Personal Testimony by Allen Jones
Given at church on Sunday, October 15, 2017
Good morning. I am Allen Jones, member of the vestry and head of the stewardship committee. It’s great to be with you this morning, and I am excited to get our 2018 campaign kicked off. Our theme for this year is “Stepping up in Faith.” Our campaign kicks off today and finishes on Commitment Sunday, November 19. Before I get into what to expect over the coming weeks, let me make this personal and take a moment to tell you why pledging is important to our family.
St. Andrew’s has been an important part of the Jones family since we moved to Wellesley from Atlanta in 2004. We initially connected to St. Andrew’s through the Montessori School and began attending church services in 2005. In the early years, when our children were young, our involvement was generally limited to church, Sunday school, and coffee hour. But over time, we began to connect and volunteer on a more frequent basis.
Whether it’s Bargain Haul, Rite-13, Oktoberfest, or the church picnic, we actively support what St. Andrew’s does for Wellesley, greater Boston, and the world. We translate this support into giving back financially each year, and we feel fortunate to be able to do this. While we also give to other great charities and causes in the area, we prioritize St. Andrew’s because of what we get in return and what the church does for our family.
So, as you think about giving in 2018, think about why it’s important to you, what you get in return, and help us to Step Up in Faith. And over these next few weeks, as you listen to testimonials or read the words in the Sunday bulletin telling you why others give so generously to St. Andrew’s, we hope these messages will resonate with you and encourage you be as generous as you can be.
This year, we are asking parishioners to “Step Up” their pledges to reach our goal and ensure that St. Andrew’s remains well-resourced. The goal we have set is to raise is $1 million in pledges this year. We hope that we can also encourage greater participation from parishioners and secure pledges from at least 300 families. We have seen a number of new families here today and over the past months, and we’re counting on everyone to participate.
You can count on us to make it easy for you to donate. We will have an educational session on October 29 after the 10am service to explain various ways to donate. How would you like to find out how make a $1,000 donation that only costs you $500? We’ll talk about that and other tools, such as donor-advised funds, credit-card donations, and online pledges.
With such ambitious goals, there will be plenty of reminders: a thermometer placed conspicuously in the church to show and measure our progress, messages in the e-Pistle, and re-broadcasts of the oral testimonials, as well as other reminders using Facebook and other social media platforms.
Beyond raising money for the church and its programs, here are some of the key aims of our campaign:
- To broaden our pledge base. Past campaigns have been overly reliant on a few generous members and families.
- We hope to reduce our dependence on the annual draw from our endowment.
- Markets have been kind for the past several years, but we know this will not continue forever.
- We need to expand our digital presence by adding new features to our website.
- We need to fully fund our informal 5pm service.
- We expect to maintain current staffing levels, but this takes money.
- And, dear to many of your hearts, we would like to increase our outreach spending.
These are just a few ways St. Andrew’s remains a strong participant in our community and continues to be charitable to the local, urban, and international organizations that depend on our support. And it’s obvious, but I’ll mention it anyway… as we approach our 125-year anniversary, we want to maintain our rock-solid liturgy, music, and formation ministries for all ages. The only way we can do this is if everyone chooses to “Step Up.”
Many of you have already seen your pledge cards in the mail. Others will receive them over the next few days. Please help us by being as generous as you can, in as timely a fashion as you can. Thank you for your support.