Christ Church in Lonsdale​
1645 Lonsdale Avenue
Lincoln, RI 02865
401-725-1920
The Rev. Veronica M. Tierney
Priest-in-Charge

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Giving at Christ Church

What can I give?  Each of us is encouraged and invited to offer our gifts of “time, talent, and treasure.”  Our generosity is rooted in the belief that everything we have is a gift from God’s own generosity towards us, and so it is natural for us to want to be generous givers, too.  Gifts of time and talent most often take the form of volunteering in one or more of our ministry and outreach opportunities, both within the congregation and beyond in our wider community.  Gifts of treasure can take the form of a one-time donation or a recurring gift, given in person at a worship service, sent to the office by mail, or electronically through the church’s electronic giving service (Vanco) or through your bank's bill pay service.

How much money should I give?  The short answer is, whatever you can.  A longer answer is steeped in our traditional understanding of where our money really comes from, and what it’s really for.  If it really is true that everything we have comes to us from God’s own generosity, then everything we have ought to be offered to God.  But God asks us to give a symbolic portion, so that we remember always our dependence on God, and also that we have a way of caring for the needy in our midst.  In the Bible, God asks us to give the first 10% of our income as an offering and a sacrifice (Lev 27:30).  This is the “firstfruits” of our labors.  This number, 10%, is where we get the word “tithe.”  Literally, it means a tenth.  Ten percent is enough for us to feel the significance of the gift, but not so much that we are jeopardizing our wellbeing.

Ten percent may feel out of reach for some of us, especially for those new to the practice of sacrificial giving as an offering to God.  Feel free to start smaller.  The most important thing is to choose a percentage of income – one that is both large enough to be felt, but not so large as to jeopardize wellbeing.  Over time, as this practice becomes more familiar, try stepping up your percentage, maybe one percent per year.  This growing in generosity brings joy and peace as we nurture our love for God and for our neighbors.  

What does my donation support and where does it go?  Just like in the Bible, donations to the church go to support our collective efforts to love God and our neighbors. Our primary purpose as a church community is to worship God, so the primary activity that donations support is worship.  That means we care for our beautiful building that glorifies God, and we support our priest and musician who lead our worship services.  Our second purpose as a church community is to love our neighbors.  Our neighbors are people within the congregation as well as those beyond our bounds in the neighborhood of Lincoln, the state of Rhode Island, the United States, and the whole world.  Donations support our outreach ministries that serve those in need, and they support ministries within the congregation to support a variety of Christian formation and fellowship opportunities.

How can I be certain my money will be put to good use?  Each year, the vestry adopts a budget that is publicly available.  In addition, Treasurer’s Reports are completed each month and also made publicly available. Christ Church takes financial transparency and fiduciary responsibility very seriously and has worked to ensure that all donations are treated with respect, honor, and good stewardship. 

Do I need to let the church know how much I intend to give?  That depends!  If you would like to make a one-time gift, you may simply make your donation.  However, if you would like to make a commitment in the form of an annual pledge, please fill out a pledge card to let us know the amount and frequency of your gift.  Pledging is a very helpful way of supporting the mission and ministries of Christ Church because it helps us to develop our annual budget and to plan programming accordingly.  However, if you would prefer to offer a recurring gift without making a formal pledge, you are welcome to so. 

What if circumstances change and I need to revise my pledge? If circumstances lead you to reduce or to increase your pledge during a given year, simply call the church office and notify us of the change.