Frequently Asked Questions about Giving to Holy Innocents – 2017/2018

Who supports Holy Innocents?

Our congregation supports Holy Innocents. In the Episcopal Church, the members of the congregation–not the Diocese or any other central body–provide nearly all of the finances for the congregation.

How do I pledge?

You can download a pledge form here.

What makes Holy Innocents unique and special?

Holy Innocents is the spiritual home for more than 150 adults and around 65 children. We provide spiritual formation for children through Godly Play, a Montessori-like look at the scripture and traditions of our faith; Youth Group, a discussion and fellowship group for middle-schoolers; and our Youth Group for children in high school. Over the last 12 years, more than 35 members have participated in the adult formation program Education for Ministry. Holy Innocents was also the launching pad for the ‘Via Media’ program, which has taught an open, inclusive understanding of the Episcopal Church in more than 1000 congregations around the United States and the world.

Our congregation was instrumental in helping to launch a ministry to the Mission, Julian Pantry, a joint ministry with St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church at 15th and Julian. People from Holy Innocents are also involved in Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen, Sojourn Chaplaincy, Hamilton House, Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation, Care through Touch, the San Francisco Night Ministry, and many other ministries throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area.

With the combination of grounding through worship, deepening through Christian formation and opportunities of service to the community, Holy Innocents gives its members the spiritual base for living in this urban, multicultural setting in a way that can help life make sense.

Not only does Holy Innocents provide a place where we as a community can meet and learn and grow in our faith, Holy Innocents also serves as an incubator of sorts for all kinds of work beyond our parish boundaries. In the past few years, we have been instrumental in helping several people move more deeply into ordained ministry. Between our own members who have moved forward in the ordination process and students who have come to Holy Innocents for training and formation, our small congregation has provided support for more than a dozen people who are serving the Church through ordained ministry or who are actively moving in that direction.

Why should I support Holy Innocents with my money?

Giving money to Holy Innocents is one of the many important ways to participate in the life of the church and its ministries. When you support Holy Innocents, you are helping sustain the community and its members. Giving is also a sign of commitment to the church’s mission of serving Christ in all people and loving one another as he loves us. As Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

How much money should I give?

Each person decides how much money they should give as individuals. We hope that you will consider the work that happens here and decide how to support that work through your giving of your talents, your time, and your monetary gifts. The biblical standard of tithing (giving 10% of one’s income) is one goal. Many Christians see this as being the goal for all of their charitable giving, with a portion of it being given to the Church. In 2017, the average pledge at Holy Innocents was $2,274, with pledge amounts ranging from $20 to $12,600.

I already give money to Holy Innocents. Why is it important to pledge?

All gifts are appreciated, but making a pledge to support Holy Innocents in 2018 helps the church leadership budget for the coming year and plan for the future.

What is our goal for Stewardship for the upcoming year?

We have set a stretch goal of $220,000. This 27% increase over 2017 giving would enable us to achieve so much. To meet this goal, we encourage all members to make a pledge, with a goal of 100% of members making a pledge. For those of you who already pledge – THANK YOU! This year, we ask that you consider increasing your support as you are able.

The Bishop’s Committee has committed to increasing the salary for the Vicar’s position to 100% of full-time within the next three years. Not only will this more fairly compensate the work that our current Vicar, Jane McDougle, is performing for our church, we believe this is also an important step towards ensuring Holy Innocents’ future sustainability and growth as a church, as well as our outreach to the wider community. However, this will only be possible with an increase in pledging from members.

What is the annual budget at Holy Innocents and where does the money come from?

We budgeted expenses of approximately $215,000 for 2016, which was approximately $8,000 more than we expected to receive as income. We made this decision because we had accumulated savings over several previous years during the periods when we did not have a vicar or priest in charge, allowing us to save money on clergy salary and benefits.
Our budgeted income for 2016 is approximately $207,000. Approximately $173,000 of our budget comes from people who pledged their support in weekly, monthly or annual payments. $19,000 comes from rental of our space to groups such as Music Together and AA. We receive approximately $7,500 per year from plate offerings from visitors and those who occasionally attend Holy Innocents. Another $4,000 comes from Special Offerings, such as offerings for flowers. The remainder of our income comes from Special Events (such as the Fair Oaks Street Fair), a small endowment that we maintain with the Diocese, and a small amount of money that we receive through eScrip.

What do our contributions to Holy Innocents pay for?

Here is a view of our expenses budgeted for 2017 by category.

What is the Diocesan Assessment?

Every congregation contributes a percentage of their operating budget to the work of the Diocese as a whole. This supports the leadership and work of the diocesan staff, and benefits us all in areas of social justice, revitalization of ministries, youth and family programs, to mention a few.

You can view the proposed 2018 Diocesan budget at: For questions about the Diocesan budget, please contact Davey Gerhard, Director of Resource Development, at daveyg

Can I give something other than money to support the budget?

Every year some people give their pledge in stock or mutual funds. If you want to make a stock donation, please contact Amanda Kiernan, Diocesan Gift Planning Officer at amandak When you contact her, let her know you are making the donation to Holy Innocents.

Can I put Holy Innocents in my will?

Yes. The Diocese of California has a number of free or very low cost resources to assist should you wish to include Holy Innocents in your estate planning, life income giving, gift annuities and other plans. Please contact Amanda Kiernan noted above or John Quarterman (jwquarterman if you would like more information. If you would like to include a bequest to Holy Innocents in your will or living trust, please word the bequest (or ask your attorney to word the bequest) as follows: “I give to the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of California, with offices in San Francisco, California, for the benefit of Holy Innocents’ Church in San Francisco, California, or its legal successor thereto, to be used for its general tax-exempt purposes and without other restrictions as to use.”

Do I have to pledge to attend services?

No! We value your participation in the life of Holy Innocents regardless of the amount of your pledge. We also understand that some of our members have fixed or limited incomes and may not be able to give financially as generously as they may wish. Many members give generously of their time and talents by volunteering at Holy Innocents, and we are grateful for such contributions, as well.

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?

Please feel free to speak to any of the clergy or members of the Bishop’s or Finance Committee about any questions you might have about the finances of Holy Innocents, or how you might participate financially in supporting Holy Innocents. You may also contact Jane McDougle, our Vicar, Sam Singer, our Treasurer, or any of the members of the Stewardship Committee.
– Sam Singer (ssingerjr, Treasurer
– Jane McDougle (jane, Vicar

Stewardship Committee Members:
– Bill DeGrado (
– Rebecca Legett (rebecca.legett
– Lisa Murphy (lisa.murphy


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