Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Rector's Rambling - October 14, 2012 - Stewardship Funding


As we continue contemplating Stewardship at St. John’s, a question arises, “what sources of income fund the budget at St. John’s?”
We have a contract with Olympia Holdings which operates our parking lot for events such as the Tigers and Lions games, the Fox Theatre shows, and other downtown events.  This accounts for a little over 27.5% of budgeted income.  Rental of the building, dedicated gifts, fundraising, and monies donated for outside use constitute about 9% of income.  Use of the endowment accounts for about 10% of the budget. 
The majority of the income for the parish comes from YOU, the good people of St. John’s.   For 2012 we have $240,000 budgeted for Pledge and Plate, and $25,000 for special appeal gifts.  For your giving we are grateful.
We are certainly blessed to have the parking income, which fluctuates from year to year based on what is scheduled or comes to the area, such as playoff games.  And we have come to a point of necessity that we have to let the endowment rebuild by not taking any income or principle from it for the coming year or more.  The biblical principle of allowing a field to sit fallow in order to be replenished (Exodus 23:11) is the principle applied here.
Two of the ways that we need to look to increase income in the coming year(s) include fundraising and giving.  Fundraising would be targeted at those outside of the parish.  A ride carnival is being discussed.  We could use more ideas and volunteers to lead the efforts.
But increases in giving, from those already in the parish (increasing toward the biblical principle of a tithe), and adding new members who will contribute to the income of the parish, are both going to be necessary for the financial health of the parish for the coming years.