This Sunday we will have an opportunity to present our 2024 financial pledges to God as a part of our worship and commitment to Him. The pledges that we make are important to the church and the work of the finance committee, but they are even more impactful as we consider our own spiritual growth. Making a pledge of financial support is an important part of our faith journey. It gives us opportunity to practice gratitude and humility as we consider all that God has provided for us. It gives us opportunity to practice obedience, generosity, and selflessness as we promise to return a portion of the income and wealth God has empowered us to earn and graced us to receive back to our local church. It gives us opportunity to be on mission and to connect with something bigger than ourselves as our gifts collectively empower the work of God in us and through us. And it gives us opportunity to seek first the kingdom of God.

The pledges that we make to Aiken’s First Baptist are only seen by our Financial Secretary, Gail Floyd. And, as a reminder, to fulfill our pledges we may make contributions by placing our tithe/offering in the plate passed each Sunday, by using our app, by setting up an automatic draft, or by giving online. These various ways allow us to choose what is best for each of us.

Some of us may also fulfill our pledge by gifting appreciated stock to the church without incurring capital gains tax. Others may be able to give through a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) from an IRA. Your total QCD cannot exceed $100,000 in any one year, but the donated funds count toward satisfying the annual required minimum distribution but are excluded from income, thereby reducing adjusted gross income. You must be 70 ½ to qualify for the QCD. As always, please consult your financial advisor to see if you are eligible to give to the church in this way.

As we enter this time of reflection on what support we pledge to give to the church in the year to come, it is also a good time to consider if we have made provision for supporting the church and the ongoing work on God beyond our lifetimes. There have been members of our church from the past who have greatly blessed God’s work in and through AFBC by naming the church in their will as a recipient of some portion of what they leave behind. If God has graced us to come to the end of our lives with more than we need, might we consider making plans for a portion of that to continue to honor God through the work of the church for years to come.

Finally, as we enter the last month of the year, please remember to continue to give to our 2023 budget. We currently have a deficit of $39,303.38, and we would like to cover that amount plus what we will spend during the month of December so that we will break-even or have a surplus going into 2024. All 2023 donations must be received by December 31, 2023 or postmarked by that date.

Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity—your financial gifts, your donations for mission efforts and for the sake of those in need, and the giving of your time and talents. As a church we could not continue to do what God has called us to do without you!