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October, 2019 is “Pledge Fest” month at Ralph Connor!
Click here to download the PLEDGE FORM
Click here to download the PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance) Form
Click here to learn more about Pre-Authorized Remittance at Ralph Connor.
Each week in October, we will post the information shared on Sunday so that the whole Ralph Connor community can join in:
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2019 – THIRD SUNDAY of PLEDGEFEST
“CAN WE DO MORE?” SUNDAY
We were reminded that the goal of our giving is not merely to “balance the budget”, but to fulfill the Mission that Christ has given us;
We wondered what kinds of community outreach we might do if we had more financial resources to work with;
We heard about “Share Donation” as an additional way to give (more info to follow).
Please return your pledge forms (posted above) by November 17th!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2019 – SECOND SUNDAY of PLEDGEFEST
PLEDGEFEST GRATITUDE SUNDAY
Greg expressed gratitude for the open embrace from RCMUC congregation as he returned to ministry.
Mona expressed gratitude for many specific blessings
…and the cost attached to them.
Faye expressed gratitude for the RCMUC volunteers
…and the hope that we can soon gather all of the names to show our appreciation.
Carole expressed gratitude for the new opportunity to donate to RCMUC
…the “Donate Now” button on the “Giving” page on the website.
Dave expressed gratitude for the many blessings he has experienced since he came to RCMUC.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2019 – FIRST SUNDAY of PLEDGEFEST
Script for October 6 “Introduction to Pledgefest” – with thanks to Mona, Faye and Carole
Click here for a full-colour PDF of this script; click the > arrow > below to listen to an audio recording!
So apparently this is the first week of Pledgefest. What is Pledgefest all about?
Well I know that Pledgefest is:
– the entire month of October
– a month of celebrating Thanksgiving and giving thanks for our blessings
– a month of enjoying pumpkin pie at coffee time after the service
That’s it? Surely there is more to it.
Pledgefest is a way to show our gratitude by sharing our financial blessings with our church.
And Pledgefest is a way to let our treasurer know our best intentions for givings for the coming year.
At our Annual General Meeting, the Board sets out their best guess for a budget, and it is usually a deficit budget. Then our treasurer bites her nails for most of the year, and hopes that we will continue to be fortunate enough to receive extra donations to cover that gap.
I suppose in our household it would be difficult to know how much to spend without any idea how much income to expect every month.
If our members let us know their donation intentions, that will give our Treasurer and our Board the information they need to make good planning decisions.
I hope it is also a time when everyone considers the amount they give.
Some of our members have been giving the same amount for many years,
and they may not realize how much our church costs have risen.
(See 2020 Budget poster, above)
This shows that we will need $198,000 to cover our costs for 2020.
Wait a minute! Did you say $198,000 a year? That’s $16, 500 a month!
Yes, that’s over $500 a day.
Where did you get those “cost” figures?
That is the 2019 costs approved by the AGM, with a cost of living increase of 3%
That is just if we maintain the same basic budget, and just add the cost of living.
But if we get more, Council can consider new projects and initiatives, and already our Council and committee members have lots of ideas for projects within our mission.
We will discuss some of those great ideas in a couple of weeks.
Can you explain the income to meet that budget?
Before we hear from people about their donation intentions, the only pledge we know from year to year is the pledge from the Trustees — $15,000 – which is actually the housing allowance paid from investments from the sale of the manse.
Isn’t there anything there from the National Church?
No, in some church denominations, funding comes from a national level of the church.
It doesn’t work that way in the United Church.
I see rental income there. Really is that all we get — $15,000?
Well, we fortunately received more than that in 2019, but we need to estimate conservatively because rental income is quite unpredictable.
In fact one of our council members said that rental income is as unpredictable as Alberta’s oil revenues.
So we know there is a trustee pledge and some rental income. What does that mean?
It means that until we receive an indication of intended givings (in other words, pledges), we really don’t know if or how we will be able to meet our budget.
How short we are?
We cannot possibly know the shortfall for 2020 until we have some indication of pledges.
We can show you 2019.
(See 2019 Budget poster, above)
So can’t we just look at 2019 and just increase our pledges by some percent?
Some folks here have been giving the same amount for many years. Others have been increasing their givings every year, so there is no universal percentage that would apply to everyone. Besides that, some of the folks here are new, and some of our members are no longer here, so there is no way that we can provide a meaningful percentage.
I’m kind of a numbers gal. Can’t you just give me numbers? Tell me how much to give?
Some churches make it easy. They say give 10% of your income to the church.
The United Church says give as you are able. Prayerfully consider what you can give.
I can probably do that.
I hope we can talk about some easier ways to give. I am not here every week.
When I make a pledge for the coming year, are there some easy ways to pay?
In the next couple of weeks, we can discuss a variety of ways, but PAR is super easy.
PAR: Pre-Authorized Remittance – just like paying your monthly utility bill – the money comes automatically out of your account.
It would be very reassuring as the Treasurer to KNOW how much is coming in each month.
Rick and I use the PAR system to make monthly payments through Visa, and we collect the Aeroplan points from Visa, and we can save those up for some of our visits to our grandson in Nova Scotia.
Some people here probably already use PAR. I would need information on how to sign up.
We have personalized pledge forms ready, and information about PAR included with that info.
..and for those already on PAR, there are new forms included so that they can easily step up their donation amounts.
Your envelopes will be available at coffee time, near the pumpkin pie.
So we can start our 2020 pledges right away.
Wow, as the treasurer, I give thanks for that.