1. What is pledging? Pledging is a covenant made to contribute a certain amount of money over a period of time. Our current stewardship campaign (aka "pledge drive") is asking parishioners to let us know what they will be able to contribute to St. Paul's over 2023 so that we can plan for our mission and ministry in the coming year. It is necessary for us to know how much we will be receiving in pledges so we can prepare a budget for 2023. Pledges can be any amount, usually given periodically (weekly, monthly, quarterly) throughout the year. Some people give a one-time lump sum. All pledges, large and small, are valued as a commitment in faith to our community.
2. What if I put money in the offering plate – doesn’t that take the place of a pledge? Putting money in the offering plate is a wonderful spiritual discipline, but it does not take the place of a pledge. Simply put, it is not possible for the Vestry to plan a budget or operate our Church given the fluctuating and uncertain nature of plate offerings. By making a pledge, you are giving the Vestry the necessary tools to sustain the Church's operations and support its ministries over the course of a year.
3. What if I can't meet my pledge? Things can happen over a year: job loss, illness, moves. We understand this. In the event your circumstances change, please contact David Sharbaugh at [email protected], or the Rev. Noah Evans at [email protected], not only to revise your pledge, but in case you might also desire pastoral care and support. We value you no matter how much you give. God honors your faithfulness.
4. Does St. Paul's receive any financial support from the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh or any other church? St. Paul's supports the Diocese through an assessment based on our operating expenses. The Diocese provides pastoral support to priests, support for young people, and different types of educational programs.
5. How does St. Paul's meet its expenses? Going in to 2022, St. Paul's had a budget of approximately $1,041,971, which included salaries and benefits for a full-time rector, an associate rector, an assistant rector, and lay staff, as well as expenses for the building, missions, and education. $822,805.31 was pledged for that year. The remainder comes from use of the building, investments, and some other sources. Please look over our annual budget if you want to know where the money comes from and how it is spent. It is important to remember that the salaries of our clergy and staff are part of our mission of providing the sacraments of the church, pastoral care, education, and music ministry.
6. How are financial decisions made at St. Paul's? Financial decisions are made by the vestry of St. Paul's. The vestry is the name for the church's "board of directors." Members are elected to three-year terms. Officers include the Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurer and Clerk. The vestry meets monthly.
7. Who needs to pledge? We ask all members to pledge. If you have never pledged before, you can start out with a modest sum. Given on a regular basis over a year, this provides needed support.
8. Is stewardship just all about money? We value the gifts of time and talent that all our members give. We value each person who walks in our door as a precious gift.
9. Are my donations tax deductible? Yes. Per IRS regulations, contributions for each year must be received or postmarked by December 31 of that year to receive donation credit for that year’s tax purposes. Donations may be applied to pledges for the prior year or to the following year, but the statement for tax purposes will reflect the actual date of the donation.