Co-chairs Kathy Henderson and Chris Strickland introduced the 2020 Pledge Campaign during morning worship on Sunday, Oct. 20.
The campaign seeks to raise $3 million in pledge commitments from members and friends of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. These pledges will constitute 54% of the church’s operating budget in 2020.
Pledge brochures and pledge cards are in the mail to all members and past contributors. You may return your pledge card by mail or drop it in the offering plate on Sunday morning. You may also pledge online at fapc.org/pledge.
Following are Kathy’s and Chris’ remarks to the congregation as the Pledge Campaign got underway.
We’re delighted to kick off the 2020 stewardship campaign today, with the theme “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” a hymn I’ve loved since I played it in high school on Sunday nights at my Baptist Church in Alabama, and one with a message that resonates so strongly when I think about Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.
I am especially pleased to be co-chairing with Chris because we represent three generations at Fifth Avenue. My husband, Ken, and I will celebrate 40 years of membership next spring. Every inch of this church holds happy memories for us and our family, and now I love seeing Chris and Kalen and their little ones making their own family memories in this very special place.
How blessed are we to be part of this amazing congregation? And to have the opportunity to support its ministries of worship, music, education and outreach. This church changes lives every day, and each of us becomes part of that when we make a financial commitment. That’s why making our pledge to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church is the easiest financial decision Ken and I make all year.
I hope that every member here today, every friend who has experienced God’s faithfulness through this church, will join us.
I’m blessed to be a member of this church, along with my wife, Kalen, and our two “little lambs,” who greatly enjoy the Sunday School experience. This church has meant so much to me for over 15 years, through several stages of my life.
The idea of faithfulness resonates with both Kathy and me this year as we think about you, the congregations, and your faithful contributions year after year to this church.
Today we ask that in the coming weeks you prayerfully consider what you can pledge to your church this year. If you haven’t pledged in a few years, or if you’ve never pledged, the 2020 campaign is a perfect time to make the commitment! We really do want and need a high participation rate from our congregation.
Since I’ve asked you all to pledge this year, I will share why the Strickland family pledges.
We pledge because it’s a true opportunity to support the wonderful ministry of this church. There are many tangible ways we see our dollars at work, from the Sunday School and children’s music program, the choir, the pastoral staff, our outreach and mission programs, even just knowing that our pledge helps to keep the lights on in this vast building! Our collective gifts are faithfully put to work here everyday.
But I think there’s also an intangible element as to why we pledge, one that is perhaps harder to explain. This week when I was gathering my thoughts for today, I kept thinking back to several years ago. I would see a homeless man almost every day on Park Avenue, just a few blocks from here. It’s sad to see anyone on the street, but this gentleman looked particularly hopeless. He looked so sad and disfigured, he could barely limp around. It was impossible to not notice this man.
One December Sunday, Kalen and I volunteered for the Outreach Christmas lunch with our neighbors experiencing homelessness, which the church has hosted upstairs in Bonnell Hall for nearly 20 years. As the guests started streaming in, I saw the man from Park Avenue. And he was smiling. Ear to ear! He looked joyful. He looked happy. He looked comforted.
It’s a look I would not have thought possible for him. It’s a look that our church’s ministry creates everyday. And that is why we pledge.
Thank you so much for your time and prayerful consideration this pledge season!