Read articles featured in the bi-monthly E-Chronicle, written by various Stewardship Committee members around the Diocese.
E-Chronicle, June 2014: The Cathedral's Stewardship Pledge Drive
By Susan Hays, Stewardship Co-Chair, The Cathedral of St. Andrew
Aloha to my brothers and sisters in Christ,
It is with gladness of heart that I report to you on our experience with the Cathedral’s 2013-2014 Stewardship pledge drive. I was fortunate to attend the Diocesan Stewardship Retreat at Camp Mokule'ia in the fall of 2013. The testimonies, prayer, and worship times, along with the practical experiences shared and materials made available, proved “right on” for our needs. My husband John and I would like to share what was implemented at St. Andrew’s and our reflections on the overall campaign.
Gala Event - On Saturday, October 5, 2013, the Cathedral held a Gala Event with a short program and a sit down dinner followed by live music and dancing. The theme was “My Cup Runneth Over.” Guests were given a card stock “chalice” and asked to write something amazing that had happened to them in the last year. In addition, each guest was given a pledge card. Later in the evening, guests came forward with their pledge cards and chalices and these were blessed.
Davies Hall was decorated with over 2000 “falling leaves” hung from ceiling, and all the tables were decorated with autumn colored coverings, tea lights and leaves. Thanks to the Honolulu Theatre for Youth art department, special lighting was positioned to cast shadows on the walls from all the hanging leaves. We also had about 100 battery-operated candles around the room. The total effect was “magical.”
The Cathedral is blessed with great cooks, and they planned and implemented a sit-down dinner that included Opah en Papillote, Furikake Rice with Nori and a Pear and Greens Salad. Individual apple pies were served as dessert. Beverages included wine, coffee, hot tea and a virgin Mojito. Dean Walter and Mother Susan each shared their thoughts and reflections. Live music was provided by the Brazilian group, Viva Domingo. It was truly a festive evening!
A stewardship letter, signed by the Dean, John and me, was sent to every member. The letter contained a pledge card and a return envelope that was a special color so that it could be easily recognized upon arrival.
Testimonials - In the month following the Gala Dinner, four members gave testimonials at all three Sunday services, which were well-received by the congregation. It was an inspiring and thought-provoking experience for all of us. For two of the speakers, it was the first time ever that they had been asked to speak. The stewardship story writing ideas shared at the Retreat really helped!
Our pledge card was two sided. It had all of the usual information, but we also asked folk to let us know if they had remembered the Cathedral in their estates, and, if not, we asked if they wanted to be contacted about planned giving. The opposite side of the pledge card listed all of the Cathedral’s ministries. Pledgers could check the ministries they found to be of interest.
In every Sunday bulletin during the campaign, we used, as in insert, the “stair step” chart, which was one of the great tools discovered at the Diocesan Stewardship workshop! This chart showed pledged weekly giving, the number of units pledging and the total dollar amount. On the opposite side of the insert, we listed the names of those who had pledged and also indicated if they had remembered the Cathedral in their estate plans. We received many comments about how effective it was to print the chart and names.
Within two or three days after receiving a pledge card, John and I mailed a personal thank you note. We had preprinted note cards but also tried to personalize each one sent. As sometimes happens, some pledge card information was not clear. In those cases, we called the parties immediately to clear up any misunderstandings. This also gave us the opportunity to say thank you.
Stewardship Sunday - In November, we celebrated Stewardship Sunday and blessed all the pledges. Pledge cards continued to come in. We received our last one in March of this year.
Māhalo Reception - In March, a letter from Dean Brownridge, John and me was sent to all the people who pledged. They were thanked again, and invited to a Māhalo reception which was held in April. This was an informal gathering with pupu-style refreshments. At that time, we thanked everyone and specifically talked about the importance of their pledges. At the reception, we displayed pictures with descriptions of all the ministries which are supported by their pledges.
In summary, every congregation has to determine what activities will work best for them. Whether it’s a gala dinner, small groups, or a letter campaign, we believe it has to be personal and to the point. And you can never say “thank you” enough!
The Cathedral had 150 pledging units - which was 30 more than last year. The total dollar figure was $21, 709 over last year’s amount.