Praying, Serving,Giving Together 2013 Narrative Budget
Friends often will hear me say that starting points are important; that is, where you begin has a lot to do with where you end up. This certainly is true of Saint Luke’s. Our church is a big church, but it is a different kind of big church. Our members are warm and open to new ideas and new members. Children have the run of the place, and more often than not, there is the smell of something good coming from the kitchen. Our worship is grand, and inspiring at all services, but joyful. We laugh here, even as we pray here and cry here. We are a village church, with village values, village priorities, village hospitality.
I’m fond of saying that one could describe this place with three words: Pray, Serve, Give. This narrative budget is one more way to tell the story of how we do these three things together.
Saint Luke’s is a church that is generous, confident, and a careful steward. Unlike many large churches, we do not have an endowment to contribute to the General Fund, and we spend what is given to us each year. We will continue to be leaders in local outreach, diocesan giving, and will provide the finest programs possible.
I also like to say that we are just pennies away from becoming even more than we ever dreamed before. The “wish list” includes continuing our Parish Nurse program, bringing our newest priest associate on full time, adding more dollars to outreach, and setting aside more money for repairs and ongoing maintenance.
Aside from the practical considerations, giving is good for our souls. It is a Biblical, time honored practice of faith that will strengthen our walk with Christ and enable us to face any challenge. Although we cannot predict what opportunities may pres- ent themselves, we can begin to take steps and be prepared for that future. This list reminds us of those tangible rewards of stewardship as we look ahead together.
To be an open, inviting, and serving community in which Jesus Christ is the center of our life and the gospel is modeled and proclaimed in Word and Sacrament.
Village Music & Worship
Whether ancient or modern, music is the heart of our worship at Saint Luke’s. Blessed with the finest musicians and choirs during both morning and evening services, our song brings us together as a family. Saint Luke’s is known far and wide as having one of the finest music programs in the region, and new offerings, such as God and Jazz alongside our soaring An- glican choral Evensongs and instrumental settings of the Mass, are bring- ing new interest and new visitors.
It takes many hands to lead worship. In addition to our clergy, some 300 people serve as servers, acolytes, ushers, altar guild, and choirs. These vol- unteers span the generations, and offer important opportunities for service in God’s house. $588,424 has been allocated for Worship and Music, or 18.6% of the budget.
Saint Luke’s is a thinking church, a searching church, an inquiring church. We offer Adult Sunday school classes to suit most every need, as well as mid week offering and programs for groups both large and small. For children, we offer learning that is both experiential (with our Montessori based atrium), and classic (with our third and fourth grade Bible Years). We offer Vacation Bible School in the summers and educa- tion for children on Wednesday nights. Our Youth learn both in study and service, with service opportunities scheduled throughout the year. Education leadership and materials for our Adults, Children, and Youth will cost $317,128, or 10% of the budget.
Saint Luke’s is a caring church, and our love for each other grows as we realize our need for each other. Our Pastoral Care team includes a Senior Ministries Coordinator, Parish Nurse (currently through May), trained Stephen Ministers, a Hospital Visitation team, and clergy available to visit Hospitals each day. Our Pastoral Care Team visits the home-bound, schedules activities and programs, and pro- motes general wellness, including exercise classes, blood pressure screenings, counseling, and grief support. Pastoral Care support will cost $364,494, or 11.5% of the budget.
Saint Luke’s has a proud legacy of outreach. Today more than fifty agencies benefit from grants, volunteers, or in-kind services from Saint Luke’s. Outreach connects us to the larger village of Birmingham and beyond; outreach makes our faith tactile, tangible, and outreach helps us to grow as disciples of Jesus.
These days our Outreach dollars have focused toward some aspect of ad- dressing hunger, both at home and abroad. Our participation in “Stop Hunger Now” drew hundreds of volunteers from our church as we joined with other Christians from our community to stuff food bags for transport. Local agencies are considered as they address hunger issues in our city. This year Saint Luke’s committed $551,984 to local outreach, or 17.5% of the budget.
A Village Church belongs to the neighborhood and not just our mem- bers. We are generous with our space here, and from early morning until late most evenings, Saint Luke’s serves as host to reunion groups, Bible studies, AA, support groups, and folks just stopping in for a sip of water or a trip to the restroom. We are a voting precinct and proudly sponsor a Boy Scout Troop. We a vibrant place in the heart of a vibrant village.
Buildings and grounds upkeep costs approximately $752,130, or 23.8% of the budget.
In a world where technology becomes ever more vital as well as ever changing, we seek to provide the most current and effective means of communicating to our parish. Our website and targeted advertisements in local publications such as “Village Living” offer welcome to newcom- ers and help to promote upcoming events. In-house publications such as our Lenten devotional showcase the talent and spirituality of our con- gregation. Sunday bulletins are user friendly and facilitate our worship.
This year our communications budget is $187,053, or 5.9% of the budget.
The remaining $397,293 or, 12.6%, in- cludes administration costs, supplies, and the personnel who make daily operations happen.
Pledges $2,810,791 Gifts $225,000 Loose Plate $28,000 Special & Other $94,791
Dreams for Our Future
OUR WISH LIST ~ OUR DREAM LIST
Full Time Priest ~ We are blessed to have Katie Nakamura Rengers working part-time, and she has proven to be an invaluable part of our staff, serving Young Adults, Outreach, Worship, and Evangelism through creative events downtown, including Ashes at Railroad Park and Holy Eucharist at Linn Park. I look forward to bringing this hard working and talented priest up to “full time” status.
To continue our Parish Nursing program ~ Our current parish nurse retires in May. This has proven to be an in- valuable asset in our Pastoral Care ministry. In addition to wellness education and programs, our nurse works closely with families and physicians to help facilitate sound health related decisions.
More Outreach ~ As generous as we are, our Outreach committee still makes painful cuts to many worthy local agencies. Increased dollars means increased help to those in need. We will add more dollars to local outreach!
Maintenance Reserve ~ Our Long Range Planning Committee has carefully produced a maintenance schedule, and repairs are needed all around, including the roof over the church. We need money for repairs and emergen- cies. We will add to Maintenance Reserve!