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In contrast to mainline Christianity in general and the Episcopal Church in particular, Old St. Paul’s Church in downtown Baltimore is growing! You can feel it on Sunday mornings. Our numbers are up in worship attendance, Children’s Worship, and Education Hour participation. We have expanded our fellowship opportunities and outreach ministries. This is all great news!
However, expanding programs means more financial demands on our church. As we enter Stewardship season, one of the questions we might ask ourselves is, “If I were to make a financial pledge for the first time, or if I were to increase my pledge, where would that money go?” Here are some responses to that question.
- With all the new babies being born, we are expanding our nursery care staff.
- Our breakfast program before the Education Hour and our Coffee Hour after church are a huge success. The hospitality costs for coffee, treats, and refreshments have gone up significantly this year.
- We would like to expand our Downtown Partnership security team to make sure everyone is safe and all program areas are covered on Sunday mornings.
- On kick-off Sunday, we had 70 participants in the Sunday School and Youth Programs, as well as 36 participants at The Forum. We are having to add staff such as a new “Middle School Youth Minister” and a “Community Builder for Families with Infants and Toddlers” in order to keep up with these needs.
- As we explore new outreach ministries, our newly formed Social Justice and Service Committee would like to look at ways our church could increase our financial giving to address needs here in Baltimore and beyond.
- After being rented out for many years, in 2015 both the Historic Rectory and the 309 Cathedral Street building came back under control of the church. The use of these buildings is a gift, but this also means more financial spending on repairs and maintenance to take care of these historic structures.
All these important needs and programs require money. The trajectory of our parish looks promising, but we need the financial support of all our members to support the expansion of our ministries. Your financial contributions are needed in order to keep our church vital and growing.
Stewardship Packets can now be picked up on Sunday mornings or can be mailed to you. You can also pledge online at http://www.stpaulsbaltimore.org/?page_id=1683
Thank you for your generosity!
—The Reverend Mark Stanley, Rector