Thanksgiving Letter 2015
Please read this letter the entire way through.
Dear friend in Christ,
If you are receiving this letter it is because you consider the Anglican Parish of the Nerepis & St. John your home church. We ask you to read this letter prayerfully. Thanksgiving is upon us. This is an opportunity to slow down for a minute and “count our blessings”. Hopefully, as you recall them, your church family is on that list. As we remember our blessings, our mind is ultimately lifted to the giver of all good gifts. As Christians, our thanks is expressed as worship to God. In fact, the word we call the Lord’s Supper, “Eucharist”, means thanksgiving. One of the ways God calls us to express our thanks to him is through our regular and rhythmic offerings. Giving a regular portion of our income as a thankful act of worship anchors us in our faith and hope in the grace of Jesus Christ. This practice is confirmed throughout Holy Scripture (Leviticus 7:37, Malachi 3:10, Luke 21:1-4, etc). Your offerings are also essential to the work of ministry in our parish. Please see the attached pamphlet: “Where does all the money go?”. This year we have seen a significant decline in regular offerings due to multiple Sunday snowstorms and inconsistent giving.
Allow us to share with you a few facts that will help shed light on our current financial climate:
The avg. weekly income required to operate our parish this year is $6 575
The avg. weekly income this year to date is $4 869
The avg. monthly heating bill is $2 761
The number of parishioners who give offerings through e-offerings is 59
The number of identifiable givers in the parish is 156
The approximate number of people/families on our parish list is 300.
As you can see, bringing our weekly offerings to a healthy place is not beyond reach. Committing to giving a weekly offering be it 5%, 7% or a traditional tithe of 10% will accomplish two things. First, it will help you grow closer to God as it is a core means of worshipping Him, second, it will ensure that our parish can continue in ministry and serving the needs of the greater community. This is important to understand as we will not be able to continue on our present trajectory unless there is an increase in proportional giving in our church family.
In light of this, here is what we, the parish executive, are asking:
1. Please give your offerings in a weekly rhythm.
2. Prayerfully consider how much God is asking that to be as a proportion of your family income.
With this serious request in mind, we want to thank those who have been giving regularly and consistently. Without you we would not be able to serve our community effectively. We also want you to be aware that you are not locked into the amount you prayerfully decide to give. If your circumstances change or you feel that the amount you are to give changes, that is okay. If you feel that you are unable to make any change to the amount that you are able to give for an offering, then we would ask that you take your total offerings from last year, divide that amount by 52, and begin giving that on a weekly basis. Also, we are pleased to announce there are now a number of convenient ways you are now able to give your offerings: 1. envelopes, 2. e-offering (see attached form), and 3. PayPal option is now available on our parish website (www.rezway.ca).
This letter is not meant to shock or intimidate you. We as the executive of the parish simply feel it is important for each member to understand our current financial situation and invite each of us to worship God in thanksgiving as He provides for us.
We pray this thanksgiving season is one of recognized blessings and eternal hope,
Yours in Christ,
The Executive of the Parish of the Nerepis & St. John
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All message sent through this contact form will go directly to Rev. Michael Caines