Allen Jones: Stewardship Campaign Testimony

Given at church on Sunday, October 6, 2019

Good morning, I am Allen Jones, and as a member of the vestry and Head of the Stewardship Committee I am excited to be speaking to you on Kickoff Sunday about our 2020 Stewardship campaign. As you know our campaign theme this year is “Vision 20/20—Looking Ahead” Over the next few weeks you will hear from other parishioners about what St. Andrew’s means to them and why they support the stewardship effort. I want to take a few minutes this morning to speak to you about why pledging is important to the Jones Family.

St. Andrews has been in important part of our lives since 2004, the year we moved to Wellesley from Atlanta Georgia. We were introduced to St. Andrews through the Montessori school as our daughter Carly started there in 2004 followed by her brother Stewart, a couple of years later. We began attending St. Andrews on a regular basis in 2005 when our kids were young- attending Church Services and coffee hour. Over time we started to become more involved in the Church. A personal highlight for me was teaching 2nd grade in 2008-2009 with Tim Raeke (we had no idea what we were in for!).
In late 2016 I was honored to be asked to Chair the Stewardship Committee which I have done for past three years—it has been a great and fulfilling experience to serve the Church and work alongside so many wonderful and talented people. As I stand up here today I am proud to say that we have a College Freshman (Carly) and High School Sophomore (Stewart) and St Andrews has been a significant part of their journey. I know that I am preaching to choir here, but time flies!

Whether it’s Bargain Haul, Rite-13, the church picnic, or the Fall Party, we actively support what St Andrews does for Wellesley, Boston and beyond. Our family makes giving financially to St. Andrews a priority each year and we feel fortunate to be able to do this. While we give to other great charities and to our Alma Maters, we give to St Andrews because of what we get in return and what the Church does for our family. For me the return is pretty simple. I love the fellowship, really enjoy the Men’s book club but honestly one of the things I enjoy the most…… I know (generally, sometimes I cheat) that each Sunday morning I will take some time to reflect and unplug. I cherish the “Off the Grid time!”

So this is why we give and I ask you that as you think about giving in 2020, reflect upon what is important to you and how your gift helps this congregation and Church to continue our vision in 2020 and beyond.

Our campaign goal is to raise $1.050 million and have participation from at least 300 families—these are basically flat when we compare to what we accomplished in last year’s successful campaign. However I want to spend a minute on the 300 family participation goal. This is a critical measure and goal for us and one we have not met during my tenure as Stewardship Chair. If you typically give to the plate, thank you! If at all feasible for you or your family, we would be honored if you could convert the plate giving to an actual pledge.

  • If you typically give $10 per week and attend 30 services per year, maybe you pledge/gift $300
  • If you typically give $20 per week and attend 30 services per year, maybe you pledge/gift $600

The pledge helps the Church and the finance committee appropriately create a working budget for the next year—so again, if you can pledge, we would greatly appreciate it. As a reminder it’s easy to pledge. You can pledge online, pay by credit card, check, appreciated stock or use a donor advised fund. We will happily accept all of these (smile)!

  • Beyond raising money for St. Andrew’s and its programs, here are some key aims of our campaign:
  • We want to broaden our pledge base. We want to get participation from 300+ families and reduce reliance on a few large donors.
  • We want to reduce our dependence on draws from the endowment. In fact this is happening
  • We want and expect to maintain current staffing levels.
  • We want to continue to remain an active and vibrant part of the Wellesley community.
  • And we want to continue to have a robust outreach program.

These are just a few ways St Andrew’s remains a strong participant in the community. As you know St. Andrews has been rock solid for more than a century, we want to maintain this for the next 125 years and continue to Look Ahead. Your pledge also helps us maintain our outstanding liturgy, music and formation ministries for all ages. Like the 2nd graders I taught 11 years ago, they are now young adults and are making their mark on the world. Please give what you can and help us to make a mark on the world, also.

And a reminder… I said this last year. Markets have continued to be kind to us. We know this cannot last forever.

And finally, thank you for all of your support last year and the prior years! I am looking forward to a great Stewardship Campaign as we head into 2020.

Click the image below to for an enlarged view.

2020 Step Up Chart