In our ongoing effort to be upfront and transparent with the parish about our financial issues, we are making an appeal this Thanksgiving season to raise approximately $6000 to offset our deficit. We are currently down on budgeted offerings for this amount.
The truth is that most parish churches no longer can sustain their monthly budgets with Sunday offerings alone, and we are certainly finding that to be true at Ascension. In response, along with cutting costs where we can, our Incumbent is working fewer hours (a decision made in mutual agreement between Ruthanne and the Wardens), and we are attempting to use our facility more for rentals. These measures, along with our fund-raising endeavours like the British Tea and Christmas Bazaar certainly help us move towards a balanced budget, but we are not there yet. Our finance committee meets regularly to discuss the financial situation and to then communicate with you, the parish, our current reality.
But we don't want this to be just about money. We live in the same world as you where everyone seems to be asking for more money, prices are going up and our own resources not necessarily growing at the same rate, if at all. So we want to also encourage all of us to practice the spirituality of gratitude so that our offerings - whatever they might be (volunteer time, money, church supplies) come as an expression of our own gratitude for what the community of Ascension means to us and for the ways in which God is at work in our lives and in our community.
Thanksgiving is a time just for that - giving thanks!
We are invited to express our gratitude in a number of ways. This year we invite you into the spiritual practice of gratitude - in whatever way you are able. First we invite you to think about the ways in which this community has stirred up gratefulness in your heart. Even in the face of difficulties and challenges, there are moments of grace that sustain us. Perhaps it was a friend who reached out to help you this year. Perhaps it was the blessing of a choir anthem or prayer on a particular Sunday.
You will be invited on Sunday's October 6th and 13th to write out on a sticky note something you are grateful for and to post it on our Thanksgiving Tree that will be on the bulletin board by the kitchen.
There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy — Ralph H. Blum
You are encouraged to say a word of thanks to someone you might not usually think of.
And, you are also being invited to express your gratitude by contributing to this stewardship campaign as you are able so that we can offset our deficit as best we can.
With our gratitude for your on-going and varied contributions to this community,
The Wardens, The Finance Committee & The Rev. Ruthanne Ward