Giving at South Church

Even 2000 years ago, Jesus knew that talking about money – how we use it and where it comes from – was the only way to save us from being consumed by it. Here at South Church, we believe in cultivating faithful and transparent conversations about finances – both our personal finances and church finances.

or keep reading to learn more about giving at South Church

We’re proud that over 90% of our budget is made possible by South Church families.

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.

When you give to South Church, you’ll always know where your gifts are going.

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.

Every gift – no matter the size – makes a big difference.

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.

What is a pledge?

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 225 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.

There are three easy ways to pledge

1. Realm

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

2. Google Form

If navigating Realm is difficult for any reason, you can fill out this simple Google Form. You do not need a Google account. Note that this form will not allow you to set up options to fulfill your pledge, only record your pledge.

3. Pledge Card

If you didn’t receive a pledge card in the mail, or need a new one, let us know.

For the month of August,

our Mission Team is supporting the SNAP Market Match at the Andover Farmers Market. SNAP is the federal government food security program, formerly called food stamps. Farmers Markets want to encourage ALL people to be able to afford the fresh and local foods offered, and have found that incentivizing SNAP recipients with a Market match can help to stretch their food budgets. SNAP customers tell us how much they want to spend, typically $20. We swipe their EBT card which deducts their monthly balance by $20, and then we give them $40 in wooden tokens as currency to spend in the market.

Because people like you choose to make recurring gifts, we use the offering time during worship to support a different mission partner each month.

Each Month, our Missions Team will select a new partner, locally or globally, to support. The team shares with us in worship why that partner was selected and invites us to make a gift. In 2021, you gave away over $63,000 to our mission partners through our Sunday offering alone! Thank you!

text GiveToSouthChurch
to 73256

The Andover Farmers Market is in its third year of management under a South Church led team of volunteers. Prior to being taken over by South Church, the Andover Farmers Market was run by the Andover Center for History and Culture (formerly Andover Historical Society) since its inception in 2007.

SNAP is the federal government food security program, formerly called food stamps. Individuals and families apply through the government and once approved, they receive a debit/EBT card that can be used for eligible food items each month.

As locally sourced, healthy food can be quite expensive, often people on SNAP find sources of food that are economical and work to stretch their food budgets each month. Farmers Markets want to encourage ALL people to be able to afford the fresh and local foods offered, and have found that incentivizing SNAP recipients with a Market match can help to stretch their food budgets. Many Farmers Markets in the Greater Boston area offer a weekly Market Match for SNAP customers – often $20-25/week.

How does a Market Match work? SNAP customers bring their EBT(Electronic Benefits Transfer) card to the Information Table where they tell us how much they want to spend, typically $20. We swipe their EBT card which deducts their monthly balance by $20, and then we give them $40 in wooden tokens as currency to spend in the market.

Furthermore, many of the local and small food vendors do not have the resources to become eligible to accept SNAP EBT purchases and so the farmers market becomes an avenue to make all healthy food available by becoming a SNAP Retailer with the government. In this way, the SNAP program, along with the Market Match helps small local vendors thrive at the same time that it helps SNAP customers stretch their food money.

We have found that offering the Market Match has helped make the Andover Farmers Market accessible to SNAP recipients and we need your help to continue to offer the Market Match.

Numbers:
2020
# Transactions: 36 (estimated)
SNAP EBT $: $803
MATCH $: $210

2021
# Transactions: 154
SNAP EBT $: $3104
MATCH $: $2208

This is the first full season (18 weeks) that we are offering a $20 match per week per SNAP customer. The visibility and education in the Andover community from the Social Justice Coalition about the benefits available for SNAP customers continues to expand our outreach and we continue to see new faces each week of the market.

Farmers Markets play a critical role in ensuring that people struggling with food security have access to locally sourced healthy fruits and vegetables through programs like MA Healthy Incentive Program (HIP), SNAP, and SNAP Market Match. With food prices rising, it is critical that we support our SNAP neighbors with the dignity to purchase the foods they choose at the Farmers Market.

We have estimated that the match funding needed is approximately $400/week, or $7,200 for the season.

If you’d like to support, click the blue button.

Opportunities to give:
Support one SNAP customer at the market – $20
Support one SNAP customer for a month – $80
Support 10 SNAP customers for a week – $200

Monthly Mission Partners

July 2022 Pastor Samaritan Fund
June 2022
May 2022 Communities Together
April 2022 The Giving Garden
March 2022 World Central Kitchen
February 2022 UCC Disaster Relief & Church World Service Emergency Buckets
January 2022 A Better Chance Andover

2021 Lawrence Boys & Girls Club/Violence in Boston, Common Cathedral, RIP Medical Debt, Honduras Hope, NAMI Massachusetts, LGBT Asylum Task Force, Missions Impact Fund, UTEC, Closing the SNAP Gap, and International Institute of New England

In addition to our monthly mission partners, we have core partners we support through your pledge.

Watch the videos or follow any of the links below to learn more about our core mission partners.

Andover ABC

Bread & Roses

Honduras Hope

Only a Child