As we enter 2023, our confidence in gathering as a community with physical engagement is stronger than ever before! That is why, with your feedback, the Congregation Council aligned our goals and spending to support God’s calling with our Cultivating Community goals. Now, we can bring this vision to life with our 2023 giving!
Communicating your expected giving for 2023 is essential for us to plan and create a balanced budget. Sharing your goal allows us to plan for programing, staffing, and ministry in the years ahead. Without communicating your goal, we will limit our full potential and at its worst, need to cut programming or staff. Participate in the movement of the Holy Spirit by setting your goal! Explore more information about this campaign below and know that you are in our prayers as you discern.
Table of Contents
- How will you use my gifts?
- Why give to WPLC?
- Goals to consider
- Communicating your gift
- Frequently asked questions
- More questions
How Will you use my GiftS?
- See our 2022 mission snapshot/ budget
- Read about our Cultivating Community goals
- Review our 2021 annual report
The Nuts & Bolts OF our 2023 Finances
We are aware that expenses have been rising across the board, and our congregation is not immune from this reality. As a result, the Congregation Council is taking proactive steps to ensure that our thriving ministry is well-positioned for 2023. This includes budgeting for an increase of approximately:
- $20,000 to sustain our current ministries – based on a projected 6.3% cost increases for our existing ministries from utilities, cleaning, repairs, and staffing in 2023
- $13,000 to cut the pay gap between current pastor and staff compensation and market-rate levels by 50% (currently we’re a combined $36,000+ behind market-rate pay for our pastor, church musician, and office assistant)
- $8,000 for justice work to feed the hungry, grow the church, and support our queer-affirming and anti-racist ministry partners
- $4,000 in music ministry improvements including needed organ repairs and to fairly compensating our worship musicians
- $1,000 to improve our text-based communication and eco-justice efforts
Together, it is a proposed 2023 budget increase of 14%, or $47,820. Making a total 2023 budget of $379,142 to sustain and improve our ministry.
Why Give to WPLC?
Thanks to our generous donors this last year we’ve seen:
- A hybrid church experience with in-person worship closer to pre-pandemic times and the continuation of Worship Livestream
- Expanded vision with “Cultivating Community” goals
- Installed our Gathering Garden and used it for ministry
- Experienced a summer of rest, renewal, and re-connection with Sabbatical Summer
- And more (see here)
Comments from Others:
Setting Your Giving Goal
The Spiritual Practice of Giving
Each year, we invite you to join us in this spiritual practice of aligning your Christian values with your finances. So, we invite you to review your spending and join in thankfully giving a portion of the abundance God has given you as we work for justice and strengthen our community.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6:19-24 (NRSV)
Goals to consider
- Move toward or past a tithe (10% of your income) by a percentage or more – a biblical model for giving (click here to learn more)
- An additional $9 weekly; $40 monthly; $473 annually – ministry cost increase between 2022 and 2023 divided by number of families who have donated in 2022
- $20 weekly; $85 monthly; $1,017 annually – covers 50% of the cost of a single worship service
- $41 weekly; $177 monthly; $2,125 annually – 50% of the cost of 2023’s baptisms
- $72 weekly; $313 monthly; $3,754 annually – 2023 cost for ministry divided by the number of families who have donated in 2022 (includes non-members and members)
- $92 weekly; $398 monthly; $4,196 annually – covers 6 months of streaming our services to share God’s love across the globe
- $172 weekly; $745 monthly; $8,938 annually – cost for children’s ministries, includes nursery, Sunday School, children’s messages, and PraySpace
- $228 weekly; $990 monthly; $11,875 annually – cost of approximately one month of our service to the local community and our work with the global church
- $289 weekly; $1,254 monthly; $15,046 annually – covers the cost for half of our music ministries
- $376 weekly; $1,630 monthly; $19,556 annually – cost to provide fellowship and community-building
Ultimately, we are thankful for gifts of any size as we continue to bring love, hope, and transformation to Wicker Park and beyond.
CommunicatING Your GIFT
Your Giving Is Essential!
We cannot do this work alone—we need your support! All our ministries are self-funded, and we do not receive financial support from our denomination. So, we need your help to share our values of inclusivity, justice, liturgy, and diversity!
At this juncture, it is important to mention that we do not expect a capital campaign for building renovations in 2023. Outside of our Lenten, “God’s Work. Our Hands.,” and Advent projects for our ministry partners we do not anticipate any special appeals. Therefore, we encourage you not to hold back waiting a future request. Instead, partner with WPLC as generously as you can so that we can continue cultivating community in 2023!
How are you able to financially partner with us in 2023?
Please complete the form even if your giving goal remains the same from last year.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are you asking me to set a goal?
It has long been a Christian spiritual practice to support the church in its work to facilitate communal worship, education, fellowship, and service to our neighbor (Acts 4). To most accurately and responsibly craft the 2023 budget, it is important for us to have an estimate on what giving might look like. This allows us to adequately plan programs, hire/retain staff, and ensure that we are responsibly using the gifts God has given us.
2. What if we don’t meet this goal?
After the end of this campaign, the council will evaluate all of our expenses and income streams to present a balanced budget to the voting members in January. Unfortunately if we do not meet our goal, everything we feel the Holy Spirit is calling us to accomplish in 2023 won’t be possible. Often times, this first means holding off on repairs/upgrades or pausing programs. In extreme cases, it could mean breaking agreements with our contractors, staff, or pastor.
3. What if we exceed this goal?
If we exceed our goal, then we will utilize the gifts given to strengthen our ministry by enacting some of our goals on a more expedient timeline! This could mean hiring a part-time staff person for children, youth, and inter-generational ministry more rapidly or fully closing the pay gap for our pastor and staff.
More Giving Questions
Please contact Pastor Jason (firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-276-0263) or congregation vice-president Nora Militz (email@example.com) with questions or for additional support as you discern.