|Grace is Pledging
October 17, 2009
|The 2009 Pledge Campaign:
We are Stewards, Beneficiaries and Ministers of Grace
Dear Fellow Members of the Grace Community.
With this letter we begin the joyful and serious business of securing
your pledges of financial support for Grace in all of its
manifestations and activities in Calendar Year 2010.
Grace, as you know, inhabits one of the most beautiful church buildings
any of us can know. It is a place from which powerful, life-changing
pastoral ministry emanates - a ministry which inspires all of us, and
has also inspired the Diocese of Olympia to make a grant toward a new
Associate Clergy position. The Diocese has pledged to help us fund this
position because of our shared belief that working and serving at Grace
will give a rich and positive experience to a newly ordained priest. We
all know that Grace has that kind of impact on our own lives. A grant
to Grace in 2009 helped us take steps to fund our new Children and
Family Ministry Coordinator, which has so enriched our lives this year.
We believe that adding another new staff position in 2010 will bring us
the same rich benefit, as it also will benefit the larger Church.
You also know the power of the day-to-day ministry which you extend to
other members of the community, and they to you. Our participation in
the Annual Pledge Campaign guarantees the vitality of Grace's spiritual
community and gives each of us an opportunity to "shine" in our roles
as stewards, beneficiaries and ministers. We need to be all three if we
are to be any one with the generosity which Grace exemplifies. Put
directly, this is our chance to give as we have received.
Looking toward 2010: The Budget for Operations
The Bishop's Committee has approved a 2010 Budget for Operations whose
expense items can be summarized as follows:
stand ready, with the Wardens, Krista Webb and John Waldo; with Walt
Vogdes, our Treasurer, and with all the members of the Bishop's
Committee, to talk carefully and specifically about budget details,
should you want to do so. You'll find my contact information at the end
of this letter. I do want to point out here that the budget summarized
above includes the full amount allocated to the Associate Clergy salary
and benefits - and yet it is a budget with very little increase from
2009 to 2010. In fact, without the new position, the 2010 expenses
would show a decrease over the 2009 Revised Budget.
Diocesan Grant for the Associate position is recorded as a revenue item
in the 2010 Budget. The 2010 Budget shows a total of $556,926 in
revenues, an increase of $23,774 over the 2009 Revised Budget. If we
deduct the Diocesan Grant, the amount for which you and I are directly
accountable - along with fundraising events, rentals and income from
miscellaneous sources - shows an increase of $6,274.
The Bishop's Committee has developed this budget with two strategic
goals in mind: to expand our professional staff, as we have planned to
do for several years, and to keep all other costs in check. I am an
occasional visitor rather than a participant in Bishop's Committee
deliberations, so I can congratulate its members for their painstaking
and faithful care in managing current expenses and providing an
economical basis - effectively a zero-increase basis - for transforming
growth. Thanks to them and to our faithful support of each other's
ministry, we are a community that feels and is prosperous. Bravo, Bishop's Committee! Bravo, Grace Community!
Now you and I must do our part to sustain this mixture of sound fiscal
management and unbounded generosity of spirit and ministry through 2010.
The "Philosophy" of the 2009 Pledge Campaign
To find the Campaign's "philosophy" we just have to look at the figures
on the page.
I hope that in our recent newsletters you have seen the
monthly financial updates for August and September. (You will find our newsletters, "Grace · Faith · News · Arts," on our kiosk at Grace, or you may download them here: September 2009 and Autumn 2009)
I hope they have made you feel recognized and encouraged. I trust that
they have also reminded you that Grace's financial well-being depends
on the balance of expenses and revenues from month to month. There are
no slush funds, no bundles of currency in the Wardens' desk drawers to
be pulled out if expenses exceed revenues.
For this reason, our Campaign does not split the Budget into line items
for "same old" here and "growth" there. There is
no "same old," and every part of the expense/revenue equation is an
integral part of the whole. However the roughly $500,000 in budget
pledge income strikes you in relation to your personal household
budget, this is a goal we need to stretch to and reach together. We
need to be imaginative and courageous in setting our priorities to make
To this end, for our
part, the day Sabine and I receive our copy of this letter we will go
to the online Pledge Card and commit a good 8.5% of our 2009 taxable
income. That will be about 1.5% of the total 2010 pledge budget. We
will do this in complete humility and gratitude. Because I am revealing
this to you, we will also feel that there is something of a challenge
The Early Pledge Campaign: How to Pledge Now
The idea of the Early Pledge Campaign is that it is swift, convenient, paperless and exciting.
If you have received this letter via email, please click here to go to the online Pledge Form. This is a new use of simple
technology, and I hope you find it accessible and encouraging. You can,
in fact, pledge right now. And please be assured that our tradition of
confidentiality remains in place. If you do choose to pledge
electronically, this information is sent directly to me and is shared
only with our Treasurer and Bookkeeper.
Please be sure that your pledge is recorded by November 5 so that it
can be included in the parish-wide report on Sunday, November 8 -- and
so that you will not be inundated later with printed materials that
only rehash the contents of this first letter. We will follow up, as we
do every year, to make sure that all Grace members have the chance to
participate in this annual practice of generosity - and your early
pledge simply makes that follow-up list shorter, and our work a bit
easier. Personally, I thank you for that!
And, of course, thank you for your commitment to the ministry and
prosperity of Grace in the current year and for 2010.
Grace Episocopal Church
8595 NE Day Road
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110