in all financial matters.