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Parish News

December 13, 2012

Dear Parishioners and school families,

Greetings of the season from Fr. Paul! We have been communicating with the parish families at our Sunday Masses regarding our current financial situation and some decisions I made with the councils. I want every family to know what is going on in the parish. So I thought of connecting with you through the school. Thank you so much for what you do to the parish and the school and your spiritual and financial support to the parish and the school.

Finance Council Report

            At each of the Masses on the first weekend in December, a member of the Finance Council reported on the financial health of the parish.  Unfortunately, our finances are not in good shape.  In each of the last six fiscal years, the parish has run a deficit and our savings have dropped from over $400,000 in 2003 down to $131,000 today plus $35,000 in the building fund.  And so far this fiscal year, which began on July 1, our offertory is not covering expenses through the first five months.

            The Finance Council and Pastoral Council met twice to deal with this crisis and a subcommittee worked closely with Father Paul to develop a solution that involves both increasing revenues and cutting costs.  Effective January 1, we will be reducing the funding for the music program by approximately $10,000 per year and for the youth ministry by approximately $25,000 per year.  These cuts are being made in ways that will allow us to provide a level of service more in line with our budget without cutting into core parts of our mission here at All Saints.

            A copy of the parish Financial Statement is attached.  One side of the page shows our performance through the end of the 2011/2012 fiscal year and the reverse side shows our performance through September 30, or the first quarter of this fiscal year.

            On the revenue side, we are asking that every family prayerfully consider increasing their monthly contribution to All Saints Parish.  Please do so by filling out the attached pledge form.  We have several families who are willing to match up to $35,000 in increased annual giving by other parishioners.  In other words, if a family will increase its monthly contribution by $10 per week or $40 per month, the match will be to the annualized increase which totals $480.  We are very hopeful that enough families will increase their total annual giving to put us in a position to secure the entire $35,000 match, which will then increase Parish revenues by a total of $70,000 over the course of the next full year.

            The pledge forms ask for your family name, the amount you are giving monthly now and the amount that you will pledge in increased monthly giving starting in January.  All Saints Church has many very important ministries including the liturgy, religious education, RCIA and a wide variety of pastoral work.  All of these programs cost money and we are very hopeful that the parish will respond generously to this appeal so that total giving moves up to a level that enables us to sustain our operations and gradually build back some savings.

            We can meet the $35,000 in matching funds if 145 families give just an extra $20 per month to the offertory collection or if 73 families increase giving by $40 per month.  Please fill out the pledge form and drop it in the offertory basket before Christmas or send it back to the parish after you have made your decision.  Thank you very much for your attention and consideration.

Presented by Mike Haglund, Chairperson of the Finance Council.

 

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings of the season from Fr. Paul! In the light of our current financial situation, the councils (the pastoral and the finance) met to discuss about cutting our expenses so as to reduce our deficit for this fiscal year. The following decisions were made at the joint council meeting and I would like to share them with you. These decisions (except the discussion on the elimination of the Sunday 5.30 Mass) will be effective as of January 1st 2013:

1.      The Sunday 8.00 am Mass will hereafter have community singing with the accompaniment. This will help eliminate the cost for the cantors at this Mass. To facilitate the community singing we will have the Music Issues available at the entry ways of the church, and volunteers will lead the congregational singing. I invite and encourage parishioners with musical talents to share your gift with the community.

2.      The parish chamber choir will sing at the Sunday 10.30 am Masses. Our music director Zachery Hoyt will be in charge of the chamber choir and he will also be directing the children’s choir.

3.      The contemporary choir will sing at the vigil Masses on Saturdays.

4.      A suggestion was made to look into the possibility of the elimination of the Life-Teen Mass on Sunday evenings at 5.30 pm. The reason for the elimination is not just and purely a financial one. In my dialogue with the councils and the parishioners both communal and pastoral reasons came up. Some shared with me their desire to see more of the coming together of the community at the celebrations of our liturgies. They also expressed that multiplying Masses breaks the community that has already become small. Attendance at the Saturday vigil Masses, Sunday 8.00 am Masses and the evening 5.30 pm Masses, at times, is very thin. If we can accommodate the Sunday evening 5.30 Mass going people into our other Masses it will bring people together and make the community active. Secondly, many of the community building activities planed and done at other Masses are not done at the Sunday evenings (the regular coffee and donuts after the 8.00 am and 10.30 am Masses and the monthly wine and cheese evenings after the Saturday vigil and special events like the advent fair, and we are also planning for adult faith formation opportunities between the 8.00 am and 10.30 am Masses beginning from Lent this year) or there is no possibility of providing them. We have just started the process of listening to and hearing from the people attending the Sunday evening Mass. A decision in this regard will be made only after consulting and getting a feedback from those attending the Mass.

5.      In the light of the reduction of hours for the youth ministers, the frequency of the Edge and Life-Teen nights is reduced from once a week to twice a month. The day and the time of the meetings will be finalized by the youth ministers in consultation with the teens, youth and their parents.

I know that is hard for many of you. It was indeed so hard for me personally and for all the council members to go through this process and make some cuts in the programs and personnel cost. This is something that we felt we need to do so as to avoid a real and serious fiscal crisis in the coming year or two.

It is my strong faith that we will make it through, and we will come out of this situation with renewed vigor and commitment. To make it happen, we all need to make this resolve in the New Year 2013: that I will step up and share my time and talents in whatever way I can; and that we will stand together and united. If we stand together and if we resolve to face the challenges that lie ahead of us united with Christ and with one another, we will grow as a faith-filled and faith-sharing community.

May God always bless you and your families!

Please check your email for a copy of the financial statement of our parish.

With love and prayers,

Fr. Paul.