Stewardship Letter – November 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings to you in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord and our Savior!
Each year in November, St. Paul’s lifts up the subject of Christian stewardship. We do this in order to encourage good stewardship decisions by our individual members and to execute good stewardship in our common life together as a congregation.
As a means of encouraging you in your personal stewardship, we are simply asking that you (continue to) set aside a portion of your time and income for God’s work through the church. Such giving is pleasing to God and beneficial for all. Moreover, such giving moves us to develop habits of charity and good planning – which not only serve us well but also our neighbor.
For your giving to St. Paul’s, we ask that you consider filling out and returning the enclosed My Christian Stewardship 2022 form included in this mailing. You will see that we have kept the simplicity of the shorter form used last year and thus have not listed all of our volunteer needs. But please know that there are several positions on our Boards that need to be filled, as well as other ‘time and talent’ needs as we work our way back to resuming more activities. Please reach out to Pastor Mark if you have questions or if you have further interest in serving in a specific way. St. Paul’s relies on both its volunteers and its offerings. Together we can continue to care for one another, minister to our community and reach out with the Gospel. Further teaching and encouragement on our personal stewardship will come from this month’s sermons under the theme: Providing for our Doorkeeper (Mark 13:34).
Regarding the stewardship of our life together at St. Paul’s, next year’s budget is currently being formed and volunteer leaders are being sought. The commitments you indicate on the My Christian Stewardship form will help us with these efforts. A proposed budget and ballot of leaders will be put forward and voted upon at a December Voter’s Meeting (time, date and location TBD). The Church Council is leading us in these tasks, but we welcome your input too.
Also, as you think about your participation with us in the coming year, we thought it might be helpful for you to know the following updates regarding the condition and needs of our congregation.
- Despite the challenges of the pandemic, members have continued to give generously. Through September of this year, regular contributions are in line with the same periods in 2020 and 2019. The Church continues to meet its obligations and carry out its work. Thank you to all who are contributing! God be praised!
- The church has had a number of unexpected expenses this year – tree work, organ repair, water damage, phone system replacement, HVAC work – that has stretched our budget and cut into our savings. It seems that we will be able to absorb them all at this point. But if we need to make a special ask to help, we will do so.
- Paul’s continues to make its mortgage payments ($8k/month) on the 2012 construction through a separate Building Fund. We still have $70k in this Fund from our most recent campaign that is helping with these payments. However, at current giving levels, the Fund will run out sometime in the coming year. To remedy this, the Council discussed initiating a new campaign, but thought that we should first simply ask all members to consider giving toward this Fund as part of their regular stewardship. Therefore, we ask that you also please consider adding or continuing gifts to our Building Fund through designated checks (using Building Fund envelopes if you can) or the online donation portal (Building Fund line) on our website.
- As most of you know, the church has been trying to sell a portion of its property to eliminate the remaining mortgage and fund new projects. At this time, new options for the sale are being considered and a sale is not imminent. The Land Sale committee has recently ordered an appraisal of the property to help guide its next steps.
Over the years we have found it helpful to target one Sunday as the day to return our forms and celebrate God’s provision. This year, that date is November 21st. Upon prayerfully considering and estimating your giving for the coming year, we ask that you return this form to the church on or around that day, which we are once again calling Commitment Sunday. You may bring it in person to a worship service, drop it off in the office, or send it via mail or email to the attention of our Business Manager, John Bean (firstname.lastname@example.org).
On behalf of the entire congregation, we thank you for your partnership with us in the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ through St. Paul’s. Together we are proclaiming the Gospel and mutually serving one another through faith – all as part of the body of Christ.
May God bless us in our stewardship of His gifts and our life together in His service.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Mark Shaltanis and the Board of Stewardship
My Christian Stewardship 2022
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
Falls Church, Virginia
Christian Stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God and God’s family, the Church, in managing all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes.
In response to the great love God has shown me through the message and ministry of his Son Jesus, and with joyful anticipation of God’s continued provision in my life, I make it my goal for the coming year to give:
– My time and attention to the hearing of God’s Word at St. Paul’s
– My prayers to God for the furthering of His work in the world
– A portion of my income for His work through St. Paul’s (amounting to _________________ per month)
****** The above portion will be separated and seen by our Business Manager only ******
– A portion of my time for His work through St. Paul’s (in the following ways___________________________________________________________)
– My service of help, care and prayer in mission to my neighbors
Your name: ___________________________________
You may return this form in person when you are at the Church, send it to the office by mail, or simply attach it to a reply to this email. You may also send a reply by email or snail mail without using the form. Emails should go to: Businessmanager@stpaulsfallschurch.org.