2021 Pledge Campaign: Q&A About Pledges & Giving

What is a pledge? And how is that different from just making a gift each week or so?

A pledge is a member’s voluntary commitment (not legally binding) to provide a specific amount of financial resources to the church for the next calendar year.  This commitment helps Redeemer’s vestry make estimates for the parish budget.

Because we can not worship together in person this year, converting your regular non-pledge giving to a pledge is more important than ever.

You can return the pledge card you received in the mail, or use the online version, or use the Make a Pledge page on the website.

I like to get the pledge envelopes to use in making my pledge at church. Can I still get these?

Sure – although until we meet again for in-person worship you won’t use them in the same way.  Please ask for envelopes if you want them. You can put your gift in the envelope, then send the whole thing to Redeemer (in another envelope, of course).

I always put my gift in the collection at Sunday services. How do I make my gift now that we can’t meet?

Not being together in church for worship has been a big challenge – including for giving. There are three great ways to make your gift – pick the one that works best for you:

  • You can simply write a check and mail it to the church office (6 Meriam St., Lexington MA 02421)
  • You can set up electronic payments through our partnership with Vanco. The link is on the Redeemer website.  You can use this “How To” guide to get started.
  • If your bank does it, you can set up a regular payment, where they send a check directly to Redeemer.  Ask at your bank.

What if my situation changes and I’m unable to fulfill my pledge?

Please don’t worry; you can always adjust your pledge (just let us know so we are in synch with your needs).  And you should know that you can always reach out to our wonderful clergy for care and help if you need them.

Doesn’t it cost a lot to make a gift electronically?

Not really. If you set up a regular payment through Vanco using your bank account, the cost to Redeemer is only $0.60 on a $100 transaction.  Transaction costs for gifts via a credit card are higher, and involve some accounting upkeep on our end – but they are still modest (about  $2.70 on a $100 transaction ).  All financial transactions have some cost – including processing checks!

When we are able to gather again for worship, will we resume passing the plate at the offertory?

Probably not, at least for a good while. The Diocese guidance to help keep everyone safe in worship encourages electronic giving. They also will require collection plates placed at entrances that are not passed.

How will my gift be used?

Your financial gifts directly support our worship, music, education of youth and adults, and our outreach in the world.  Generally, rental income covers the costs of maintaining the actual church building – a blessing not all parishes share.  The charts below show the breakdown of income and expenses in the 2020 budget passed by the Vestry in January.  Of course, in our pandemic times, some rental income is down; and some expenses are up. But overall, each dollar given goes to the work “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”

How much am I expected to give? And how much do others give?

Since all that we have comes from God, all that we give recognizes the generosity of God’s love. What that amount is for you is your personal decision; and must reflect your circumstances. The chart below gives you an idea of how Redeemer’s members’ gifts are distributed.  You should be able to find yourself in there!

Can I give to specific purposes (such as for flowers, music, a memorial gift or a mission partner)?

You bet! You can designate a gift as a memorial, for flowers, to the music fund or to a mission partner – simply by indicating your wish on a check, or selecting from a list on our online giving page.

How will we celebrate the ingathering of pledge commitments this year?

Stay tuned!  Our date to celebrate these gifts this year is Sunday, November 29.  We will have more information in the next few weeks.