Dear Friends in Christ,
I want to share some good financial news and ask for your continuing support, both for the parish and for the ministry of our diocesan bishop. Our stewardship guidelines recommend that each household in the parish divide its tithe in this way: 5% to the parish in the primary offertory; 1% to the diocese in the Bishop’s Annual Appeal; and the remaining 4% to other charities of your choice, including our parish capital campaigns and second collections. In all three categories we are doing very well, thanks to your generosity.
1. We need to raise an average of $31,500 in the primary collection on each of the 52 Sundays of the year in order to pay our bills, and since the beginning of our current fiscal year on 1 July 2013, we have met that goal and slightly exceeded it. As of today, we have a small surplus of about 2% for the fiscal year which will end on 30 June 2014, and to finish the year in the black, we need regular contributions from every household in the parish, each according to its means.
2. Every year the diocese calculates our parish goal for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and for 2013 our goal was $84,510. During 2013 we actually contributed $98,142 to the BAA, meaning that we made 116% of our target. When any parish exceeds its goal, all of the money above the target is returned to the parish in two ways: half goes to a parish endowment account managed by the diocese and half is sent back to the parish for local use. So even as we give thanks for exceeding our goal last year, it’s time to make your pledge to the BAA for 2014, and each household in the parish will receive a letter from the bishop for this purpose. Our goal for 2014 remains the same as last year, and I ask you to be as generous as possible. Thank you for your commitment to support the work of our bishop and assist him in fulfilling his duties as chief shepherd and high priest of the Church in South Carolina.
3. During 2013 we needed to raise $750,000 in capital gifts, and we actually raised $747,000. With this money we made significant improvements to the storm water drains around the church and under Miller Square, we replaced the roof of Sacred Heart Hall, we continued to pay down loans from previous projects, we completed the construction of the sacristy addition, Miller Square and Grace Grotto while providing a beautiful new statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary for veneration at the center of our campus. We also dramatically increased the amount of light around the church at night, resurfaced the outdoor basketball court and the parking lot around the gym, built new storage space next to the chiller building behind the columbarium, and created three new offices on the second floor of Gwynn House — the parish office building. I will be writing to you soon about our capital needs for 2014, but our goal for this year will remain the same as last year:$750,000. Please plan now to continue your sacrificial support which makes our campus a place of singular beauty in the heart of the city.