Frequently Asked Questions
What is pledging at Mill Creek?
A pledge is a formal declaration that you will give a specific amount of money to your church over one calendar year. It has no legal binding, but 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 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 can be itemized as a charitable deduction (but we suggest you consult with a tax advisor), however it 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?
We begin our Generosity Campaign each year by mailing pledge cards to Mill Creek members and friends. You can complete your pledge card and bring to church (place in the collection plate or in the collection box on the wall by the sanctuary entrance) or mail it. OR…we recommend you log into your REALM account and pledge online — it’s fast and easy. Contact the church office with any questions, email@example.com.
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, its community 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 on the UUA website. Many folks have found this to be a helpful tool in targeting their giving.
You might also want to consider who much the church needs to keep our doors open, to pay our professional staff, and pay for programming. Currently, Mill Creek spends $1800 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 Office 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 pledge in addition to other donations I make?
Pledging allows Mill Creek to have a constant and predictable source of income. This is important because our expenses are predictable even when our income is not. It allows us to make sure that we can pay our mortgage, utilities, and UUA dues, while also compensating our staff – Rev. Gregory Pelley, Minister; Terry Vodery, Director of Religious Exploration; Kristen Tosh-Morelli, Music Director; and Debra Damiani, Office Administrator. 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 to share from our pockets. It gives us the opportunity to give back to our local and wider community, and to demonstrate how Mill Creek relates to it. It lets our tiny 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 or the annual Service Auction are other ways to give. These allow Mill Creek to make big plans beyond just meeting our financial obligations. However – none of these other methods of giving are as steady and reliable as promised intentions to give – pledges – from our members and friends.
How can I make my pledge?
Pledge cards are mailed to members and friends; extra copies are available in the gathering area outside the sanctuary. You can mail your card in, or bring it to church on Sunday and place in the collection plate or the box on the wall by the sanctuary entrance. OR, you can pledge online by using your Realm account – it’s fast and easy!