Being generous supporters of our faith community is essential to our life together. As a congregational church we are entirely self-supporting -- there's no larger institution that finances our work. We are truly in this together! Yet, many folks in our community are new to this kind of church and have many questions about how to provide financial support. So here are some frequently asked questions:
What is a Sustaining Gift?
A Sustaining Gift is an estimate of annual financial giving; some call it a statement of intent. Your gift amount may be changed, increased or decreased during the year, at any time as your financial circumstances change. A Sustaining Gift is open-ended and assumes on-going support.
Why should I make a Sustaining Gift?
Giving is a central Christian practice. Christian stewardship is everything we do after we say "we believe." This includes what we do with our financial resources. We return to God a portion of what we have received, recognizing that all we are and all we have is a gift from God.
Sustained Giving supports the Church community.
We are created in the image of God to be co-creators of our community of faith. We each bear a responsibility to ensure that FCC remains vital and strong. Sustaining Giving is the primary way we fund our ministries.
A Sustaining Gift helps other people in need.
We bear a responsibility for the world around us. What we give supports people and organizations beyond FCC: through the work of the clergy and staff, through the use of our building, and through the outreach ministries we support.
It focuses our priorities.
Jesus calls us to focus on giving ourselves to the things that matter. Many of us lead very busy lives. Yet so much of what we do may not be central to who we are. What matters to you? If FCC is on that list, setting up a Sustaining Gift is a tangible way to express it.
How much should I give?
Only you know what you can give. The dollar amount is not the most important detail of your Sustaining Gift. We want you to participate. We want you to do the best you can. We understand that we live in uncertain economic times. In the past annual gifts have ranged from $104 to $25,000 annually. You can give less, more, or something in between.
A good place to start can be 2% of your family income. Or perhaps you might think of matching another bill you have -- such as your cable bill or monthly expenses on coffee or on what you might spend on a nice meal out each week. Again, the most important part of your Sustaining Gift is that you make it with intention.
When and how do I make this Sustaining Gift?
At FCC our Sustaining Giving year is from January to December. You can notify the church office (973-744-4856 or firstname.lastname@example.org) at any time of the year to receive a Sustaining Gift form and begin your giving. Each November we have our annual Stewardship Campaign where we share stories of how FCC has transformed our lives and are asked to make a Sustaining Gift for the upcoming year. We have a special worship service which celebrates the generosity which sustains us.
We welcome your participation and support in our family of faith!