2013 Stewardship Campaign: Giving Strength Through Faith
Fall brings a time to reflect on the past year and prepare for the future. With each challenge we face and every success we celebrate, we know it is your support and commitment that enable our church to fulfill its mission.
We now consider the life of the church, its service to you on your spiritual journey, its mission of serving those in need in our community, and the resources needed to support the great work of The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (NYAPC).
As we discussed this coming year, the image of a stool kept coming to mind. I take a stool with me when Frances and I go on our vacations in the mountains. I take that stool to a peaceful spot and sit and pray. How dependent I am on each leg for holding me while I listen for God's Word!
In like manner, Jesus shared with us the pillars we need to have a loving relationship with God. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."
Like the legs of the stool, your heart, soul, mind, and strength must work together in an integrated manner in your faith journey. Each is equally important in your relationship with God and others. Your prayers, worship, service to others, and how you use your resources are all a part of that journey. We ask that in this stewardship season you are mindful that your financial commitment to the work of our church is not simply an investment in the church, but is, in fact, an investment in your relationship with God.
As we begin the stewardship season, there is an exciting, renewed energy in our church community. We are in the midst of developing a five-year plan that focuses on NY APC's physical, financial, technological, and strategic priorities. Several working groups are examining the best way for our church to move forward successfully. Many thanks to the Trustees who are studying the building energy systems and the exterior of the church. Thanks to generous estate gifts, we are able to hire professionals to complete strategic assessments. The technology working group, too, is diligently researching our current IT systems and making recommendations to be more effective and efficient in this area.
The goal of the stewardship campaign this year is $800,000. This is a 20 percent increase from last year.
Why are we asking for such an increase? There are four primary reasons:
1. To fully fund the operations of the church without depending on NYAPC's reserve funds.
2. To support the growing needs of our community through our numerous ministries.
3. To address the issues of a church building that is more than 60 years old.
4. To compensate the church staff to assume new duties to enhance our outreach efforts and assist our members in their spiritual needs.
We know that our staff manages the day-to-day operations of the church. Additionally, they do a tremendous job meeting the needs of the many who come to us looking for assistance, such as those seeking help from the Benevolence Fund. We are so fortunate to have Rev. Linda LeSourd Lader join us in a part-time pastoral position and to have Angela Armstrong become part of our team as our new Church Financial Officer.
We continue to struggle each year with a shortfall in our expenses that is covered by spending money from our reserves. As we all know too well, this approach is not a long-term solution as eventually we will deplete our funds for the future.
We respectfully ask that you reflect on your faith journey and how your heart, soul, mind, and strength are integrated in your relationship with God. We ask that you prayerfully consider making a 20 percent increase in your annual giving to support the critical work of our church.
Rev. Roger J. Gench
P.S. There are several ways to pledge. You may return the pledge card you have received via mail or found in the pews of the sanctuary in the offering plate, or mail it to the attention of Angela Armstrong (1313 New York Ave., NW; Washington, DC 20005). You may also complete the e-pledge form at www.nyapc.org/annual-stewardship and/or email Angela (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call her directly at 202.393.3700.