Financial Update from the Wardens

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In early August, we reported to you on the financial health of St. Paul’s and let you know that with the help of government relief through the Payroll Protection Act, through the benefit of volunteer efforts that resulted in cost savings, and with giving projections that remained on track at the time, St. Paul’s was in decent shape financially.

We now find ourselves in early November, all of us with three more months of experience with an unpredictable and harsh pandemic. And our finances are showing the wear and tear, particularly in our giving projections for the remainder of the year—a season that in normal times would mean a church overflowing with people, with joy, and with abundance.

We know that the challenges and the losses have been difficult. If there ever was a time when we needed an Advent where we could come together at St. Paul’s, in church, in the Parish Hall, at Chittim-Howell house, on the grounds—it would be now. We would sing joyfully, pray reflectively, cry with each other about the losses of the past year, and smile and laugh about the bright spots. As the pandemic drones on, however, so does our physical distancing.

So, what shall we do? St. Paul’s clergy and staff have planned some innovative, wonderful ways to celebrate the Advent and Christmas seasons and you’ll hear more about that soon. We will sing, pray, laugh and cry. We’ll still be there for each other because God remains here with us and so that’s what we do in response and gratitude. We will decorate and celebrate and be ever more reminded of the true meaning of Christ’s birth—even if it’s at a distance or over the internet or only partially gathered. And we’ll give. We’ll give whatever we can, even in the smallest of ways from the biggest of hearts. Maybe it’s a donation for the auction. Maybe it’s a bid on an auction item. Maybe it’s an extra monetary offering if you can manage it. We’ve said this before—every little bit helps, and we’re grateful for all of it.

St. Paul’s Budget Committee soon will convene to review the past year and start to plan for 2021. The vestry will focus its November meeting on the financial health of the parish. We have managed to avoid any truly difficult decisions regarding our ongoing operations so far. We hope and pray that can continue to be the case and will share the details with you at the parish annual meeting on January 10. In the meantime, we thank you for your generous hearts. We trust in the abundance of God.

As always, please be in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.

With gratitude,

Terri Polley and Anne Watkins, Co-wardens, on behalf of the St. Paul’s Vestry

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