Stewardship 2021: Seeking Christ in Comm"UNITY"

  Stewardship 2021: Seeking Christ in Comm"UNITY"  



Dear Friends in CommUNITY,

A year ago we invited you to proclaim “Signs of Life” at Trinity and you responded with unsurpassed generosity for which we remain most grateful. Little did we imagine the turbulent times ahead in 2020!

Your gifts sustained Trinity and enabled our community to manifest meaningful signs of life despite heart-breaking challenges of unprecedented scope, depth, and duration. Born of unforeseeable adversities and nurtured by resilient faith, new initiatives bloomed through creative, energetic, and dedicated engagement of the entire community. 

Worship and connection to one another were re-imagined and brought into virtual reality with live-streamed Sunday services, the Reverend Frannie’s Friday Reflections, Zoom gatherings, and pastoral phone calls. In the wake of shattering departures, we welcomed wonderful new additions in the Reverends Thomas Traylor and Dr. Joanne Sanders and Interim Youth Minister Annalise Deal. Responding to acute community needs, the people of Trinity donated food for the hungry through Tuesday Gleaning and clothing, shoes, eyeglasses, and Bibles for Elmwood inmates through the Jail Ministry. Seeking greater understanding of racism, forty-plus Trinity parishioners accepted the invitation to delve into “Sacred Ground” and embark upon a year- long study of race and faith.

Amidst heartache and hardship, magnificent music continued to lift our hearts, solemn prayer to salve our souls, insightful sermons to nourish our minds, and abiding fellowship to share joys and sorrows. Trinity is indeed a remarkable CommUNITY.

The stewardship season of giving is upon us again as we eagerly await the promise of 2021 and the joy of “Seeking Christ in CommUNITY” together. We ask for your pledge of financial support for the year ahead so that we can continue Trinity’s mission as Christ’s active presence and God’s abundant love in a broken world. It would not be an exaggeration to say that your sustaining generosity has never been more critical. The projected balanced budget for 2021 anticipates pledging revenue of $821,000, with pledges comprising 82 percent of the total budget income for 2021.

Although we realize that 2020 has been extremely difficult on many levels, we prayerfully request that you consider making an equivalent pledge of support for 2021. For those able to do so, we invite you to contemplate increasing your pledge to help Trinity to keep pace with rising expenses over which we have little control. In addition, Trinity may incur extraordinary operational costs attendant to re-gathering in safe spaces, one of many hopes for 2021.

Our shared life at Trinity is a precious gift to one another and to the community beyond our parish. Each and every pledge, of whatever amount, is vitally important. Even more important is your continued prayer and participation in Trinity’s worship and ministries. Without enormous generosities of time, talent, and treasure, Trinity simply could not thrive in Seeking Christ in CommUNITY.

Please join me and countless others in giving thanks for the role that Trinity plays in our lives by pledging your support for its future. We are deeply grateful for your generous stewardship of Trinity – past, present, and future.

Faithfully yours in CommUNITY,

Anita W. Seipp
On behalf of the Stewardship Commission
Trinity Church Menlo Park





Pledging FAQ

    Q: What is a pledge?
  • A pledge is your stated and intended level of financial support for Trinity’s annual operating expenses. Each year we prayerfully renew our commitment to one another and the ministry of Trinity with a pledge of financial support. Pledging is a traditional funding source for churches, which must rely on the generosity of their members.

    Q: Why is my annual pledge important?
  • Annual pledges are by far the primary source of support for everything we do at Trinity. Pledge revenue comprises 82% of the budgeted income in a balanced budget for 2021. Your pledge is critical to ensure that Trinity can meet its basic operating expenses and support its ministries. Every pledge is vitally important. Even a small increase in your yearly personal giving is magnified dramatically when our entire community gives together.

    Q: What is the pledge goal for 2021?
  • The balanced operating budget for 2021 anticipates pledge revenue of $821,000 (the same as last year’s budget) towards a projected total income budget income of approximately $1,000,000.

    Q: Does Trinity live within its means?
  • Trinity strives very hard to live within its available resources. The projected operating budget for 2021 is a balanced budget. The majority of Trinity’s expenses are related to staff. Program budgets rarely change, but the church regularly incurs increased expenses related to salaries and benefits, utilities, and maintenance costs. For example, health insurance costs are projected to increase by 6%. Base operating costs will be up by at least 3%.

    Also, when permitted by diocesan and governmental authorities, Trinity is likely to incur atypical costs related to re-gathering safely according to mandated COVID-19 protocols.

    Q: How much should I give with an annual pledge?
  • Please prayerfully consider making a meaningful pledge that is both responsible and significant based on your financial situation. If you pledged last year, we respectfully ask that you maintain that level of giving. If your circumstances allow, please consider increasing your pledge to keep up with increased expenses and also to offset those of others who may be unable to pledge at their previous levels due the impact of COVID-19.

    Q: When do I pay my pledge?
  • You may fulfill your pledge weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

    Q: Will funds that I donate to Trinity be secure and properly managed?
  • Yes. The Vestry, Finance Commission, and Treasurer are committed to safeguarding Trinity’s financial resources.

    Improved financial controls have been implemented, including new disbursement and record keeping processes to insure that supporting documents are retained to allow proper review and approval of expenses. Credit card charges are subject to approval and appropriate allocation to the church’s accounts. Every Vestry meeting includes review of monthly financials by the Treasurer, and the Finance Commission has enhanced and improved its advisory role.

    The church’s lay leadership is continuing to develop and implement additional new policies and procedures in accordance with best practices recommended by the recent forensic audit. Parishioners can be confident that proper procedures are in place and being followed to ensure that funds donated to Trinity are secure and properly managed.


2021 Pledge Update
as of 12/1/20
# pledges  
Total $  
Average $  
Goal $ 821,000
% of goal 0%