Introducing Parish Development
By Mary Patestas & Jim Gabriel
Do you feel as though you are constantly being asked for financial support from the Church? Are you not easily able to differentiate between the requests? If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, you are not alone.
The Church of the Holy Resurrection offers many ministries to our members, friends and neighbors: Worship, Philanthropy, Youth activities, and support of both the Orthodox and Long Island communities are just some of the areas where we focus.
All of these programs require plenty of resources to operate, a combination of our time, talents, and financial support. While this may be easy to understand, other information is not provided to put the entire picture into perspective. For instance:
- What does it cost to run the church each month?
- How big is our mortgage?
- How do we pay for emergency expenses?
- When will our iconography begin and when will it be completed?
- Why is the dinner dance or the golf outing so expensive?
- Who funds Youth and Philoptochos activities and programs?
- When will our gym be built?
The Church is our spiritual home and as ‘one family’ we should know the answers to these and other questions. All of us should be working together to achieve the same set of objectives. As a result, we are introducing a Parish Development program.
The objectives of the Parish Development program are quite simple:
- Clear and concise Financial Strategy: Develop and communicate a single strategy to our community, so that we will be able to better focus on Stewardship as the single major source of operating funds, while concurrently managing efforts for necessary capital improvements and other one time financial needs.
- Education: Educate the members and friends of the Church of the Holy Resurrection about:
- Operating expenses of our parish and our need for their financial support in meeting these expenses
- Additional expenditures that fall outside of our standard operating expenses, such as special projects (e.g. last year’s Fellowship Hall construction project) and mortgage reduction.
- Where various requests for funds fit into parish finance
- Capital Fundraising
- Special Projects
- Communication / Transparency: Work with all relevant committee chairs to ensure consistent message is delivered regarding finances
In the coming months, you will see more and more information regarding this effort. More importantly, however, we are looking to each and every one of you for support and insight. Your involvement will create a means of constant communication and collaboration and ensure support and success. We want to come up with a financial strategy for our parish that factors in all of our priorities.
How can you participate? The short answer is: by making your voice heard. You may have already seen our Parish Development survey that was distributed in mid-March. Our next major event will be our Parish Development Conference on Saturday, May 15th. Keep an eye out for the agenda. We hope that everybody will participate.
In the meantime, we continue to work with Fr. John, the Parish Council, key committees and individuals to ensure that we all agree on our message and our priorities. If you have a question, we’d love to hear from you too.