As I sat down to write this column, my iPod appeared to pick an appropriate song to inspire me. Mind you, the iPod was on “shuffle,” which causes a rather eclectic play list in my world. Initially, it started with “Air on the G String” by Johann Sebastian Bach, then a song about the Irish Revolution called “Johnson’s Motor Car”! Next came Jethro Tull’s "Wond'ring Aloud." The last line of the song was most inspiring: And it's only the giving that makes you what you are.
God loves Rock and Roll!
Giving makes you what you are…. It made me think about the capital campaign. I am still humbled by the generosity of our parish family. Together we tackled some big projects…and if you followed my columns on the work, some big surprises!
Now we are nearing the end of the campaign. Yes, there are some pledgees that opted for the five-year plan. But the majority of the funds pledged have been donated and, for the most part, spent.
So what happens next? We still need to maintain both the building and our mission to the Reading area and the diocese. This too needs to be funded. Otherwise, the money spent on our building was for naught.
I don’t want to take away from the property committee’s message—they can explain what is needed in a later enews. But from my perspective, we have to consider the following:
The downstairs kitchen needs a hand washing station to pass the health code, which allows us to use the kitchen to serve food at events like the FALL-iday fair, which can generate money for Good Shepherd.
The new HVAC system will need to be maintained.
Walk around the building and note that the gutters are falling off. The lawn needs an injection of seed and fertilizer.
Small parts of our building still need help—the front door on Woburn street, the plaster around the Good Shepherd window, and so on—these little repairs add up.
Updating the bathrooms—because of the added costs of the organ and the roof, there is just no money for the work.
And how about our staff? We need to pay them a wage that reflects what they do for us. For example, there are guidelines for salaries for rectors that we are not meeting.
The vestry is doing the best they can, given the anticipated funds. But if we do what we need to do, it will be a deficit budget. Now I am sure some reader is saying “Hold On! The budget was balanced over the last three years!” Well that is correct, but that statement needs some perspective. The last three balanced budgets deferred much of the maintenance needed on our building (thank God for our volunteers!) and salaries were level funded. Also, in the 24 years I have been coming to Good Shepherd, very few budgets were balanced.
So what do we want to do, Good Shepherd? Those people who pledged to the capital campaign, can you take some of that money that you gave going forward and make it part of your regular pledge? Can you help us fund the parish and keep this a place to be proud of?
We are planning a series of meetings after the service where you can ask questions and express your feelings. I hope you will come and let me and the Vestry hear your voice.
I want you to know that I am increasing my pledge. How about you?