GIVING OPPORTUNITIES AT SOUTH FREEPORT CHURCH
"And God will generously provide all you need." -- 2 Corinthians 9:8
The South Freeport Congregational Church exists by the Grace of God.
Since its founding in 1857, financial support from members and friends has created a physical home and vigorous presence for the church.
A church is more than money. It is a dynamic group of people experiencing the presence of God in their lives. But we know that gifts to support the church are crucial, and we believe strongly that every gift, no matter the size, is important. We strive to use the funds we receive to further our mission by deepening our faith and caring for our neighbors.
Below, we explain the opportunities for current and future support for the church. If you would like additional information, please contact the church office (207-865-4012 or email@example.com). Depending on your question, you will be contacted by the President, a Trustee, Treasurer, Endowment Chair, or Stewardship Chair.
THE ANNUAL STEWARDSHIP EFFORT
The church operating budget is based on the annual promised contributions of members and supporters called stewardship pledges. These monies along with rents we receive determine the annual budget of the church—the salaries we can offer, educational programming and curricula, music and worship costs and operating costs such as heat, electricity, and building maintenance. Without pledges, the church could not exist. The Stewardship Drive begins in October and ends in December. Annual Gifts may also be pledged at any other time. All gifts collected during the Sunday offering are also used to defray our budget unless a special offering is announced.
Specific offerings are collected during the church year. This money does not become part of the operating budget of the church; it goes to activities and organizations beyond the church such as Freeport Community Services, Tedford Shelter, or the American Cancer Society as examples. Some offerings, such as Blanket Sunday or One Great Hour of Sharing, are sponsored by the United Church of Christ (UCC) or affiliated organizations; some are initiated by our church in response to current local and world wide needs.
South Freeport Congregational Church established a separate Endowment Fund in 1997. Currently, all bequests and Memorial Gifts are deposited into this fund. The purpose of the Endowment Fund is to provide for the long-term welfare and financial stability of the church. Income from the fund is currently reinvested. When our endowment reaches $500,000, a prudent withdrawal from earned income will be made yearly. We expect that the average withdrawal will be in the range of 3.5-4% annually.
There is also one restricted fund in the endowment designated for a Freeport child to be given a scholarship for a summer camp experience annually.
MINISTER'S DISCRETIONARY FUND
The minister is granted a certain budget each year to use at his or her discretion for people in need or for special projects. In the past, this fund has been used to help people who call or come in off the street pay their rent, eat a meal, purchase groceries, or pay the light bill for example. In addition, the minister has supported staff members to attend special conferences and committee members to pursue special educational goals through this fund. Church members and friends may contribute to this fund at any time.
DESIGNATED GIFTS AND RESTRICTED GIFTS TO SPECIFIC FUNDS
It is possible to make gifts for specific items that the church needs, such as furnishings or equipment, special projects or educational activities. Past donors have provided funds for Bibles, Hymnals, a traveling communion set for the pastor, chairs and flooring for the Community Hall, and the creation of a Memorial Garden. Our offices are outfitted with desks, computers, and other office equipment provided by church members. We fundraise for scholarships for our students to attend the UCC’s Pilgrim Lodge summer camp, attend conferences such as the UCC National Youth Conference, and go on retreats. Furthermore, we have undertaken special campaigns to fund long term capital projects such as our recent building renovation project in 2015 and to fund a new bell for our tower in 2011.
As always, with any pledge, gift or donation we receive, we are left eternally grateful and blessed. Thank you to our donors, friends and members. We can not do what we do without the support of many.