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2017 Annual Report - Time Talent and Treasure

The Vestry this year invited Paul Atkins, Jerry Holmes, and Mike Wallace to join us in conversation about the 2018 Stewardship drive. They became our stewardship consultants. We sought their wisdom in why they give, what would be most important for us as a parish to consider for stewardship, what focus might we emphasize this year. They came to us with a “Growing in Stewardship” document and very faithful discussion, reminding us that stewardship is something we all do on a daily basis. They encouraged us to have a well-defined and clear vision with a goal and posed an interesting question:  what would we do if we were to raise more funds than we need? Another question posed was: should Trinity look at a different Mission Statement and should it be better understood by members? They also gifted us with four important points:

  1. Let’s remember that everything we have on this earth has been entrusted to us by God.
  2. We are responsible for prioritizing what is done with the gifts God has given us.
  3. The Deceiver is working day and night to lead us down the wrong path and capture our hearts.
  4. We need to recognize that many of us worship the creation and not the Creator!

One result of our conversations with these faithful stewardship consultants was intentional work facilitated by Anne Marie Pelletier around a new mission statement. The Vestry spent an entire meeting talking about why we are at Trinity, what’s important to us, what message we want to convey in our mission statement, what God is up to at Trinity. From that work came Trinity’s new mission statement: “With God’s love, we joyfully welcome and nourish all; with God’s help, we serve our community and beyond.”

We invited Paul, Jerry, and Mike to jointly share their thoughts with the congregation during sermon time, and it was in November’s family service when we all heard their message of God’s generosity and how we might generously respond. The stewardship theme was “Passing the Plate.” We invited everyone in the parish to touch the plate as it’s being passed as a physical reminder of our giving to God in response to God’s generosity to each of us. We now make that a custom at Trinity and continue to invite everyone to touch the plate, no matter whether you place something in the plate on a given Sunday or not. We are all stewards of our time, talent, and treasure, and the physical touching of the plate reminds us of that.

During the stewardship drive we began including “Stewardship Pearls” in the bulletin—sayings from people throughout time of what giving means. Some have come from members of our parish. Others have come from theologians or poets or writers or Biblical verses or historical figures. In addition to the stewardship pearls, we included an offering plate graphic of our giving goal’s progress in the Parish Hall with a weekly report of pledges in the bulletin. Throughout the drive we informed the parish with a graphic of last year’s giving, showing the distribution of household pledges—a picture that revealed a vulnerability where a small number of givers were providing 50% of the parish pledge income. A goal was to shift the distribution of giving. The results of this year’s stewardship drive revealed a blessed shift in those numbers. You’ll see the shift on the following graph that compares 2017 and 2018 pledge distribution. In 2017 we received more pledges by the end of the year than we ever have received at this time, and household pledges have increased. That is good and wonderful news, and we are grateful to each of you for your generosity. We still have a journey ahead of us toward increased giving and toward an even healthier place of stewardship. We’re on the way. We thank you and we thank Paul, Jerry, Mike, and Anne Marie for their help.
In gratitude and in hope,
Your Vestry

© 2018 Trinity Episcopal Church - Collinsville, CT