by Kathye Cipes
I have always made a financial pledge. For me, it’s part of being a member…part of the cycle of the church year. It has been easy.
But, unfortunately, another reason it was so easy for me was that I wasn’t giving enough. Not even close. I was still giving, over 15 years later, the same amount I had pledged when I joined AHCC. I had a much lower salary then … was sending kids to summer camp, saving for college and all the things that come with parenthood.
Raising kids is behind me now. My husband has been able to launch his own business and my career has been blessedly steady. But my pledge had stayed the same, and was becoming embarrassingly close to what I spend on coffee every week.
I’d like to tell you that I came to the realization on my own. But, the real reason is because I was serving on the Administration and Finance Committee. I was witnessing at each meeting, the tough choices the church leadership has to make: trading off providing benefits for our staff versus repairing our 150 year old building; trying to plan for the future, without knowing how to meet current obligations. Without pledges, our leadership plays a guessing game of what they will be able to do in the upcoming year.
So, I took a close look at what I was giving, and a few years ago, I doubled my pledge.
Granted, I have had to change a few things to make my pledge to AHCC a higher priority in my finances. And I think that’s a good thing.
I do feel more connected to AHCC, and feel that I my financial contributions, which include a gift to the church in my will, are part of my legacy. I am, through my pledge, able to take personal pride in all the wonderful things we do at AHCC. It also has given me a much greater feeling that I am doing what I can do, and should do, to honor God and to answer God’s call as part of this wonderful congregation.
This year, I’m on the Stewardship Committee and our theme for 2018 is Pledge to Come. Pledge to Love. Pledge to Share.
I hope you will.