July 24, 2016
A “summer schedule” has settled in here for a few weeks. With the schools on summer break, staff vacations, and fewer meetings, life is a little quieter these days; and I now have the time to address a need we have regarding the Diocesan Annual Ministry Appeal, which funds ministries that the diocese provides to the parishes as well as ministries that parishes don’t provide. Our parish goal for this year is $56,458 and we must make 80% of that ($45,166) or the parish will have to pay the difference from parish reserves. As of now, 180 parishioners have pledged $35,678, essentially $10,000 short of the 80% mark, or about $21,000 short of the actual goal. I have made enough public appeals for this and intend now over the next few weeks to send letters out to everyone who has not yet participated. I am very concerned that we have not reached even the 80% mark despite my best efforts. Although most of us naturally have a major interest in our own parish, we are nonetheless part of a diocese and need to expand our vision and realm of concern. If all of us do even a little, we would have no problem exceeding our goal. If that should happen, we would actually receive money back for our own use, as everything over 100% of the goal comes back to us. If you have not yet participated in the AMA for this year, I hope that you will do so. I am grateful to all of you who have contributed so far.
Also on a financial note, I’m happy to announce that Joanne Ferris, a life-long parishioner with an extensive history of involvement in our parish and our schools, has come on board at St. Vincent’s as Planned Giving Officer. Her primary function will be to work on securing major gifts and deferred gifts from donors through estate planning and other types of gifts. She will be working with the parish and with each of our schools. As time goes on, you will be hearing more about this most important development, one that can help us go a long way towards securing the financial stability of each of the three entities that make up our parish.
This weekend both of our deacons, Jim Carr and John Norris, are joining the other deacons of the diocese for their annual retreat. I think we all feel blessed to have them in our parish and I ask you to keep them in your prayers, as they take some time for their own spiritual renewal.
God Bless, Fr. Gary
About our Parish and our Website
Our parish mission statement identifies St. Vincent’s as a Eucharist centered people who, as the Body of Christ, live our faith in word and deed by sharing our time, talent, and treasure to support one another and serve those in need.
This website is intended not only to provide you with the information you need about our parish but also to help us build up our life as a community and so help us in our mission. It provides a way for us to connect with each other; and we invite you to use it to share stories, to learn about what’s happening and what’s coming up, and to provide information you think we all need to hear. This site will evolve as our parish evolves; it belongs to all of us. I hope you find it helpful.
“All are Welcome in this Place.”
As one of Father Gary’s favorite hymns, this song speaks to the atmosphere, design, and heart of St. Vincent’s parish: there is a place here for everyone. In fact, you are not only welcomed, but needed! As we explore and expand our ideas of just what a Church community is, we recognize first that pivotal life events occur in church: weddings, baptisms, First Communion, Confirmation; but, we also find that we need community in order to be a Spirit filled Church where we praise God, share our faith, and help one another by way of fellowship, and the numerous ministries available to all parishioners. Through our stewardship, the gift of our time and talent, there is a wonderful opportunity to give and receive, to make friends, to help friends, to see how our talents are a gift from God made for sharing. We are bonded to a group of people with whom we already have at least one thing in common, and that is our faith. It is our hope that you will use this community website to build bridges and connect with one another, and see that each of us, too, is a gift from God meant to be shared.