St. Regis Tithing Pledge
Frequently Asked Questions about Pledging
Turning in the Time/Talent and Treasure forms is a “Good Faith Habit”. It is demonstrating that God is important in our lives. How far down the list of importance do we place God?
The pledge helps St. Regis plan for the coming year. The pledge helps determine if funds will be available to support the church, school, and ministries for the coming year. Submitting a pledge is comparable to your employer agreeing to pay your salary, or pension, and the government's agreement to pay your social security.
Plan to contribute a percentage of your annual income. We each can’t give the same amount, but we each can make the same sacrifice. The recommended amount is 5% of your gross income.
Determine what your gross income is (before any withholdings), then check the table on the back of your Annual Appeal card. Find the dollar amount closest to it and go across the line to the % you wish to give. For some, the same level of sacrifice is giving more than 5%.
Lives are not static. You can adjust your contributions accordingly.
It is important to work towards this goal. You can begin by committing to an amount that is planned, proportionate, and sacrificial. Most Catholics do not even know how much they give back. When they take the time to calculate that amount they are often surprised and discomforted. The first step in working towards the 5% goal is to determine what percentages you currently give. Then see if you can increase that percentage by at least ½ percent. If you increase your giving every year by at least ½ percent or more, you will eventually reach a full 5%.
When striving to give a full 5%, you should calculate the amount you give back to God based on your gross income. The reason for this is that stewardship calls us to give back to God first, before we take care of any of our own wants, needs or obligations – including our obligation to our government. After all, God should come before Uncle Sam, shouldn’t He? By placing God first – above all other financial obligations – we show how much we love and trust Him. Some people may never be able to reach a full 5%. Others reach that goal and give more, knowing that in reality it all belongs to God.
Here is an easy formula for determining 5%. Take your pre-tax income. Round it to the nearest thousand. Then take off the last three zeros. For example, a person making $40,000 annually would take off the last three zeros and be left with $40. This is the amount you should give every week if you are giving 5% back to God through your parish.
It truly does take great faith. Simply place your trust in God. If you wait until you feel that you are financially comfortable you will never take the step. The commercialism of our society works to convince us that we never have enough. No matter how much we have, there is always something else we will want. If you are ever going to put your faith in God, you will have to step back from your endless list of wants and believe that our generous and abundant God will always provide you with all that you need and even with enough to give back a generous share.
There are legitimate exceptions such as a family living in poverty with very little money to take care of their basic needs. For some families, debt may be the main factor. Some may have student loans or were laid off from work. Others may be living beyond their means and have credit card debt. People with these situations need help. St. Regis is planning to offer a program to help those suffering from debt. If you are interested in this type of program, please contact the Parish Office at 816-761-1608.
Go to St. Regis website at www.stregischurch.com, Clink the Giving button on the right side of this page. Go to Create Account or Quick Give (Just below St. Regis name). Fill out the forms (To create an account you will need to set up a user name and password.)
“Then he said to the crowd, ‘Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.’” - Luke 12:15
What is Stewardship?
Stewardship is a way of life, a life of accountability and responsibility acknowledging God as Creator and Giver of all. Stewardship involves responsible management of our God-given resources of time, talent, and treasure. Stewards as disciples of Jesus Christ see themselves as caretakers of all God's gifts. Gratitude for these gifts is expressed in prayer, worship, offering and action by eagerly sharing our gifts out of love for God and one another.
The Four Pillars of Stewarship
A stewardship parish is a welcoming parish regardless of its demographics: large or small - urban, suburban or rural. With special vigilance, parishioners must seek out and welcome new members to the parish family. “When I was a stranger, you welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35). Jesus Christ teaches that whenever we welcome one of the least of our sisters and brothers, we welcome Christ Himself. The Pillar of Hospitality teaches us that even though we are unique individuals we are all part of the One Church working together to continue the mission of the Lord.
God is love and He gives His love to each one of us. As God loves us, He calls us to love one another. This Divine Love flows through the heart of the faithful steward to love others. When we are recipients of such love from others, we are attracted to follow this example. This desire to welcome others is yet another gift of God.
Our parish strives to be hospitable through the following ministries: Welcoming Committee, Ushers and Greeters, Events Committee, Scouting Programs, Sports and Athletics, the Youth Group and the Art and Environment Committee. If you have a talent in any of these areas please consider joining one of these groups. We can all support the pillar of hospitality by welcoming everyone that visits our parish.
You can also support the hospitality pillar by having an attractive and comfortable Church, School, ECC, meeting facilities, and programs for parishioners of all ages. To continue the Parish mission, St. Regis needs your continued support of Time, Talent, and Treasure.
A stewardship parish strives to nourish the soul through prayer. Prayer is as necessary to our souls as food is to our bodies. Prayer and the sacraments dispose a soul to receive God’s abundant graces, which are necessary to grow in holiness. That is why the Second Pillar- Prayer is related to the Second Mark of the Church - Holy. Holiness is accomplished through liturgy and Sacraments (especially the Eucharist), the witness of saints and martyrs, the proclamation of Scripture, adherence to Sacred Tradition, teaching and preaching, and much more. To grow in holiness is the ultimate desire of our prayer life.
Our journey towards holiness also requires a lifetime of daily conversion. Prayer helps us to see ourselves as God sees us and to see who God calls us to become. Without the desire for conversion to become faithful stewards, our spiritual blindness leads to selfishness and pride.
Through faithful lives of prayer, we grow in virtue. Our prayer takes deep root when we practice the theological virtues, (faith, hope, and charity); the cardinal virtues, (prudence justice, temperance, and fortitude); and seek to live the fruits of the Holy Spirit, (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control). We grow in virtue when we pray. A steward is a person of virtue.
A deep sense of gratitude fills the heart of a steward. The steward understands that everything they are and have that is good comes from God. The recognition of the gifts received daily from God makes us consciously aware of God’s Presence among His People. Our desire to thank Good is His gift. As disciples, we are called to the response by using these gifts of our time, talent, and treasure. Gratitude in our heats cultivates our prayer.
Our Parish strives to make PRAYER a greater priority through the following Ministries and Councils: sacristans, Worship Council, Rosary & Adoration, Alter Servers, Sacristans, Extraordinary Ministers, Lectors, Music Ministry, Children’s liturgy and Serra Club. Stop by the Gather Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our Second Ministry Fair.
The third Pillar of the Stewardship Way of Life is Formation. Faith formation is a lifelong journey of conversion; a formidable task, involving the education of the mind and the conversion of the heart for all ages. Ongoing education for children and adults is important if we are to grow in our lives as stewards – you never graduate from the formation. The Evangelization and Parish Life Council (EPL) is the key organization at St. Regis that provides opportunities for parishioners to deepen their faith and knowledge through studies and presentations on scripture, Church teachings, and other topics of interest. Opportunities are also provided for learning how to share one’s faith.
The goal of the EPL council and at least ten of our ministries is to educate, form, and sustain the stewardship way of life for all ages through faith formation opportunities in the parish and school. We strive to be disciple stewards and give a good example as we participate in parish life in ministries and on parish leadership teams. We are open to the continuous conversion to a life of stewardship – to sharing what one has with a loving, generous, and grateful heart.
How important is it to properly form one’s faith and understand Christ’s teachings? Jesus explains to us in MT 13:19 that “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.” It’s important to hear the Word, but equally important to understand it.
We are each given a role to play in building up God’s kingdom. We are each given gifts of time and talent by God to complete our mission. Do you know what your gifts are? If your gift is helping in our Formation ministries or you want to be better informed about your Catholic faith, then consider joining one of the following ministries:
The key ministries tied to Formation include; EPL, scripture study, Mary’s Room library, Catholic teachings/history presentations, special topical presentations, parish missions, the Immaculata Militia, RCIA, School of Religion, Book Club, Sacrament/Marriage Prep and Serra Club. Other groups such as Parish/School Development Councils and the Stewardship Council support the Formation Pillar by providing various funding opportunities to carry out the vision and mission.
Stop by the Gathering Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our Third Ministry Fair.
“I believe in . . . and apostolic church.” We believe that we are continuing the living tradition of the Apostles. Part of that tradition includes works of service, apostolic works. Jesus said, “I have come not to be served, but to serve.” We need to be ready to minister to varied needs of our own parish family as well as the needs of the wider community and Church. A stewardship parish family serves those who are hurting or in need; doubting or seeking salvation. Like a blood family, the parish family stands ready and eager collectively to wrap their arms around their brothers and sisters when they suffer in trial and/or celebrate special events in their lives. St. Paul says, “God so constructed the body, that there may be no dissension in the body, but that all the members may be concerned for one another. If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members share its joy.” (1 Cor. 12: 24b, 25-26)
Parishioners seek the parish family as a primary community to serve and to be served—to give and to receive. If a parishioner finds they can serve and be ministered to, they have little need to search elsewhere for this fulfillment. Likewise, they have recognized a place where their service is appreciated and utilized for the good of the Church.
But the members of a stewardship parish recognize that they also have a need to give beyond their own members only. They have a need to serve and to give in the diocese, the community, and the Universal Church. Fully embracing and committing to this need leads a parish to the stewardship way of life within the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. This is the challenge to us parishioners. Are we willing to serve our own St. Regis parish and outsiders? Interestingly, if this true of our parish, chances also exist that St. Regis embraces fully the first pillar of a stewardship parish – namely, hospitality.
During next week’s Ministry Fair, you will find information for over 20 service ministries that need your time, talent, and/or treasure. Service provides opportunities for us to put into concrete practice the other three pillars, hospitality, prayer, and formation. A true stewardship parish practices all four of these pillars, with Jesus Christ as the model and the foundation from which the pillar arises.
Stop by the Gathering Space after the Masses next weekend to learn more about these ministries at our 4th and last Ministry Fair.
Stewardship of Treasure
Just as our time and talents are gifts from God, so too is our treasure. Yes, our financial contributions help maintain the daily operations and life of our Parish and Academy, but more importantly giving of our treasure blesses us, the giver. It's another way to live out our discipleship calling, putting our faith into action by entrusting our family’s financial resources to God.
We thus invite parishioners to prayerfully consider giving 5% of their gross income to God through the parish offertory (through Online Giving or physically at Mass), 1% to the diocese, and 4% to other charities.
For those of you new to tithing, consider starting out smaller and gradually increasing your giving amount until you reach the scriptural 10% tithe. It may seem like a stretch at first, but God is faithful and impossible to out-give.
Whatever you decide to give, make sure it is guided by prayer and be faithful to your financial commitment through the parish offertory or Online Giving. This helps ensure the long-term viability of our parish.
Don’t forget, children’s envelopes are available in the pews for those families that want to use them. There is a place for the child to print a good deed or indicate what they are thankful to God for. This is a wonderful way for parents to include their children in the formation and practice of stewardship. It is suggested that the children put their envelopes in the treasure chest in front of the ambo during the offertory collection.
Listed below are several options for making special gifts to St. Regis Parish.
This is the simplest way to make a special gift to St. Regis, but it might not be the most tax-efficient for you. Other options listed below may be more tax-efficient.
Donating Securities and Mutual Funds
Donating appreciated stock or mutual fund shares is a strategic gift-planning method. The donor receives an itemized deduction in the amount of the fair market value (FMV) of the shares donated as of the date of the gift. This value is deductible up to 30% of the donor’s adjusted gross income and can be carried over for up to five years after the year of the gift. Speak with your financial adviser. Procedure a)Obtain a Gift of Securities form from the parish office or web site under “Yr. End Giving” or contact the Diocesan Office below for a copy. b)You will also need to contact the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development at (816) 714-2363 or 816-714-2359. c) Designate unrestricted gifts to the parish as “St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church, Kansas City, Missouri”
Giving from your IRA if you are over 70.5 years old
Will you be 70 ½ or older by December 31, of this year? Find out how to lower your Federal Income Tax Giving directly from your IRA to a qualified charity like St. Regis Parish or School can be a tax-wise strategy. Please consult your legal or tax adviser or the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development. The St. Regis office can provide the necessary forms. It is also important to notify the Diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development at (816) 714-2363 or 816-714-2359 before submitting your transfer form. Do not wait until the end of the year, as you might miss the opportunity to take advantage of this very helpful giving method.
Future Planned Giving
If you are considering a future planned gift and have questions, please contact the St. Regis office and we can provide you assistance and resources to make a tax-wise gift.
Donors often find advantages by giving appreciated securities, mutual funds or other personal property that were purchased some time ago at a much lower value. If sold on the market, the gain on these assets would generate taxable capital gain income. By giving these assets to charity, this capital gains tax will never be assessed and you will achieve your goal of benefiting your favorite cause.
Donating Securities and Mutual Funds
Donating appreciated stock or mutual fund shares is a strategic gift-planning method. If held for more than 12 months, the donor receives an itemized deduction in the amount of the fair market value (FMV) of the shares donated as of the date of the gift. This value is deductible up to 30% of the donor’s adjusted gross income and can be carried over for up to five years after the year of the gift.
To accomplish a gift of securities or mutual fund shares you will need to execute a DTC Transfer Form which is handled by the Diocesan office for gifts made to St. Regis or any other Diocesan charity. The DTC Transfer form is available at the parish office or at the Dioceses Office of Stewardship and Development at (816) 714-2363 or 816-714-2359.
Most securities or mutual funds are in “street name” and held by a brokerage firm. To accomplish a gift of these assets, it will be necessary to wire transfer instructions using our diocesan brokerage account. The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is designated as Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Wells Fargo Advisers Account #5328-3701, DTC #0141. Please contact Linda Maclean at (913)234-7704, Fax (913)234-7718, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In any case, it is necessary to identify the shares to be given; the account number(s) of the Delivering Firm; the parish, ministry, or school that is to benefit from the proceeds of the gift. Security gifts to St. Regis shall be designated at “St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church, Kansas City, Missouri”.
Note: When executing a gift of securities or mutual funds, it is necessary to notify:
- Your broker or financial adviser
- The diocese’s broker(Wells Fargo) listed above and
- The diocese at the numbers listed above.