Small Church -- Generous Spirit!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied Grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
We believe in the transformative power of Christian generosity. By investing time, talents and treasure into the life of St. Francis of Assisi we help bring God’s peace to ourselves and the world. At the heart of our actions is gratitude for the Grace of God and a desire to share these gifts with others.
There are a number of ways you can serve others through giving. There is no donation too small or too large as all gifts are used for the betterment of St. Francis or the world in which we live. These various options allow you to donate in a way that suits you and your circumstances the best.
Type the amount you'd like to donate in the box below. After clicking the Donate button you will be taken to a PayPal screen where you can either give using your credit card, or login to PayPal and give.
Below you will see descriptions of all the ways you can help St. Francis financially. If you know what you want to do, click here to enter the secure portal for online contributions and gifts.
Here are your options for donations:
- Cash or check. Place your cash or check in the offertory plate or mail to St. Francis of Assisi, PO Box 265, Chapin, SC 29036.
- Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). Please contact the finance office.
- Credit card. Please use the donation portal or contact the Finance Office. If you are giving by credit card, the church would ask that you consider adding an extra 3% to cover the bank processing and transaction fees charge to St. Francis of Assisi.
- Gifts of Stocks or Securities. Please contact the Finance office for details on processing this type of transaction.
- Flowers for Services. Contact the church office to facilitate giving flowers in memorial, or celebration, or in thanksgiving. The office will inform you of when the liturgical calendar excludes flowers from the sanctuary. You will also find a flower donation option in the online donation menu.
Annual giving is a the lifeblood of St. Francis of Assisi. The collective generosity of the congregation sustains the work of Christ year after year. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
What is a pledge? A pledge is your commitment to make a financial gift to support the mission of St. Francis and a way of saying “Thanks be to God.” There is no such thing as a small pledge.
Why is a pledge needed? Pledged commitments permit the church to develop an annual budget to allow the rational prioritization of needs over time. This is done by the finance committee and approved by the Vestry.
What does a pledge payment support? Everything in the life of the church: worship, pastoral care, educational programs, and the maintenance of our buildings and grounds. In addition, a part of your pledge supports the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and The Episcopal Church.
Don’t collections cover the need? Weekly non-pledge offerings and non-pledged gifts amount to a very small portion of our annual budgeted revenue. The single most important source of funding for our ministries comes from the payment of pledges that are made during our annual campaign. These gifts generally provide most of the church’s income every year.
How much should I pledge? We ask that each parishioner or family consider making a pledge that is responsible and significant based on his, her or their financial situation. A 10% tithe of one’s income has long been considered the standard of Christian giving, but every pledge of any amount makes a difference. Can’t do 10%? Give 2% and know we say “thank you.” The only people who know about your pledge status are those on the financial committee and they have agreed to keep your information confidential.
How do I pay my pledge? Any way that is easiest for you on the timeline you determine is best. When you pledge you tell us the amount and the payment plan. You can adjust that as needed. All we ask is that you keep the church treasurer informed about significant changes.
Annual pledges fund the day-to-day moneys to operate the church. Annual pledges are not sufficient to handle the costs of major repairs and improvements to the buildings and grounds. Fortunately, together we can attend to our building’s structural needs and enhance its abilities to support our parish life now and for generations to come through contributions to the capital campaign. Our goals here are to ensure we have a welcoming presence, enhance the worship and fellowship experiences, and improve comfort and safety at the church.
Please do not include these pledges and donations with annual contributions! Make them separate and distinct and ensure the financial staff understands your intent.
Continuing Priorities: Over the last several years the church has benefited from major repairs and improvements. Windows have been repaired, the connector corridor was built, the decking and siding was repaired or replaced, and most recently the sanctuary was remodeled. Priorities are set by the building and grounds committee, approved by the vestry and then funded when circumstances allow.
Near term priorities: New needs are always emerging. For example, in 2018 we needed to do something with the unexpected pavement damage. Other exterior needs in the future include the replacement of some trees and a refurbishment of the playground. Another known need is replacement of some or all of the HVAC equipment for the parish hall. It is only through continued support for the capital campaign that the church is able to sustain itself in these times of need.
Directed giving provides funds for church needs that the donor wishes to support over and above an annual pledge or contribution to the capital campaign. At St. Francis, such directed giving must align well with pre-existing church priorities as identified and approved by the Vestry. Therefore, the first step in directing a contribution is to make sure that item or need is an approved need. This may be known at the time of the contribution or approvals may have to sought before the contribution can be made. Contact the Treasurer to determine where and how to begin this process.
Planned giving encompasses a variety of ways that gifts can be make to the church from accumulated resources. Often this involves financial or estate planning; however, this option is not just for the wealthy. If you are considering the disposition of your personal resources, please consider St. Francis as the chosen destination for some or all of your assets. In all cases, it is recommended that you discuss your options with an attorney or financial advisor as you begin your preliminary discussions with the St. Francis of Assisi financial office.
Bequests: One of the more common ways to give to St. Francis is as a bequest in a will. This bequest can be a set amount of money, a specified percentage of an estate, a specific asset, a trust, or St. Francis can be named as a contingent beneficiary.
Gifts of Special Assets (securities, life insurance, retirement accounts): Any or all of these could provide St. Francis with much needed funds. Each one has its own rules and advantages/disadvantages. Most can have good tax consequences as long as the gift is done correctly. In some cases, the timing of the sale or donation is critical to having the personal financial outcome you desire.