Frequently Asked Questions
What is pledging at Mill Creek?
A pledge of support to our annual Generosity Campaign is a formal declaration that you will give a specific amount of money to Mill Creek over one calendar year. It has no legal binding, but it is a promise that you make to your faith community so that the real work of the mission can be done. Your financial commitments allow salaries to be paid to professional staff, to keep the facility open and running smoothly, and to fund programs that support our mission.
How is pledging different than membership dues or charity?
Because you are making a promise to your faith community, pledging is different from membership dues at a club or a gym. There is no set amount; we give what we are inspired to give.
As Rev. Greg says, he is a “minister among ministers” here at Mill Creek. When you make a pledge, you are fulfilling your role as a minister because you are ministering to the church, its members and friends, and the community we serve. Offering a pledge allows you to show yourself and the world what you value. It is a spiritual practice that involves meditating on your resources, how you seek to live in the world, and just what role Mill Creek has in your life.
Pledging to the church is not charity in the traditional sense. Charity is giving to those in need. It assumes a donor/donee relationship. When we pledge our money to Mill Creek, we are not giving to those in need; we are giving money to a mission that spiritually sustains us and encourages us to live our values.
What is the pledging process like at Mill Creek?
You can make your pledge by filling out and returning a pledge card. Or you can make your pledge online by accessing your Realm profile (look for the ‘PLEDGE’ link at the top of the church website, www.uusmc.org). Or you can indicate your total annual pledge amount in an email to the Stewardship Team – email@example.com. We hope to have all pledge commitments for the 2021 Generosity Campaign made by Monday, November 23, 2020.
We recognize that our members have busy lives and that pledging may be delayed by more immediate concerns. A few of our members have agreed to follow up with our members and friends who haven’t responded by mid-November. The representative’s role is to assure that the mailed pledge information was received, that any questions are answered, and that pledge decisions are communicated.
How much should I give?
We invite everyone to pledge support regardless of the amount; members and friends give from the intersection of their resources and the value the church has in their lives, and the life of the community. One way to think about your pledge is to reflect on the other ways you use your financial resources, and compare the relative value of this church and its mission. In other words, what is the relative value of your gym membership or your morning coffee as compared to the mission of the church?
The UUA has a Suggested Fair-Share Contribution Guide that can help you decide what to give. You can find it at www.uua.org and search for “fair share contribution guide.” Many folks find this a helpful tool in targeting their giving.
You might also want to consider how much the church needs to keep our doors open, to pay our professional staff, and pay for programming. Currently, Mill Creek spends about $1750 per member to operate.
What if my circumstances change and I cannot give what I pledged?
Of course, we recognize that life circumstances change over time, sometimes quite suddenly. If you find you need to change your pledge in any way, please contact our Congregational Administrator, Debra Damiani, at firstname.lastname@example.org (or 302-369-2712) and we will make the necessary adjustments.
Conversely, if your circumstances change for the better, we invite you to make a positive adjustment to your commitment at any time!
Why should I give any other money to Mill Creek if I pledge?
Pledging allows Mill Creek to have a constant and predictable source of income. This is important because our expenses are predictable even if our income is not. It allows us to make sure that we can pay our staff and utilities in a timely way, whether we have reserves in our bank account or not. Pledging reflects our covenant with this place and its people.
Giving money in the collection plate on Sunday is something different. It offers us a spontaneous and real opportunity so share from our pockets. It gives us the opportunity to give back to our church community and to show the wider community how Mill Creek relates to it. It lets our few dollars and cents become hundreds of dollars and cents. It is a reflection of our call to awaken to love put into social action.
Contributing to capital campaigns, the Endowment Fund, or the Service Auction are other ways to give. These allow Mill Creek to make big plans beyond just meeting our financial obligations. For example, our Solar Panel Project let us become part of a community which leads by reducing its carbon footprint.
How else can I help?
The Stewardship/Generosity team needs members who are willing to help us collect pledges. Would you be willing to sit down with another member who is making a pledge and help them reflect on what Mill Creek means to them? Being a canvasser is more like being a cheerleader than a collections agent; we all want to make pledges but we sometimes need the opportunity to reflect and remember to do so.
Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would like to help out with the current campaign.