Stewardship Ministry Team
“All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee.”
At Saint Michael’s we view our stewardship as the care we take of all the things that God has entrusted to us on this earth. We realize that God has given us many gifts, and that our relationship with Him will be deepened and expanded as we use these gifts responsibly and creatively at Saint Michael’s, as well as in all areas of our lives.
Our stewardship encompasses how we use our time, our talents, and our treasure. Time is not something we can create, rather, it is a gift to us from God. Similarly, our talents are God-given. And the money we call “ours” is something we have received by exchanging part of God’s gift to us with someone else.
Time and Talents
At Saint Michael’s there are myriad ways available for us to use our time and talents right here at the Church: singing in the Choir, working at the Ark, participating in Wednesday lay-led services, serving as ushers and greeters, or maintaining our property. Reaching outside our church we can work in a soup kitchen, stock a food pantry, knit prayer shawls, or provide Christmas presents for children at Brightest Horizons. These are but a small sample of the avenues available through Saint Michael’s.
Members, including seasonal ones, are asked to make a pledge in January of each year to support the parish in its program of ministries. This pledge, given back into the world in gratitude, is considered a covenant between each individual and God.
We ask our parishioners to give prayerful consideration to setting aside a proportion of their income for the Church when planning their budget. We strive toward a biblical tithe, a tenth of our income. We suggest that our seasonal members pro-rate their giving according to the time spent at Saint Michael’s.
As a practical matter, the annual pledges allow parish planners to estimate the Church’s revenue for the year so that they can plan programming and budget effectively.
Celebrating 50 Years - Generations of Generosity
Our theme for Annual Giving 2008 reflects that we are celebrating our 50th year as a congregation on Sanibel Island. We are thankfully recognizing this milestone through dinners, speakers, music, worship, and the publication of our history. As we celebrate we are also remembering those who came before us whose generous sacrifices helped so significantly to ensure the blessings we have realized as a congregation. As we recall the generosity of the past, we too ponder how we as Christian stewards might share these blessings for our time and the future.
The “Angels” of Saint Michael’s
Over the years, a number of parishioners have included Saint Michael’s in their estate plans. These people, now members of “The Angels’ Society”, have made provision which will insure the Church’s financial viability into the future. One Angels’ Society member has said, “I want to make sure that the values which I espouse during my lifetime will continue to be carried forth to other generations. I don’t want my impact to end when I am no longer here.”
People can become members the Angels Society in various ways, including:
· naming Saint Michael’s as a percentage or fixed dollar beneficiary in a will
· creating a Charitable Remainder Trust with Saint Michael’s as a beneficiary
· designating Saint Michael’s as the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy
· making an outright gift to our endowment: the Ministries and Facilities Trust
A special event for Angels is frequently held in the spring of the year. In the past, Bishop Dabney Smith spoke with the group about church endowments, and some very dramatic ways in which he had seen endowment income even out the ups and downs in regular income that may occur periodically.
Gifts for Capital Projects
From time to time Saint Michael’s sees a need for income for capital projects outside the normal operating budget of the parish. Monies raised in the Share Our Blessings Campaign, begun in 2001, provided a multitude of improvements including a new kitchen, entrance gallery and library, and a new organ. This successful campaign was expanded in 2005 to Share Our Blessings II, to allow new members to participate in additional improvements to church office space, the choir room and the driveway, among other things.
Stewardship of Creation
At Saint Michael’s we have a growing awareness that we have responsibility to make Millennium Development Goal #7 – environmental sustainability – a reality in both our homes and family lives, and in our church. Our scriptures begin with the story of creation of our planet. How have we treated that creation? How can we protect “this fragile earth, our island home”? Through the work of several groups within Saint Michael’s, we have taken simple steps to conserve energy, thereby saving money, while also instituting practices which will reduce pollution of our environment.
The Stewardship Commission
The practice of stewardship at Saint Michael’s is guided and led by the members of the Stewardship Commission, working in concert with the Rector.
The Stewardship Commission would openly welcome any member of the church who would like to participate in our activities, or serve as a member of the Commission. Please contact Susan Gonzalez, Parish Secretary, at email@example.com or call 239-472-2173.
How to Make a Gift to Saint Michael’s
We welcome all gifts, as long as they conform to the guidelines in our “Gift and Pledge Receipt” Policy. We are not presently able to take on-line donations, but will provide information about how to arrange for electronic transfers. Weekly pledge envelopes can be provided.
If you wish to make a gift of securities, please contact the Finance Office at the above address for information to give your broker to facilitate the transaction.
If you wish information about joining The Angels’ Society by making an estate gift, the Finance Office is also your first contact.