When our family first joined the church 25 years ago, our motivation was to find a strong youth program for our two middle school daughters. We were also seeking a place that we could call home—being part of a welcoming, inclusive community has always been important to us. We found both in South Church.
To this day, we are continually inspired by all the ways our church seeks to provide a safe, loving place for our youth to discover who they are. Across many spectrums, South Church lives its message of inclusiveness that promotes justice for all. Over the years, alongside the staff and community as a whole, we’ve personally grown in our understanding of what this really means.
In retirement, we find ourselves away a lot. Yet every time we return we still feel embraced and a part of the community. We’re also grateful for the evolving online opportunities so we can stay involved in a meaningful way.
My wife Laura and I strongly believe in what our Church stands for. We can see all the positive things going on here, from the Farmer’s Market and Giving Garden to the Church choirs, monthly offerings and much much more. This past year, I’ve really enjoyed becoming more involved with the Giving Garden and it’s been a great opportunity for me to be of service to others.
South Church embodies a living, dynamic message that needs to be heard now more than ever. For these reasons, we are motivated to be a part of the South Church community. To give to South Church is money that is truly well spent.
We moved to Andover, without knowing anyone, last winter after purchasing a house for our growing family. We visited a few churches as we looked to establish roots in our new community but were immediately taken with the friendliness of Genna, Dana, and the welcoming team at the newcomers meeting and appreciated the inclusive atmosphere of the worship. After joining the church officially in February, we felt at home at once as we got involved with the 20’s and 30’s group and the Faith Forum.
In June, our daughter Gwendolyn was born and we’re excited for her to grow up with South Church as a cornerstone in her life, much in the way our churches were for us in our childhoods. The church has a lot of excellent family programs and we look forward to beginning music classes soon with Gwendolyn and seeing her involvement with the youth group as she grows.
-Megan and Tom VanDyne
John Ortberg reminds us that if we want to follow Jesus and join him in calming the storms we face in life, we have to get out of the boat…
Janna and I are thrilled to be a part of South Church because we hear this congregation answering God’s call to help this world reflect God’s way of love and justice. It is so amazing to hear about all of the outreach ministries of South Church. We believe that South Church has heard Christ’s call to step out of the boat and serve this community in such a way as to reflect God’s hope for the world!
Just this summer, I saw South Church’s faith in action at Habitat for Humanity, providing affordable housing to people, at the Farmer’s Market, providing food for SNAP recipients, and at the Giving Garden, growing over 4,500 pounds of food to people who are hungry and engaging over 200 youth in the work.
And we know that there are members who have initiated community groups, doing things such as leading the way in preventing more damage to the climate, and answering God’s call to help Andover become more diverse.
Where is Jesus inviting you to come and step out of the boat to follow him?
-Rev. Dr. Al Timm “If You Want to Walk on Water,” preached on August 20, 2023
A pledge is a good faith promise by church members to give a set amount over a calendar year to support South Church. Pledges help our church leaders draft a responsible budget for the coming year. Last year 210 households made a commitment to sustain our programs and outreach throughout the year. Families choose to fulfill their pledge in a variety of ways: Monthly electronic donations, weekly checks, and/or one-time stock donations.
You can use our secure, integrated church management software to make your pledge, set up your own recurring payments, and monitor your giving history. If you haven’t activated your account, email Joanne. If you need help registering, or making a pledge, watch these videos or email Joanne. You can always log-in at OnRealm.org
If you didn’t receive a pledge card in the mail, or need a new one, let us know.
If Realm is difficult for you, for any reason, please email Joanne Smith, Financial Adminstrator joanne AT southchurch.com.
Unlike some churches that are supported by a denomination, South Church is primarily supported by families in the church. Some are from generations past who left legacy gifts, but the majority are folks just like you. These funds support our pastoral staff, youth and music programs, community and mission outreach and maintaining our historic building.
Every gift – no matter how big or small – can have an impact, and why we depend on every member and friend of South Church to prayerfully discern at what level their family can support our ministries.
At South Church, we prioritize mission trips for our youth, meals for our hungry brothers and sisters, and affordable housing for our neighbors. From local soup kitchens and international disaster relief charities, to staff budgets and building maintenance, no matter the size of your gift you’ll be able to see how we use every dollar to minister to the greater Andover community and the world. Our financial administrator and church leaders work hard to prepare yearly narrative budgets that detail how the church finances have been used. Throughout the year, our church council receives monthly updates about the financial health of our church. When you take a look at the ministries of South Church, and how we use gifts, we think you’ll feel good about what you find.
As a church supported by our members and friends, every gift goes a long way. Most families support South Church by making a yearly “pledge.” Every year, families prayerfully consider how much they feel called and capable of giving to the church. There is no correct amount nor amount too small. Some families pledge $100 a month, while others pledge $5000 a year. The average pledge is around $3000 a year. While life situations arise and we are not always able to fulfill our pledge – grace abounds! Even when we’re uncertain about what next year will bring, any amount helps our volunteer leaders budget and plan ministries for the coming year.