Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2Corinthians 9:7)
March 26, 2020
Dear fellow parishioners:
As wardens of St. Michael the Archangel we are entrusted with the task of managing the finances of our church. The viability of our church is based on your faithful giving on a weekly or monthly basis. Presently we are totally dependent on donations made via collection plates at our services. If the present state of affairs continues for a long period, this will no longer be a viable option.
At our last Vestry we addressed the state of our finances. We have been struggling to stay afloat. Our monthly giving has been declining, and as such, we often have difficulty meeting our financial obligations. Like most churches, we have seen a decline in our membership over the years. We recognize also that many of our parishioners are pensioners on a fixed income, and some are ill. We are grateful to those of you who have been giving consistently over the years to allow us to continue worshipping at St. Michael the Archangel.
As Christians, we are challenged by the New Testament guidelines which describe giving as “proportionate to one’s income, and is consistent, sacrificial and joyful.” We need to make giving regular, reliable and real. If you are being introduced to proportionate giving for the first time, consider donating one hour’s pay per week to church and a similar amount to charity. Those who are retired are encouraged to consider giving an equivalent amount (2.5%) from their retirement income. Of course these are simply guidelines, and each one of us will give according to our individual financial circumstances.
The recent Covid 19 pandemic has made us aware of the need to consider more reliable ways of giving so that the ministry of our church continues when we are not present in the building. This is therefore an opportune time for us to introduce alternative ways of giving. We would like to propose two options for you to consider: regular or one time online donations through a secure web site using your credit card or Paypal account, and Pre Authorized Remittance (PAR) through your bank. Both of these methods will allow us to continue receiving your donations when you are away on vacation, or in an emergency situation such as this one.
By making a monthly gift to the church through our bank account or online, we demonstrate the important role the church plays in our lives and the value we place on ensuring that the ministry needs of the church are met. The fellowship provided through our church service, Bible studies, after church discussions, music programs, fundraising and hospitality events, committee meetings and other activities is significant for each of us, and one that we would like to maintain.
As such we are asking that you prayerfully consider your current giving, and if possible, consider increasing the amount that you give by choosing to use one of the methods outlined above. We are currently in the process of setting these up for our church, and as soon as these alternative methods are up and rolling, we will provide you with further information as to how to access them. For now, please send your offering by mail or drop it off at the church each Thursday.
We thank you for your continued financial support of our church as we navigate these uncertain times. In the meantime, please stay safe and continue to follow the advice of our medical professionals and leaders with regards to the Covid 19 virus. We are looking forward to being able to come together to worship as soon as this crisis is over.
John Brathwaite, Priest’s Warden, Denise Phillips (People’s Warden)
Carl Hicks (Deputy Priest’s Warden) Joan Cardozo (Deputy People’s Warden)