Friday, 16 November: Harford County Schools will open 2 hours late — so will Emmanuel’s Office! Please feel free to call the Rector at 443-752-0573 if you have a pastoral emergency.
Every year at this time we make an appeal for you financial support as we plan our budget for the coming year. Under the leadership of the Vestry, Emmanuel has done a very good job of keeping expenses under control, and our budgets have been essentially flat for the last several years. Unfortunately, that means that our staff members have not received cost of living adjustments in some time.
We are facing a serious issue concerning the income which supports our budget. Older members of the congregation contribute a disproportionately large percentage of that income. And in the natural course of things, several have moved away in the last couple of years while others have died. We have faced end of year deficits three out of the last four years. To cover them, we have borrowed from memorial funds that were designated for other uses, postponing the purchases they were intended for. Recent bequests have helped us to repay those memorial funds, but that does not address the income issue that we are facing.
The Vestry is committed to addressing our declining income. The creation of our fourth weekend worship service on Saturday afternoons at 4:30 PM was motivated in no small part by the prospect of adding new members to the congregation, who would in their turn help support us financially.
Our estimated expenses for 2019 are $267,679. To fund that total, we need to have pledges of about $220,000. If 100 individuals and/or families each pledged something like $2,200 a year — about $40 a week or $180 a month — we would be all set. This figure is below the average pledge in the Diocese of Maryland, which is $2,578.
The truth is that some of us can and do give more than that. That blessing helps to make us the difference for those who can’t afford to give more. Many of us learned to increase our contributions by a percentage point a year until we reached the Biblical standard of tithing — offering 10% of our income each year.
You will find here some resources to help you plan to contribute to Emmanuel Church in the coming year. Some are informational, some are motivational, but all have something to say about who we are as a community and what our mission is to Bel Air and Harford County. Please feel free to ask any Vestry Members or the Rector if you have any questions about any of this.
Every Dollar We Spend Builds Community: An illustrated Narrative Budget
Pledge Cards 2019: Download and Print to submit your Pledge
Pledge FAQ’s: The How’s and Why’s of Pledging
Stewardship & The Tax Cut Bill: The Rector’s personal story about how to make the most of the current tax law to maximize your pledging.