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StChris Vision Stewardship 2010

December 2009

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St. Christopher’s is fast approaching our 50th Anniversary of life and ministry on Key Biscayne. St. Christopher’s began in a humble building near the Crandon Fire Station. Now it is located in a beautiful complex of buildings which is our spiritual home and home to our largest mission our Episcopal Montessori School.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also . . .” Matthew 6:21

Vision to Ministry How we spend our $$ St. Christopher’s is blessed to have the Montessori school as its largest ministry. The church and school share common expenses in addition to buildings: utilities, administrative and cleaning staff, maintenance, vendors, insurance costs and more. The school and church are highly intertwined as a single parish. We share church services and social activities as well as membership, with church members sending children to the school, school parents and teachers becoming church members, and the two entities together presenting the single face of our Christian presence in the community. In these anxious times, the confident presence of faithful Christianity is more important than ever. As we hold out the light of the Gospel and Holy Eucharist on Sunday mornings, the peace of healing and the joy of children’s chapel on Wednesdays, and the deep spirituality of Taizé and the easy fel-

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lowship of the ¡Celebration! services on Sunday evenings, we express to the world and the community that Christ is with us, his peace protecting and nourishing us. Worship, which encompasses the sacraments, music, all the liturgical arts, and a structured fellowship, is the core of our church DNA. This is the central mission of our church: to witness our faith through worship, to share it through hospitality and evangelism, and to live it through our demeanor to each other and throughout the community. One part of living our faith is expressed through outreach—charity and ministering to others. In this church the rector and vestry two decades ago began the practice of “tithing” 10 percent of the church’s pledge revenue to outreach activities, and that practice came to be called aptly Faith at Work. The tithing principle provides an example to the membership: As they tithe to

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St. Christopher’s provides various worship and learning opportunities throughout the year. From Sunday morning service and Sunday School to Wednesday Chapel and Noon Healing service, there is a time and place for all to connect with God in meaningful ways. The Taizé service with beautiful music and prayer in a candle lit setting, and the ¡Celebration! Service with more contemporary music designed for younger families, are held monthly. St. Christopher’s is available to members of its community pastorally, for baptisms, weddings, and funerals, as well as for visitation at the request of members during illness or hospitalization. Pastoral care also takes place confidentially for counseling and support for relationships. St. Christopher’s offers hospitality following services and times to just get together and have fun. In the past year we have had a church picnic on a yacht, an old fashioned square dance, and a sock hop. We are looking forward to other social occasions in the future. St. Christopher’s mission and ministry touches lives, funding outreach through the larger Diocesan Assessment and through Faith at Work which helps fund other organizations to reach out to the homeless, the impoverished, and those involved in Christian work in various parts of the larger world. These things mentioned in this publication provide some of the basis for St. Christopher’s, but there is much more. Our church quietly offers a place for Boy and Girl Scouts to meet and AA to help support those having problems with alcohol or drugs. Less quietly, St. Christopher’s is partnering with Seraphic Fire to bring the best in music arts to the island.

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the church, the church can tithe to the needy. The more generous we are to St. Christopher’s with our treasure, the more generous St. Christopher’s can be in providing financial assistance to other ministries such as the New Life Family Center (Catholic Charities), the Homeless Assistance Center (Community Partnership for Homeless), Food for the Poor and many other of our favorite beneficiaries. Tithing members beget the church’s tithe. In summary, the first responsibility of the church is worship, followed by evangelism, of which hospitality is a

Stewards of God’s Gifts While St. Christopher’s is near the median size for Episcopal Churches, we are a church with 169 members, many of whom travel extensively or are part-time residents. Our Average Sunday attendance for all services was 69 last year. In 2008 we had 56 pledging units committing $198,735. Currently we have 53 pledging units committing $156,000 to the mission and ministry of our church, a drop of $42,735! Death, people moving, loss

Stewardship is the Work of the Church By the Rev. C.W. Taylor, D. Min. Stewardship is more than church support; it is the use of “the gifts given to us to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world.” Therefore, the way we use or do not use resources to further unity and reconciliation in our homes, our communities, and our occupations is our stewardship. Yet stewardship is not less than church support. Our worshiping, working, praying, and giving within the Church provide the support that we and others need to engage in the often difficult and lonely tasks of proclaiming the good news, loving our neighbors, and striving for justice and peace.

key element in the Episcopal tradition. Christian Education for children and adults closely follows worship because it brings newcomers into the main body of the church at the front end and move members into a fuller discipleship at the core. We focus first on worship, fellowship and Christian education, which strengthens our ability to reach outside to minister to financial needs of others.

Stewardship: Time, talent, and treasure, from every one of us. Yours in Christ, Father Burt

All of these elements require the fullness of of equity, unemployment and more has impacted giving to St. Christopher’s. Like most churches, we are struggling to survive in these difficult economic times. St. Christopher’s vestry along with the superb leadership of Meg Holderman, our Treasurer, have responsively addressed our finances, and have approved a budget for the coming year. It is optimistic on the revenue side and frugal on the expenditure side.

of $225,000 we can meet fixed expenses and continue our significant and important outreach ministries. If the pledge base does not come close to the amount needed, our ability to fund outreach is diminished. The church requires a strong foundation in order to serve better the community and the world. With your help and commitment the church can proudly continue its mission and ministry on a firm foundation.

The budget for our coming year hinges on the revenue side. With a pledge base Thus, stewardship is a thankful response to God’s graciousness to us. As such, it is an opportunity to praise God with our lives in thanksgiving: For the blessings of creation; For the birth, life, teaching, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and our redemption; For the gift of the Spirit; For the word, sacraments and fellowship that sustain and transform us as the Church. Stewardship is an adventure, an expedition into the kingdom where we find our lives through losing them for the sake of the gospel. It is an invitation to offer our gifts for the purpose for which we were created - the only purpose that will fulfill us. It is a challenge to refocus our lives by designing our budgets around tithing. It offers us a way to begin

breaking the bonds of consumption that involve us, often unwittingly, in perpetuating injustice and oppression. All of God’s people, within and without the Church, can learn that to be held accountable for our lives as stewards of God’s gifts is to discover our own true great worth before God. We believe that discovery, too, is a gift, a gift that brings unspeakable joy. The main work of the Church is to bring its people, and through them all people, to this joyful knowledge, which will “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” adopted and affirmed by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Detroit, July 1988 (resolution A-163). The General Convention calls upon the stewardship committee or commission of each diocese to publish this statement with an invitation for study and discussion at the local church level.

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Good Stewardship How St. Christopher’s Membership contributed in 2009 Stewardship includes our time, talent, and treasure - the most important resources we have in life. God, who has given us life, does not demand that we give back a tithe, but that is a worthy goal to work toward, in thanksgiving for all the blessings we have been given by God. In the Old Testament, a tithe was mandatory, ten percent of all the first fruits, grains, animals, etc. were to be given to God. Today we don’t speak much about Biblical standards of a tithe. We embrace a theology that acknowledges God as the giver of life, in which we fully live into our baptismal promise, acknowledging that what we have is not only ours,

it is God’s for we live in God. The goal of all Christians is to give proportionally of our time, talent, and treasure. Working toward that goal is appropriate and spiritually helpful. If you are new to the idea of proportional giving, try using the national average of 2.6% of your income and increase it a little more each year. As you consider a pledge to the church, consider the proportion of money you spend on clubs, organizations, vacation, travel, and more. Jesus encourages us to give from the heart. It’s all good.

Peter Verbeeck 2010 Stewardship Chair As we begin our 2010 pledge campaign, we thank God for the many gifts he has given us. We pray for your generosity in your pledge for St. Christopher’s. The world needs the church and its missions as never before. Our church can be the beacon of hope as the environment around up appears at times to be less spiritual. We must meet our goal of $235,000 so we can cintinue to grow our outreach programs. St. Christopher’s has a vision and a mission to make a difference for all of us. Please give generously in making your pledge commitment. Thank you. Peter Verbeeck

Pledge Revenue is darker blue on the chart at the left. 76% of the church revenue comes in through pledges - $156,800 was pledged. As of the end of November the church has received approximately $135,000 of the pledge.

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How St. Christopher’s Disbursed Funds in 2009


t. Christopher’s is blessed to have the Montessori school as its largest ministry. The church and school share common expenses in addition to buildings: utilities, administrative and cleaning staff, maintenance vendors, insurance costs and more. The rector and vestry several decades ago began the sharing of costs which benefit both church and school.

Typically administrative and clergy costs for a church the size of St. Christopher’s is 54% of the budget. (this is a national church average, data provided by the Episcopal Church). St. Christopher’s costs for administration and clergy is 32% or $85,015. No salary increases were given this year due to the economy. The rector took a $3,000 cut to help the bottom line.

Today that sharing of common costs enables St. Christopher’s to afford an office staff, pay utilities at a use reflected level, and cover other overhead costs which would not be possible without the school. The school has benefited by use of the whole campus during the week at a cost far less than rent would cost anywhere in Key Biscayne.

Utility and insurance costs as you know keep rising. The two financial capital campaigns since 2001 have led to overall improvements to the campus buildings and landscaping. The church has a mortgage of about $330,000 only on the rectory. When the vestry budgeted for last year, a lot of time went into reducing costs. Music was almost cut in half. There is no money for Sunday School

or Adult Education. Each area where costs could be reduced were reduced. The vestry made a significant decision to suspend expenditures for Faith at Work a long ago established program, until the stewardship campaign giving meets costs. Outreach giving is our second largest line item. Our diocesan assessment for the 2009 year was $43,144. Those costs are not optional. However, the assessment is used for diocesan missions, executive staff, diocesan related programs and other areas of great need in the world. The parish FAW expense was $28,563 and covers assistance to the homeless, Food for the Poor, and a number of worthwhile causes, in the Miami area and abroad. Together, the Diocesan assessment and FAW comprised 27% of our budget or $71,707.

Church Disbursements for 2009 Where money was spent during 2008-2009 fiscal year. (start with top blue and proceed clockwise to read chart)


$ 9,748











Office Expense



Clergy & Staff



Church Ministry



Outreach Categories:

(27% of all pledge $)

1. Diocesan Assessment $43,144


2. Faith at Work



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Some Quotes on Giving and Stewardship “There’s no need to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can’t do any business from there.” — Colonel Sanders (18901980), Kentucky Fried Chicken founder “Everything we have is really loaned to us; we can’t take anything with us when we depart. If we have no use for a thing, we should pass it on to someone else who can use it—now.” — Norma S. Scholl “A lot of people are willing to give God the credit, but not too many are willing to give Him the cash.” — Anonymous “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.” — Martin Luther (1483-1546), German reformer and theologian

world.” — Joel Vestal, founder of ServLife International “Nothing is more dangerous than to be blinded by prosperity.” — John Calvin (1509-64), French theologian and reformer

discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.” — D. Elton Trueblood (1900-94), American author, educator, philosopher and theologian

“One of the greatest missing teachings in the American church today is the reminder to men and women that nothing we have belongs to us.” — Gordon MacDonald, American pastor and teacher

“Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.” — Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), American industrialist and philanthropist

“When it comes to giving until it hurts, most people have a very low threshold of pain.” — Anonymous “Seek joy in what you give not in what you get.” — Anonymous

“The worship offering [is] a pure gift to God in thankfulness for what we have already received. It should therefore be an exciting and major part of the service.” — Lynn A. Miller, author

“The fellow that has no money is poor. The fellow that has nothing but money is poorer still.” — Billy Sunday (1862-1935), American revivalist

“Real charity doesn’t care if it’s tax deductible or not.” — Anonymous

“Stewardship is the act of organizing your life so that God can spend you.” — Lynn A. Miller, author “I believe with all of my heart that God’s people possess God’s provision to accomplish and fulfill God’s purposes in the

“One of the reasons churches in North America have trouble guiding people about money is that the church’s economy is built on consumerism. If churches see themselves as suppliers of religious goods and services and their congregants as consumers, then offerings are ‘payment.’ ” — Doug Pagitt, pastor

A PRAYER FOR STEWARDSHIP All loving and steadfast God; I give you thanks for your presence that surrounds and enlivens me. I desire to be drawn closer to you through every aspect of my life. Guide me in my decisions of the giving of my time, talent and treasure. Allow these gifts to honor you and inspire me. Amen.

“You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” — Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), missionary to India “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British wartime prime minister and statesman

“I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.” — John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (18391937), American industrialist and philanthropist

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” — Jesus, in Acts 20:35

“At its best, giving is an act of worship.” — Cornelius J. Dyck (174092), colonel under the command of Gen. George Washington

“If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” — Bob Hope (1903-2003), American comedian

“A man has made at least a start on

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“Examples are few of men ruined by giving.” — Christian Bovée

“Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Invest as much as you can. Give as much as you can.” — John Wesley (170391), English evangelist and founder of Methodism

Pledge Card 2010 Name(s) Please Print: Address, State Zip: Home Phone:


eMail: Signature: Signature: Please note: Your pledge is helpful so that the church may better plan budgeting. You may raise or lower your pledge if circumstances change during the year. Your pledge IS NOT DUES. The purpose of your pledge is to help further God’s work. I want to support the mission and ministry of St. Christopher’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and pledge that during the coming year I will give a pledge of: $

❒ ❒

[Total pledge] for 2010 toward the Operating Budget, to be paid in the following manner: $

per week



❒ ❒


per month





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Stewardship: from Vision to Ministry Dear Members and Friends of St. Christopher’s,

had to do with the church: Stephen’s Ministry trainer, Faith Alive team member, her work teaching practical life to youth held in a juvenile detention center, lay reader, chalice bearer, even clown ministry to children. That is only the beginning. She does countless thoughtful things for others in her church.

This stewardship publication is offered to you for your prayerful, thoughtful consideration. You will find information about what the church is focused upon. Additionally, you will find information about how the church has been a good and effective steward of the time, talent and treasure entrusted to it for mission and ministry during this past year.

She called me back to say that she couldn’t do anything different or more by being ordained to the diaconate. I agreed.

Enclosed you will find a pledge page to be filled out and returned to the church office or brought to the 10 o’clock service on January 7th, which is ingathering Sunday. You will also note that page 7 contains a duplicate pledge card which I hope you will fill out and keep for your records.

I don’t suggest that doing things, exercising roles around the church, is unimportant; it is very important. What I hope and pray and long for is for each of us who journey as Christian people to grow in our understanding that ministry has no bounds. All of us are ministers.

If you would like pledge envelopes, please let the office know so that we can provide them for you.

It is spiritually helpful to take a good, close look at our life, and reflect on the following questions: Where do I spend my time and energy? Where do I spend my money? What is most important in my life? How can I be more generous in giving back to God for all the blessings I have?

How do you define “ministry”? There are a number of people within our church who are actively involved in community service organizations or social justice ministries. We may not think about it, but we represent Christ and bear witness to him wherever we are - in what we say and do. That, my friends is what ministry is all about! A friend and former parishioner recently called to say she wanted to become ordained as a deacon. She was asked by a discernment committee about her “ministries”, most of which

St Christopher’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church and Montessori School 95 Harbor Drive Key Biscayne, FL 33149 Tel: 305-361-5080 eMail:

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I am honored to minister with you at St. Christopher’s. May God continue to expand our hearts and minds so that we may even more powerfully “represent Christ and his Church, and bear witness to him wherever we may be.” God bless us all.

Father Burt

Stewardship Booklet  
Stewardship Booklet  

St. Christopher's Stewardship Booklet for 2010