The combination of knowledge (information), wisdom (planning), obedience (to Biblical principles), and power (the Holy Spirit’s) is the key to everything, including the stewardship of money. The financial health of all churches rely on financial contributions to sustain and grow its congregation. Below you will find information on Giving, Stewardship, The Legacy Society, Endowment, and Other Ways to Give at Saint Margaret’s.

Giving & Stewardship

Jesus’ message to us about how we use our resources is one of the most challenging elements of the Gospel. The ministry of Stewardship is an invitation to take up this challenge. When we are generous, we acknowledge the abundance in our lives – and our confidence in God’s bounty. And when we give to St. Margaret’s, we claim this community for our own with its rich tradition of hospitality and service and its extraordinary potential.

If we follow the tradition of the “tithe,” our challenge is to give 10 percent of our (pre-tax) earnings to support God’s work. That’s hard to do overnight, but many of us at St. Margaret’s start the journey by giving 2 percent and then try to increase that percentage each year. Nothing about that journey seems easy – unless we start by acknowledging the abundance of gifts and resources we have been given.

Each fall, the Stewardship Committee sponsors a pledge drive, asking parishioners to make a pledge for the following year. These pledges help the Vestry build a budget, as our fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Pledges can be paid in a single gift or transfer of stock, as a recurring charge to your bank card, as a scheduled direct debit from your bank account, or they can be paid throughout the year by putting cash or checks in the offering plate in special envelopes provided for that purpose.

Giving Up Ourselves to Go Pledge Card

You can also support St. Margaret’s financially through planned giving. A planned gift might be in the form of a bequest, a trust, or by naming St. Margaret’s as the beneficiary of an insurance policy or a retirement account. These commitments support St. Margaret’s in the long term and are gratefully received.

Here are the answers to some questions that may arise as you consider making an annual gift to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

Frequently Asked Questions about Stewardship

A pledge can be adjusted throughout the year if your circumstances change. We suggest that you pledge responsibly, based on your best estimate of the year’s income. A pledge can be increased or decreased if your circumstances change.

Loose funds collected each week do help to support the ongoing life of the parish. However, pledges are very important because they enable us to plan responsibly and to establish a parish operating budget for the coming year.

Returning your pledge card is simply a promise to pay. Once you’ve made your pledge, you can fulfill it in as many payments as you wish throughout the year. The pledge secretary can provide you with weekly pledge envelope designed to help you with your payments.

You can also obtain a current pledge card by clicking here.

Pledges are actively gathered in the middle of November around St. Margaret’s Day, but they are gratefully received throughout the year.

St. Margaret’s accepts cash (when included in a pledge envelope), checks, MasterCard, or Visa. If you use a credit card, consider adding an additional three percent to your pledge to cover bank processing costs. You can use the blue donation button above to set up payments from your credit card.

You may also make a pledge payment of stock or other securities. In most cases, such a pledge payment may be considered a charitable deduction to avoid capital gains on the appreciation of the stock. Please contact the church office to learn how to make a gift of securities.

Corporate matching gifts are welcome. St. Margaret’s has set aside a special account for funds to be used for non-religious purposes to allow companies that are unable to give to churches to help support St. Margaret’s work in the community. If you think your employer might be willing to provide matching gifts, please contact the church office to make arrangements.

Yes. If you plan to give stock or securities to the church, please contact the parish office for details about the process.

Proportional giving is based on the premise that the first fruits are given back to God in grateful response to what God has given us. It refers to a conscious effort to determine an appropriate level of giving. We ask each parishioner to consider making an annual pledge in proportion to income. It is the teaching of the Episcopal Church and the biblical norm to give 10 percent of one’s income.

We believe strongly that our standard of giving should reflect our standard of living. We ask each parishioner to consider making a pledge that is both responsible and significant based on his or her financial situation.

Annual pledges are just one part of the practice of generosity and stewardship that undergirds our parish life. An annual pledge supports St. Margaret’s annual budget. Planned giving is a gift or series of gifts that can help secure the church’s ministries beyond our individual lifetimes. Special gifts fund additional parish priorities such as building renovation, community outreach, and program and endowment support.

Gracious and generous God, everything we have and all that we are comes from you, and you call us to be faithful stewards of our time, talent and treasure.

Help us ground our daily lives in thankfulness for all your gifts and mindfulness of how these gifts shape our material and spiritual well-being, our parish, community and world.

Help us return to you for your work a generous proportion of all your blessings to us, and grant us the courage to give according to your teachings with the Holy Spirit as our guide.

Help us take the next step together to discern and grow into a fuller understanding of what it means to be good and faithful stewards of our time, talent and treasure.

We ask this in the Name of Jesus, our Companion on the Way.  Amen.

Annual pledges support everything we do and are at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Our yearly budget is driven by the generosity of our parishioners through annual pledges. These pledges support all the operating costs of our ministry programs as well as our building and staff operations, and expenses such as heating, outreach grants, worship leaflets, and nursery caregivers.

For more information on Giving & Stewardship, click here.

The Legacy Society

Planned Giving

Planned giving is a generous and effective way of ensuring St. Margaret’s future growth. You can make a planned gift to St. Margaret’s in a number of tax-beneficial ways. When you make a bequest or contribution of any size to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church either in your will or through a trust arrangement, you become a member of St. Margaret’s Legacy Society. St. Margaret’s Legacy Society recognizes all parishioners who have made a provision for the church as part of their estate plan. The amount is always confidential. While you should consult with your attorney or financial advisor for guidance in determining the planned gift approach that is right for you and your family, we suggest the following options:

Gifts by Will

Bequests by will to the church are exempt from federal and most state inheritance taxes. With a gift by will, your total estate value is reduced by the amount of your planned gift, reducing your overall estate tax.

By your will (which you may amend by a codicil) or your revocable trust, you can make St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church the beneficiary of cash, securities, and/or other property. You may designate specific amounts or a percentage of your estate, or you may make St. Margaret’s a residual beneficiary of your estate, that is, a recipient of some part of the balance after payment of specific bequests, expenses, and taxes.

As you review your testamentary plans, here are three language samples for your use.

Specific Amount for General Purposes

“I give, advise, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, the sum of $______ to be used at their discretion for the general objectives and purposes of said St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.”

Percentage Amount for a Specific Purpose

“I give, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, ___% of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, to be used at their discretion for the general maintenance of the physical facilities of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.”

Unrestricted Bequest to St. Margaret’s Endowment

These are only samples for your consideration. Your legal counsel can help you to refine the bequest language to suit your specific wishes for St. Margaret’s. If you do decide to include St. Margaret’s in your will, we would find it very helpful to have a copy of that portion of your will for our records.

“I give, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and the Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, ___% of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, to be placed in the St. Margaret’s Endowment Fund, for use at their discretion.”

For more information, click here

Saint Margaret’s Endowment

What is Saint Margaret’s Endowment?

The Endowment is a formal long-term savings account that financially supports our church to do God’s work by paying for special projects to improve out facilities, fund outreach projects, enrich our worship and music programs and other ways the vestry may approve. It has its roots from the late 1900’s when several church families combined to donate $220,000 as seed money. They formally created St. Margaret’s Endowment in 2001, defined and managed by the by-laws and operating procedures they created and the Vestry approved. Endowment spending may not be used for ongoing expenses of operating the church.

Below are some more Frequently Asked Question about Saint Margaret’s Endowment.

The Endowment is not funded by regular operating pledge or plate income. Anyone may donate to the Endowment by any means (cash, check, stocks, bonds or other assets) People have often made a gift in memory of a friend or family member who has died. Some folks make a bequest in their wills or estate plans to leave a gift to the Endowment, and they automatically become members of the Legacy Society. If they wish, donors may earmark their gift to benefit the church or greater community in specific ways they choose. Money received is divided into one of four sub-funds. Facilities, Outreach, Music/Worship, and special projects (Vestry-directed)

Every donation to the Endowment, big or small, becomes part of the “corpus” (=”body” = the principal money invested). The corpus is never spent and is carefully invested to grow over many years. Only a portion of the interest and earnings are spent for approved projects, and therefore all gifts given over the years continue growing along with earnings from generation to generation.

Saint Margaret’s Endowment committee is composed of six voting members approved by the rector and vestry. Members serve for a three-year term and may serve one additional term. The committee usually meets once per quarter to review donations and investment results, approve spending projects and plan promotional events.

Endowment money is tracked using the church’s financial reporting system, nut the money is held in dedicated investment accounts, separate from the church’s regular bank accounts. The corpus and earnings not available for spending are held in the Diocesan Investment Fund (the DIF), that pools and invests money for many churches throughout our diocese. DIF money is managed by volunteer financial professionals who invest it to achieve steady low-risk growth. Each January, our Endowment committee reviews the investment results and, assuming things re stable, votes to have a portion of the restricted earnings (calculated using a pre-defined formula) become available for spending. The newly released money is transferred to a money market account and held until needed to pay for projects (grants). Early each year the Endowment committee sens messages to each committee leader of Facilities, Faith in Action, Music, and the Vestry to let them know how much money is currently available for spending from their associated Endowment sub-fund. The available amounts are also included each month in the treasurer’s financial report (Summary of Restricted Accounts)

Requests for Endowment money are usually submitted in writing by heads of church committees to the Endowment committee with explanation of how the money is to be used. The committee reviews the proposals to ensure the money is available and that the nature of proposed spending meets requirements defined in the Endowment by-laws. A vote is taken, and if approved the request is forwarded to the Vestry for thier approval. Spending status is monitored.

The committee hosts two educational events that rotate each year, and they include information for parishioners how to make gifts to the Endowment.

  • Wills and Estate Planning Workshop
  • Advanced Planning for Funeral Services and Burials

The committee also hosts an annual party for Saint Margaret’s member of the Legacy Society is 2018, the committee published and distributed a color brochure explaining what the Endowment is and how people pay participate in it. Additional copies are available around the church.

For more information, click here.

Other Ways to Give

Altar Flowers and Oblations

Many people have special days in the year which they commemorate. Flowers on the altar of St. Margaret’s can fittingly mark the anniversary of a birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage or death, or may be used as an expression of joy of thanksgiving at any time.

If you would like to make an online donation for flowers on a particular Sunday, and/or for Christmas, Easter, or the Thanksgiving Day services, to make your donation, click here.

Commemorative Bricks

How does a church celebrate 60 years of faithful service and community?  One step at a time. Or better yet, one brick at a time.

Saint Margaret’s is offering you an opportunity to commemorate cherished events in your life with the purchase of individualized pavers that will grace the newly designed entryway outside the front doors of our church.  The order form is available here

In the meantime, what stories might you tell?  How will you live in our history?  Births, adoptions, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, weddings and even celebrations of lives well lived – make them a permanent feature of this new path into Saint Margaret’s Church.

The initial order has been placed, but we will continue to add to the bricks. Please contact the parish office for more information.