When the Rev. Jon Strand, rector of St. Paul’s, first heard the idea of a comprehensive campaign to raise $1 million, he found that he was inspired, but also challenged. “I knew we needed the campaign,” he says today, “but I wasn’t sure how we would do it, with the parish never having made any effort of that scale before.”
The result has been life-giving to him as well as others: “I have been so deeply moved by all of our parishioners’ generosity and care for the future well-being of St. Paul’s. It truly feels as though God will continue to use our congregation in important ways. The response thus far feels miraculous to me!”
Ultimately, it took hard work, strong support from the diocese—and maybe a small miracle here and there—to reach more than 70 percent of the TogetherNow campaign goal. In a united effort to build a better future for St. Paul’s, the parish has pledged nearly $713,000 to the TogetherNow campaign. We have received the first disbursement from the diocese of just over $76,000, and these funds will soon be put to work making much-needed improvements in staffing and infrastructure.
Jon expressed his gratitude for the commitment that the families of St. Paul’s have made to the future of the church. “We have accomplished a lot in the first-ever campaign of this kind,” he said, “and soon we’ll see the results of our work together, which is very exciting.”
Jon noted that an oversight committee is being formed to begin planning for the use of the campaign funds, including the building projects that were identified as being priority needs. Among the physical improvements cited in the “case for support” are providing handicap access to Gale House and refurbishing Sherrill Hall, kitchen and bathrooms. Bolstering the staff to accommodate the rapid growth in parish membership is also high on the list of “to-do’s.”
Campaign co-chairs Karen Oakley and Steve Walsh expressed their thanks to those who have made pledges. They are also confident that the campaign will reach its goal of $1 million—$700,000 of which will go to St. Paul’s and $300,000 to the diocese. “We are continuing the drive,” said Karen, “because we want to make all the improvements identified by the parish as being essential. Participation is more important than the amount pledged, because we want everyone to feel a part of this effort.”
Campaign leaders also emphasized that parishioners should respond to the upcoming stewardship drive. “We want everyone to understand that pledging for the campaign and pledging for the annual stewardship pledge are separate,” said Steve Walsh. “Stewardship provides the support that keeps the church operating on a daily basis, while the campaign brings in funds for our long-term needs. Both forms of giving are essential, but stewardship should always be the priority.”