The offering we collect each Sunday goes to support a variety of missions at St. Mark’s; those funds collected each Sunday go to support the many aspects of doing ministry here in Conshohocken and also go to support missions nationally and abroad. Without generous support from folks like you we would not be able to proclaim the gospel the way that we do. So thank you for your generous contributions and your willingness to support God’s mission through us here at St. Mark’s.
Simply Giving® Program
For the past ten years St. Mark’s has made available to the membership an electronic method of making your offering called Simply Giving®. This program is endorsed by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Through the Simply Giving® program funds are automatically withdrawn directly from your checking, savings, debit or credit card account and deposited into St. Mark’s bank account. Thrivent Federal Credit Union has contracted with industry leader Vanco Services, LLC to provide electronic payment processing services at reduced rates to churches. It’s convenient, safe and simple, and no cost to the donor. All you need to do is enroll. We have enrollment materials available in the rear of the church. If you have questions, please contact the office and Kathy Delaney will assist you in completing the forms. Once participants are enrolled, your electronic donations are automatically withdrawn from your account on a pre-authorized transfer date. No cash needed, No checks to write, No envelope to fill out! A real time saver.
Your Financial Institutions Bill Payer System
Another method of making regular contributions is directly through your financial institution. Most banks and credit unions have electronic bill payer systems available, for free, to account holders. With these systems you log into the institution’s web site and designate the recipient of your payment or contribution. As with Simply Giving® you can schedule the frequency of your contributions (weekly, monthly, semi-monthly etc.) or set them up to be automatically sent on a particular day. Once again, no cash, no checks, no envelopes, no worries, and there is the added benefit of no cost to you or to St. Mark’s!
The Sunday Envelope
Although it is currently the most widely accepted method for making financial contributions, the Sunday envelope is a relatively new concept given the age of organized religion. Throughout the nineteenth century most church support was provided by means of pew rental, seat offering, or annual dues for membership. The first decades of the twentieth century saw a significant change in the way American congregations raised money. In an effort to instill method and efficiency into their finance, many churches began using the weekly envelope system. A Lutheran pastor, Samuel A. Stein, promoted this very idea in his 1920 book A Guide to Church Finance. With great zeal he recommended the envelope in which the loyal contributor placed the weekly donation to the church: “This system is recognized practically by all Christian churches as the most successful method at the present time for congregations to raise money for their up-keep.” Church envelopes are still popular today. They provide the donor with the flexibility of donating a regular amount each period or the ability to offer contributions of varying amounts. All this involves time on the part of the donor for thought and paperwork. While most churches still employ this century-old method of stewardship, others have taken Pastor Stein’s 1920’s encouragement to modernity to a new level. With ever increasing personal demands, and choices on how we spend our time, electronic giving is beginning to replace the traditional envelope.
There is much talk today about changing a church’s culture of generosity. A church’s culture is built up over years, embedded with heritage and history, and is not easily or quickly changed. Technology advances have moved us forward to electronic giving and web communications—yet offering envelopes remain integral to attaining contributions and sustained giving. Whichever method you choose and are comfortable with we say, Thank You, for believing in the vision and ministry of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. By giving, you are providing the opportunity to further the ministry that God has called us to as a church to REACH, TEACH, and HELP people in Jesus name.
Peace, The Finance and Stewardship Committees