Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday 3 February 2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

Many thanks to those of you who have already made a donation or pledge to our Forward in Faith Capital Campaign which will run through the end of 2023 to accomplish two purposes: 1) allow St Mary’s to play our part in the diocesan bi-centennial campaign, and 2) provide us the means to expand and improve our facilities.

During all of 2019, your gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal count towards our part of the diocesan bi-centennial campaign. This means that whatever gift you offer to the BAA in 2019 will go towards our parish target for the diocesan campaign. This combination of the BAA and diocesan capital campaign will last only through 2019, and then beginning in 2020 all gifts to the BAA will remain with the BAA, the fund that makes possible many essential ministries throughout the diocese.

Several people have asked if the illustrated brochure we distributed at the beginning of the campaign contains accurate images of what the church annex and covered walkway beside Gallivan Hall will look like, and the answer is absolutely not. Those thumbnail images were prepared simply to provide a sense of the size and location of what we will build, and as the projects move forward, detailed designs will be developed to harmonize perfectly with the existing architecture on our campus. I give you my word that the final results will only enhance the beauty of our buildings and not diminish them in any way, much as the columbarium stands with dignity and grace next to the church.

For the Bi-Centennial of the Diocese of Charleston we need to raise $1 million, and for our own parish we need to raise $6 million. This means that during the five years of our combined campaign (2019 to 2023), we need to raise a total of $7 million. If every household in the parish participates and observes our longstanding stewardship guidelines, we will make and even exceed that goal, and I ask for the generous support of everyone who calls St Mary’s their spiritual home.

Our stewardship guidelines request that you distribute your tithe in this way: 5% directly to the parish in the primary offertory, 1% directly to the diocese in the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and 4% to other charities of your choice including all second collections and periodic capital campaigns. It is from this discretionary 4% that I ask you to support Forward in Faith over the next five years, and I will be writing soon to those who have not yet made a pledge with a request to do so in the coming weeks. And as always, thank you for your generosity.

Father Newman