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Giving to St. James, Newport Beach: Why do we pledge?

Excitement and growth are all around at St. James, Newport Beach!

We are fortunate to offer such wonderful ministry treasures as our music program, adult Christian education, ministry partners, a vibrant children’s ministry and a blossoming Gen-X and millennial group (XM). Our enhanced live (virtual and in-person) worship service continues to be a spiritually enriching and uplifting experience. As we continue to grow, God’s love and abundance seems to be very clear at this time. Your generous support enables us to carry out God’s mission and sustains our common life together.


As our church journeys into our ever-rapidly-changing world we pray that you will experience giving to St. James as part of a spiritual transformation. Please consider your response to God’s generosity in this community and your own life as you contemplate your annual giving to St. James, Newport Beach. Our 2021 pledge card is available here

Frequently asked questions

What is the Annual Appeal, also known as the stewardship campaign?

The Annual Appeal, usually referred to as the “stewardship campaign,” or just “stewardship,” is the fundraising effort that supports the yearly mission, ministries, and programs of the church. The effort is placed in the larger context of spiritual financial giving, which acknowledges that all we have is a gift from God, and we cheerfully embrace a spirit of gratitude to spread God’s kingdom.

What is a pledge? Why should I give? Can’t I just give through the plate?

Church members are asked to make a pledge of annual financial support to sustain our mission and programs. Giving may then be fulfilled throughout the year in intervals of the donor’s choosing—one-time, quarterly, monthly, or weekly, for example. Your pledge and giving allows the church leadership to plan and budget effectively, and to manage with the confidence that program and operational needs will be met.

I’m confused about the timing. Why is this called the 2021 Annual Appeal?

This is called the 2021 Annual Appeal because it seeks to support the 2021 budget. In the last quarter of each year, we appeal to parishioners for the upcoming year. Thus, in October 2020 we have launched the 2021 Annual Appeal.

How long do I have to fulfill my giving? What forms of payment are accepted?

The church’s fiscal year is the calendar year; thus we seek to have all payments received by December 31. The easiest way to fulfill your giving is online. Other common methods of giving include check, bank transfer, or a gift of securities. If you are age 70½ or over, direct donation from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is also an attractive option, as the distribution is not treated as taxable income.

What do most people give? What is the average pledge amount? How many people give annually?

The average annual pledge at St. James in 2020 was just over $6,200. This is higher than the national average of $2,700 due to demographics, commitment to stewardship and enthusiasm to support our active ministry and community activity. We currently have about 94 households that give annual support to St. James.

How is the mission of St. James funded? What is the budget? What are the sources of revenue?

The annual budget for St. James for 2020 was just under $764,000. The largest source of income is parishioner giving. The Annual Appeal alone funds 77% of the operating budget. It is by far the largest source of programmatic support and we hope that all parishioners will participate. The annual budget for 2021 is $980,600 as a result of enhanced worship ministry efforts, outreach, hospitality, inflation, and ongoing maintenance of our building and grounds.

How should I discern my pledge?

The spiritual practice of giving to the church is grounded in the biblical standard of the tithe, which emphasizes the concepts of proportional giving and giving back to God as a first priority. In prayerfully considering your annual giving, we invite parishioners to consider their household income and to place St. James, Newport, at the top of their giving priorities. You might also think about growing your giving to the church over time and as a reflection of your spiritual growth. Finally, please consider what impact and meaning St. James has in your lives and your part in participating in and supporting the common life of this church.

Does the church receive any diocesan financial support?

St. James, Newport Beach, is a mission church of the Diocese of Los Angeles, under the authority of the bishop, and we do not receive any diocesan financial support. Dioceses are in turn part of the national church structure. Although some Episcopal mission churches may receive diocesan funds if they need them, we are fully self-supporting. We contribute an annual assessment to the Diocese of Los Angeles, based on our income level, to fund our common life together, provide for diocesan resources for the church, and outreach to missions and ministries of the diocese.

Can my pledge be restricted to a particular program or project?

The Annual Appeal seeks to fund the church’s annual operating budget to enable our common life and outreach in the community. If you would like to discuss a special gift to support a specific program, please contact the stewardship team leader.

Does the church receive matching gifts?

Yes, the church receives some matching gifts, and this is an area we would like to grow. Corporate matching gifts are an excellent way to provide further support for the mission of St. James, as many companies will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Please check with your human resources department for guidance as to how the process works. If you employer hesitates to match contributions to religious organizations, your annual pledge payment may be made to the St. James Faith Lab, our community outreach partner with St. James.

To whom may I speak with regarding additional questions?

The Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees, Vicar, will be happy to speak with you. She may be reached in the church office at 949.675.0210, or at revcindy@stjamesnewport.org. Ms. Lynne Ramsey, Stewardship Team Leader, may be reached at 203.231.5859 or at ramseys5@gmail.com. Thank you!

Through financial commitments such as yours, we partner in the work of the Gospel, to share God’s grace with our neighbors near and far.


So, thank you for all you do to build up the Body of Christ!

© 2020 St. James Episcopal Church, Newport Beach, CA

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