OUR CHURCH HOME Care for our buildings, campus, and cemeteries. Utilities, communications and systems.
STAFF SALARIES Our clergy, administrators, and operational staff who keep our church running 365 days a year. Over 18 people work at First Church (not including the Preschool).
YOUTH PROGRAMS Church school, confirmation class, Junior and Senior Pilgrim Fellowship.
THE MUSIC OF FIRST CHURCH All the ways and days that we make a joyful noise unto the Lord – and for each other.
SUNDAY WORSHIP Always a great sermon, and much, much more, are at the heart of the First Church experience.
CONGREGATION CARE Programs for adults, parish relations, pastoral care, outdoor ministries, and our health and wellness programs.
OUTREACH The ways that we connect with people and communities around us and serve others.
We ask our members to pledge what their circumstances allow. Some pledges are very modest -- $20 or $50 a month – while other pledges are 5 figures. The average pledge is close to $3,000 a year – many give less, but thankfully many are able to give more. It takes every pledge – both small and large – to meet the cost of our church and our programs of faith.
Any time before the next full calendar year ends. So, for our pledge drive in October 2017, you have until December 31st, 2018 to donate the whole amount. The timing of your donation is up to you. It’s important to make a pledge now, because we use the expected total to create a budget and plan our church year.
By check, any time or in any amount, payable to First Church, FCCOG, or First Congregational Church of Greenwich. You can put it in the collection plate or mail to Steve Summerton, CFO, First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich, CT 06870.
By credit card at fccog.org. You can fulfill your pledge in whole or in part on our secure website, where you
can also become a monthly Sustainer via automatic monthly credit card payments or bank account withdrawals. (Note: these new electronic options are brought to you by the Stewardship Committee!)
Cash in the collection plate doesn’t register as stewardship unless you put it in a stewardship envelope, so we can track it. You can request stewardship envelopes from the church office.
It can, but not always.
Many members fulfill their stewardship pledges by putting checks into the plate any time during the year. We keep a tally of what each member contributes in this way. (There’s no need to write ‘stewardship’ on the memo line, but it can’t hurt.)
When you enter your payment details on fccog.org/MyFirstChurch, you will have real time updated information about the status of your pledge. You can also call Steve Summerton in the church office for an up-to-date accounting.
Generally yes, 100% for individuals. And because you have more than a year to fulfill your pledge you can make some or all of your contribution in the year that’s most advantageous to you. If pledges are paid through foundations, IRA distributions or other tax-favored accounts, they may not be deductible. We recommend that you seek the advice of a professional tax expert to determine how these rules apply to you.
We hope every member will pledge at least something, but some cannot or do not for a variety of reasons. We welcome all who come to First Church.
Pledges reflect what members think they can contribute in the year ahead. If your circumstances change, you can give less (or more!) than you pledge.
You’d be surprised what just a few dollars can do in the world. (Ask any pastor.) No gift is too small. And if you can pledge just a few dollars, we can celebrate you in our annual report right alongside our biggest donors. Nobody has a dollar amount next to their name at First Church.
We can only have programs and staff that our congregation is able to support over time. Our endowment can cover shortfalls for a year or two, but we’d have to make cuts pretty soon after that.
Yes. Tuitions at our non-denominational preschool provide about 13% of our annual operating budget. Annual distributions from the church endowment provide another 17%. A half-dozen other sources add up to an additional 12%. Individual stewardship contributions pay for 58% of everything we do at First Church.
No. In fact we have to pay dues – about $9,300 a year. Last year we also contributed $15,000 to the UCC outreach fund (“Our Church’s Wider Mission”).