“All things come of thee, O God; and of thine own have we given thee”.

A phrase from the hymnal as well as an offertory sentence that has been used at St. Mark’s for years. What does it mean for our Stewardship? What does it mean for our future as an Episcopal Christian Church in Highland, Maryland?

As St. Mark’s grew from a Chapel of Ease and yoked parish to a separate congregation, it has had to grow spiritually as well as financially. From 1983’s operating budget of approximately $35,000 to 2022’s budget of nearly $400,000 as well many opportunities for additional giving, St. Mark’s has attempted to be financially frugal coupled with a deep commitment that as Christians, we are called to worship God, grow in faith and minister to our community and world through the gifts of money, time and individual and group talents. Here is how:

  • Sermons on Jesus and his parables about money
  • Vestry commitment to fully fund Diocesan Allocation
  • Vestry commitment to tithe 10% of Operating budget to Outreach
  • Encouragement of individuals to pledge and to work towards individual tithing
  • Individual and group physical commitment of time and talent to non-St. Markian outside organizations committed to feeding, housing, clothing and visiting others
    • Founding of DreamBuilders and continued leadership and participation;
    • Annual Palm Sunday coat collection;
    • Christmas packets for sailors (including hand-knitted scarves and hats)
    • Youth-to-Youth giving opportunities
    • Participation in Back to School and reading camp collections
    • Food bank and homeless shelter collections

Types of Gifts to St. Mark’s

The Vestry has committed to making giving to St. Mark’s and its ministries as easy as possible. Click here for instructions on giving a wide range of gifts.

  • Individuals can use an on-line system to set up one-time or recurring contributions via credit, Debit or ACH processes. [Click Here To Give]
  • Individuals can donate via checks sent to the Church Office;
  • Individuals can contribute cash or checks in collection plates;
  • Gifts of appreciated stocks, bonds or financial instruments can be given [Instructions] 
  • Gifts of in-kind items can be accepted.

Note that gifts of in-kind are subject to Vestry approval (for example, no used refrigerators, but purchasing items for a church event (such as food) is allowable at FMV).

Designated vs Restricted Gifts

It is the policy of St. Mark’s to accept gifts freely for its work., Individuals may suggest or designate where they would like their gift to go but the Vestry retains the right to override the designation, if necessary. Gifts that are restricted – given if and only -for the donor’s stated purpose are not permitted.

Example 1: An Individual gave $100.00 to Discretionary Fund; another gave $100.00 and requires (Restricts) it to paying for a certain painting).  The first gift would be accepted and the second would not.

Example 2: An individual gives $1500 for a DreamBuilders trip and a second individual wants to give $1500 for a new stove. The DreamBuilders contribution would be accepted and used for the DreamBuilders ministry, but the second gif could be rejected if there was no need for a new stove. IF the money for the new stove had been solicited by the Vestry, it would be accepted as designated.

An ability to state the designations, intention or special gift instructions, is available on the online Donation system or by contacting the Treasurer directly.

Reporting of Gifts

All individuals have electronic access to their GIVING records as the system is based on user email and password controls. Currently, St. Mark’s uses ChurchTrac software which also allow individuals access to their membership records, uploaded family and individual photos and the parish directory. [Click Here For ChurchTrac] Or use this QR Code:

Access to the database is controlled by the Treasurer or Church Office, as administrators, establishing an individual or family record. Restrictions as to who can input or see financial data or other data is based on specific roles. Individuals can see their data plus generic parish directory data of other members. They can only update their non-financial data.

Weekly, the Treasurer updates this database as well as the accounting software with information from the on-line giving software and deposits made by the Church Office Manager. During January of each year, an announcement is made to alert members that Statements are available. If individuals do not have email accounts, records are still maintained, and manual statements are mailed.

The Parish Office Manager, in conjunction with the Treasurer and Clergy provide letters of acceptance of specific designated gifts via a formal letter if needed for tax-purposes.