What is the purpose of the 2012 Pledge Campaign?
To support the ongoing ministry and missions of VPC and provide funds to pay down the remaining balance on our outstanding mortgage without another capital campaign. This year’s pledge card has two lines so that you can designate your giving to both areas.
Why should I pledge? Can't I just drop money in the plate?
Our lives are defined by the regular practices of life and the commitments we make. Asking members and friends of the church to estimate their giving has both a spiritual and practical basis. Spiritually, it’s a tangible expression of your commitment to Christ and his church, giving back out of gratitude for what God has done for you. From a practical standpoint, it helps the leaders of the church plan wisely as they budget the church’s resources to build its ministry in the coming year.
How much should I give?
The Bible teaches that we are to give cheerfully with a spirit of generosity. While we actually own nothing, since everything belongs to God, we are invited to keep 90% to meet our own needs, and we are invited to set aside 10%, the tithe, to do God’s work in the world. We can reasonably assume that it is 10% of our gross income because we are told the tithe comes first, even before taxes! VPC considers all funds given to support God’s work in the world, even philanthropic endeavors outside the church, to be part of the tithe. Most of our members give a generous portion of their tithe to the church, but many also support other benevolent causes. For many of us, the simple truth is that we have to grow towards the tithe. If we are currently giving 2% of our income, a good growth strategy is to add an additional 1% each year until we achieve the goal of a full tithe. We can see our dollars accomplish amazing things when we turn them loose for God instead of holding on and storing up. God calls us to be faithful now; not at some point in the future.
How do I make sense of all the giving opportunities at VPC? What if I want to give my money to children, missions, music, or students?
The main giving opportunity for members and friends of the church annually is supporting the Ministry and Missions Budget. Gifts applied to the Ministry and Missions Budget provide the resources we need to keep all of our ministries going each year. This year we are asking for designated giving, over and above your gift to Ministry and Missions, to help retire the debt incurred when we built the new Ministry Center.
What if I have a question about how my giving is spent?
Vienna Presbyterian Church maintains open records for its members. This means that any member can ask to see how church money is spent. Information will be provided within certain reasonable restrictions. Contribution records, for instance, are confidential. Each year, VPC engages an outside accounting firm to review specific parts of VPC’s financial records. While not a full audit, this action does ensure that a neutral party reviews portions of the church's books and certain financial procedures. Beginning in January 2012, VPC will shift from cash to accrual accounting. This is a critical step towards our goal of having a full audit of 2012 records performed in 2013. We are working toward full compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). If you have questions or desire information about church financial records, please contact Doug LeMasters, the Director of Finance and Administration at 703-938-9050 x119.
How much do we owe on our outstanding mortgage? What is the plan for paying it off?
At this time we owe a little over $5 million dollars. In this year’s budget we are seeking $436K above the Ministry and Missions Budget to pay our minimum payments for 2012. Any additional designated funds we receive through this campaign will be used to pay down the principal balance.
Why aren’t we doing another capital campaign?
We have been involved in one capital campaign or another for 15 years. We have completed the three three-year capital campaigns that were planned and carried out to fund (1) the construction of the Ministry Center that opened in 2005, (2) the planting of a new church in Brambleton, and (3) several million dollars toward missions. Our final capital campaign came to an end in July, 2010. The Stewardship Team considers it likely that we’ll need a final capital campaign in the spring of 2013. However, they are hopeful that with the resources of this congregation, this debt retirement method (having a second line on the annual pledge card) could be a highly successful means of reducing our debt.
How should I think about my giving to Ministry and Missions and Debt Retirement?
Prayerfully consider each need and respond as our Lord leads you. We must be mindful of the ongoing ministry and missions of the church, as well as the additional debt service that is newly added to the budget this year. If you currently contribute to Ministry and Missions, we invite you to grow your gift and also consider an additional gift toward Debt Retirement rather than splitting your Ministry and Missions gift between the two line items. If you have not participated in pledging your support of God’s work at VPC, know that the generosity of many has brought us to a place where we can see the elimination of our debt. How is God calling you to participate?
What happens if my circumstances change and I need to adjust my estimate of giving?
The wonderful thing about giving based on a percentage of annual income is that if your circumstances change so can your giving. What you pledge to the church is a matter between you and God, but if you need to change your estimate—either up or down—you may speak or send an email confidentially to Betty Little at x112 or betty.little(at)viennapres.org.
Does it matter if I pledge to give yearly, monthly or weekly?
Our members and friends give in each of these ways, depending on their wish and custom.
How and when do I submit my pledge?
Each year in the fall, we have an all church stewardship campaign, in which members and friends fill out a pledge card and offer it in worship on Pledge Sunday (11.13.2011). You may also drop your pledge card in the offering plate on another Sunday, deliver it by mail or in person to the church office, or submit your pledge online.
How can I pay my pledged amount?
Visit the "Ways to Give" page for details on the many ways available to you.