Pledging with PayPal

Pledging Suggestion for the 21st Century

I love my church and pray for its spiritual, pastoral, liturgical health. And I make an annual financial pledge in response.

It goes without saying that financial health is of central importance in maintaining the church, and infusing Christ's witness in our world. Funding our church operations undergirds our ability to live in Christ as fully as possible. Without a consistent in-flow of financial resources, our church could not operate.

That said, pledging is a drag. I want to give as much as practical and prudent; but it is not easy to part with money. It just isn't.

I have found that using PayPal for pledging makes the process more painless. Why? I never really have the currency in my hands; it is automatically deducted each week from my bank account or credit card. It is as if the funds never existed because I never had physical possession of them in the first place.

Other benefits are that I completely control the process. I plan the amount, frequency, source of funds (bank or credit card) and timeframes. I can change these at any time. I am in the drivers' seat at all times. And I have one less detail to attend to each week. I receive an email receipt each week, reassuring me that Saint James' received my contribution.

There is never a question of the need for responding to God's love and abundance by pledging to support God's work in our world. I would pledge with or without PayPal. And my finances would reflect the outflow of my "first fruits"—currency—in either case.

Notwithstanding, having the necessary financial housekeeping accomplished in a one-time, on-line registration process, I can concentrate more fully on other forms of church participation, all the while knowing that I have done my duty to support our Church financially. Even when my church attendance isn't always as consistent as I would like.

When we pledge to support our Christian community, we have already done hard part: introspection, prayer, crunching the numbers.

Making pledging more convenient and consistent doesn't diminish the sacredness or weightiness of the pledge; rather it makes it easier and simpler. And that is a good thing. In so doing, my pledge remains a sacred covenant between myself and the Church.

I have been doing this for several years now and recommend it highly.

One pointer. There is a small service charge that is deducted in order to pay via PayPal. I therefore factor in 2 or 3% additional funds to cover the service charges that are otherwise deducted before the church receives my contribution.

Prayerfully, Jim Harrison