Annual Giving 2023
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
November 1, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The theme for the Saint James 2023 annual fund campaign is a familiar one – a line taken from the teachings of Jesus in the 6th chapter of the gospel of Matthew. We urge you to read chapter 6 (enclosed) as part of your pledging discernment in this season of giving. We believe this chapter speaks to us about priorities, prayer and freedom from fear. Jesus is clear in it that how we give and to what we give is how we live.
Few churches have been as creative and consistent in the practical care, the daily prayer and loving service that it has offered than Saint James. We have also grown, repaired and reconnected in many ways. Our choir is back, our Saturday night masses are returning, our midweek services from Willow Valley to First Friday Compline are regularly happening and growing. Sunday morning feels great again with Forum and Rite 13 for our teens and our youngest are thriving again in children’s chapel! Our service and giving to the School District, the Food Hub and our mission trips and pilgrimages are meeting urgent needs and changing our lives. The list goes on but at the heart of it all is a congregation that continually seeks to listen to and answer God’s call to be servant leaders and ministers of Christ in our time and place.
While our vitality is returning we are not yet recovering from COVID as we want or need. Our annual giving and in-person attendance has varied considerably while our ministries and their costs have increased. Most churches would feel very lucky with this rate of “recovery”. But we are going deeper than luck. We worship and give to a God who bestows upon us abundant life. So our vision is not mere advantageous comparable decline. Your vestry and clergy are working to grow beyond all our pre-pandemic categories in membership, impact and giving. To do this we need your leadership within a congregational core committed to building up our common life.
We know beyond all doubt that we possess both the spiritual and the practical gifts we need. And as Jesus reminds us in our campaign theme, the two are inextricably linked.
In our recent Capital Campaign, the people of Saint James demonstrated, in the midst of a pandemic no less, that they are more than capable of rising to such challenges. We showed in that experience that if a genuine need, critical to the success of our ministry is laid before us, we can and will respond. Because Saint James is where are hearts are. And where our hearts are, there our treasure will be also.
In such moments in our lives, each of us can ask ourselves these two helpful questions: What is being asked of me? and Are those who are asking LEADING?
As we look to the ministry needs of 2023, we see a need for an additional 10% in congregational giving at minimum. And so we are asking every member of Saint James to prayerfully consider increasing their commitment by 10% over the previous year. For many of us, it may well be that we will realize our giving has not increased in a number of years. So, if you can answer this call, it would make an enormous difference in the fiscal health of our parish.
That is what we are asking. And your Vestry – your elected leaders – have already done what they are asking of you. 100% of vestry has made their commitments for next year, representing an overall increase in their giving of over 10%. This is important for you to know, for no one is being asked to consider something that your leaders have not committed themselves to.
Where your treasure it, there will your heart be also. We launch our 2023 annual fund campaign trusting that indeed the community and ministry of Saint James is where each of our hearts are, and just so, where our treasure is and will be, treasure in sufficient measure to carry out all that God is calling us to as his people. As you consider your giving for 2023, please know that each of you is a treasure of our hearts, fellow pilgrims along the way, dear to us.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. David Peck+
Mother Shayna Watson+
Fr. Glenn Miller+
Robert Bowman and Elena Wolman
Stewardship: Our response to God’s call and abundance
A pledge is your commitment to make a financial gift that supports the mission of Saint James. Pledging is a response to God’s call and abundance in our own lives: it is a statement of thanksgiving. Annual pledges support everything we do and are at Saint James, but in order to know what we can do each year, we need to receive pledge commitments on which to develop an annual budget. You can make a pledge at any time, not just during the fall stewardship campaign.
Ways to Give
- Pledge envelopes: If you give by check or with cash, personalized giving envelopes are available by request.
- ACH (automatic) deduction through your bank or credit union: Authorize Saint James to process an automatic withdrawal from your bank account on the 15th or the 30th of the month.
- Did you know you can make your gift to Saint James through an IRA Required Minimum Distribution or by donating appreciated stock or securities?
For help with your giving options, please click here to email Nicolette Norris at the church office.