"Stewardship" can be a loaded word. People often hear it and think about money and the annual "October Beg-A-Thon" where the church asks for money. But in its truest form, stewardship is about our need to give, and about the transformation that takes place in our lives and in our relationships with God and with the world around, when we give of ourselves. Giving is the very nature of God, and when we give, we become more like the One Who created us.
Far from being limited to merely financial giving, the Stewardship Ministry Team seeks to educate and engage people in the life-changing conversations about where God, grace, generosity, and giving intersect.
A pledge is a commitment that we make to the church and to God to give a specific amount and/or proportion of our income in the coming year, to fund the mission and ministries of the church. We are also invited to make pledges of our work and wisdom to the church. These are also often expressed as "Time, Talent, and Treasure" -- or "Wealth, Wisdom, and Work," or even "Brains, Brawn, and Bucks," in the words of Stewardship Team member Jacob Trimble.
At St. Peter's, our "pledge campaign" generally takes place in October, but pledge cards may be requested and filled out throughout the year -- or you can pledge electronically.
The church leadership -- in the vestry and the treasurers -- then relies on the total amount pledged when preparing the spending plan for the next year. Pledges can always be revised during the year if a person's financial situation changes.
Pledges can be honored by giving during the offering at Sunday worship services. Pledges can also be paid electronically using the "Giving" link on the homepage, or by checks sent directly from banks. For more information, check out these Frequently Asked Questions. To receive a pledge card, contact Levi Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planned giving means giving to the church or other organizations after death, through such methods as wills, insurance policies, trusts, and so forth. At St. Peter's, unrestricted bequests and other planned gifts are invested in the Perpetual Memorial. You can read more about that in St. Peter's Investment Policy.
As much as we may not like to think so, all of us will someday die. Preparing for that eventuality is one of the most responsible ways that we can be good stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. To learn more about wills, trusts, charitable planned gifts, funeral planning, and other end-of-life issues, download this excellent hands-on workbook, the Life Planning Manual, prepared by the Stewardship Ministry Team with inspiration from the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, Washington.
To speak with Fr. Steve about remembering St. Peter's in your will, e-mail him at FatherSteve@stpeterschicago.org. And if you have already remembered St. Peter's in your estate plan, download and turn in this form, so the church can acknowledge and thank you for your generosity.
In October 2012, St. Peter's reflected very intentionally on God’s generosity, imagining all that the parish could become and accomplish with everyone working together for the Kingdom of God. As part of that endeavor, several members of the congregation shared their hopes and dreams for the future in a series of video conversations. Take a look at the film that resulted from those conversations:
In 2010, members of the St. Peter's community produced a book of meditations on generosity. You can link to the .pdf file here.
In 2011, the Stewardship Ministry Team interviewed a host of parishioners to produce a series of short videos titled Feasting on Gratitude, Sharing Our Story. To view a half-hour film featuring all the shorter clips plus hilarious outtakes, watch below.