Updated February 27, 2017
St. Stephen's is a charity, and uses its funds in support of its ministry and mission. The congregation depends primarily on donations and fund-raising to pay its expenses, and some income is received from the generation of electricity using solar panels.
Donations to St. Stephen's can be made using open collection, offering envelopes, the Electronic Offering Program or CanadaHelps.org. Loose offering envelopes and Electronic Offering Program Donor Brochures are available at the church, and a box of offering envelopes can be obtained by contacting the church office.
For the Annual Vestry Meeting in February, an annual report is prepared that has a full disclosure of the parish finances, and copies are in a literature rack at the church.
From the Anglican Church of Canada
Stewardship is receiving Godís gifts gratefully, cherishing and tending them in a responsible and accountable manner, sharing them in justice and love with others, and returning them with increase to the Lord.Ē It is a complete lifestyle of accountability and responsibility acknowledging God as the Creator and Owner of all. Stewards, as disciples of Jesus Christ, see themselves as caretakers of all Godís gifts. Gratitude for these gifts is expressed in prayer, worship, action and offering by eagerly sharing these gifts out of love for God and for one another. In talking about stewardship the phrase ďtime, talent and treasureĒ is frequently used.
Joyful giving is sharing, in a planned, proportionate way, the wealth with which God has blessed us. It is a sign of our gratitude to God. It is an expression of our faith, of what we say we believe. We direct a portion of our giving through our parish because it is the body which most clearly bears witness to the meaning and values we find at the centre of our lives.
How much should I give? Give in proportion to the goodness God has shown to you. Consider a weekly gift to your parish starting at one hourís pay. Then, with prayer and sacrifice over a period of time you may be able to increase your gift. Those who are retired can also be encouraged to consider a donation of 2.5% from their retirement income which would be equal to an hourís pay. This approach can have two very positive outcomes: First, it makes the work week and the work of our hands holy because our act of giving is intimately tied to how we earn a living. A blessing of sorts is given to our creative efforts made during the course of the week. Secondly an hourís pay is simple and profound and it may increase with time to reflect our progress in life. Those who may be unemployed or facing serious financial burdens could consider how they might give of their time and talent to the church on a weekly basis and pray for the ministry of the Church. Everyone, regardless of income level should be encouraged to give something. Even in our hardship we experience blessing.
The Operating Fund pays for the operating expenses of the church: pastor's stipend, the music director, program expenses and running the church building. In 2017, the budgeted expenses are $68,009. To help you better understand how your donations support St. Stephen's work, here is a breakdown of a $20.00 donation:
Sundays, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and Blessing of the Animals.
Sunday School, Tuesday Study group, and baptism & confirmation preparation.
Home & hospital visiting, weddings, funerals & seniors' home services.
Social and fund-raising events, Parish Council and Committee meetings, newsletter Deanery Lenten Retreat and website.
Managing money, issuing income tax receipts and taking care of the property.
The Property Fund is used for minor repairs and modifications. The 2017 Property Fund budget is:
|BALANCE at January 1||1,592||525||525||1,090|
|EXPENDITURES - listed in priority order|
|Contingencies||287||500||100||500||Repair sanctuary window|
|Transferred to Solar Panels||800|
|Parking Lot: grading||200||215||250|
|Parking lot fencing||200|
|BALANCE at December 31||525||-375||1,090||-60|
The Capital Fund was established in 2009 and is intended to raise funds for upgrading the church building. The agreed upon goals are to raise:
$8,500 to replace furnace
$15,900 to construct handicapped washroom on main floor and renovate basement washrooms into one handicapped accessible washroom
On the offering envelope, there is a line marked "other" with a space to write something in. It is used for donations where you write in what the donation is for, such as the Current River Churches' Food Cupboard, or a special fund-raiser.
The Memorial Board is mounted on the north wall (gospel side) of the nave of the church. Its purpose is to acknowledge a donation made to St. Stephenís in memory of individuals who have died. There is no minimum donation, the only requirement is that an income tax receipt is issued. A plate will be mounted on the board that has the name of person who died, and his/her years of birth and death. The Pastor and Wardens are responsible for the ensuring that a plate is put up; the Envelope Secretary will ensure that they are made aware of donations that qualify for a plate. The Pastor and Wardens have discretion in making exceptions to this policy.
The Friends of St. Stephenís Board is mounted on the south wall (Epistle Side) of the nave. Its purposes are to acknowledge donations made by individuals to St. Stephenís for special projects designated by the Parish Council, and to give people the opportunity to record their name in the church building. At any time the Parish Council can designate the paying of arrears to the Diocese as a Special Project. Beginning in 2013 each project will have its own plate with donor plates below. The minimum amount needed to qualify for a plate is $250, given within any 12 month period; as of January 1, 2017, given within the calendar year. Each donor plate will include the name(s), as specified by the donor(s), and the year of the donation. Each name will only be put up once for each project. The Envelope Secretary will ensure that the Pastor and Wardens are informed of a donation that qualifies for a plate, and the Pastor and Wardens are responsible for ensuring that the plate is mounted. The Pastor and Wardens have the discretion to make exceptions to this policy.
The Special Project is:
Solar Panels The solar panels generate approximately $11,000 in revenue annually, and this income is available for the Operating Fund.
They cost approximately $89,000 and were installed in 2011. Initially funds were borrowed from the Rectory Trust Fund and the Archbishop Wright Building Fund to pay for the solar panels. On December 31, 2016, the loan from the Archbishop Wright Building Fund was paid off, and the debt remaining was $41,597.80. If people would like to make a special donation to St. Stephen's, the Finance Committee is requesting donations to the Solar Panels, which will be used to repay the loan from the Capital Fund.
To donate towards paying down the loan for the Solar Panels, mark Solar Panels under "Other" on the offering envelope.