St. Stephen’s is a registered charity and uses its funds in support of God’s work. This page is intended to show how people can donate and how these funds are used.
People are encouraged to give to support God’s work. We think about how we use the resources that God had given us, and it captures a spiritual aspect of using the resources God has given us. This is what we mean by stewardship.
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, CanadaHelps.org, or Interac E-transfer; see below for further information.
The Vestry approves the Financial Statements, the Operating and Property Fund budgets, and any major expenditures at the Annual Vestry Meeting held in February. See Primer on Parish Government on this website.
An annual report is prepared for the Annual Vestry Meeting that has a full disclosure of the parish finances, including Financial Statements for the previous year, and Operating Fund and Property Fund budgets for the upcoming year. Copies are in a literature rack at the church or contact the church office to request one.
If people would like guidance as to where to donate, the Operating Fund is a priority. It needs to be balanced each year and any surplus will be transferred to the Contingency Fund. In the Property Fund, a number of small items have been approved and will be done as funds are available: waxing the Parish Hall floor, painting the storm windows, replacing the kitchen window, and painting the kitchen.
The Project List provides guidance in terms of items that the Vestry would like funded and undertaken. A designated fund would be created for a donation to an item on the Project List, and the funds are reserved until the project is completed.
When funds are donated to the parish for a special purpose, the Pastor and Church Wardens accept the donation. If circumstances change, the Vestry has the authority to apply the donation to another purpose. If a donation is not in the interest of the parish, the Pastor and Church Wardens can discuss it with the donor, and may choose to refuse the donation.
The Stewardship of Giving to Support the Ministry of the Church
From the Anglican Church of Canada
Stewardship is receiving God’s 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.” 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 God’s 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 “time, talent and treasure” 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 center 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 hour’s 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 hour’s 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 hour’s 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.
Ways to Contribute Financially
Listed below are ways to contribute financially. The Envelope Secretary records identified financial donations, except for CanadaHelps.org, and issues a Charitable Income Tax Receipt in February for identified donations $10 or greater made in the previous fiscal year.
Semi-annual statements are issued to identifiable donors; contact the Envelope Secretary for corrections.
Single offering envelopes for use by visitors and occasional donors, and memorial envelopes are in the narthex (entrance).
A box of offering envelopes may be requested for those who wish to give regularly to St. Stephen’s. To obtain a box complete a Response Form, available at the narthex, or contact the Sides-person or church office.
On an offering envelope, a line marked ‘other’ has a space to write something in. ‘Other’ is used for designated donations where you write in what the donation is for, such as the Current River Churches’ Food Cupboard, or a special fund-raiser.
Electronic Offering Program (EOP)
Money is withdrawn from your bank account on the 15th of the month and deposited to the parish’s bank account. Donor Registration Forms to start or amend your offering are in the literature rack at St. Stephen’s or www.dioceseofalgoma.com. People may donate to the Operating Fund and/or the Property Fund using EOP.
To donate to St. Stephen the Martyr Anglican Church via Interac e-transfer, send an e-transfer request through your financial institution to email@example.com.
In the message, please indicate:
- which fund you wish your donation to be applied to; for example: Operating Fund, Capital Fund or a specific designated fund; the donation will be applied to the Operating Fund unless otherwise indicated;
- your envelope number or your mailing address if you do not know your envelope number or do not have one; and
- the name of the person making the donation in case it is different from the person whose name is on the bank account sending the request.
Any undesignated offerings are applied to the Operating Fund.
The Operating Fund is used to pay for the operating expenses of the church: pastor’s stipend, the music director, program expenses and running the church building. In 2023, the budgeted expenses are $76,144.
To help you better understand how your donations support St. Stephen’s work, here is a breakdown of a $20.00 donation according to categories of ministry:
The Property Fund is used to pay for minor repairs and modifications; see Annual Vestry Report for current budget and previous year’s Income and Expense Statement.
People may donate to it using an offering envelope or EOP.
The Contingency Fund is to be used to pay for an Operating Fund deficit and snow removal. It would be funded by surpluses in the Operating Fund as of December 31, and specific donations to it.
The Capital Fund is used to pay for major repairs and renovations to the church building.
Other – Designated Funds
See Annual Vestry Report for previous year’s Designated Fund statement for information on these funds.
The Memorial Fund may be used to purchase something that is required for the church; however, it can be used for the operating expenses. The Incumbent and Church Wardens have the authority to spend funds in the Memorial Fund.
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. Stephen’s in memory of individuals who have died. There is no minimum donation, the only requirement is that a Charitable 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.
Friends of St. Stephen’s Board
The Friends of St. Stephen’s Board is mounted on the south wall (Epistle Side) of the nave. Its purpose is to acknowledge donations made by individuals to St. Stephen’s for special projects designated by the Parish Council, and to give people the opportunity to record their name in the church building.
See Policy F2: Memorial and Friends of St. Stephen’s Boards.
The solar panels generate an average of $10,500 in revenue annually, and this income is applied to 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. The loan from the Archbishop Wright Building Fund was paid off. The debt now remaining is $23,650, which is owed to the Rectory Trust Fund. Any funds donated to the Solar Panels will be applied to the Rectory Trust Fund.
Cheque Requisition Form
A Cheque Requisition Form is used to be reimbursed for purchases. A cheque may not be issued without a completed Cheque Requisition Form and a receipt.
The Form is in a tray on the Vestry shelves, in the shelves in the front stairway and on www.ststephenanglican.com under Resources. Complete it, ensure the HST is shown, staple the receipt to it, and put it in a Church Warden’s or Pastor’s mail slot.
If you have not received a cheque within 3 weeks, contact the Treasurer.
The Pastor or a Church Warden signs the Form to authorize an expenditure that was previously approved i.e., through the budget or a motion. If a request has not been approved, it will either not be paid, or payment will be delayed until the Pastor and Church Wardens approves it.
If an individual wishes to donate a purchase to St. Stephen’s, submit a Form, and once the cheque is issued, endorse it and write on the back payable to St. Stephen’s Church. The cheque will be processed as a donation and the individual will receive a Charitable Income Tax Receipt.