Real Meaning. Real Purpose. Generational Transformation.
In 1968, 69 people answered a call to devote intentional meaning and life- giving purpose to a new mission: establish a new Methodist church in southeast Charlotte. More than 50 years later, much has changed. Fields and forests have given way to busy commuter corridors and growing neighborhoods. Landline phones and fax machines have been replaced by the internet and A.I.
What has not changed? The clear intention, focus, and passion of those who call St. Stephen their home.
In this season, we are digging deep as we continue our 50-year tradition of doing ministry and discipleship with real meaning and with real purpose. We will prayerfully invest for life and prepare for a future that is calling for generational transformation.
Stay tuned to your mailboxes as we send out our full letter and pledge cards. Return your cards in person at the church, mail them back, or make your pledge confidentially online.
Watch and Learn
Frequently Asked Questions
Practically speaking, a “pledge” is an estimate of your giving for the coming year, which in turn, funds everything we do as a faith community – from paying the salaries of our clergy and staff, to supporting our outreach ministries, our pastoral care, our worship, our education programs, our music and our facilities. Pledges allow us to dream big and to make bold plans as we make decisions about our priorities and possibilities in the year to come.
Spiritually speaking, your pledge is your response to God’s abundance in our lives. It is both a statement of thanksgiving and an outward and visible sign of our commitment to follow in the way of Jesus, by giving as God gives to us. A pledge can thus help you to grow in your faith and trust in God. By giving in a regular, committed way, a pledge can turn your giving into a spiritual practice just like prayer or worship which in turn helps to keep God as a priority in our life. When we give in a committed way, it helps to keep us focused on God. Where our money goes, our heart will be found also.
The pledge helps St. Stephen plan for the coming year. The pledge helps determine if funds will be available to support the church and ministries for the coming year. Submitting a pledge is comparable to your employer agreeing to pay your salary, or pension and the government agreement to pay your social security.
Pledging helps us embrace the spiritual discipline of giving. Like prayer, scripture reading, fasting, and dedication to service, the practice of giving regularly and intentionally helps us grow in faith and mature spiritually. It serves as a continual reminder of God’s claim on our lives.
At St. Stephen, every pledge matters, regardless of the amount. We are all in a different place. It’s not about the amount so much, but whether the amount is faithfulness in which it is given. Start with prayer and reflect on the blessings of your life. Consider an amount that is both responsible and significant based on our individual financial situation.
It might be helpful to consider this question: Does our giving reflect our standard of living? One way to ensure that is always true is to give a percentage of your income. A tithe (10% of your income) has long been held as the standard of Christian giving. If 10% feels out of reach at the moment, start with a lower amount and incrementally increase each year. To calculate your pledge or tithe, the following chart may help:
|Annual Gross Income||2%||4%||6%||8%||10%||12%|
If your circumstances change, for whatever reason, just let us know and we can adjust it anytime. No need for explanations, simply call the office or Marielle Mathis our Financial Administrator. (And of course, if you receive unexpected additional income, you are always welcome to increase your pledge.)
We ask everyone who considers St. Stephen their spiritual home to make a pledge of some kind. If you have never pledged before, then it might be helpful to think of pledging as another step in your relationship with God and God’s mission and taking your place in the Body of Christ. Give whatever amount helps you feel closer to God and more connected to our faith community. You will find that committed giving will help your faith grow and your trust in God deepen. Try it and see if Jesus was right when he said, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also.”