Growing In Faith Together (GIFT)

A five-year plan
to support exciting new ministry
in our parish, around our diocese and beyond

 

What is GIFT?

What is Our Plan for St John’s?

Key Contacts

Important Dates

Individual Input on Priorities

Frequently Asked Questions

All Saints Day sermon by Linda Privitera (PDF)

 

What is GIFT?
Growing in Faith Together (GIFT) is a joint fundraising initiative by the Diocese of Ottawa and its 72 parishes. The goal is to raise a minimum of $12 million over the next five years for programs and ministries in the parish, the diocese and the wider church. As of October 7, we are more than half way there at $6.4M! To learn more, visit the Diocese of Ottawa GIFT website at www.growinginfaithtogether.ca.

 

What is Our Plan for St John’s?
All members of the St John’s family will be visited by parish ambassadors in a warm and open discussion about our spiritual home at St John’s. Information on the GIFT campaign and the Annual Stewardship campaign will be presented at the same time. Our official launch day is Sunday, October 14th. Prior to that, please attend scheduled briefings, watch for more updates, or contact any member of the committee. View the PowerPoint Presentation given on Sunday, September 9th.

 

Key Contacts
The St John’s Organizing Committee is made up of the following team members. It is important to remember that our Annual Stewardship Program will be part of the GIFT campaign. Please feel free to contact anyone on the team with questions or suggestions.

  • Brian Cameron, co-chair - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Margot Cameron, co-chair - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Gay Richardson, Visits - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Reed Smith, Communications - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Jane Maxwell, Stewardship - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Glenn Calder, Corporation - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
  • Barbara Dransch, Corporation - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

 

Important Dates

September 9
Information Session to introduce GIFT. View the PowerPoint Presentation
‘Invitation to the Parish’ distributed for input. View the Invitation

September 16
Parish Consultation for feedback on priorities
Brief session for interactive voting process.

September 30, October 2
Training of Ambassadors - All ambassadors attend one session

October 14
Kick-Off Sunday - Official Launch

October - November
Primary visit period - Everyone will receive a visit

October 28
Pot-luck Luncheon - Information session with speakers

November 25
Commitment Sunday
End of visits and target date for final pledge card submissions

February 4
Celebration Sunday

 

Individual Input on Priorities
Thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts in the survey. To view the report, click on this link:  GIFT Survey Results – Full Report.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Why is GIFT a good opportunity for both our Diocese and St John’s?

Experience in other churches in the Diocese has shown that GIFT has increased involvement and support by individual parishes and members, and it draws us together as one Church. As we build our stewardship commitment, we also develop a better understanding of Anglican ministries in our local community, as well as nationally and internationally. St John’s will continue to exemplify strong leadership in support of the ‘The Well’ and through ministries such as the Community Shop and the Refugee Assistance Group. Ultimately, we believe the GIFT experience will benefit St John’s in ways that go beyond the dollars raised.

 

2.  Why not delay the start of the campaign at St John’s until we have a new priest?

The timing of ‘Growing in Faith Together’ is very well aligned with St John’s ‘Moving Forward’ initiative. Accomplishing this goal now will set the stage for our new rector to work with new vision and new resources. Most parishes have either completed or started their campaigns, and St John’s will be part of the final group. We also benefit from the advice of professional fundraising staff.

 

3. What is the status of finding a new rector for St John's?

In April of 2012, St John's learned that the there was no match for St John's as the result of the formal search process initiated following the November 2011 Symposium. It was decided at that time to take a break from the search process allowing for some time to pass while the Parish worked with the Symposium initiatives and to provide time and space for potential incumbents for St John's to become available. The Parish Committee, (made up of the wardens, Monica Patten, Barbara Dransch; and the Synod members, Tony Lovink, Peter Oliver and Iain Wallace) met with Bishop John Chapman in September to discuss the next steps in finding an incumbent for St John's. The Bishop and the Parish Committee are committed to working through a process together to find the right priest for St John's.

 

4. If St John’s operating budget has experienced a deficit, should we not be addressing that priority first, before other needs?

St John’s leadership is managing the deficit, and for 2013, we are forecasting a balanced budget. It is therefore important to maintain our regular offerings as healthy as possible while we also try to commit additional resources to GIFT. This is a key reason why both campaigns are being conducted together.

 

5. How will St John’s benefit from GIFT?

Our parish will benefit on many levels. Fifty cents of every dollar raised by St John’s, up to our specific parish goal of $400,000, will stay in our community to renew and revitalize our parish life and ministries. St John’s will also receive every dollar raised above the goal, and we will determine our own unique priorities. The other fifty cents on each dollar will be used by the Diocese to strengthen congregations, focus ministry outward, educate leaders and connect with the wider church. A portion will be used to cover the expenses associated with GIFT. More details about how the diocesan GIFT funds will be used to help parishes are available in the printed GIFT brochure to be distributed during visits and on the GIFT website: www.growinginfaithtogether.ca/Direct_to_Parishes.html.

 

6. How will the campaign affect St John’s offerings?

Experience has shown that parish offerings remain constant or may even increase as a result of campaigns like GIFT. Parishioners are asked to respond to this campaign with pledges and donations over and above their regular offering. At St John’s, parishioners will be asked to fill out pledge cards for the annual stewardship campaign at the same time as the GIFT pledge cards. A campaign such as this encourages people to consider their overall support for their church and invites a response that seeks to support the mission of their church. As well, the parish’s annual stewardship ministry can continue to benefit from the financial development methods employed during this campaign long after it is completed.

Because of GIFT, St John’s is developing a draft annual operating budget in September this year, and every member of St John’s will be invited to receive a pastoral and stewardship visit in October and November. We hope that this will become an annual or biennial stewardship process that will contribute to building a strong and loving community.

 

7.  How will my pledge offerings remain confidential?

Strict controls are in place to ensure everyone’s privacy and confidentiality. Our GIFT pledges go directly to the diocese and are handled in confidence. The parish leadership is informed of the total amount pledged by St John’s members, but individual details are not revealed. Similarly, St John’s annual stewardship pledges are received in confidence by our Envelope Secretary, and personal details are not disclosed.