St. Patrick's Stewardship 

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Thank you for 'lending your ears' this past Stewardship Sunday. Your presence and interest were most meaningful. I had been asked by several of you to share my words and I thought I would share them with all of you. Seeing the guild volunteers rise in the 9:00 service and, especially, come up to the Altar for recognition at the 10:30 service was extremely touching. They, and so many others working like them, are our heroes.

God Bless, Russ Engle St. Patrick's Guild Members

St. Patrick's Guild Members

Good Morning! Thank you all for coming on a cool, rainy day. Today is Stewardship Sunday, the beginning of our fundraising campaign for Saint Patrick’s. So this morning I have several tasks: First, to give my short epistle about what St. Patrick’s has come to mean to me. In the coming weeks more of you will follow with your own stories; your own thoughts about the importance of Saint Patrick’s in your lives; Second, to give a brief background to our Stewardship campaign, and Third, to honor service.

So first, to borrow a line from the movie Jerry McGuire with Tom Cruise, “You had me at Hello!”

When Claudette and I first came some six years ago, we felt the same way. We received the bread and wine and immediately felt this was a special welcome. But more than that, at coffee hour and as we came the following weeks, you, as a congregation, opened up to us. You sought us out after church and began to share your stories. Then came the first of many Saint Patrick’s Day feasts, and ECW luncheons. We never really felt that we were outsiders, needing years to ‘break into’ your special community, since so many of you extended your welcome. That was quite a different feeling from our church back home. Even after ten years, we knew fewer people there than we knew here in the first few months. Saint Patrick’s is a special place filled with very special people.

So, rather than just sit in the pews and enjoy my new church, I got involved: First with the ARC, then, with the Vestry and finally with the Stewardship committee among others. But the more I got involved, the more I began to see how so many of you contribute so much of your time, your talents and, indeed, your treasure to help support our church. It is your level of service, of care and of contribution to St. Patrick’s that struck me most as the measure of your Christian spirit. I am proud of you for that, and proud to be a member of St. Patrick’s Church. That leads me to my second task: to talk briefly about our Stewardship campaign.

Stewardship Campaign:

Last year I said to you that we had been forced to draw down from our long-term assets almost $60,000, with a good portion of that due to a shortfall in pledge receipts vs. pledges given. So I asked you then to reflect on what role St. Patrick’s played in your life and, if you believed that it was an important resource, that it was an important ‘Spiritual Home’ for you and your family, then to consider how you might contribute to it to help keep it vibrant. And I thank you! You responded with pledges over 7% higher than the year before, the first increase in several years. Further, you have kept your pledge. Unlike in 2015, we are tracking right on your pledge offering through September. Please stay the course. Further, a dozen of you have prepaid your pledges for the year, helping greatly with our cash flow and two dozen of you have been paying without a pledge, giving us hope in your belief in us for the future. But our financial situation is still fragile. We turned the corner this year, but only just! The good news is that we have had a much greater influx of new visitors and, subsequently, new members during the year. Next year, though, we face the Rector search, the need to enhance our music program, to support our Outreach and to address delayed maintenance. Frankly, now is the time we all need to come together as a congregation. Working, praying and contributing together for the common good, not just the good of those from any one of our three services and, importantly, for the good of our Outreach program for those in need beyond our walls.

Charlie Chapman, our Treasurer, is working on the budget for next year. He presumes that we will increase our pledges by just 1% and is planning on a budget shortfall of almost $45,000 next year. I would like to prove him wrong. I would like to believe that those of you, who have not yet pledged, would do so this coming year. I would like to believe that those who are new to the congregation will step up and do your part. I would finally hope that those of you, who have been regular contributors to our church, will assess if you can help us with at least 5% more this year. If we do that, we will put our church on a solid financial footing going forward.

You will soon receive a note from the Vestry along with your 2017 Pledge card and a brochure about our church. Please reflect on it, and on St. Patrick’s, and then act on your conviction. Last year many waited till after Thanksgiving to offer their pledge. I would ask you not to wait. We would like to wrap up our Stewardship campaign by mid November and bless the pledges on November 20. Again, thank you all for your support!

SERVICE: So that leads me to my last comment: Service. I mentioned that your service is a strong measure of your Christian spirit. So very many of you donate your time and energy ‘behind the scenes’. No speeches, no robes, no chalice, just devoted and continued hard work on behalf of St. Patrick’s. Today at the 10:30 Service, we will honor the many members of three guilds who work so diligently behind the scenes:

The Altar Guild, the Flower Guild and the Bread Bakers Guild.

I will read the names and if any of you are here, please stand up when I read your name and hold your applause till I read all the names.

It is true: it does take a Village!

Thank you, and God Bless ST. PATRICKS GUILD MEMBERS 2016 ALTAR GUILD SANDY KEITH, CHAIR Cathy Castle Tina Daley Cathy Good Jane Hall Naomi Holm Kay Martinelli Margaret Merchant

FLOWER GUILD BARBARA KLINGBELL, CHAIR Mary Field Laurie Boone-Hogan Jean Meyer Myrle MacLaughlin Elisabeth Romayko


** ( Copyright © 2016 St. Patrick's Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

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