Dear Fellow Exiles,
I have the honor to serve you as chair of St. Bartholomew’s 2020 Stewardship campaign. This year we will celebrate Stewardship Sunday on October 18th.
To say this year is different is an understatement. Personally, I’m tired of all the adjectives: unique; unprecedented; difficult; extraordinary; unsettled; uncertain. It’s been six months since we’ve been able to worship together with our fellow travelers. I miss our communal music, the Exchange of the Peace, the energy and joy of the children, and communion from the common cup. I miss all of you.
We’ve worked hard to find our footing during this time, creating new ways to stay faithful and connected – streaming live services on Facebook, holding book group and Education for Ministry meetings via Zoom, starting a Zoom Evening Prayer service, creating a Virtual Vacation Bible School format, and offering drive-through communion, to name a few. Although we can’t gather there together, St. Bart’s and our parish community remain an anchor for us.
Yet through all of this we have hope, as did the Hebrew exiles in Babylon, that we’ll be able to return and resume worshipping God together. What form that will take, and when, is dependent on direction from our diocese and governments. But it will also be dependent on our finances.
During the building closure, some expenses have been reduced, while others remained constant. Next year some expenses, such as maintenance of our 65 year old building, will likely begin to increase. The budget will also need to include unanticipated expenses associated with reopening, such as personal protection equipment, cleaning supplies, and potential adjustments to heating, ventilation and air condition equipment.
In normal times, support of our ministries, staff, and maintenance of our church and property costs almost $400,000 per year. We receive no financial support from the diocese, and our endowment funds – the stewardship of those who went before – cannot be used for operating expenses. So St. Bart’s annual budget is built on the yearly support of our own community.
Like you, I pray for the return of a normal life that includes community worship at St. Bart’s and the resumption of our ministries to one another and to the larger community. These ministries will be greatly needed, individually and collectively, as we recover from the uncertainty of the pandemic and move into the future.
Please prayerfully consider investing in the future of St. Bart’s by completing your pledge card during this season of harvest and thanksgiving for what we have.
This year's pledge cards can be filled out and returned to St. Bart's in a variety of ways.
1. You can fill out your 2020 pledge card by using an online form.
See the link below. Note that the information from this form will be sent directly to Fr. Jeff and Mike Hefty, pledge bookkeeper. Only Fr. Jeff and Mike will see your pledge.
2. You can print out a 2020 Pledge Card, fill it out and then mail or hand deliver it to the church. Remember that we have the new secure mail slot at the front of the office so you can deposit your Pledge Card and whatever time is most convenient for you. See the link below.
3. You can pick up and drop off pledge cards during Parking Lot Communion following Sunday services on Sunday October 4, 11, or 18th.
4. You can call or email the office and we will mail you a pledge card which you can then mail back to the church.
During baptisms, we as a community vow to support our newest members, as we say the words “I will, with God’s help.” Thank you all for your continuing support of our beloved St. Bart’s. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore.
St. Bart's 2020 Stewardship Chair