14th Sunday of the Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

Our old fiscal year ended on 30 June 2017, and I want to give you an update on our financial health. For FY 2016-2017, we needed to raise an average of $33,150 in the primary offertory for an annual total of $1,723,800, and we actually raised a total of $1,760,073 which gave us a budget surplus of 2.1%. These funds are used to pay for our normal operating expenses: all of our ministries, salary and benefits for employees, charity, utilities, equipment and supplies for all of our buildings, maintenance for our buildings and grounds, etc. Also in the last fiscal year you donated $484,900 to the building fund, and these funds were used to pay for capital improvements to our campus like the new air conditioner for the church and the new roof and HVAC system that will be installed in the gym next month. And finally, beyond the regular offertory and building fund, you gave almost $80,000 to the nineteen second collections and just over $30,000 to the poor boxes. The money for the second collections is passed on by us to the groups for whom the collections are taken, and the poor box donations go to Project Host on Academy Street to assist in feeding the poor.

Our new fiscal year started last week on 1 July 2017, and to meet the obligations of our new budget approved in May by the Finance Council we need to increase our offertory goal by 2%. This means that our average weekly target will increase from $33,150 to $33,800, and if everyone in the parish will increase their primary offertory contribution by 2%, then we will easily meet our new goal. For example, if your average weekly gift last fiscal year was $35, then your new average weekly gift should be $35.70. If you average gift was $75, then it should now be $76.50. These modest increases by each household will provide the means we need to meet our new obligations, and I ask that you make that slight adjustment now for the new fiscal year.

We are faced with one extraordinary expense this year which will make things tight for several months. For many years our school employees have had inadequate access to health insurance, and last Spring we transitioned to a new way of offering the option for insurance to eligible employees to coincide with a major change by the diocese in the way all employee benefits are managed. This transition – which was absolutely necessary to ensure that we abide by our own principles of justice – added about $150,000 to the school budget for this new fiscal year, and therefore a much larger subsidy from the church than has been customary in recent years will be needed to help the school through the transition. If anyone wants to make a targeted gift to help us with this expense, above and beyond one’s regular offertory contributions, then that gift will be received most gratefully.

Being a good steward is an essential part of being a faithful disciple, and I am deeply grateful for the generosity of those who give regularly so that we may bear witness to the Lord Jesus and fulfill our mission in the world. In the Fall I will write again about our coming capital campaign which will enable us to make some long needed improvements to our campus, but for now, thank you for your commitment to St Mary’s Church and School.

Father Newman