Giving & Stewardship
October 20, 2023
Dear Members and Friends of Decatur Presbyterian Church,
Grace and Peace be with you in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! We are in the midst of our Lead In Love Stewardship Campaign with Commitment Sunday fast approaching on October 29th. We hope over the past several weeks that you have had an opportunity to think about how our ministries are leading in love every day.
Over the past year, our church, like others in and around our community, has experienced challenges from a combination of factors including inflationary pressures, environmental changes, and an aging facility. However, the generosity of our members and friends has let us weather these storms and continue our robust set of ministries.
Looking forward, our Finance Ministry has carefully considered all budget requests for the coming year in order to help our ministries continue to lead in love. With prayerful discussions and careful planning, the Finance Ministry, staff and elders are proposing a 2024 budget increase over 2023 of about 9%. This increase is primarily due to inflationary effects on the following:
- We have prioritized a 6% increase in salaries for the ministers and staff who lead, organize, and carry out our ministries, in an effort to keep pace with increased cost of living expenses.
- Health insurance cost increases for staff of 7% (non-pastors) and 10.6% (pastors).
- We have budgeted for inevitable increases in maintenance and repair costs on our beautiful, functional, and very active Decatur campus.
- We have continued our commitment to and increased support of our local and global missions.
Our total proposed 2024 operating budget will be approximately $1.5 million. We are forecasting $350,000 in non-pledged giving and asking you for $1,050,000 in pledges to support that budget, compared to pledges last year of $975,027. Therefore, in this uncertain time when many congregations are decreasing in programs and pledges, Decatur Presbyterian is asking its members to commit to a minimum of $75,000 more in pledges for 2024. Our members have exhibited tremendous generosity for our nearly 200-year history, and we are optimistic that this year will be no different.
As you prayerfully consider what you are called to give to support the work of DPC in 2024, keep in mind that we have lost many dear and faithful members of the church over the past few years, while the pandemic greatly slowed the influx of new members. Thus, higher levels of commitment from current members are necessary to sustain our ministries in the congregation, community and world going forward.
God has blessed the members of this congregation; may God continue to bless us as we give faithfully and generously. Please examine your current giving, noting the percent of income that you set aside for God’s work in the world. If possible, seek to take one step up, to increase your pledge by 1% or more of your income for 2024. This is no small ask, but one that will bear fruit for the giver as well as for the church. If all those who offer pledges make similar increases, we will not have to worry about the budget, but will have plenty of resources to accomplish what God is calling us to do.
On Commitment Sunday, October 29th, please bring your commitment card forward and place it on the communion table. If you have pledged online, there will be “Pledged Online” cards in the pews that you can bring forward as an offering. Thank you for your prayerful consideration. If at all possible please have your 2024 pledges submitted no later than Sunday, December 3rd as this will allow your Session to make timely decisions regarding the final 2024 budget.
Finally, if not doing so already, please consider setting up monthly payments to the church through your bank’s website, which ensures a steady and dependable cash flow for operations and missions throughout the year.
With deep gratitude,
Lacy Bedol, Chair, Stewardship Ministry | Steve Craw, Chair, Finance Ministry
“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”
John 13: 34-35