Dear Saint James’ family,
As your senior and junior wardens, we are writing this year’s annual pledge campaign letter. Newcomers and visitors reinforce what we all feel when they observe that we are a church that radiates meaning, purpose and vitality. The vestry bears the responsibility for the finances of the church, and as their officers, we can state with confidence that our budget is designed to support what makes Saint James’ exceptional.
Nearly sixty percent of our expenses are for the salaries of the clergy and staff who nurture our growth as followers of Jesus Christ. And most of you either have a relationship with a number of them or you at least know of their dedicated work in support of our mission and ministry. The majority of them are only paid part-time, but they give us much more.
In this letter we want to focus on one position in particular, the part-time position of Associate Priest. In addition to his support of Ben in the ministries of preaching, liturgical leadership and pastoral care, Randolph and Lyn before him, revitalized ministries that previously had lacked the necessary oversight and focused commitment to thrive. Randolph, in particular, has invigorated three key ministries: Adult Formation, Worship, and Service. What is remarkable is that he is accomplishing this in two important ways: first, through his engaging personality coupled with his wisdom and experience from decades as a priest and second, through his creation of teams of lay people who are now empowered to think deeply about and to help lead these ministries.
We have made difficult, yet strategic cuts to our budget as we rebound from last year’s drop in total pledge dollars as Ben explained in his letter. However, we feel strongly that Saint James’ needs to retain the Associate Priest’s position, so that Christ’s light will continue to burn even brighter at 73 Culpeper St., and so that we can extend our outreach even further into the community. This is why we are asking for an overall increase in pledges of 5.75%.
Please read the back of this letter about pledging and also review the enclosed handout about our projected budget for 2018. We would enjoy talking with you individually, answering any questions and hearing your opinions. We hope that after prayerful consideration you will pledge to the mission and ministry of Saint James’ in 2018.
In grateful service,
George Burgwyn, Senior Warden
Scott Christian, Junior Warden