As we enter 2024, we will celebrate 145 years of ministry in Wicker Park! Over these years some things have changed (hello, electricity and cars!), but our commitment to spreading God’s love and to serving the community remains unchanged. Based on the congregation’s feedback, we are looking to expand children’s ministry, deepen our justice work, and live out our faith through our Cultivating Connections goals. Now, we can bring these goals to life with your 2024 giving!
Communicating your expected giving for 2024 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 your goal, we will limit our full potential and at its worst, need to cut programming or staff.
We invite you to participate in the movement of the Holy Spirit by setting your goal! Explore more information about this campaign, how to best discern your goal, and some details below. You are in our prayers as you discern your meaningful giving goal.
Table of Contents
- How will you use my gifts?
- Why give to WPLC?
- Discerning your meaningful giving goal
- Goals to consider
- Communicating your gift
- Frequently asked questions
- More questions
How Will you use my GiftS?
Why Give to WPLC?
Thanks to our generous donors this last year we’ve seen:
- Intentionally engaged newcomers and rekindled existing relationships
- Resumed Council-hosted lunch with WPLC Basics classes.
- Kept staff and pastor salaries aligned with inflation.
- Sponsored community events, including Movies in the Park.
- Provided opportunities for multi-generational engagement and education
- Utilized the Gathering Garden for fellowship time, meetings, and events.
- Expanded our teaching congregation program with a full-time pastoral intern, a seminary student, and the continuation of our pastoral residency program for those learning to be pastors.
- Expanded vision with “Cultivating Community” goals
- And more (see here)
Looking for More Information?
Your Meaningful 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.
How you use your financial gifts communicates what you value in life. As you consider you gift this year, consider these reflection questions:
- What have I received from God (possessions, gifts, feelings, relationships, etc.)?
- What have I received from my community?
- What positive forces have I noticed at work at WPLC through others’ testimonials and my own experiences?
- How do my calendar and bank accounts show my values and priorities?
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 $7 weekly; $31 monthly; $366 annually – ministry cost increase between 2023 and 2024 divided by number of families who donated in 2023
- $24 weekly; $103 monthly; $1,233 annually – covers 50% of the cost of a single worship service
- $41 weekly; $177 monthly; $2,125 annually – 50% of the cost of 2024’s baptisms
- $74 weekly; $323 monthly; $3,871 annually – 2024 cost for ministry divided by the number of families who have donated in 2023 (includes non-members and members)
- $92 weekly; $398 monthly; $4,770 annually – covers 6 months of streaming our services to share God’s love across the globe
- $213 weekly; $923 monthly; $11,075 annually – cost for 50% of our children’s ministries, includes nursery, Sunday School, children’s messages, inter-generational staff person, and PraySpace
- $298 weekly; $1,293 monthly; $15,522 annually – covers the cost for half of our music ministries
- $366 weekly; $1,586 monthly; $19,030 annually – cost to provide fellowship and community-building
- $451 weekly; $1,954 monthly; $23,448 annually – cost of approximately two months of our service to the local community and our work with the global church
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 Goal
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!
How are you able to financially partner with us in 2024?
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 2024 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 I set a 2024 goal and something changes so I can’t fulfill it?
We complete understand that no one can predict what will happen in 2024. We encourage you to set a realistic and generous goal–one that takes into account your personal/family financial situation and one that encourages you to lean into God’s abundance. Your best estimate is helpful for the Congregation Council to set a realistic budget. If something unexpected happens we understand that you may not be able to fulfill the goal.
3. What if we don’t reach the total budget amount needed for 2024?
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 February. Unfortunately if we do not meet our goal, everything we feel the Holy Spirit is calling us to accomplish in 2024 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.
4. What if we exceed the total budget amount needed for 2024?
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.