Vestry Statement on Stewardship

At their regular meeting on June 16, 2002, the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry members of Grace Church in Newark 
adopted the following statement concerning stewardship.   
Individual vestry members subsequently signed it.  
The statement was originally drafted by the vestry of St. Paul's Church in Paterson, N.J.

 

  1. We believe that every good thing that we have and every good thing that we are is a gift form God--part of the way that we receive God's love.

  2. We believe that the greatest of these gifts is the gift of Jesus Christ, a gift that gives us love, mercy, and forgiveness and ultimately gives us a way to God.

  3. We believe that the gift of Jesus Christ calls for us to make a commitment to God and to God's work.

  4. We believe that the biblical statement, "Where you treasure is, there will your heart be also," is an accurate description of human nature.  Consequently, we believe that a commitment of our money is a primary way, if not the primary way, that we make a commitment to God.

  5. We believe that the appropriate way to make our commitment is to give in proportion to our income, in proportion to what we have.

  6. We believe that to measure whether our gift represents the kind of commitment where our heart might follow our treasure, we should compare what we give with a goal or a standard.

  7. We believe that the tithe, ten per cent of our income, is the goal or standard that in general terms represents the level of commitment that God asks of us and is the appropriate starting point for choosing our own personal stewardship goal.

  8. We believe that we all should gradually increase the percentage of our income given to God's work as we move toward our goal.

To live out these beliefs we publicly commit ourselves to use the following method to make our personal stewardship decisions:

  • Step 1. To calculate the percentage of our income that we currently give to God's work.

  • Step 2. To compare that percentage to the goal of the tithe and consciously choose a goal for our personal stewardship.

  • Step 3. To increase gradually the percentage of our income that is given to God's work as we move toward our goal.

  • Step 4. To decide what percentage of our income will be given to God's work in the coming year before deciding where the money will be given

We urge all members of our parish family to join us in using this method to make stewardship decisions.