connecting & caring for one another2017: We shared our time, talent & treasure!
During the past year, Plymouth people have shared their time, their talent and their treasure. And what a phenomenal impact it has had on Plymouth and our community.
More than 460 of you returned a Time and Talent Card committing to find new ways to grow in love of God and neighbor. Plymouth people committed to regularly attend worship. They agreed to serve on a board or committee. They engaged in service opportunities. We trained new Stephen Ministers and Visiting Ministers to better care for one another. A huge number of people stepped up to help with a very successful Vacation Bible School week. More parents are helping to teach Sunday school, confirmation, children’s choirs and Wednesday night programs. We held pop up farmers’ markets and our first ever All-Church Potluck. Our Young Adult Ministry grew. We added a new Community Table worship service and added additional Vespers services.
Because Plymouth people pledged to share more of their financial resources (Treasure), we were able to expand our ministries and add our new Connections Coordinator to enhance member engagement and promote opportunities for service. We increased our annual budget support of the Transition into Ministry program, we added financial support for our growing Young Adult Ministry, RENEW Family Literacy, Family Promise and our sister church partnership in Cuba. Because of your increased gifts, together we were able to do so much more!
Stewardship is not a word we incorporate into our everyday conversations. For some, it may conjure up negative feelings – “Oh, the church is just asking for money again!”
Stewardship is an old word for a powerful concept. Stewardship is the activity or job of protecting and being responsible for something. We are stewards of the things we have from God – our lives, our families, the church, the environment, our possessions, and the well-being of others.
At Plymouth Church, we come together to worship and grow in love of God and neighbor. We share our time, talent and treasure to support Plymouth’s ministry within the church and community and receive the gifts of time, talent and treasure that others share. It’s through the sharing of these gifts that we connect and care for one another.
Yes, we are asking for money again…but we are asking for so much more than that. We are asking you to give your heart
by increasing your connection and caring for one another. Proverbs 23:26 says, “My Child, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”
Last year we asked you to consider how you steward your time, talent and treasure. This year we would encourage
you to take that one step further and ask what it means to connect and care for one another.
Time – It seems as if we never have enough of it. Our lives are full of meetings, church and school activities and family obligations.
This year, take some time to prayerfully consider how you can best use the gift of time. Can you allocate more time to care for yourself and for
family and friends? Do you devote time to attend worship and church activities? Can you give some of your time to help with one of Plymouth’s
ministries in the church or community?
Talent – We encourage you to prayerfully consider how you can increase your connection to God and neighbor by sharing your talent to help Plymouth’s ministries. It is easy to take for granted the meaningful worship services, inspirational music, our beautiful church home, and the reliable operation of the choirs, Sunday school, confirmation, children’s and youth programming, adult education, social action and service opportunities. All of these activities happen because of the willingness of dedicated stewards who are willing to make sure they
exist. Everyone has a gift or talent to share…won’t you share yours?
Treasure – Everything in life is a gift from God, and it is meant to be shared. Your financial gifts to Plymouth’s many meaningful missions and ministries are one way you can connect and care for our church family and our community. We encourage you to review the following chart and prayerfully consider what percentage of your treasure you can give to your church.
Everything in life is a gift from God, and it is meant to be shared. When you give to Plymouth Church, you support God’s work through Plymouth’s many meaningful missions and ministries.
We encourage you to review the ministry plans that our boards and committees hope to achieve in the coming year and consider what you hope to contribute to Plymouth’s ministries in 2017. Then, let us know your intentions by completing a pledge card and returning it today. Or click on PLEDGE in the red drop-down box at the top of this page to share your pledge of treasure online. That way you’ll ensure that your gift is counted as part of the annual budget that will enable Plymouth to reach our 2017 ministry goals!
Plymouth’s boards have some exciting plans for 2018 as we strive to connect and care for one another. An increase in pledge giving will enable the church to be confident that the funds will be available to accomplish these and other important ministry goals:
- Increase our annual budget support of the Transition into Ministry program (TiM) by $5,000 to $20,000 in 2018.
- Provide $4,000 to continue the Family Promise ministry to house homeless families and provide support for this local organization.
- Additional funding to deepen our sister church relationship with Ebenezer Baptist Church in Cuba.
- Expand funding for AMOS’ central organization by $5,000.
- $1,000 to increase support for Interfaith Alliance of Iowa.
- RENEW Family Literacy: $2,500 in additional funding to provide materials and training to increase student load to 30 students per week, offer five educational field trips and five community events. RENEW would like to pilot new pre-literacy curriculum and provide classroom supplies.
- Offer monthly Community Table worship services and increase member’s knowledge of mental illness, developmental disabilities and opportunities to enhance welcoming.
- $1,850 to support efforts to eradicate human trafficking in Iowa.
- Provide a 3% cost of living increase for staff and increase staff support for expanded music and Christian education programs.
- Provide funding for the newly developed Connections Committee to provide more fellowship opportunities and build a stronger culture of connection ($3,400)
- Plymouth’s Stephen Ministry would like to train additional Stephen Ministers.
- Increase funding by $20,000 for Child and Family Ministries to:
- Provide childcare for more Plymouth programming, including choir rehearsals.
- Provide meals for classes and events that occur around mealtimes.
- Offer CPR and Safe Church training for staff.
- Offer Vacation Bible School free of charge, including meals.
- Offer Our Whole Lives (OWL) yearly.
- Provide support for children with special needs.
- Offer expanded classes for families.
- Provide new age-appropriate Bibles for third-grade students and classrooms.
- Purchase new Church School supplies to keep our classrooms up to date, fresh and inviting.
- Enrich our Music and Fine Arts ministry:
- Replace outdated, worn and damaged material.
- Provide funds for bell maintenance.
- Add an additional choir section leader, youth bell director, and director and accompanist for Soul Singers.
- Increase budget for music purchases so every participant can have their own copy of each piece.
These ministry initiatives and more need your increased support in order to become a reality. All of our gifts work together exponentially to impact the lives of our members and community.
If you’ve never pledged before, please consider making a commitment to support Plymouth Church now. Think proportionally. Begin with a gift of the percentage of your income that fits your comfort level. For example, two percent of an annual income of $50,000 is $1,000, or $83.33 per month.
Consider the impact your pledge alone can have. Together, our collective gifts can have an exponential impact. T3 – share your time, talent and treasure with Plymouth in 2017.
The programs, activities, missions and ministries that make up Plymouth are built on pledges: the amount of money you promise to give to Plymouth during 2018.
The money you drop in the collection plate every weekend is important. But it doesn’t count toward what we’re able to plan for in 2018. If you drop money in the plate in addition to your normal pledge, bless you! If you don’t pledge, but put money in the collection plate, thank you!
But here’s why a pledge is important: beginning in September of each year, Plymouth’s boards, committees and programs develop their Ministry Action Plans. MAPs for short. These outline what the boards hope to accomplish during 2018, and how much it will cost to implement that. Later this year, the Board of Trustees will examine each of the MAPs carefully, along with the complete church budget for 2018 that also includes the expenses to keep the building in good condition and running, salaries for staff, and a lot of other operating expenses that many people take for granted. (You can read the MAPs by clicking here.)
The Trustees will compare this proposed budget against the total amount that all of you pledge to give during 2018. The word pledge is very important. It tells the Trustees how much money we are confident will be available next year. At Plymouth, 97 percent of our budget comes from contributions and 85 percent from pledged gifts. If our budget is more than the total of your pledges, we begin to trim back or cut programs to make the budget match your pledges.
What if the Plymouth program that you connect with and care about most is trimmed back or eliminated because there aren’t enough pledges to ensure we can pay for it?
On average, Plymouth members give 2.6 percent of their income. If everyone gives one percent more, we’d easily reach our giving goals for 2018!
Included in the packet mailed to your home or available in the church office are two commitment cards. On the first, take a moment to list three ways you plan to connect your time and talent at Plymouth this year. Post this card in a prominent spot to reflect on throughout the year. (Why not use your Connecting and Caring for One Another magnet?!)
On the second card, prayerfully consider what you can pledge, and let us know by completing this card and returning it today. That way you’ll ensure that your gift is counted as part of the annual budget that will enable Plymouth to be all it can be in 2018!
You can pledge by picking up a pledge form at church (they’re available in the office or in the literature racks around the church), or you can make your pledge online. Just click here!