This is a slightly modified copy of the paper letter sent via USPS on November 6, 2020.
November 9, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Palo Alto,
Thank you! Thank you not only for your flexibility as 2020 presented unknown after unknown, but thank you for your openness of spirit to the new and surprising ways we have continued to be a community.
While few could have predicted what our country and community would experience this year, we do know that First Presbyterian Church has continued to be the church that we know ourselves to be and more:
- We engaged in thoughtful conversations through our Adult Education, Book Studies, and Webinars.
- We cared for one another through our Care and Compassion Team and Pastoral Care.
- We fought for justice through supporting partners and participating in ongoing actions for justice.
- We grew closer to God through our meaningful Zoom Worship, Bible Study, and Early Church.
- We worked toward a greener future for our church and the world through facilities planning and educational forums.
While far from easy, rather than giving the pandemic power to pause our growth, we have been able to move forward in our program and impact because we have trusted in the abundance of flexibility, thoughtfulness, and grace present in our community.
To continue moving forward and plan for 2021, we invite you to continue to be a part of what we are doing by making a financial pledge to the life and ministry of FPCPA.
As those whom you have called into leadership, we do not make this ask without committing ourselves to pledge. Each of us has made a financial pledge to the ongoing ministry here at First Presbyterian Church and hope you will join us as we continue to step into the joyous unknown of 2021 and beyond.
Enclosed is a pledge card that asks about pledged finances and the time given and talents offered to this place and other organizations. You can fill this out, mail it back in the enclosed envelope, or fill out your online confidential pledge online.
As you discern your 2021 pledge, here is some helpful information:
- In 2020 our pledged amount was $427,710. We had 79 pledges with an average annual pledge of $5414. The median was $2500, meaning half gave over and half below this amount.
- In 2021, we are targeting a pledge amount of $450,000.
- These figures DO NOT include regular or annual non-pledged gifts to the church.
Together, we can reach this target with a combination of more pledges and increased giving. If you have not pledged before, we would welcome your participation. We know that everyone is not in a financial position to increase their pledge this year, but if you can, please prayerfully consider doing so.
We will dedicate pledges Sunday, November 29th, during worship, but if you cannot be there, please turn in your pledge by December 1, 2020.
The Session of First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto —
Mohan Iyer, Shirley Eglington, Margaret Ann Fidler, Cynthia Chin-Lee, Mary Alice Thornton, Susan Phinney-Silver, Pat Kinney, Evelyn Wong, Paul Jones, Martha Maris, Lela Noble, Clerk of Session
Below are four video interviews where we talk with Bruce about why we pledge. They can also be found on our Instagram TV Channel.