Stewardship & Annual Giving

Stewardship & Annual Giving

In 1 Chronicles 29: 14 we hear King David acclaim, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from thee, and of thy own have we given thee.”  The second half of that verse lives in our liturgy, as we also acclaim when our offerings are lifted up to the Lord.  In Genesis 3:19 we read that of man, God states:  In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  The latter part of that verse is familiar to us as part of the commendation at a burial.  These verses help inform us about our relationship to our possessions and our riches, as we enter this world with nothing, and take nothing with us to the grave. The church endorses a biblical standard, the tithe – an Old English word meaning ‘tenth’ – in consonance with the Old Testament practice of offering up one-tenth of the harvest to the Lord as an offering and sacrifice.  It is also fitting to remember the words of Jesus, as recounted in Luke 21: 1-4, As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you, “he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

At Aquia Church we recognize we are stewards, servants whose obligation is to care for and manage our Lord’s possessions.  This is an important aspect of discipleship.  We also acknowledge that we enter this world with nothing, and we take nothing with us when we leave.  Though we no longer live in an agrarian or nomadic society, the notion of returning to God a mere one-tenth of what he has given us, and living on the remaining ninety percent does not seem that peculiar.

The church is the Body of Christ, and since the earliest days of Christianity, groups of believers have banded together in common life to proclaim the gospel, serve each other and the world around them.  To remain viable, undertake our ministries and proclaim the gospel in word and deed, the church offers opportunities for giving for our members.  At Aquia Church the two primary vessels for giving are our annual Stewardship effort and our Heritage Endowment fund.

The annual Stewardship Campaign funds the General Fund with pledges from parishioners which pay for unrestricted expenses the church incurs – including salaries, insurance, pensions, allowances for our clergy and our lay staff.  Additionally, these monies pay for the general property expenses, utilities, Christian Education, parish administration costs, etc.  Your periodic gifts towards your pledge are vital to ensuring cash flow is maintained.  These funds are not used for the payment of the mortgage obligation we have for the Christian Formation and Fellowship Building, or Aquia’s Table, or Aquia’s Pantry, among other purposes.  The mortgage payment and designated ministries are funded by separate contributions.

The Aquia Church Heritage Endowment Fund (ACHEF) was created by the Vestry in 2022 as a vessel to accumulate funds in an endowment in order to build capital for future needs not already funded by a separate endowment (such as our cemetery funds, or the Moncure Robinson Trust Fund, established for the upkeep and maintenance of the historic church building).  The principal accumulated by ACHEF and investment income generated may be used for general purposes supporting Aquia Church after an initial three-year quiet period.  Income from endowment funds used to support Aquia Church is excluded from consideration in the calculation of the diocesan assessment.  The ACHEF is also the primary investment vessel for planned giving, i.e., making a bequest in one’s will or trust.