Dear First Trinity Members and Friends:
Our new Call to Mission says perfectly what I love about our church: “We are a faith community called to grow in the Spirit, love as Christ loves us, and participate in God’s liberating work of justice and peace.” We feed and clothe neighbors in our community every week. We became the first and only church in the Bridgeport neighborhood that’s intentionally welcoming to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. We are baptizing new members regularly, and we have created new religious education programs including Godly Play and a confirmation class. We organized to successfully reinstate service on the 31st Street Bus and to raise the minimum wage for thousands of low-wage workers in suburban Cook County. And we’re constantly working to grow so we can expand the ways that we transform people’s lives through faith, community, and justice.
This awesome work is a direct result of generous contributions from all of us: gifts of time, talents, and treasure. This year, the Church Council is launching a September stewardship drive to ask church members and friends to think more intentionally about these gifts. What are the ways you would like to share the gifts that God has given you with the church in 2018? These gifts include the time you spend leading and volunteering; the talents you share with our community like bringing cheerful energy to new people as a greeter or singing on Sunday; and the financial resources that pay for our wonderful staff, building expenses, etc.
Just like we as the church make an annual budget so we can plan for the year, we’d like to ask church members to make a pledge this month for the ways you’d like to share your gifts with our church. What ministries would you like to participate in? How much money will you pledge to give over the course of the year? We ask that you think about your household budget and income and decide on a gift amount that is personally significant to you.
There will be a pledge cards in your worship bulletins this month. When you are ready you may place your pledge card in the offering, hand it to Rene or myself, or complete an online pledge form at https://firsttrinitychicago.com/pledge
Over the course of the month of September, we’ll encourage the community to reflect on these questions. Pastor Tom and Vicar Samantha will share sermons on the themes of stewardship and Sabbath. I will share a personal testimonial. And each week, a pledge card will be included in your bulletin, which you can complete and put in the offering plate at your convenience. I’m excited about this opportunity to reflect on our giving as a spiritual practice. This process will both help us to think more intentionally about how we as individuals use the gifts God has given us, and how the church as a whole uses our resources to support our shared mission. If anyone would like to have an individual conversation, I’m happy to talk – feel free to catch me before or after service.
Thank you for all that you do to make First Trinity the amazing, transformational community I love.
P.S. What is a Pledge? A pledge is a statement of how much time, talent, or treasure you intend to give. If needed, you can change your pledge later. You may need to give less or choose to give more. At First Trinity, every person is invited to pledge according to their ability.
As you prepare to pledge, be aware that your pledge is vitally important to help us manage our finances as a faith community. In 2016, contributions from members and friends of the church totaled just over $40,000. Our full operating budget this year is $100,000, and less than half of that comes from the many space sharers in our building and the Trinity House, and support from outside of the congregation. Otherwise, every dollar for ministry comes from people, like you, who donate at worship, by mail, or by recurring automatic deposit.