Beloved Friends –
Welcome to the 2023 Annual Pledge Drive. It is that time of year when we reflect on what it means to be part of a progressive, inclusive, and creative Christian community of faith supporting the ministry we share together in downtown Toledo, Ohio. It is that time of year when we set aside the social stigma of talking about money and boldly invite you to consider money as one of the many ways God can use to radically transform who we are as disciples. Regardless of the level of giving, we believe making this promise for the year ahead is a sign of hope and an affirmation that we are rooted in God’s abundance. Each year we focus on this invitation, encouraging all of us to make a pledge because it both changes who we are as individuals growing in generosity and as a community able to be an expression of God’s love in the world.
This year’s theme “Rooted in Abundance” was chosen to remind us we are infinitely blessed with resources and opportunities to grow in faith, courage, hope and love. Being rooted in abundance is about being certain, steadfast in our knowledge that we have enough to share with a world in need. It is about doing the hard work of knowing ourselves so that we can know how to help others. Each day we are called to move out of the center of our own worlds in order to see and respond to others with compassion and generosity.
Thank you in advance for your generosity as we begin another season of asking us all to “give and give generously so that we may do the work of the church in our community and in the world.”
This pamphlet seeks to answer some of your questions for our 2023 Pledge Drive as well as includes the pledge card itself to be used once you have discerned your level of giving for the year to come. We invite you to receive this with grace and prayer as you consider how you will share with God and God’s Church from what you have received.
Peace and Blessings,
Donna Steppe, Senior Warden
Why should I make an annual pledge? Can’t I just put money in the collection plate when I’m in church or give online?
This question actually has 2 separate but related answers:
- Part of our spiritual path calls us to embrace a dual posture of generosity and abundance in our lives, recognizing the gifts we have in our lives and offering a portion of those gifts back to do the work we are called to do in the world.
- Trinity remains faithful managing its resources wisely establishing an annual budget for the year ahead. Using a combination of the annual pledge commitments and additional income from legacy gifts allows the vestry to approve a budget providing a faithful roadmap to align our ministry in the year ahead.
Who decides what to do with the money pledged?
Approving the annual operating budget is the responsibility of our vestry; the 9-member elected leadership team made up of parish members. One vestry responsibility calls them to act as agents and legal representatives of the parish in all matters concerning its corporate property including finances. Over the past five years, Trinity has developed a budget process begining in July each year and involving staff and lay leaders throughout culminating with the ratification of the budget by the vestry in December.
How many people/families make an annual pledge to Trinity?
Over 80 households made pledges to support last year’s Operating Budget.
The total amount pledged for 2022 was $170,000.00 making up approximately 25% of our overall operating budget of $769,040.
How does Trinity make up the gap between the pledge amount and the resources needed to fund the Operating Budget?
Trinity is richly blessed with outside resources supporting our ministry through legacy gifts entrusted to us by those who have come before. Trinity has approved a 5% spending policy to use a portion of the income generated by these sources as needed to offset the need for additional financial support.
How much do people pledge?
This is the decision of each individual/family. The average pledge supporting the 2022 operating budget was $2,560 with annual pledges ranging from $50 to $24,000. Our goal this year is to increase overall participation asking everyone who calls Trinity their spiritual home to make a pledge supporting all the things God is calling us to do in the world.
As we turn our attention to this year’s Pledge Drive,“Rooted in Abundance” we find ourselves thinking of countless examples of all the wonderful things Trinity does for the community, our neighbors, our growing digital presence and in the world. Here are some of the ways we each have been inspired as members of Trinity.
I was drawn to Trinity after my wife and I watched Trinity@Home services online during COVID. The first time I attended Trinity in person, I heard the words “you are home”. For the first time in my life, I felt that to be true inside a church building. Trinity is a place of acceptance, hope and love rooted in radical abundance. This year I will give to Trinity because I believe in the work we are doing with God’s guidance. I want others to feel that same acceptance, hope, and love that I feel in this beautiful community.
– Angie Carriker
I have always been a person whose faith journey is one of action, not just devotion. In other words, a faith which leads to actions of justice. My journey to Trinity has been based on this connection of faith and justice. Trinity is a church community alive with people of faith who realize that all they have in life is truly gifted from God AND as followers of Jesus they are called to share these gifts with those around them. This is why I love Trinity and continue to support this vibrant community of faith.
– Phil Skeldon
Making an annual pledge commitment has brought us closer to our Trinity community, which gives us both the most abundant love and appreciation we’ve ever known. Every dollar each of us commits helps Trinity plan for future programming, worship, staffing, education, pastoral support and faith in action.
We thank you in advance for your participation in this necessary effort and will be ready, willing and able to share more of our stories over the coming weeks.
Angie Carriker & Phil Skeldon
Trinity 2023 Pledge Drive Co-Chair