When I first visited All Saints’ in fall 2018, I was moved by the fact that this parish rallied and wiped out its debt through a comparatively brief capital campaign. It was an incredible accomplishment and because of this, I chose to participate in the campaign during my first two years as a member here. I count my financial support of All Saints’ as a central component of my faith.
Recently, I’ve heard several parishioners express excitement about recent trends. In-person worship attendance is increasing. We’ve welcomed new families who attend regularly. Youth and family ministries are being revitalized. During the Koinonia speaker series, several area non-profit leaders acknowledged All Saints’ vital role in the community.
Last year, for 2022 your vestry adopted a deficit budget only because the church’s bank account carried a comfortable cash balance starting the year; however, this is not a sustainable practice. Looking ahead to 2023, the church will be faced with increased costs in all areas because of inflation, and the church wishes to continue funding its various ministries throughout the year.
My hope and prayer is that the optimism that resides in the positive trends of our parish will translate into increased giving during the month of December. As of the end of October, All Saints’ operating budget carried a deficit of $48,884. This is nearly $10,000 over the budgeted deficit.
Income from pledges is $8,231 below budget for the year to date. For the final two months of the year, All Saints’ operations are heavily dependent on pledged and unpledged income to meet and hopefully eliminate the year-end deficit.
We all live under different circumstances and not everyone can give more; my personal financial assets have declined in 2022 because of the economy. As I’ve contemplated how to respond to our current budget deficit, the 2022 stewardship campaign theme has echoed in my mind, “More than Enough.” I also bear in mind that I am a steward of God’s resources but for a brief time. The most important institution in my life is Christ’s church, and I have chosen to be part of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. For these reasons, I plan to make a contribution in addition to my regular tithe before year’s end. I can’t eliminate the budget deficit single-handedly, but my extra gift combined with yours just might get us there.
I challenge you to reflect on why you love All Saints’, pray earnestly, and seek the Spirit’s guidance. Let’s keep the momentum going by wiping out the deficit and placing All Saints’ on firm financial footing to begin 2023 with renewed enthusiasm.