Stewardship and Finances
St. Peter’s is supported solely through the generosity of members and community friends who share their financial resources and time. Three committees manage different aspects of the resources that sustain ministries of the church.
St. Peter’s Stewardship Committee meets regularly to deepen awareness of the joy of sharing the gifts God provides each of us. In late summer, the Committee organizes a fall stewardship drive to receive annual gift intentions (a non-binding legal form of pledging) to support the church’s annual operation, ministry, and mission outreach. As needed, the Committee and the Vestry support additional activities to deepen stewardship awareness or fund capital improvements or special projects. Recent examples have included parish-wide organized visits with members and friends about the church’s future; facilitated participation in the CLYNK redemption and SCRIP and Hannaford Gift gift card rebate programs; a holiday fair including wreath and poinsettia sales; and a community-wide tag sale.
Budget and Finance Committee
The Budget and Finance Committee meets monthly to monitor the operating budget and overall finances. The committee drafts the initial annual budget for review, revision, and final adoption by the Vestry. That budget is presented to the full congregation at the Annual Parish Meeting in January. An Investment sub-committee manages St. Peter’s long-term investments and fiscal reserves.
Ways to Financially Support St. Peter’s
Annual Gift Intention (Pledges) and Single Donations
Gifts committed to the annual stewardship campaign (through gift intentions, which are legally non-binding pledges) allow us to plan and sustain an annual operating budget. St. Peter’s work is largely made possible by people who make an annual commitment to sustain the church with specified financial gifts throughout the year. One-time gifts are also important and always welcome, but annual intentional gifts determine the breadth and depth of our ministry each year.
Additional gifts (both from members and non-members) broaden support for the overall ministry and help fund special projects and needs that frequently occur outside of the operating budget. For example, special gifts support the Loaves and Fishes weekend hot-lunch program, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, the development of a children’s after school choral program, a memorial gift to honor a deceased parishioner, and donations for altar flowers honor loved or deceased ones.
St. Peter’s acknowledges all donations identified with a specific donor and address through periodically mailed statements that verify that these gifts qualify under IRS guidelines as charitable deductions. These statements should be retained for personal tax records.
Throughout the year St. Peter’s also organizes a number of fund-raising events. These greatly benefit the church. Because these funds are usually tied to the receiving of benefits or services in exchange for financial support (entry fees, purchases, etc.), they do not qualify as IRS tax deductible charitable gifts.
Donations (one-time or reoccurring payments) can be made by:
- Online credit card use (click here)
- Direct deposit (recommended only for pledge payments) through your bank
- Checks: mailed to the church or placed in the offertory plate
- Cash: placed in the offertory plate
- Transfer of Securities: contact the church office (207-594-8191) for necessary broker routing information.
- Planned gifts to the Anchor Society: bequests, annuities, etc.: contact the Church Treasurer (Mary Alice Bird 207-594-8191) for further information and details about the Anchor Society and the legal steps required to set up a planned Gift.
How much Should I Give?
“What can I give” is a conversation between you and God. The Bible suggests proportional giving 10% of one’s income to support the church and God’s work in the world, but only through prayer can each of us come to an understanding of the giving we can do to financially support church and God’s work. Whatever we do, an annual pledge becomes a spiritual discipline that keeps us focused on God’s plans, not ours. Stewardship is always a balance between prudence and faithfulness; if it is a prayerful balance, God will honor it
Where do my pledge payments and donations go?
75 % percent of this parish’s budget is made possible by annual gift intentions (pledges). That means that pledges to St. Peter’s Church make possible all worship services, spiritual leadership, ministries to families, children and youth, Bible Studies, classes, workshops, speakers, pastoral care, and upkeep of our facilities. Some of pledge income, as well as additional donations (plate offerings, restricted gifts, grants, etc.) make up the remaining 25% of the operating budget but also fund important outreach activities not included in the operating budget, such as Loaves & Fishes, the Flower Ministry, the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for the needy, major building maintenance and repairs, the current development of an after-school enrichment program, joint ventures with community partners, and other projects that could not exist without this charitable gift support.
Planned gifts to St. Peter’s Anchor Society
Planned gifts are legal decisions to make charitable gifts that will be realized from one’s estate in the future. Much of what St. Peter’s history is today has been made possible by past planned gifts. For example, in the 1990’s an unexpected bequest from the Halsey T. Adams estate literally enabled the church to envision an expansion of the building facilities and launch a successful capital campaign to raise additional funds to accomplish this.
The simplest form of planned giving is a revocable bequest written into one’s will. More complicated instruments outline various irrevocable annuity trust plans that designate a set corpus of principal to an institution upon the death of the donor, but retain income rights for a limited number of beneficiaries for a limited time period. Upon the death of the donor and specified beneficiaries, the principal is then turned over to the institution. Anyone considering a planned gift should first consult with their personal financial advisors and or lawyer and thereafter coordinate their plans with the church.
The Anchor Society is made up of people who have notified the church that they have made a planned gift to St. Peter’s. Knowledge of these important future gifts promises continued support that allows the church to more fully live into visionary plans.
If you are considering a planned gift, the first step is to consult with your lawyer or financial advisor and then with the Church Treasurer.