How and where we give our charitable contributions has changed over the decades. There was a time when most families primarily gave money in the “charitable” category to the church. The church has long been custodian of people’s money so that the real needs of people in their community and the world are met. The cost of community programming, feeding the hungry, providing schools, operating shelters has been absorbed in a church’s outreach budget. The Church has also subsidized a wide-ranging program of global support through their missionary staffing and programming. You could give your offering to the church and know you were supporting many things. That is still true.
In 2022, nonprofit organizations (which include churches) need to let people know how financial contributions are used before people choose to give. There are so many options to do the work in the world that concerns people, we need to give some clarity. So here goes…
Pastoral compensation in the United Church of Christ is determined by a set formula that factors in years of ordained experience as well as fair standards of compensation. This church does not “reward” or “thank” their pastoral leadership with fancy cars and extravagant homes. It is also a value in this church to pay their employees a fair living wage. This church has at times recognized years of dedicated service in their non-clergy staff with a pay increase. Our staff is a blessing to this church and a true joy to work with.
A piece of our budgetary “pie” goes for the unglamorous but most necessary costs of utility and maintenance. As one who was here before there was any air conditioning in the sanctuary, I am grateful that you have made that space inviting throughout the year. Printer, computer, organ, and piano maintenance are hidden costs that make all the difference.
Greenbelt Community Church UCC gives a significant amount of money to organizations that help meet people’s needs here in our community and around the world. When we give to the church, we are part of giving to many places serving others. This includes giving to the Greenbelt Interfaith Leadership Alliance to meet the spiritual and physical needs of people in our community.
This church has been responsive to changing patterns over the years. We continue to offer adult study groups to allow people to explore their faith, their biblical understandings, their questions, and their concerns about the relationship of faith and everyday living. We can do that electronically now and people can obtain their own books. We can provide important Sunday School time in different ways than were necessitated in the past. This has allowed us to free budgetary needs from purchasing costly printed materials. Now we can consider budgeting for Retreat space for a spiritual renewal weekend.
What does our giving support? The answer is many things. We at Greenbelt Community Church understand our obligation to be good stewards of your gracious giving. We thank you.