Greetings St Catherine’s friends.
I can’t believe it is nearing the end of November. It’s that time of year when we as a community think about Stewardship, how we can be supportive to each other and the church. Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service, recognizing that God is the giver of all good gifts, and we are custodians. Stewardship is about how we use our Time, Talents/gifts and Treasures in the service of God and the world.
Last week we mailed to our congregation a package that includes:
(1) A Stewardship letter from me; In it I highlighted my gratitude to each of you for the many volunteer hours you have generously donated toward our online and zoom services, parking lot and memorial services, outreach, spiritual formation groups, leadership and area care ministry. Thank you.
(2) In the package you would have also received a Narrative Budget with an outline Stewardship Calendar for 2021.
(3) And a pledge card. This first pledge card did not have your name or address on it. We mailed a second card this week that includes your name and address. Please make sure your details are included on your pledge.
Let’s hear from a few St Catherine’s parishioners about what Stewardship means to them...
Our church is facing immediate challenges, our loss of rentals, congregation giving being down, etc. due to COVID-19. Because of this, I have thought long and hard and plan to increase my pledge for 2021 substantially.
St. Catherine’s means so much to me, it’s a major part of my life.
As COVID is presenting many of us, including the church with financial and other challenges, Gordon and I will be increasing our pledge to help St C’s get through the coming year.
In the new year, St C’s will also be asking parishioners for creative ways that we can support the church with our time either at home, perhaps on individual projects or in other ways that will keep our church community thriving. Some of these church and community activities are outlined month by month in the pamphlet that was mailed with the pledge cards.
We hope you will join us in giving what you can both financially and however you are able with your time from home or in person when COVID restrictions are over.
I would like to say a few words about the Narrative Budget included in the Stewardship package.
Due to COVID, our church income has reduced in 2020 as the church was closed to the public in March, reducing our rental income considerably. We have been fortunate from a financial standpoint but we expect an overall funding shortfall of about $20,000 in 2020.
In 2021 we plan to continue our worship, pastoral care and outreach as in 2020, as mentioned by Linda and Lynn. However, based on our current expenses and parishioners’ giving, coupled with the low rental income and limited opportunities for additional revenue, we are looking at an income deficit of about $60,000 in 2021. Our concern is that if this level of deficit continues it will have a significant impact on the sustainability of St. Catherine’s finances, at least over the next two years.
We appreciate that some of you are giving at capacity, and thank you! If you are able to give more, please prayerfully consider it. Susana and I will be increasing our pledge.
We are asking for the pledge cards to be returned by 6 December 2020, and we will update you on our financial position over the coming months and at the Vestry meeting in February.
We ask that you prayerfully consider your part in the St Catherine’s community.