Faithful Financial (Best) Practices

by | Aug 17, 2023

In the next installment in our series exploring the Vital Signs of Parish Health instead of focusing on one parish sharing their faithful financial practices, Jordan Rippy, former co-chair of the Financial Resources Committee, highlights for us some of the best practices she’s discerned in her time working with congregations across the diocese.

Central to the mission of the congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington is the responsible stewardship of resources. This is a commitment that extends to both spiritual and material matters. As people seeking to follow Jesus and deepen our discipleship, it is our duty and our privilege to embrace faithful financial practices that reflect our devotion to God and to the well-being of our communities. Using the following list, consider where your church is thriving and where opportunities for improvement exist.

1. Transparency and Accountability
Faithful financial practices are built upon a foundation of transparency and accountability. Congregants should know how their contributions are being used to further the church’s mission. Regular financial reports to the vestry and open discussions foster trust within the community.

2. Budgeting as a Spiritual Act
Budgeting is not just a mundane task; it is a spiritual act that reflects our priorities and values. Just as we commit time to prayer and worship, we should dedicate time to discerning and creating a budget that aligns with our church’s mission. This budget should prioritize ministry, outreach, and the care of all members.

3. Generosity as Worship
Generosity is an act of worship. Parishes should seek to foster an environment where generosity is celebrated and encouraged. Highlight stories of congregants who have given not out of obligation, but out of love and compassion.

4. Establish an Endowment Fund for Long-Term Impact
Endowment funds provide a way for congregations to ensure their ministries have a lasting impact. Establishing and nurturing an endowment fund can help maintain the church’s work for generations to come. Educate your community about the benefits of endowment funds and provide opportunities for members to contribute, especially through planned giving.

5. Regular Reviews and Adaptations
The financial landscape is ever-changing and so should our practices. Schedule regular reviews of the church’s financial procedures and adapt them as needed. This proactive approach ensures that your practices remain relevant and aligned with the evolving needs of your congregation.

6. Implement Options for Online Giving
The advent of technology has brought about significant changes in the way people interact, communicate, and even manage their finances. For churches, embracing these technological advancements can offer numerous benefits, and setting up online giving is a prime example. Many tools such as Vanco,, and PayPal make this easy to implement.

Faithful financial practices are not merely administrative duties; they are reflections of our commitment to the work of the Holy Spirit in the world. By embracing transparency, cultivating a culture of generosity, and managing resources wisely, we honor God’s call to care for those around us and tend our common life.

Jordan Rippy, CPA, Ph.D.

This is one in a series of articles exploring how parishes around the diocese are implementing the Vital Signs of Parish Health.