First, thank you again for your generosity in response to last year’s stewardship campaign. Your gifts enabled Trinity to “build up the body of Christ” at Trinity Menlo Park. Our life together continues, and so begins another stewardship year.
Reflecting on our theme - “Signs of Life” - this year’s stewardship appeal invites us to consider the Signs of Life that God’s grace brings to us individually and collectively. What are the “Signs of Life” that you treasure?
Among those “Signs of Life” are Trinity’s wonderful worship services, marvelous music programs, and extraordinary opportunities for spiritual formation at all ages. Vibrant Children and Family and Youth Ministries ever more meaningfully engage younger – and older – members of our community. Trinity’s Outreach initiatives have expanded to provide important services to the least, the lost, and the lonely in our broader community. The Jail Ministry, for example, brings monthly Evening Prayer services to women at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas. Trinity members within that ministry speak of receiving more than they give – synergistic Signs of Life, which speak to the vitality and relevancy of Trinity as a beacon of hope, a force for good, and a manifestation of God’s abundant grace within Trinity’s community and beyond.
Our life at Trinity is a precious gift that we give to ourselves, to each other, and to the community beyond our campus. As the costs of our shared life at Trinity increase, so must our ability to meet them. It is imperative that pledged income keep pace with rising expenses that are out of our control. Over seventy-five percent of Trinity’s operating income comes from pledges. Without the deep generosity of its community, Trinity simply could not be, in Reverend Matthew’s words, “the Sign of God’s loving and gracious life” to us and to those around us.
Please feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or concerns. We look forward to thanking you for your pledge.
Anita Seipp, on behalf of the Stewardship Commission
Some Data to Consider
Making a decision about what your financial pledge should be toward our 2020 Budget is not only about numbers – it is about how you value the Trinity community, and the ways in which it is a Sign of Life for you, as well as for others. Certainly, however, an understanding of the church’s financial needs form a part of that decision. If you pledged in 2019, the pledge card you received in the mail will let you know what a 3% increase in that pledge would be as you consider your 2020 pledge. However, as we are in the process of finalizing our 2020 budget, it is clear that our costs will rise about 4% next year, driven primarily by the need to provide our staff with a Cost of Living Increase and the rising cost of benefits. We hope that this information, coupled with a more detailed look at our 2019 budget, will help inform your pledging decision in 2020.