Over the past several weeks we have heard parables from the Gospel of Matthew with many messages and morals encouraging the original hearers, and us, to care for the kingdom of life and faith that God has entrusted to us. Jesus presents the kingdom as a vineyard and a banquet – just to name two. These images have challenged us to respond to what God has given us. We must put our faith into action, not just come to the banquet – grow the grapes, till the soil, bottle and serve the wine – not just drink or consume it.
Holy Family is like that vineyard. In order to not only continue, but to strengthen and animate the ambitious mission that we carry out, we must increase our regular weekly revenue.
As a Holy Family we have been very generous for special requests such as Lenten Social Justice Projects that have greatly assisted parishes in Kentucky, Minnesota and Cuba. We have also supported local social service agencies such as PADS.
I can’t think of anything more compelling than the REGULAR support of OUR Adult Faith, Teen Faith, Family Faith, Human Concerns, Operations, Music and Technology and Worship major ministering communities. As I hope you know, Holy Family Catholic Academy is also one of our major ministering communities, uniquely and powerfully carrying out our mission but, unlike almost every other parish with a school, our parish does NOT subsidize our Academy with cash. Generous donors, some Gala proceeds and higher than normal tuition, maintain the Academy’s financial position, which is strong.
Our parish financial position is stable but we continue to borrow from our savings. Some good news is that our weekly collection revenue is up slightly for the first time since 2014. This is largely due to the increase in electronic giving that stabilizes and strengthens our revenue stream, but we also continue to cut expenses to meet our budget. These cuts have come mostly in the area of administration, but further cuts could come in programs, ministries and services that would lessen our ambitious mission, if we don’t increase weekly collections.
Caring for and growing our current ministries and mission has gained us national attention as we were featured in Bill Simon’s book “Great Catholic Parishes” this year, and his article in the Wall Street Journal. He acknowledged us as a leader in shared leadership, great liturgy, spiritual maturity and discipleship and evangelization. But we must continue to grow, continue to make even better wine in the vineyard of Holy Family and commit ourselves even more deeply to our mission.
Please be attentive to the annual report that will be disseminated along with our presentation this weekend. It shares so much good news of how we minister and who we engage.
As you probably know, we have completed two major capital improvement projects for portions of our roof and siding recently, but we are preparing for a third. I also hope that you have appreciated the more noticeable technology improvements to our screens in church and our sound system. These are examples of our stewardship at work. I was once again reminded of how unique these are to the spirit of Holy Family as so many of my family and friends who visited for my mom’s wake and funeral were absolutely blown away by the unique liturgical energy and presentation that Holy Family prayerfully carries out on a regular basis. I know it also doesn’t surprise you that these technologies – like your own personal devices – require sometimes costly upgrading.
We have a core of very generous donors but if “We are in this together,” EVERY one of us must contribute. To demonstrate that we are in this together, I am asking each of you to increase your weekly giving by the cost of a Starbucks coffee. A $5 increase from EACH of you would get us to where we want to be. If you don’t go to Starbucks, this might be the cost of two Dunkin’ Donuts coffees.
We are ALL stewards of our mission. Let’s ALL make an increase so we can ALL benefit and also increase our service to one another and to many beyond Holy Family.
We are in this together! And THIS is the financial stability of our community. I am asking all of you to help strengthen our mission. If you can give more or have planned to give more than an additional $5 – GREAT! But please give at least…One coffee more…One Starbucks more.
Unlike other years, you will see a Starbucks coffee cup in various places – the bulletin, on various screens on a regular basis to remind us all of the simple, small increase from ALL of us to make Holy Family even holier. God will thank you as you respond. I am thanking you in advance.
The important, ambitious mission of our community moving forward depends on our generosity – the regular generosity of ALL of us – because, “We are in this together!! And THIS is increasing our financial commitment just a little, just a cup more.