St. Matthew's Episcopal Church 919 Tennis Avenue | Maple Glen, Pennsylvania 19002 | 215-646-4092

2023 Stewardship Letter from the Treasurer

Many years ago at a Boy Scout Camp with my son, the message at the Sunday services was on financial planning and giving to God. Sounds pretty exciting for a bunch of teenage boys, right? I don’t know about the boys, but I have never forgotten that message. Here’s how it went.

Ten or so scouts were called to the front and given a giant hoagie roll.

They were told that that roll represented their family’s earnings and savings. They were asked to divide up the roll according to the needs of the family. One by one each scout tore off a chunk of the roll and announced its intended use. Food. Housing. Clothing. Save for college. Transportation. The roll grew smaller and smaller.

On it went. Utilities. Taxes. Christmas and birthday gifts. Holidays and travel. All good, sensible, logical things. Finally, the roll was reduced to a crust and a few crumbs. Of the abundance that was provided, this was all that was left to give to God.

The message to the scouts (and me)? Planning is important. God wants us to plan! Our earnings and savings have been provided to us by God and He wants us to use them wisely for His purposes. And yes, His purposes include caring for ourselves and our families. But, He deserves more than the leftovers.

I said that I have never forgotten that message. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with giving decisions. I invite you to join me in the struggle as we all decide how to respond to the annual call to pledge to our parish and its mission.

Where Does Your Money Go?

As you consider your pledge, you deserve to know how your money is spent. Just like the Boy Scouts in the story, the vast amount of our spending is for the essentials – the things that are needed to simply be “open for business” each Sunday. Salaries and benefits. Upkeep on the building and grounds. Our commitment to the Diocese. Insurance, Office Supplies, Postage, etc.

In fact, only about 5% of our spending goes to Worship, Outreach, Programs (like Sunday School) and Inreach. This is where we all want to be able to do more of God’s work!

How Important is Your Pledge?

Pledges cover about two-thirds of our spending! They are the most important part of the budget. Not only because they are the largest part but also because they are the hardest to predict until all of the pledges are made. All other sources of funding like investments, Nursery School, “plate” offerings and special (Christmas, Easter, flowers, etc.) offerings can be reasonably predicted and are much smaller. In other words, the Vestry cannot plan well without your pledge.

What Are We Asking You to Do?

Pray. Plan. Repeat as needed.

Yours in Christ,

Jim Garrison

To make pledging easy, we are offering an online formor you can use the pledge card that was mailed. There will be an opportunity at each of our worship services on October 16 to come before the altar and present this pledge card. Alternatively, you can mail it to the church office, or you can email our Parish Manager directly. You can view all of our options online here.

We would ask that you complete your pledge by November 1st, so that we can properly budget for next year.