Dear Friends in Christ:
Quí Ông Bà và Anh Chị Em thân mến trong Chúa Kitô:
Estimados Amigos y Amigas en Cristo:
Serving as a pastor has many privileges and responsibilities. One such responsibility is sound stewardship of the parish financial resources and properties. Just as you have to be concerned about your personal budget, we all need to be concerned about the parish budget. Consulting with the parish Finance Council, we are publishing on pages 12-13 the financial status of the last three years and the current year-to-date.
Thank you to all those who support the parish. But please know also that our contributions have decreased since 2014 until the present. What this is attributed to is undoubtedly a multitude of reasons, including people struggling in a difficult economy. Since I became your pastor in 2008, we have exceeded our Diocesan Services Fund (DSF) goal which was not the case before. That is very good news!
Our average weekly contributions data is a startling eye opener!
· We have 1,721 registered households, yet records show that only 941 households make any kind of monetary contribution.
· 289 households (30.71% of all contributing households) give $5.00 or less as a weekly contribution.
· 152 households (16.15% of all contributing households) give between $5.01 and $10 as a weekly contribution.
· 76% of contributing households (718) give only 25% of total collections.
· 24% of contributing households (223) give 75% of total collections.
· Loose collections vary between parishioners who choose to donate without any record and our many visitors.
Why the challenge to give?
Each and every one of us has the privilege and responsibility to spread the Gospel by supporting the work of the parish! Our intent is to serve you more fully. Though we have been very conservative with our expenses (including eliminating one staff position), there are increased costs: especially health, dental and pensions (cf. p, 13), utilities, a modest salary increase for our staff members, continued upkeep and maintenance of our beautiful properties.
While the Bible teaches us to give sacrificially, we make the following specific challenges:
· For the 780 households that we have no record of any contributions, start contributing to support the parish by using Faith Direct or church envelopes!
· For those 941 households that are donating currently, do you prayerfully contemplate the amount you give? Are you sharing God’s gifts sufficiently? Are you able to increase your giving?
· Can you imagine if you gave an additional sacrificial offering of $10, $20 or $50 per week, the amazing impact it would have on the parish? Other thoughts...
· Have you embraced biblical tithing? (Of gross income: 5% to the parish, 4% to other charities; 1% to DSF) 5% of gross income equals 2 hours of your gross hourly income to be donated every week.
· What sacrifices are you willing to make so you can be more generous to the Church? Periodically not going to the movies or dinner, giving up a specialty item or extra, and give that amount to the parish!
· Parents, are you teaching your children to give a certain percentage of their allowance to the parish?
· Using Faith Direct automates your contributions from your credit card/bank accounts, saves the parish money. The annual cost of all personalized contribution envelopes is $4,200 plus the time and salary of a staff person to manually input the contributions.
· If you do not use Faith Direct, contribute every week through envelopes, whether you attend or not.
Parish weekly expenses occur regardless if you are present or away for a weekend.
Every week is listed the necessary weekly budgeted collection, based upon operating expenses. Unfortunately this year, we have not been meeting every week our budgeted amount. This is a great challenge, but one we can easily make if everyone makes a sacrificial increase in weekly contributions. You have been great in meeting previous challenges. Let us meet this challenge and surpass it. Thank you for your continual support of spreading the Gospel through our parish.
We all have the great privilege to serve all the people who come to the Co-Cathedral seeking to encounter Christ!