Giving

Financial Support of First Parish

Generosity is a Spiritual Practice! Gifts of time, talents, and financial resources are our opportunity to give and grow together. When our contributions are combined with the gifts of others, we grow together as a community sharing in a common purpose. This is the essential meaning of Stewardship. Members and friends of First Parish support our congregation by making annual pledges, contributing at weekly collection, donating to special fundraisers and by also volunteering their time and talents.

The Annual Stewardship Campaign is the financial foundation for the operation of First Parish. It supports all the ingredients that go into making this a place for learning, for service, for worship…a place for solace and celebration. First Parish in Cambridge is committed to providing inspiring worship, excellent religious education, a caring community, and opportunities to put our values into action and create a more just society. Who should give? Members of First Parish, friends who participate in groups and activities, parents of children in the Religious Education program–everyone connected to First Parish should make a contribution based on their income and level of involvement.

Many of us come to First Parish without previous experience in a faith community. Stewardship and pledging are new concepts to us. Please don’t be afraid to ask questions. The Congregational Administrator, Ministers and members of the Standing Committee are happy to talk to you and answer questions.

Pledging
The main source of member giving at First Parish is through pledging. Making a pledge means that you are making a financial commitment to support First Parish. Pledges are based on personal decisions regarding your income and expenses. Our Fair Share Guide offers suggestions for appropriate levels of giving. Pledges are generally made in one year increments from July 1 through June 30 (eg: July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017). Although we seek pledges during an Annual Giving Drive, usually in the Spring, members and friends may make pledges at any time throughout the year.
Click here to make a PLEDGE

Once you have decided on your giving level you can fulfill your pledge in several ways:

  • Use our easy online donation system. Click on the Donate button to set up one time or recurring payments from your debit or credit card or your checking account.
  • Use your own financial institution’s online banking system to make payments on your pledge. Simply set First Parish up as a vendor and put “Pledge” in the memo line.
  • Place a check in the offering plate or mail it to the office at 3 Church Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
  • Place cash in an envelope clearly marked PLEDGE and your name. The envelope may be put in the offering plate or in the drop box outside the front office. Offering envelopes are available at the Mass. Ave. entrance on Sunday mornings.
  • Donate stock – please contact the office for instructions.

Sunday Morning Plate
Each Sunday morning a free-will offering is taken as part of the worship service. The members of First Parish decided in early 2008 to begin an ongoing program in which we donate half of our weekly undesignated offering to non-profit organizations doing social service and social justice work in our local communities. Each month, an organization is chosen and their work is described in a spoken and written announcement. Our Shared Offering program has benefited many organizations, helped us establish partnerships, educated our congregation about social justice work being done in our communities, and increased our visibility as a giving congregation in the community.

“If First Parish is only getting the change left in my pocket or is being given the same amount of money I give to non-profit or political groups, it doesn’t reflect the value of the community in my life” – First Parish member