From the Wardens

From the Wardens

Fourth Quarter 2022 Stewardship Communication

Dear Friends,

If you’ve been longing for a return to normal, there’s a lot that feels good right now at St. Paul’s. Our rector is back from his sabbatical, we’ve restarted a full in-person offering of formation and several new small groups, and, perhaps most visibly, we’re back in the nave following a loving restoration.

For Christians, “returning” to anything—normal, the good old days, or before some crisis shaped us in painful new ways—doesn’t feel quite right. Our faith is about moving forward to help make the world into the Kingdom of God. We don’t want to return: our rector has new energies and ideas after his sabbatical; we’re learning new ways to engage with formation, small groups, and other opportunities for fellowship; and the reason we restored the nave is so that we can worship together (and include new parishioners along the way) to thank God for the blessings and strengthen ourselves for the challenges that will come next.The fourth quarter of the year brings our stewardship campaign: Rejoice. Stewardship is the way we enable the church to move forward every year, and indeed there are some new challenges this year. The economic environment is strained: inflation and volatility in the markets can make it easy to feel like we should be cutting back. But the church faces increasing expenses too: health insurance costs, utilities, and adjustments for staff facing rising costs of their own. Most of the church’s expenses are these kinds of non-discretionary items, and so while we understand our parishioners are in a difficult economic cycle, we believe the church’s budget needs a modest increase to address these rising costs.

You’re important to us because you’re part of the parish family: nobody’s role or value at St. Paul’s is defined by their pledges and financial contributions. Because we know there’s pressure on both giving and expenses this year, though, we ask that everyone in the parish prayerfully consider whether this is a year in which you can increase your giving. Not everyone can, so if you are able, we hope you will.We’ll continue to pursue cost-savings and encourage new pledges, but we want to be transparent with you about the importance of pledge support from each member of the parish. We are grateful to be on the team with you as St. Paul’s provides a house of prayer for all people and a strong foundation from which all of us are called to do God’s work in this world.

Peace be with you!

Joyce Jacob-Mua, senior warden

Matthew T. Phillips, junior warden