Monday, February 27, 2017
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Pledging Q&A

Q. What is a pledge?
Each year, we ask all parishioners to make a thoughtful, prayerful and intentional commitment to financially support the mission and ministry of First Congregational Church. You pledge can be paid in a variety of ways through the weekly offering plate, online through an automatic debit or even through the sale of stock.

Q. Does my pledge really make a difference?
Absolutely. It often comes as a surprise when people learn that First Congregational relies almost entirely on the weekly offering of its members.  70% of the revenue needed to operate and maintain First Congregational comes from the pledges.

Q. Can’t I practice stewardship without pledging—by just putting money in the plate?
Because we depend on the weekly offering to maintain our operations, making a pledge tells us how much money First Congregational will have to carry out its mission for the year, and thereby helps us plan our budget. This is critical information for making careful, purposeful decisions about church activities, ministry and maintenance. And on a personal level, pledging helps to transform your giving into a spiritual practice; you make a commitment to God and to your church family and fulfilling it becomes a regular practice just like attendance at worship, learning or prayer. 

Q. Doesn’t the Church have an Endowment?
Yes it does. However First Congregational’s Endowment is still relatively modest and currently contributes less than 7% of the Church’s operating budget.

Q. How much should I give with an annual pledge?
We ask each parishioner to consider making a pledge that is both responsible and significant based on his or her financial situation.  At First Congregational, giving is intended to be “in keeping with your income” (1 Corinthians 16:2).  

Here’s a helpful chart for calculating a weekly pledge based on either monthly or annual income. Amount of your weekly pledge at… 

ANNUAL
INCOME

MONTHLY
INCOME

3%

5%

10%

15%

$10,000

$833

$6 per week

$9 per week

$19 per week

$28 per week

$15,000

$1,250

$8

$15

$29

$44

$20,000

$1,667

$12

$19

$39

$58

$25,000

$2,083

$14

$24

$48

$72

$30,000

$2,500

$17

$29

$58

$87

$40,000

$3,333

$23

$38

$77

$115

$50,000

$4,167

$29

$48

$96

$144

$60,000

$5,000

$35

$58

$115

$173

$75,000

$6,250

$43

$72

$144

$216

$100,000

$8,333

$58

$96

$192

$288

$150,000

$12,500

$87

$120

$240

$433

How to Calculate Your Pledge

Different approaches for determining your pledge

It probably doesn’t surprise you that just as there are many different reasons why we each pledge to First Congregational Church of Melrose, there is similarly no single method for determining the amount of your pledge. The following are approaches that you might consider:

• The Biblical Tithe
The Old Testament refers to Tithing, pledging 10% or more of your gross annual income. Although the tithe has its roots in Jewish tradition, it is also the historical Christian standard for giving.  The New Testament does not designate a percentage of income, but only states “in keeping with your income”.  All giving should be what you “decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

• Proportional Giving
Base your gift on your annual income using the table above. That is, start with your expected income next year and pick a percentage that feels right. Always remember to ask yourself, is the amount you are giving proportional to your love of God, to your love of First Congregational and reflective of your relationship with the church. If you have used this guide before, consider increasing last year’s percentage by 1% or more.

• “The Trustee’s Challenge”
Consider taking Trustee Challenge and help First Congregational maintain its mission and ministries next year by increasing last year’s pledge by 12%.

Q. How do I make a pledge?
A pledge can be made one of two ways: by completing a pledge card and returning it to the Church Office or online though our “virtual pledge card” which can be found here. Upon making your pledge, you will receive a written acknowledgement letter as well as a set of personalized envelopes.

Q. How can I pay my pledge?
You may pay your pledge through weekly offerings received at worship services or through automatic debits. The Church will provide you offering envelopes for your convenience, printed with donor record numbers to insure proper crediting of payments. Or you can make your payments with an automatic debit by filling out the church Authorization Form.

What happens if I can’t pay my pledge?
You may change the amount of your pledge at any time. All we ask is that you let us know so we may correct your records. Please call the Trustees of Finance if for any reason you need to change your pledge.  All information is confidential.

 Make a commitment today! Click here to get started.

1968 drawing of FCC Melrose
121 West Foster StreetMelrose, Massachusetts 02176
Phone: 781-665-2111Fax: 781-665-8824

Comments, questions, suggestion? Email us at info@fccmelrose.org
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