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

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Where does it come from, where does it go? - Rector's Rambling for October 30, 2016

As we continue our yearly Stewardship Drive, I frequently get asked some questions: how are we doing, and where does the money come from/go?
First of all, as of the end of September, with 75% of the year completed, we find ourselves in a good position.  Compared to the 75% mark, our pledge income is at nearly 76%.  Generally we are behind at this point, still playing catch up from the summer slow down.  But we have managed to keep up throughout the year, and for that I am thankful.  Combining the pledge income with other income (lease payments, building use, occasional gifts, etc.) we find ourselves at 89.7% of our expected budgeted income.  Thank you all for your faithfulness and generosity.  On the spending (expenses side) we have continued to be cautious and prudent, and are only at 65% of the expected expense compared to the 75% mark.  In the summer expenses also decrease, but we will most likely catch up as we do things like turn on the furnace for the fall and winter.
In round numbers for 2016 we have budgeted for salaries, taxes, insurance, etc. for 24 employees or subcontractors approximately 63% of the budget.  Support and supplies such as copier lease, postage, regular maintenance of the facility, and utilities comes to about 23% of the budget.  Our outreach budget to Malawi, the diocese, and our new Outreach Ministry partnerships, totals just about 14% of the total budget for 2016.
Our three primary sources of income are pledges and donations (by parishioners, friends and visitors), income from special events and donations for building use by various groups, and a portion of the lease payment for the use of our property to be developed in the near future.  After over 80 years of having to do so, we have not used income or principle from our endowments in over 6 years.
As I mentioned last week, God doesn’t need your money.  The parish needs it to fund its work of ministry.  But more importantly, you need to give it to reinforce lessons in gratitude and trust.