September 30, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Incarnation,
Sunday October 2nd, is Consecration Sunday. We would like to get to the heart of the matter with this letter. Working at attaining Our Mission as a congregation in God’s flock is the way to our spiritual health and maturity. In order to fulfill Our Mission we have to realistically look at the spiritual question: What do we owe to God for the free gift of life and the accompanying benefits we enjoy daily? The answer is reflected in Timothy 6:6-19; As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life. The simplest answer is: Everything. We need to reject the all-too-common convention that what we have personally earned, deserved, acquired, or won is ours to possess and do with as we see fit.
At the heart of our Anglican Theology is The Incarnation; the spirit dwelling in matter, the dwelling of God within our creation. God’s spirit is within us, among us, beyond us, and beneath us. We are at that point where we need to ponder and practice the economic implications of “God within us” as part of our spiritual life -The Incarnation.
The continuation of our Church Community, and doing God’s work, requires resources and the help of all of its members all the time, not just some of the time. Our endowment and inheritance, from which we enjoy its benefits comes from those who came before us- mostly by God and a number of nameless people. Some knew poverty and others wealth, but we were all left a good heritage. So, in order for us to continue to move forward, we must build on this and be good Stewards of what God has gifted us.
As your Co-Chairs for Stewardship, we call to your attention a way of life that is a natural part of our Christian faith and Spiritual life. This is a significant part of our growth in our relationship with God and therefore in Faith, Hope, and Love.
What we do as Stewards and how we function economically enhances the dimensions of our Christian life and faith in our Mission. Thus, we are asking each of us to evaluate what we are currently giving and look to expand that level, striving towards that ten percent level, will help us to accomplish Our Mission.
God’s Grace and Glory to us and our Church,
Sylvia Hutchings and Rolando Thorne
To better help you reach the goal of tithing, take some time to review the chart below. Find the income level in the first column that most closely matches your income, and then follow the numbers horizontally to determine monthly levels of giving to the Church. Percentages are listed at the top with corresponding monthly tithing amounts below. Consider stepping up your giving by moving one or more columns to the right for your annual pledge.
|Annual Income||Monthly Pledge|
HOW DOES MY COMMITMENT TO INCARNATION SUPPORT OUR MINISTRIES AND GOD’S CALL?
We are embarking upon a new era in the life of the Church of the Incarnation. One Hundred and thirty four years of active fellowship has been achieved! After a few rough years with loss of beloved friends and family, we are in the midst of a period of transformation. Our story is not much different from the Phoenix rising. And now is the time to answer the clarion call for service and rise up to ensure a future for our children.
These next few years will call those of us here to a higher level of service in preparation for one hundred and forty years and decades to come. Enclosed is our stewardship plan for annual giving and forthcoming will be our 140th Anniversary and our Capital Campaign to support growth and infrastructure.
Individuals are accepting the call to lead again and some for the first time. Ministry leadership should never be done alone. God has called us in pairs to mutually support each other as we attempt to do the work our Lord has called us to do, sending us out into the world. We are stepping out to feed the hungry, get healthy, and take care of the sick and shut in.
We are embarking on a new way of teaching Christian Education to our own children and the children in our community by preparing for Montessori Education for Children using “Godly Play”. We look to strengthen our operational infrastructure to carry out worship with our new webpage and supporting our communication efforts with appropriate technology and maintenance. And lastly, making a joyful noise unto the Lord as we search for a Minister of Music.
So many volunteers have come forth to make our buildings and grounds a joy to look at and a service for others. The garden is producing wonderful fruit and vegetables, our prayer and meditation cross is slowly blooming and will provide a place of beauty and meditation as we enter into 2017.
SOURCE OF FUNDS
$5,395 – Fundraising
$3,201 – Plate Offerings
$260,617 – Pledges
$24,228 – Non-pledge payments
$6,358 Rental Income
$200 – Other
EDUCATION – 8.4%
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION – 8.4%
$8.42 out of every $100 we give supports Incarnation’s Christian Education Ministry
Our goal is the begin a new way of telling the Jesus story to children that will make them lifelong committed Christians and to the Episcopal Church through “The Godly Play” curriculum engages what is most exciting about religious education: God inviting us into—and pursuing us in the midst of—Scripture and spiritual experience. For our youth in grades 6-12, we’ll begin teaching the “Journey to Adulthood” (J2A) curriculum. J2A is a complete youth ministry program of spiritual formation for middle and high school students. It encourages relational ministry and uses Bible study, prayer, rites of passage, outreach ministries and both serious and playful activities to underscore the two guiding principles of the program: 1) Manhood and womanhood are free gifts from God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned.
PARISH LIFE – 25.4%
out of every $100 we give supports Parish Life at Incarnation.
Our parish life is rich and varied. People tell us that they feel welcome when they visit us to worship for the first time. The priest or one of the laity may greet you at the front door. Our hope is to be a more active parish throughout the week. There are many active groups in our Parish and it’s important to find out what they are doing in our church and our community.
OUTREACH – 13.5%
$13.50 out of every $100 we give supports the Diocesan and Incarnation’s Outreach Ministry
Our most recent outreach efforts have been our commitment to the diocesan ministries. It is time for us to minister to those in our neighborhood here in Southwest Atlanta and to spread our ministry globally as a diverse parish. Clarence's Corner is a feed ministry devoted to the ministry of Clarence Rigsby who cared for so many. We look to begin our feeding ministry with “I Care Atlanta”. And to support our, J2A youth as well as encourage other global based ministries, Africa Children’s Fund, Path to Shine (mentoring and tutoring).
MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY – 5.0%
$5.00 out of every $100 we give supports Incarnation’s Media & Technology
The blessings of technology allow all of us to stay connected. Our needs are to allow those in the parish hall to continue to be a part of worship while attending to other needs of the church through a flat screen projection system as well as the appropriate communications through web streaming for those who are home bound. We look to update our systems capacity on the internet as well as our technology in the Church.
WORSHIP & MUSIC - 47.7%
$47.72 out of every $100 we give supports Incarnation’s Worship
Worship opportunities are offered at our regular Sunday service as well as a Healing Service every Wednesday evening. Parish commitments fund our clergy leadership, Sunday support staff and music program expenses. Music is often the first and last we all hear as we exit the Church. Music can move us in any situation. To grow a music program that addresses our intergenerational needs. And the development of a choir that is representative of our community.