E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 9, 2020

Capital Campaign Closing, Prison Pen Pal Ministry, SJE Supporting You and more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 9, 2020 – Available in full online here.

Haga clic aquí para ver el mensaje de esta semana en español de nuestro misionero latino, Luis Valencia. 

From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
Dear *|FNAME|*

If the beginning of this pandemic feels like it was years ago, thinking back to 2017 feels like a lifetime.

But you all did something amazing in 2017. As a church we came together and supported a Capital Campaign called "Stepping into the 21st Century."

The Campaign raised over $300,000 for three goals. We wanted to be more welcoming and added an ADA-accessible family restroom on the upper level. We wanted to transform our space into one that met our 21st century ministry needs. We renovated the Guild Room with new flooring, furniture and audio/visual equipment. We refreshed the parish hall with new flooring, window treatments, and a curtain to improve acoustics. And we invested in new cooking and mechanical systems in our kitchen so that our Loving Spoonfuls meals would be served in a safe and sustainable environment. Finally, we replaced our aging and leaking roof with a new 50-year roof and replaced our aging pneumatic heating system with a modern computer controlled one that has brought greater energy efficiency to our parish.The Campaign website still exists, if you want to poke around more.

Most people who pledged to that Capital Campaign gave their gifts over the course of three years, meaning that those capital campaign gifts are reaching their conclusion this year. I've become so used to our gorgeous and useful Guild Room, to having a more efficient heating system in the winter, to having a roof that's not constantly leaking and shedding shingles… to all of these things that I sometime forget what we did, the changes we made together to our historic space.

But it's important to celebrate these changes and improvements, this gift and legacy we worked together to leave to the next generation of people who will walk into our beloved church.

As the Capital Campaign reaches its conclusion, it is time to finalize financing for the remaining amount of the work done. The Capital Campaign Leadership Team is sending out letters this week to everyone who gave to this Campaign, along with new members to our church since the Campaign who might want to know more. As they note in their letter:
We had some cost overages and some pledge attrition—both of which were anticipated and that we had always known we could roll into our financing from the Episcopal Church Building Fund. The Capital Campaign pledge attrition, though, increased from around 4.5% to over 9% during 2020, as the Coronavirus Pandemic impacted the ability of many SJE members to complete their pledges.

So, before the Vestry engages in the final financing of the remainder due on the Campaign (around $60,000 of the total campaign), we wanted to invite you to consider whether you might give a final extra gift of any amount to the Campaign to lessen the amount of financing load the Building Fund will need to take on.  For example, as all of us make our final gifts toward our pledges in 2020 (with many giving a certain amount over the past three years), perhaps you might consider adding an extra half a year, or even an extra full year, on to your total pledge amount, with the extra gift to be given sometime between now and December 31, 2021.

We know that the Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted everyone’s finances in the parish differently—and that this is part of the reason our total financing gap is somewhat larger than anticipated. With this final gift able to be paid anytime by the end of 2021, we are hoping it will not be an added burden on anyone who chooses to add to their pledge. No matter what, any additional pledges we receive will lower the amount we need to finance and will increase the resources we have available for ministry. We’re hoping to receive notification of any extra gifts no later than Monday, August 24, so that the Vestry meeting that night can finalize plans for whatever financing remains to be done. You can either email the bookkeeper or make a pledge for a gift confidentially online at:
This invitation has already been considered by the Vestry and the Capital Campaign Leadership Team and we are thrilled to tell you that members of those bodies have already committed an additional $11,500 to the Campaign, lowering the total gap to $48,500. 
Bethany and I joined with the Vestry in that additional giving, contributing an extra 2/3 of what we had been giving annually to the Campaign. 

Whether you are new to St. John's or you've been a part of our church for decades, I hope you'll consider making an additional (or first time!) final gift to the Campaign so we can close out this project strong with the least amount of financing necessary. 

But no matter what, I hope you celebrate with me what we did together, bringing our historic space one step closer into a vibrant 21st century place of doing ministry.

Through Grace,

Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, August 9, 2020 online here

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