Pledging St Peter’s

We are blessed with an amazing congregation. Even as we’ve all weathered the difficult times of the last few years, we’ve been awestruck to witness the generosity of our church family as you continue to contribute your ideas, your funds, and your time to our community. From Neighbor’s Night to Cooking Matters to Christian Education to our choirs and in countless other ways, the members of St. Peter’s church go above and beyond.

More Than Enough: Our 2023 Pledge Drive

The theme of our Pledge Drive this year is More Than Enough, which brings us back to that moment of miracle described in Luke’s Gospel: having just been fed by Jesus from a scant few loaves and fishes. The people in that story heard Jesus’ call to share what they had in order that all might benefit—and that is what you do with the gift of Wisdom you possess. When we have strategies that need to be developed, or committees that need to be staffed, or problems that need to be solved, you answer the call of your church, and share your wisdom and experience.

We’re asking you to share once again, as we prepare to plan and budget for the missions ahead of us in 2023. Below, you’ll find resources to inform your pledging decision. There are Frequently Asked Questions below (both in text, as well as a video from Vestry member Brent Cooley). You’ll find a pledge card to download and fill out, as well as a link to a digital version of that card, if you’d prefer to submit your pledge electronically (don’t worry–no credit card or banking details will be collected).

Saint Peters Pledge Cards – This link will open a PDF file to download and print, then submit in person or mail in.

Pledge Form: Fill out Electronically – This link will take you to a Google form where you’ll be able to submit the same information you would on the print version of the Pledge Card, and your pledge will go directly to church leadership.


Frequently Asked Questions

The below questions are just among those we’ve been asked more frequently in the past. If you have any questions about pledging, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Father Jim, Sue, or any members of the Vestry.

Q: What Is The Pledge Drive?

A: The Pledge Drive is a big part of stewardship and happens every year. Lifelong Episcopalians are familiar with this rite of fall.  All in the congregation are asked to make a pledge of financial support for the church for the next calendar year.  In addition to money, members of the congregation are asked to promise to support the church’s work by volunteering to participate in the ministry by teaching, singing, being on vestry, and  working for our ministry to the community.

Q: Why Is The Church Asking Me to Pledge?

A: Two Principles Are At Work.  Principle One: As a practical matter, St. Peter’s needs to have sufficient money to pay its bills such as employee salaries, to pay for electricity, natural gas, water, sewer, building maintenance, and we also pay an annual support payment to the Diocese of Rochester. St. Peter’s does not receive any direct funding from the various governments.  We support ourselves from pledges (donations from our congregation), grants and our endowment.

Principle Two: the payment of money to St. Peter’s is also “spiritual” and is a faithful response to give back to God in proportion to what God has provided to you.  This is, by far, the more important principle at work.

Q: How Much Does The Church Need for 2023?

A: The 2022 church budget is just over $400,000.  Inflation is currently running at above eight percent (8%).  The 2022 SPCAA budget is approximately $300,000.  Our combined annual footprint is above $750,000.  We are an “ANCHOR” in our Genesee Street neighborhood of the city.   We need to consistently and aggressively support our work (our ministries) in 2023.

Q: Where Does The Money Go?

A: Many places.   Staff & Employees. Our staff are our “chief ministers” to our people in the congregation and to the community.  They lead church services as well as weddings, funerals, Neighbors Night, Cooking Matters, St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy, Lake Delaware Boys Camp, education of children and adults, confidential counseling, building maintenance, administrative, accounting and office work.  Employees and staff require not only salaries but fringe benefits that are required by law and by benefits that support our staff such as health insurance and retirement benefits. Fr. Adams has held various offices for Diocese of Rochester, such as being the dean for our region and president of the standing committee.  Our rector  also represents St. Peter’s by being on the board of directors for the local hospital and on city committees such as the one that focused on the lakefront.

  • 2022 Budget Items:
  • Employees & Staff: Salaries, Wages & Fringe Benefits: $299,000.We have five (5) employees for the church.  The SPCAA has many independent contractor instructors and a few part-time employees as well.  The SPCAA’s chief of school is voluntary (?) and Fr. Adams is the (?) dean and performs this function without additional salary.
  • Diocesean apportionment $43,000.
  • Utilities& Insurance: $34,000.
  • Office expenses such as copy machine rental, office products such as paper, stationery, postage cost, computer maintenance $12,000.
  • Capital.We still have some capital projects that are ongoing such as the repair of our stained glass.

Q: What Is The Diocesean Apportionment? Where Does This Money Go?

A: The diocesean apportionment is an annual assessment made by the EDOR (Episcopal Diocese of Rochester) to support the local bishop and EDR administration as well as the national Episcopal church. Our annual bill or apportionment is determined by the size of our budget.  Our apportionment is high because we have been growing and our budget keeps growing as well.  For 2022 our apportionment is over $42,000.  Some of this money goes for chaplains for the U.S. military branches, missionary support both in the world and in the U.S. and for support of the national Episcopal church.  We note that the current presiding bishop of the national church is Michael Curry, a Buffalo native and Hobart alumnus, class of 1975.  St. Peter’s does gain benefits from the EDOR such as annual grants to Neighbor’s Night, administrative aid such as with loans, investment services, and the services of the bishop as well as stewardship instructional materials.

Q: How Much Income Is Received From Pledges?

A: For 2022, our pledges have totaled about $200,000.  This is a fluid figure because pledges may not run true due to the inability of some to fulfill a pledge or we also receive more than an amount pledged.  Generally, over the years,  well over 90% of pledged income is actually received.   We note that due to Covid, deaths, migration and folks moving away,  our pledge units have decreased to about 50 pledging units which is down from over 85 less than 10 years ago.   St. Peter’s should be able to fund much more than half its budget on the basis of pledges of support from the members of its congregation.

Q: I’m Informed That As A Result of the Recent Capital Campaign, St. Peter’s Has A Healthy Endowment. Do You Really Need My Pledge To Do The Work?

A: Yes and Yes.  Due in great part to the generosity of Rankine VanAnda, the great grandson of our first rector, Fr. James Rankine, we have received a significant increase to our endowment which stands now well over $1 Million Dollars.  The endowment is our long-term security representing an eternal commitment to remain at Genesee & Lewis Streets and to remain open, no matter what problems we face.  The Vestry annually draws about 5% from the endowment for current costs.  Unless we also support our budget in pledges, the draw from endowment could be rapidly depleted—5% a year over 10 years is 50% depletion of the endowment. Think of it this way: pledges are a big part of how we keep the lights on for ourselves, the endowment is how we ensure the lights stay on for our children and grandchildren.

Q: I am Retired, or Unemployed at Present, or I Have a Very Small Income, Do You Still Need or Want My Pledge?

A: YES, INDEED.  Your commitment to support all of our work is very important at whatever level of financial support you are able to promise. Each person in the congregation is important.  We have a goal of 100% pledging units—everybody banding together to support St. Peter’s.  As every person’s situation is different and every pledge will differ as well. Some people may be able to only provide $5 a week, while others are able to provide five percent (5%) of income.  We do have some in the parish who are able to give at levels approaching ten percent (10%) and a few more.  Your spiritual journey is perhaps somewhere along this continuum.  If you have never considered making a pledge, NOW is the time for you to try it.

We would also like to remind you that a pledge is a spiritual commitment–not a legal one. While we certainly hope that everyone is able to fulfill their pledges (as this helps us plan and budget for the year ahead) we also understand that these are uncertain times, and situations change. Please don’t hesitate to pledge just because you fear you may not be able to fulfill it.

Q: Does The Pledge Drive Have A Targeted Increase in Pledged Income in Mind?

A: As a practical matter, we suggest each pledging unit consider an increase of five percent (5%) over that amount pledged in 2022.  This, of course, is not a hard and fast figure, but one that is worthy of consideration due to our need to support our ministers and ministry, the impact of inflation, and our need to increase pledged income.

Q: How Does the Church Support Its Budget Each Year?

A.: Each recent year, the budget is supported by pledged income and other donations; grants obtained, and by limited support from the endowment.

Q: How Might I Value My Gift to St. Peter’s?

A:  This Billy Graham epigram is often quoted and is responsive: “ Show me your credit card statement and I’ll show you what your values are.”