Those of us who have been at Epiphany for a few years, take the “No Name Pledge” approach for granted. However during my first Epiphany pledge drive I was very surprised by the whole concept. In fact I was so surprised by a “no name pledge” that I only put a token pledge in the basket, fully intending to give more. I did give more than I pledged, but now realize that it was the wrong approach for two reasons. First the pledge represents a commitment between my family and God. My approach hedged on that commitment by allowing for the possibility that my funds “might” be used for something else. Secondly it complicates the church’s responsibility to develop a realistic budget.
So how do “No-Name Pledges” work? While many churches conduct an every member canvass with signed pledges, Epiphany uses unsigned pledge cards. We ask each family or individual to prayerfully consider what God would have you give over the next year to support God’s work in this congregation. We believe that each pledge is a sacred commitment made to first and foremost to God. Because we understand your pledge to be a commitment to God, and not primarily to us as an institution, we do not track how much each individual or family pledges. In fact, only the treasurer knows what was given and prepares required annual statements for income tax. Neither the Clergy nor Vestry knows what was pledged or given by any individual or family.
We do add up the total amount of all pledges to determine a responsible budget for the church. This year your pledges will be for Fiscal Year 2015 (July1, 2014 to June 30, 2015).
It is a very special moment on Stewardship Sunday (April 6) when everyone comes forward to place his or her pledge card in a basket in front of the altar — a pledge known to you and to God. Your pledge is important to God, to you and to us. It is a statement of faith and gratitude to God and helps us plan for the next year of ministry at Epiphany. Bring an offering and come into His courts with praise and thanksgiving.
Scott Reiter, Finance Committee Chairman
Tom Will, Senior Warden
Jim Humenik, vestry member