As backdrop to any discussion I have about the church (small “c”) and Christianity, I usually start with a Christian anthropology of sorts. It is based in St. Paul’s letter to the church in Thessalonica (1 Thess 5:23). I believe that our humanity is based upon three aspects of our being — body (soma), mind (psyche), and spirit (pneuma). As such, we need to be mindful of these aspects when attending to those in need as well as ourselves.
While Vestry members may not all be certified public accountants or financial planners, we are as ‘the elected corporate leadership of the parish’ canonically accountable for the fiduciary health of Holy Cross. We are also committed to support the various needs of our parish such as:
• The corporal needs of our parishioners and the wider community, including providing hospitality for Holy Cross as well as feeding the hungry.
• Educational opportunities.
• Supporting counseling and other services needed in the community.
• Spiritual growth, both personal and corporate of our parish and the wider community.
All of these named mission and outreach responsibilities (and no doubt more) require fiscal support from Holy Cross, money allocated based on committed pledges. As Vestry leaders and fellow parishioners, we are committed to strive to do what is known as “biblical tithing,” or pledging 10 percent of our annual income.
We as a vestry wrestle with openly talking about money. We also believe that it is incumbent upon us to serve as models to increase our financial giving each year until we reach the biblical tithe. In fact, some on the Vestry already do. We, therefore, have corporately agreed to increase our giving 15 percent yearly, until we reach our personal tithe, even if it takes us beyond our term to do so. We also pledge to continue tithing after we have reached that spiritual commitment to the parish as long as we are members of Holy Cross.
Holy Cross Episcopal Church, as we are bold to proclaim, is a unique parish that has accomplished what bishops and rectors dream of…planting and building a sustainable new Episcopal Church. In other words, we have accomplished what others dare not dream of, much less talk about and then actually do what is necessary to offer our unique gifts to ‘the world’. Imagine the evangelistic impact of being the first parish in the Diocese of East Carolina to proclaim such a courageous biblically centered approach to the sustainability of generations to come. In addition, The Vestry’s tithing will work in tandem with our corporate promise to ‘tithe’ 10 percent of the Holy Cross budget to our Outreach ministries, serving as an example to ‘the church’.
If you have not yet pledged to Holy Cross, we urge you do so. Taking that first step of ‘signing a pledge card’ is a good first and faithful action. If you are one who ‘gives to the plate,’ please consider on-line giving until we once again share worship in our sanctuary. If you are currently pledging and wish to join the vestry in our aim to “strive to tithe,” please feel free to adjust your pledge in Realm or contact our finance manager, Ellen Wells, at email@example.com or at 910-619-4581 if you need assistance. (She will not be able to see the details of your account.)
If you have become unemployed or are underemployed and are unable to meet your commitment, please feel free to leave a message on the church answering machine (910-799-6347). This will be directed to the Finance Committee so the budget can be adjusted in planning for the remainder of the fiscal year. As Christians, we are in this together - body, mind, and spirit - through our commitment of pledged giving.