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How Are You Connected To St. Paul’s?

Each year for at least a decade, Congregation Council has developed a budget aimed at bringing God’s message in a lively, engaging way; engaging with our external communities – locally and globally – in a way that reflects Christian compassion and commitment; and operating and maintaining our sanctuary and other property which reflects the gifts of prior generations of St. Paul’s members.

Each of those years that budget has been balanced by the hope that contributions from members (including withdrawal annually of 7% of the balance of the endowment fund) would match current year expenses.

Each of those years we have ended the year with an operating deficit as contributed income has fallen short with the difference made up by a further withdrawal from the endowment fund.

This year we are headed in the same direction as the last ten but whether the result is the same still rests with all of us as members of St. Paul’s.

The following table/graph shows contribution patterns for 2013 but is substantially identical to the pattern that has prevailed over the past ten years.  The weekly range is total giving unit (think envelopes) contributions divided by 52 Sundays in 2013.  The number is the number of giving units with contributions in that weekly range and the percentage is the percentage of church membership falling in that weekly range.

Weekly Giving

0

$.01-$10

$10.01-$25

$25.01-$100

Over $100

 

Families

62

78

49

63

23

Percentage

23%

28%

18%

23%

8%

 

 

 

Quick observations – nearly one-quarter of St. Paul’s members are not making a financial contribution to the congregation; another quarter are contributing $10 or less each week.

We all make decisions – big and little – over how we spend our money.  The pattern described above will change if we reconsider our own priorities in joyful response to what God has given to us.  An order of French fries is the difference between column one and column two; a change in terms of your internet provider package could be the difference between column two and three; foregoing one dinner out might be the difference between columns three and four.

We can change the pattern of giving at St. Paul’s if we step back and give careful, prayerful thought to how we respond to what God has brought into our lives.

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