Reconnect, Reimagine, & Rebuild
In 2021, our rhythm of life continued to shift. The covid-19 pandemic has interrupted each of our lives in very real, powerful, and often painful ways. It is with that knowledge that we enter again into this time of more in-depth stewardship discussion.
In 2022, we look to Reconnect, Reimagine, & Rebuild. After almost two years of disrupted operation, we face major shifts in the Church and shifting ideas about how we can best be a community of believers in Jesus Christ. This makes our theme of Reconnect, Reimagine, & Rebuild all the more timely, as we continue to face very real pressures as a congregation and as a people. It is in this reimagining of who we are and can be, in the act of reconnecting with each other, especially those who have often been on the outside as the Church has had to move to so many digital options these last two years, and rebuilding not what once was, but a firmer foundation on Jesus Christ and community in His name, that we are called to live and move in the coming months and years as St. Stephen’s.
When we came into 2021, our budget was met by carrying over a balance from 2020. Without the continued generosity of the congregation, and those giving from afar, along with the breaks received in our assessment to the diocese, we would likely not have had the funds to carry through 2021. So, we must acknowledge that we cannot rely on balances rolling over or count on similar relief for 2022. Our preliminary 2022 budget, shows an operating deficit of roughly $24,000, which is considerably larger than any rollover we can expect.
This, along with the very real needs of maintenance and work to both of the physical structures on campus, the church and the rectory, mean that many things that have been deferred as we make a budget work require more attention, and the Vestry, Wardens, Finance Committee, and I are all working to creatively move us forward.
Reconnect—We are working to reach those with whom we have lost touch, or who have chosen to continue to be at home, and welcome all those seeking a spiritual home. We are also discussing what community and fellowship events each of us can take on to bring us back more fully into each other’s lives.
Reimagine—We are looking at the ways St. Stephen’s can change to fit this current moment and continue to be the spiritual and community home we love.
Rebuild—The work to rebuild our beloved programs and traditions as we look beyond the current pandemic is underway, along with how we can best rebuild physically at St. Stephen’s, so we are more prepared to be the center of worship and community we want to be.
I invite you, as always, to reflect either solely or as a family on how you can continue to show this gracious love in the world through your giving to St. Stephen’s, as well as on the plans above. If you can give at the same level as this year, or to increase your pledge, it is perhaps more vital than ever that you do so. If you are willing to write grants, for which we are once again eligible due to our work to clear financial obligations to the diocese, let us know. Know that no matter what you pledge for the coming year, you are a beloved member of our community.
Many of the different ways you can be involved in the life and leadership of St. Stephen’s are highlighted on the below pledge form. If you are interested in any of these areas, please mark them so we can reach out. Working together, we can Reconnect, Reimagine, & Rebuild.
If you have questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 12 and join us at an open parish discussion on November 14, 2021 at 9:40 am. We will do a physical and digital ingathering of these pledge cards on Christ the King Sunday, November 21, 2021. You are invited to send them in early to be included at this time if you are unable to be present.