We Will! With God’s Help – 2017 Challenge Grant
At the parish’s renewal of ministry at Epiphany, we welcomed a new rector and together renewed our own baptismal vows. To each question posed by the Bishop, the congregation thundered, “We will, with God’s help.” We promised to work together as partners in the mission of the church, to continue in the apostles’ teaching, to repent of our sins, to proclaim the Good News, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, to strive for justice and peace.
In the face of such a bright future, we would be remiss to ignore the struggles of transition. We ended 2016 with lower pledge fulfillment than we had projected and higher expenses than we had planned. The 2017 annual campaign begun last fall has fallen short of the needs outlined in our draft operating budget.
The 2017 Challenge Grant
In response to both the promise of our future and the challenges of the past, an anonymous donor has proposed a four-part challenge grant:
- The challenger will make a one-time cash donation of $120,000 to cover the 2016 operating deficit and create a more reasonable reserve for 2017.
- The parish will raise an amount equal to or greater than the grant in increased or new pledges by March 1.
- The staff will create a budget that embraces new ministries, reinforces the mission that engages and nurtures us, and jettisons unnecessary processes and procedures. This new budget will be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting February 26.
- The challenge calls for the parish to develop a plan for significant shared ministry in the areas of pastoral care, worship, outreach, Christian formation, and facility care, also by March 1.
The vestry has accepted this challenge with joy and gratitude. Know that this is a sacrificial gift on the part of the donor, in the sure confidence that God will take care of us. It will, we believe, create a financially stable, deeply engaged parish on the verge of dynamic growth.