We wait expectantly for the Lord’s coming, and the day when he will make all things new. For now, we are caretakers of his church and creation. To better carry out that task, we want to let you know the state of our parish finances. We face a bigger than anticipated deficit due to a three-fold increase in insurance costs over the past three years, and the significant costs of caring for an older building. Thanks to your generosity, increased fundraising and rental income, and modest reliance on our trust fund accounts, we will be able to cover these expenses and complete the much-needed renovation of the Lower Hall. We give glory to God and are so very grateful for your faithfulness. We approach the new year with hope in God and in his provision for our needs.
We ask you to prayerfully consider your support for St. Mary’s in the coming year. Please view the attached form as an expression of faith in God’s goodness, confident that he will meet all your needs. Saint Paul wrote “The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:5-8).
Our Lord said this: “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke, 6:37-38).
We address these scriptures to recall St. Paul’s words that no one should give under compulsion and to highlight the fact that the regular giving of the first fruits of our labour is a spiritual practice. It is not only – or even primarily – about funding worthy causes but is an act of gratitude, submission and faith. After all, this is God’s house, and unless he builds it our labour – and our donations – are in vain. But God works when we open our hearts to him and recognize that he can multiply our gifts to accomplish his work. And we know he is more than able to provide us abundantly with everything we need.
On a related note, St. Mary’s is turning 110, and on December 16 we will hold an anniversary service to commemorate and celebrate the founding of our parish. Our Lord has brought us this far, working through the faithful and prayerful support of previous generations. We are the inheritors of that labour. Your continued faith makes it possible to plan a future for St. Mary’s. We ask you to step out in faith and make a pledge for 2024 as part of your discipleship journey, by returning the attached form to the parish.
As a community of faith, a family in the Lord, we can accomplish all that is necessary when each one participates. Let’s build on the past 100 years of life together to see that St. Mary’s continues to thrive in the new year and long after. We look forward to walking alongside you in the year to come. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.
With Gratitude for God’s Blessings,
Andrew and John on behalf of St. Mary’s Vestry