Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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Clergy Corner

Do You Mean Me?

The stewardship packets went out last week. I hope you received yours. If not, please let us know and we'll hurry one right to you.

The mailing was generic -- it was addressed to all the people of our parish in a communal salutation. We would have liked to send them in a more personal manner, but budget and time constraints didn't permit that better way. Also, people often hear a message better when they overhear it. Consider that the following messages may not be for you, but that you are hereby entitled to listen in.

First, I'm talking to you who give yearly and generously, of record, in proportion of what you have. Blessed are you. Thanks be to God for you. You are those who don't have to be asked more than once. Many of you give because it is embedded in your souls to do so. You've made it a joyful habit. You know the spiritual benefits of proportional giving (sometimes called "tithing"). Karl Menninger had you in mind when he said, "Giving money is a very good criterion of a person's mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people."

I'm also talking to you who do all the above and do it early -- pledging at the beginning of the fall effort. Blessed are you. We take fiscal governance and stewardship very seriously at Holy Innocents'. Our parish doesn't have a few big hitters who take care of the rest; we live week by week and presently we are very careful and frugal with what is given for our mission and ministries. We are able to put together a vital, conservative and balanced budget when we know what to expect.

And I'm talking to you who give but without a pledge card, on no fixed schedule and often late in the year. Your giving matters. Blessed are you. You're on the way to our expressed requests, which is purposeful, proportional giving throughout the year, based on an estimated pledge. It takes a while to live into a discipline. Keep at it. If you give at the end of the year because your compensation is based on a bonus system, blessed are you, too.

I'm also talking to those who have given before, but not for awhile. We counted on you, and we still do. We are patient. We may risk a reminder or two, and sometimes you will think we crossed the line in our requests and encouragement. We don't want to pester, just challenge. You have shown before that you give and it mattered. We hope you'll decide to do it again -- this fall.

And, yes, I'm talking to you who have been here for awhile -- maybe a long while -- and we have yet to hear from you about financial giving. Some of you feel that you're off the hook. And, besides, you've got a lot of company. Nearly 40% of our parish doesn't give financially. Some have concluded that because of our location in upscale, tony Sandy Springs that we are holding an enormous endowment. Frankly, I wish we were, but we're not! Our Foundation has the whopping sum of 1.3 million, of which we use some 2% yearly for our income. So, I ask again, with a friendly nudge ... Please consider taking the step of financial giving.

And, last, I'm talking to you who are new. Join this wonderful family committed to generous, exciting, and growing ministry. It will be the most satisfying gift on your list.

Do I mean you? Yes, and me, too.

Thanks, more than I can say.

Bob Dannals

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