As you consider your pledge, ask yourself:
- How do my pledges reflect gratitude for abundance that I experience at Saint Mark's and in my daily life?
- How do my pledges to Saint Mark's reflect the relationship I would hope to have with money?
- Of all the gifts I have received--my income and the wealth God has granted me--what proportion will I give to support God's Kingdom here at Saint Mark's?
- How will fulfilling these pledges be a part of my spiritual practice?
- Does my decision about pledging make me joyful?
Frequently asked questions about pledging
How is pledging different than putting money into the offering plate when I’m at church?
Pledging offers us the opportunity to be more intentional about what we give - not simply giving from what we find left over. Instead, pledges are a way of offering the first fruits of our labors to God. In that way, pledging helps us commit ourselves to the spiritual practice of giving. To pledge is to practice gratitude. It is a way of giving thanks for all that has been given to us by God. To pledge is also a practice of trust. Through pledging, we learn to give more freely, to let go of ourselves and our control, and to lean into a deeper trust in God.
While pledging represents a gift of our first fruits, it is not the only kind of giving we can offer. Charitable giving includes many different kinds of gifts including almsgiving, targeted giving for specific projects, and legacy (or planned) giving. Alms are loose cash or other spur of the moment giving that go into an offering plate at church. Alms support people with special needs: the poor, those without stable housing, and those in need of stable sustenance. Almsgiving, like targeted and legacy giving, are additional ways of making offering a gift to God above and beyond a pledge.
Why is passing the offering plate part of the liturgy of the table anyway?
The first act of the Liturgy of the Table is the offering. All that we are, our whole being, is gathered together into a single community and offered to God in thanksgiving. What each of us puts into the offering plate, the fruits of our labor, is brought up and placed on the table along with the bread and wine, fruits of the earth. Those offerings, including our money, are then blessed, broken, and given back by God to us in new ways. Just as we give to God, God gives back to us from God’s abundance. So in that simple action of passing a plate and making a gift, we are reminded again and again that all that we have we receive from God, and in giving and receiving we participate in God’s life in profound ways.
What is the difference between giving money to a charity and committing money to my church?
Generosity is a beautiful way of engaging in the world. Practicing stewardship through regular giving to church is about much more than generosity though. In practicing stewardship, we acknowledge that God is creator of all that is, and what we have to give was given to us by God. By practicing stewardship, we accept that what God entrusts us with is given to us for a purpose: to participate in God’s dream for the world. Practicing stewardship changes us, and enables us to embody God’s dream more fully. Giving by making a pledge is a generous act. It is also spiritual practice.
Do I have to pay my pledge all at once?
No. Many people fulfill their pledge weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Some use offering envelopes or set up a regular payment schedule by Electronic Funds Transfer or credit card.
How can I include the Cathedral in my will or estate plan?
Read more about planned giving or legacy giving.
What if I need to change my pledge amount?
That’s not a problem! Just call or email the cathedral office at any time. We know that people’s financial situations change over time, both up and down, and we will keep all conversations confidential.