A Guide to Financial Giving at St. James
At St. James Episcopal Church, we encourage generosity in every aspect of our common life: through the ways we volunteer our time to the church and wider community; through the ways we offer our specific gifts and talents in service of our Lord; and in the ways we use our financial resources. We believe that responsible and disciplined financial stewardship – giving back to God a portion of what God has given us – is critical to spiritual health. By giving freely and bountifully to God through the ministry of our parish, we enable a tremendous amount of good work to be done within and outside the walls of our Church.
The St. James Stewardship Campaign supports an exciting future for our Church community. We hope you’ll take the time to review your commitment to the ministry of St. James and the opportunities available to make a difference locally, and in the world. You will find pledge cards at the back of the Church, in the Parish Hall, and here on our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a “pledge?”
A pledge is a commitment to give a certain amount of money to sustain the Church community and to encourage growth. You are welcome here, and your pledge helps us extend that welcome to others. Your pledge to St. James’ says, “I am part of this community and I want to show that this parish and its values are important to me.”
Why does my pledge mean so much to St. James’?
At St. James’ we depend almost exclusively on pledges to fund and fulfill our mission. Our Annual Church Fair funds our outside mission projects but all the funds needed to sustain the life of our community come from our members’ pledges. Indeed, unlike some denominations, we receive no money from the Diocese or National Church. Quite the opposite: we pay an annual assessment to help fund the ministry of the wider church.
How do I decide how much to pledge to St. James’?
Your giving is as personal as your prayer life, and only you can know what is right for you at this stage of your journey. The important thing is to make a heartfelt commitment. You’ll find that as St. James’ grows, you are growing too.
Who sees my pledge?
The only people who see your pledge, besides God, are the Stewardship Chair, the Parish Treasurer, and the Assistant Treasurer. These are kept in strict confidence.
With whom may I speak for additional information?
Feel free to be contact our Rector, The Rev. Amy Spagna, at aspagna (at) stjameswoodstock (dot) org. Depending on the nature of your questions, they can put you in touch with our Stewardship Ministry Team Chair or the Parish Treasurer.
How do I pledge?
We ask you to tell us about your pledge by completing a pledge card — either in person or online. Pledges can be made weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. The pledging process is simple and tax statements are issued to those who wish to deduct their pledge contributions from their taxable income. Weekly offering envelopes, if requested, are made available soon after pledges are received.
Planned Giving and Endowment
Throughout its history, St. James Church has benefited from the thoughtful philanthropy of parishioners and friends. The many ministries currently provided are in direct response to needs identified within the parish, the community in and around Woodstock, and the wider world we serve. These gifts are recorded in our Philanthropy Book, located in the back of the Church.
Each year, the vestry formulates an operating budget to support our ministry, and the reliance on annual pledges and gifts is significant. Taking active steps to build and sustain a strong endowment – helping to ensure that St. James meets God’s mission now -- and in the future – is of critical importance. If you would like more information about how to make a planned gift to St. James, please contact a member of the Vestry or the rector.