Thank you to those who have continued to give to the church financially. If you have not done so since Covid 19 began, we encourage you to respond, so that the church will be there for us all when this is ‘over’! To pick up your 2021 church envelopes please call the church office (613-824-2010) or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make arrangements for you to collect them.
Lawn and Property Care
Willing friends needed to cut the grass on the church property. Fresh air, exercise and service to the community! Please volunteer to the church e-mail or to Colin Taylor (at 613-791-2948 or email email@example.com). Thank you to those already hard at work and in the Quiet Garden.
Even with the cuts to the budget this year we are still substantially behind in income. Please consider PAR. A call to the church office (613-824-2010) or an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will facilitate any changes you wish to make. A pamphlet describing this programme and how to increase your gift on a regular basis is available. If you are already on PAR, please raise your monthly amount as you are able.
Sermon on the Amount Chapter 1:1
“Blessed are those who tithe, for they shall understand God’s generosity.”
‘Proof- texting’ the biblical basis for financial support of the church is easy. Not only do the Hebrew scriptures speak eloquently about wealth but Jesus frequently talked about money, including this verse: “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) And we are all familiar with St. Paul’s encouragement to the Christians in Corinth, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing…”(2 Corinthians 9:7f)
The tithe under Mosaic law is specifically mentioned in the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The concept is simple. Give 1/10th of all your wealth to God, first. That simplicity has been challenged as people try to justify their reluctance…Does it mean before or after taxes, net or gross? The answer is ‘yes’. Oh, how we struggle with to whom our money belongs. And many would say that tithing is just the starting point! So perhaps you aren’t quite there yet, even if you add up all of your other charitable donations. God is patient with us in this area of our spiritual life, as well as every other, but the calling to think on these things is always there. Perhaps the following percentage giving chart will help in that regard:
|Annual Income||Monthly Income||3%||4%||5%||10%|
Sermon on the Amount Chapter 2:1
Our church budget is based on several factors: We have ‘given’ expenditures such as staff costs: ECOPS(Equalized Cost of Priestly Services, determined by the Diocese) and our independent contractors including our three music ministry positions, our Audio Visual Specialist and part-time Administrative Assistant. We also have utilities to pay, snow removal, and all of the associated costs around building maintenance(inside and out) and office requirements. As members of the Diocese of Ottawa we are notified of our “Fair Share” on a yearly basis and we budget for our desire to support our ministry and mission as a whole family, under our Strategic Plan(Worship, Discipleship, Stewardship, Outreach and Community). Oh, and we have substantial mortgage payments, reduced, fortunately, for the next five year term 2021-2026)! Each year we plan the expenditures budget based on recent history as well as projections and special projects. We do not have the amount for which we budget; we have to raise it, primarily through our personal weekly or monthly offering to the church. As the year progresses, acknowledging that unexpected expenses surface, we determine the ongoing financial picture and discuss the same at each Parish Council meeting. When necessary we make adjustments, and cut corners, just as each of us does with home finances.
We do not encourage ‘gifts in kind’ for several reasons. Sometimes someone want to give something to the church ‘for free’ but wants a charitable receipt…this negatively affects how “Fair Share’ is calculated. Often a person thinks a gift would be wonderful, even if that opinion is not shared by others, or we have nowhere to store it or the upkeep of the gift will not be managed by the giver but by ‘someone with time’. Sometimes people want to give only to one or two parts of our total mission; let’s face it, paying the hydro bill isn’t particularly spiritually meaningful but if we don’t pay it, other programmes will not be able to function after daylight hours!
Three Kinds of Givers: Someone has said, there are three kinds of givers — the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. To get anything out of a flint you must hammer it. And then you get only chips and sparks. To get water out of a sponge you must squeeze it, and the more you use pressure, the more you will get. But the honeycomb just overflows with its own sweetness. Which kind of giver are you?
Financial Support of the Parish and In Memoriam
St. Helen’s parish life and mission is funded financially primarily through the generosity of our members. There are a variety of options to help you to make this important charitable donation regularly, including PAR (pre-authorized remittance), offering envelopes, Canada Helps, etc. Special gifts are another way to support ministry and provide for needed capital purchases. Throughout the year, flower donations towards Easter and Christmas, and other special occasions, are welcomed and loved ones are remembered in the bulletin, as appropriate. Offerings are also made for the ongoing work of ministry in the parish rather than simply for specific items.
Memorial donations, or ‘Commemorative Gifts’ are often given to the church, to the glory of God and in honour of loved ones. ‘In Memoriam” donations are recorded on our website. “Legacy Gifts” are designations within your legal Will towards St. Helen’s future.
Rental Policy for Trinity Hall and Other Spaces within St. Helen’s
A new rental policy will be drafted post Covid. Please be aware that there are costs involved, which include rental fees, third person liability insurance, ‘key presence’, and professional cleaning costs for all major rental events. The building will not be available for any outside group for regular use on Saturday or Sundays as we need to retain our spaces for ministry and events.
Doors and Security
Please use the front door of the church to enter and exit the building. Do not exit casually out other doors as doing so will compromise security. Henderson is our new security system and the alarm is now in use. If you arrive at the same time as a key holder, please be helpful and try not to distract them from disarming or arming the system: If the system is triggered, the police will arrive and the cost is $140 per false alarm.
Thanks to all our counters who give generously of their time to this ministry. We thank them for their service! There are a few things that we can do to make their job just that much smoother:
If you have an envelope number, please make sure it is written on your envelope. This is especially true of special offering envelopes (ie. Christmas) where there is not always a designated spot to fill in. Please take a moment to write the amount of your donation on the front of your envelopes. If you are donating to a fund other than regular offerings, please indicate it clearly on the envelope. Please double check that the amount you write on the front of the envelope matches the amount of your donation. Many of the new plastic bills ($5s, $10s and $20s) tend to stick together. If you are including a post dated cheque, please mark postdated on your envelope. This includes any cheque dated later than the Sunday it is offered.
Thanks so much for your generosity!
How are You Offering Your Gifts?
All of us have been blessed by God with many gifts and they flourish as they are given away. We already have tools in place for financial gifts through St.Helen’s (offering envelopes, PAR, and gifts), but we have to be bolder offering the gift of ourselves.
Peter+’s Stewardship Homily Notes, Week 1
What does God want most for you? For us? Freedom – to be and to become the people God designed us to be. What is it that most prevents God’s design shining through? Fear – fear of trusting God. We are designed for freedom, not fear. How clearly does God’s design for your life shine through you?
Do you trust God? Do you trust money more? We need to become aware of how much we trust money to rescue us. Our addiction to money threatens our whole life.(Canadians spend an average of 140% of their income.) …
Pray your bank statement and ask God to speak to you through it. Where is God’s freedom being offered? What strikes you most about your finances?
We are journeying into God’s freedom…growing into God’s future.
Peter+’s Stewardship Homily Notes, Week 2
God’s love for us is amazing, and everything we do either reflects that love, and God shines through us, or tarnishes that love, and we are diminished.
For most people, money is the last barrier between the heart and God.
In which direction does your money flow? Inward or outward? Where is the balance for you?
God’s recipe for financial health:
- Live within your means
- Keep good records
- Plan your spending
- Return 10% to God
- Enjoy your freedom from fear.
Tools at St. Helen’s: envelopes, Pre Authorized Remittance, wills, capital campaign, life insurance, gift annuities, etc.
Generous financial stewardship not only frees us, it also works wonders for the Kingdom of God!
Next steps for me? Start giving a little more than you think you can afford (If your giving makes no difference in your life, then it is too little!).
‘Grateful’ and ‘unhappy’ are mutually exclusive.
We are called to mirror God’s grace and generosity to us.
How Much Should You Give?
Wonder how much you should be giving to the ministry of your church? Do you give $100 a month or $1200 a year? If you are giving $100 a month and your income is $1000 a month ($12,000. a year), then you are tithing at 10%. “Well done, good and faithful servant.” If you are giving $100 a month and your income is $3000 a month ($36,000. a year) then you are giving 3.3%. “Good”. If you are giving $100 a month and your income is $5000 a month ($60, 000 a year) then you are giving 2 %. “Well, then…” Next month…Do you give $100 a week?