Stewardship and Pledging for 2020
Stewardship Letter 2020
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since 1903, St. Uriel’s has endeavored to serve the spiritual and temporal needs of our parish family, the local community, and the needs of those in this country as well as diverse parts of the world. For nearly 116 years, individuals and families who have loved and supported St. Uriel’s have helped to establish a legacy that all of us today benefit from and enjoy. What sort of legacy will we leave the next generation?
A legacy is commonly thought of as a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property. However, a spiritual legacy is providing a legacy of faith to future generations. Psalm 145:4 states: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” This is our mission at St Uriel’s. In order to fulfill this calling, we must “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11) We endeavor to accomplish our calling through the celebration of our sacramental life, Christian formation and outreach.
In order to live out this mission, buildings and their upkeep have become vital to the work of the Gospel. Nothing remains the same forever. Just like your family home, our parish buildings, constructed decades ago, are in constant need of repairs and upgrades. We are doing our best to keep up with the necessary maintenance of our parish buildings. Upgrades over the past several years have included the parish kitchen, Miller Hall, Hulbert Hall, the Church Sanctuary, the Nave, the Reredos (Four Archangels), the Steeple and several bathrooms.
In 2019, we renovated the hallway leading to the Nave of the Church, providing safer and easier handicap accessibility. This included a completely new handicap entrance, costing well over $100,000. During renovations, areas were discovered with missing footings, while some doors had no headers! In addition, the wiring was antiquated and needed to be replaced for safety.
The Sacristy needed renovations due to water damage from a roof which had been improperly installed causing water damage. In addition, we discovered that the roof over Hulbert Hall had five layers of roofing material which had been installed over the years. Safety being paramount, we had to remove the five layers of old roofing and install a new roof.
In keeping with our endeavor to make our buildings maintenance free, we have been wrapping our windows, eaves, and soffits with vinyl wrapping or Azek. We are doing this to cut down on maintenance cost once the Rohrer Fund comes to an end in about three years.
In compliance with the local Fire Codes, all of our exterior doors have now been fitted with panic bars along with emergency lighting and lighted exit signs. We still need to upgrade some areas in order to comply with these Fire Codes. We are now close to being in complete compliance.
The Rectory, which is over 60 years old, has undergone major renovations to its exterior. A new roof, energy efficient windows, and vinyl siding was added in 2018, greatly adding to the value and appearance of the Rectory as well as lower energy costs.
We still have a great deal to do by April of 2022, when the Rohrer Fund comes to an end. Our stewardship of the parish property and, more importantly, the mission of Christ’s Church will continue. Just like your family, our parish is constantly changing with new demands being placed upon our mission. Our spiritual growth in our love and devotion to Christ is the key to a healthy and vibrant parish. I recommend that you visit our parish website: www.urielsg.org to get a more complete picture of our parish life and mission.
While we are responsible for the upkeep and improvements of our parish buildings and grounds, our most important mission is to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As disciples of Jesus, we acknowledge all that we are and have are gifts from God. Each of us must nurture these blessings, not only for ourselves, but also for strengthening His Church and ministries to others.
We, the present members of St. Uriel’s, have been blessed by the past generations. However, we cannot depend solely on the legacies left to us by past generations. What are we going to leave those who come after us? Past generations would often think of the Church when writing their will and leave a legacy to the mission of St. Uriel’s.
I am asking you to pray and consider two things.
I pray that all members of St. Uriel’s would consider St. Uriel’s in your legacy.
That for the immediate future, you will sign the enclosed pledge card so that we can continue the mission of St. Uriel’s with the high standards and passion it has known. Every pledge is kept completely anonymous and is never posted. Nor does anyone ever get a “bill” for your pledge.
As we look to the year of 2020, let us not lose sight that working together, we can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with great joy and excitement as the Lord continues to open new doors in the life of St. Uriel’s. Remember, although financial support to the mission of the Church is vital to its work and growth, stewardship is more than a pledge card. It is a way of life.
Father Russell A. Griffin, SSC