Stewardship

What is Stewardship all about?

At Emmanuel, we know that financial stewardship is an important component of a balanced spiritual life. Returning to God from that which God has given us is a tangible way to express our faith. When each of us gives as we are able, together we fund ministry within our church, to the Kailua community, and to the world.


Take some to time to ask for God’s help to guide you in this decision. Hold this question and consider including it in your daily or weekly prayers as you think about your financial commitment for the coming year.  


What is a pledge?

A pledge is an estimate of giving; some call it a statement of intent. Your pledge amount may be changed, increased or decreased during the year, at any time as your financial circumstances change.


Why should I pledge?

Pledging allows you to make intentional decisions about your financial giving. When you plan ahead for your giving, you make conscious choices about spending your money in ways that reflect your faith and values. Receiving your pledge allows our Bishop’s Committee, the church’s governing board, to do for our parish community what you do for your household: plan wisely for the use our resources in support of the mission and ministry to which God has called us. The Bishop’s Committee sets a budget based on the total amount pledged to the church. While plate offerings are important to the parish, your pledge lets the committee plan more accurately for the ministry we can accomplish.


How do I pledge?

While our annual giving campaign is held in the fall, pledges may be made at any time. You may pay weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly via cash, checks, credit card, or electronic fund transfer (EFT). 


Download a pledge certificate form here

Electronic Fund Transfer form here

Pay by credit card or debit via emmanuelkailua.org

Why Pledges Matter

For us as a community: Pledges help us to plan. We are a people committed to responsible stewardship of our financial resources. Therefore, in order to plan well we ask one another to make a statement—a pledge—of our commitment of support so that we can plan appropriately for 2015.

 

For us individually: When we pledge, we receive the benefits and grace that come from making and fulfilling a promise. When we pledge, we sign on for the common work of this people; we jump in and commit ourselves to God’s purposes. We are fully part of helping Christ transform the world, and fully part of this congregation.

 

Pledging a portion of our financial wealth matters for at least three reasons. First, it is a way we give thanks to a God who is eternally loving and giving; who is the source of all that we are and have; who has given us not only life, but salvation. Second, it is a way we help God do God’s work. Third, the practice of giving forms our character into one of Godly generosity. We grow more trusting in a loving God; we grow into the fullness of what the Lord intends for us; and we take joy in being a generous people.

 

What roles do our tithes and offering play in the common life of Emmanuel?

Emmanuel has only one permanently restricted endowment from which the earnings are restricted. We also have long term investments, most of which are designated for a particular purpose by the donor or Bishop’s Committee. Lease income from the preschool facility is a significant source of support for our operating expenses; however, our own giving is by far the largest segment of Emmanuel’s ongoing funding. We support the ministry of this congregation through our financial offerings.


How much should I pledge? What do we ask of ourselves?

There is no set amount we ask one another to pledge. It will be different for each of us, and we invite one another to think in terms of sacrificial giving. The essence of sacrifice in scripture is the notion of “first fruits.” We give not the leftovers, but what’s first, that God’s blessing might rest upon the whole thing. Sacrificial giving looks different in different circumstances, but is best defined as a level of offering that causes us to alter, on some level, the way we live. In other words, to make such a commitment that we live differently as a reminder that the life given us by Jesus is a new life. The scriptural and historic norm of sacrificial giving is the tithe: 10% of income; given gladly. We ask that you work toward the tithe at Emmanuel so that we all may know the joy and grace that comes from living the tithing life. And we teach it because we think it’s pretty spectacular. After all, God gives us everything and asks for only 10% in return!

 

What if I need to change my pledge after I’ve made it?

A pledge is made based on our situation at a given time. Should that situation change, it is always appropriate to revise one’s pledge. Simply call the office at Emmanuel and they will record your revised pledge.

 

What is Automatic Withdrawal?

Automatic withdrawal is an opportunity to have your pledge electronically withdrawn from your bank account monthly. Most importantly, it facilitates the discipline of giving our “first fruits.” The 2015 enrollment form is enclosed in this packet. Automatic withdrawal reduces volunteer time spent processing checks and eliminates your need to remember to write the checks. Also, Emmanuel benefits from the steady cash flow.


Can I make my contributions using my credit or debit card?

A monthly automatic withdrawal is preferred to cash or checks. And cash or checks is preferred to credit or debit card payments. We like to put every dollar and cent into furthering our ministries and mission, without incurring additional fees and requiring additional office time to process this method of payment. However, credit or debit card payment is available via our website using PayPal.

 

I’m just getting started. I’ve never pledged before. The tithe is a long ways off for me right now…

Most of us are on a giving journey. It’s something we’re learning. If you are just getting started, congratulations! You are listening to God, and you are finding your place in the work God is doing through this community of faith. For those of us just getting started, we suggest a place to begin is to pledge at least 3% of your income. We suggest 3% as a starting point because studies have revealed that on average Americans lose track of 3% of their income. It seems, therefore, to make sense to begin our offering to God at a level commensurate with what we spend on ourselves without noticing it. But here’s what’s most important: that you are getting started, and Jesus smiles whenever we take the first step, or the next step.