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.
That is the question asked almost daily from parishioners, school parents, staff, neighbors. The answer is “as soon as we possibly can”! Originally we had hoped to begin at the beginning of September but are now shooting for the end of the month/ beginning of October. We are currently seeking final approval of our site plan, construction drawings, and necessary permitting.
Hopefully one last parish meeting before we break ground on the expansion building project!
As we file all of the necessary paperwork for us to break ground in early September we need a more specific resolution regarding our financing and collateralizing of our endowment and rectory as conditions of our loan.
Come to church on Sunday July 23rd and cast your vote! We will open the meeting right after the 8am service and will keep the meeting open until after the 10:15 service and ballots can be cast at any time during that window. Please make sure to make it to church that Sunday as this is an important requirement.
“Pledge Day – April 2, 2017” is the day we will hand out the pledge cards to everyone and also the day we will collect the pledge cards.
Can I take my pledge card home on April 2nd and think about my gift?
Of course you can, but our hope and desire is that all pledge cards will be filled out and handed in on the same day – Pledge Day, April 2, 2017. The weeks leading up to April 2nd will highlight aspects of the capital campaign and allow time for individuals to consider their gift.
Saint James’ Episcopal School’s first fifth grade graduation in May, 2015 was a monumental achievement for our community. What in 2010 had been just a dream had become a reality. This dream made manifest was realized in no small part thanks to the unwavering support of the Church.
Our Church and School continue to remain extremely intentional in their interconnectedness and this is why both entities continue to thrive. As an Episcopal School, we are the Church’s largest, most vibrant, and most closely connected ministry.
As we look ahead with great hope and optimism to Pledge Day, April 2, 2017, it is fitting that we take a moment to look more closely at our largest ministry, largest donor, and continuing success story, Saint James’ Episcopal School. The numbers below leave no doubt that education is a central passion and gift of our parish.
Saint James’ Episcopal Church & School by the Numbers
50 years ago the education wing was built onto our church. At that time there was no school and the parish consisted of 309 members.
898 adults and children call Saint James’ their home today
Two hundred years ago our founding parishioners understood that their dreams could only grow from a church set on a solid foundation of support. Legacy donations to the Saint James’ Endowment serve to keep our beautiful, historic church alive and vital for future generations.
Our relatively new Endowment hopes to become like the older buildings on our campus—sustaining a myriad of ministries and increasing in value over time. And yet often the Endowment goes unnoticed, just as we take our buildings for granted at times– rushing about from the parking lot through the doors, from the nave into the Parish Hall, and from classrooms to the playground. The Endowment funds are invested to provide an annual stream of income to the church, but the principal is never touched.
Corporate worship lies at the heart of Saint James’ spiritual life, and music plays an important role in almost all of the worship services that we offer. It is the mission of Saint James’ music ministry to aid the congregation in offering up praises to God.
As Episcopalians, we have a musical heritage that is one of the world’s richest and most deeply spiritual. For over 500 years, Anglican church music has sought to tell the Christian faith with authenticity and truth. Our music is an extremely diverse and multi-layered art form that celebrates and encompasses many different traditions. You might be interested, when singing hymns, to read the small print below each one and note the many and varied sources of the poetry and the music.
Our beautiful, historic, welcoming church will be made even more hospitable with the addition of new handicap parking spaces in the parking lot, permanent ramps, a lift for Parish Hall access, a centrally-located elevator in the new building, and ADA-certified bathroom facilities.
Father Ben shared this remembrance which highlights just one example of how needed and how welcome the planned accessibility upgrades will be:
“The Director of Christian Education from my previous church in Louisville came to church one Sunday. Lauralee wanted to show Ms. Martha her classroom so she led her down the stairs. Ms. Martha has some mobility issues and I forgot how much she had depended upon the elevator in Louisville. As I watched her slowly go down each step backwards, clinging to the rail, and wincing the entire way, I realized that the most formative person in my children’s faith development would hardly be able to teach Sunday school at Saint James’ much less serve as Director of Christian Formation. It was a profound recognition of the need and the fact that it is not just those confined to wheelchairs whose ministries are limited by our space.”
Our exciting renovation plans will open up our spaces to everyone who wants to share in them!
The Endowment went over $1million and Capital Funds also increased. Pledge and plate offerings remain slightly below budget for the year. Expenses are also down and the year is expected to end in the black.
Buildings and Grounds:
Bill Turnure, Senior Warden, and Jody DelSignore, Property Manager, are planning for expected expenses 3-5 years in the future and creating a budget to ensure having the necessary funds available.
Father Ben noted the many activities taking place in and under the sponsorship of St. James’ in November and in preparation for the holidays. He singled out the Episcopal Church School conference in New Orleans where Stacey Irvin, Head of School, was recognized for her work to establish and maintain the vibrant dynamic between church and school at St. James’.