Dear members and friends of Grace Church,
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy as we near the end of this difficult year.
As we look to 2021, Grace Church continues to be drawn to the concept and practice of gratitude. For this reason, the theme of our 2021 pledge campaign is “Growing in Gratitude.” Our congregation has responded generously over the past year, as COVID-19 required us to move our worship services and ministry activities online, and our faith called on us to help those in need of food, shelter, and support.
Thanks to Father John’s weekly sermons from Brené Brown’s “Gifts of Imperfection,” we’ve learned much about the power of gratitude. Based on her extensive research over 12 years, Dr. Brown has concluded that people who describe their lives as joyous are those who practice gratitude actively. Simply put, acts of gratitude invite joy in our lives.
And theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose life and spirituality helped inspire the U.S. civil rights movement, also had powerful insights about gratitude. “In ordinary life,” he wrote, “we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and it is only with gratitude that life becomes more rich.”
Despite this year’s extraordinary challenges, the Grace Church community has much to be grateful for. First, Father John is firmly situated as our Rector. Since his arrival in September 2019, he has shown visionary, effective, and compassionate leadership. His vision for our ministries, serving both our church and the larger community, is inspiring and realistic.
We are also grateful for the generosity of the congregation in meeting our 2020 pledge goals and in making our “Giving in Gratitude” campaign a success. Among other benefits, your generosity has made possible our robust online attendance each week, complete with Father John’s insightful sermons and Madeleine Woodworth’s superb musicianship.
Turning to 2021, the Vestry has developed a budget that reflects anticipated expenses and provides increased funding for our ministries. Based on this budget and mindful of the economic challenges facing many households, we are asking you to consider increasing your 2021 pledge by 7% to 9%. The budget is available for review at this link, and Vestry members will gladly respond to your questions.
Working together, the Grace Church community has overcome major challenges over the past several years. Today, we are seeing the fruits of these efforts as we move toward a productive and hopeful future. On behalf of Father John and the Vestry, we extend our sincere appreciation for your continued support.
In grace, peace, and gratitude.
Chairman, Stewardship Committee
Click the Pledge to Grace image below to submit your pledge, or download a form to mail at this link.
How can we express our gratitude for the many and varied blessings we have received from God?
We can use these gifts to help others – to serve our parish, to help others our community, to serve our neighbors.
Options for paying your pledge to Grace: