Stewardship & Giving

Stewardship & Giving

Stewardship is what we do all the time with what we have

What is Stewardship?

Our call as a congregation is to make positive outcomes within our church family, in the Island community, and the world. In the UCC tradition, the financial foundation of our ministry is based on the annual pledges and gifts received from members and friends. There are no outside grants or funding sources. Pledges make it possible for our church to create and implement realistic financial support for our ministry,  mission, education and worship.

Pledging is at the heart of our identity as a Congregational Church.  Your pledge reflects a commitment to and a concern for this community. It expresses a desire to keep our Church a vital presence in the center of the Island. Pledges make a difference.

Pledging should not make on feel overwhelmed. A pledge is a financial promise to give a pre-determined amount of money during the course of the year. It is a proposed estimate of giving. A pledge can be made as a weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly contribution. You can even set your pledge up for automatic giving. If your circumstances change, just let us know and we will adjust accordingly.

Why Pledge?

Your pledge is an essential part of the overall church budget.  Pledge contributions make up more than half of our annual operating income. We have no outside funding sources.

Ministry teams shape our budget in order to fulfill our mission. The church budget is presented in March to the members of the church for final approval.  Prior to accepting a new budget, Finance and Stewardship teams make recommendations based on pledges received and projected income. The Treasurer prepares a budget for review by the congregation. A full financial statement can be requested from the church office.

What Are The Pledge Cards For?

Pledge cards enable you to formalize your financial commitment to this church and allow us to anticipate what resources will be available for our ministries and missions.

To pledge, include your personal information on the card and include how much you plan to give, either weekly, monthly or quarterly for an annual total. These pledges can either be placed in the offering plate on any Sunday morning, or mailed to the church office.

How Can I Make A Pledge?

Pledge contributions may be sent by check payable to "First Congregational Church of West Tisbury", dropped in the Sunday offering plate in a numbered envelope, or consider setting up FCCOWT for automatic giving through your bank’s bill payment system.

Check the box on the pledge card to request envelopes. If you forget your assigned envelopes, you can find extras at the church entries. Just fill in your name and the amount will be credited to your quarterly statement.

What If My Financial Situation Changes?

You may revise or cancel your pledge should your circumstances require. Please let our financial secretary, David Fielder, know and we can adjust our records and the budget accordingly.

Do I Need To Be A Member To Pledge?

No.  We have many friends of the church who lend their support through pledges and donations.

Will I Receive Statements of My Giving?

As a pledger, you will receive quarterly statements of your financial gifts for your records.  Annual statements are mailed for all other contributors. If you have questions regarding your Annual statement, please contact our Financial Secretary.

How Do I Know What To Give?

If this is your first time pledging or you are considering deepening your pledge, here is some basic information that might be helpful:

For all of us, our giving decision invites us to focus on the abundance that comes from God. Pledging stretches us to be more aware of what really matters to us and to be more alive to the blessings that

For some, the concept of giving back 10% of what they have received is inconceivable; for others, it’s the least they can do.  For all of us, our giving decision invites us to focus on the abundance that comes from God.  Pledging stretches us to be more aware of what really matters to us and more alive to the blessings that are always surrounding us and our loved ones.

One way to determine the pledge that is right for you is by considering your annual income and then identifying which percentage of that amount might be appropriate as a weekly gift.  This approach allows you to consider how your pledge commitment corresponds to your other weekly expenses.

The majority of our pledges in our congregation fall within the $1,000-$5,000 range, but we have leadership gifts that range from $5,000 and $20,000.  Nearly 80% of our budget income comes from our church families. We leverage the dollars that we have with volunteer hours that allow us to benefit many times over from the gifts which we receive.

The Guide to Proportional Giving offers ideas on how much your weekly gift would be based on a percentage of your current income.

If you feel that you would like to pledge to First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, please download and fill out the Pledge Card. Drop it in the collection plate, mail it or drop it off to the church office.

Planned Giving

Planned giving allows an individual to respond to the desire or need to "pass it forward".  So many that went before us did exactly that.  Gifts both large and small from faithful members have enabled churches to remain alive through their generosity, Estate planning gifts, trusts and other charitable instruments. 

To make sound financial plans, one must take into account their own needs and those of family, as well as commitments to church and charities.  God calls us to not only be faithful stewards now, but also to join the mission into the future. 

Prior generations have hoped to share the gifts which they enjoyed in the is special place with those who would follow them.  The endowed funds that have continued to grow from those gifts have provided us flexibility to stretch toward goals that we might otherwise not have risked. 

A planned gift or deferred gift, is a gift that is planned for during the donor's lifetime but not actually received by the church or charity until the donors death.  These can include bequests, life income gifts, and certain life insurance arrangements. 

Life income gifts include gift annuities, pooled fund, and charitable remainder trusts.  All provide the donor with income for life.  Again, following the donors death, the remaining principle of the gift is paid to the charity designated in the donor's agreement. 

We welcome your inquiries concerning Planned Giving Program at First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.  Appointments can be arranged to talk about the many ways one may share their love for this church and help to brighten the lives of the generations to follow.