HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND BLESSED ADVENT!
COVID numbers are increasing in the world and in the United States. May we continue to pray and act wisely. With winter beginning, we need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might have to take action to help secure the safety of those who are more vulnerable due to age or pre-existing conditions. Thanks to those who are open to doing so! Wonderfully, in Montgomery County, even with some days showing an increase in COVID cases, case numbers continue to remain low. In fact, so far COVID cases throughout the archdiocese continue to remain low and relatively stable. Therefore, the chancery has removed the recommendation to keep a socially distanced section of pews in the church. Several weeks ago, the parish leadership team recommended the elimination of distanced pews in church. Hearing that COVID numbers were increasing, I held off on the leadership team’s recommendation for a time. However, with the added archdiocesan news, beginning next weekend, we will no longer have a section of distanced pews in church. For those who want to physically distance, the 9:00 AM PAC Mass will continue to have distancing. The 7:30 AM, Noon, and 5 PM Sunday Masses are the Masses with the most available space. For those disappointed with the news of removing the pew-distanced section in church, please contact a pastoral council member. Their names are on the front of the bulletin. There is also an email address for pastoral council.
One of the powerful dimensions of Catholic Christianity is our ability to begin anew. The newness that Jesus’ forgiveness and his paschal mystery bring are especially available to us at Mass and in the sacrament of reconciliation. The season of Advent also gives us a new beginning. Happy New Year this Advent! May the promised peace and light of our newborn and coming again Savior fill us with hope and expectant joy.
Last week I mentioned how thankful I am that the first quarter of Incarnation’s fiscal year was so positive. After giving thanks as a nation, and as promised in last week’s bulletin, please read the two articles that highlight reasons to be thankful: The most generous people of Incarnation Church!!
Sincerely and with Love in Christ,
Stewardship Weeks – The “TREASURE” Cards
This is the third in a series of articles looking at the response to our September stewardship appeal, specifically the Treasure cards. As a reminder, last year, we conducted an offertory enhancement campaign by mail, to which about 330 families responded. The campaign was successful, the first time in nine years that offertory collections increased! This year we were pleased to receive 225 TREASURE cards. Here are a few facts about some of the results:
*43% of those who completed cards were already contributing to various organizations and Charities.
*Approximately 50% will give more. Of that 50%, 28% increased giving by 3% and 22% increased their giving by more than 3%.
*54% will give/continue to give to St. Vincent de Paul and 52% will give/continue to give to Catholic Ministries Appeal.
There is no question that Incarnation parishioners are outstandingly generous! Supporting the needs of the Church through giving is a generous act of caring for our parish and the needs of those we support. Giving encourages a grateful and generous spirit. When we gift a portion of our personal wealth, we offer Jesus a small portion of the abundance he’s already provided. Truly, all we have and give already belongs to the Lord! May Jesus bless all those who give generously through weekly offerings and through their daily actions toward others.
Parish Engagement Coordinator
Summary of Church and School Operations
Below is a summary of Church and School operations from the Finance Committee for the first quarter of the 21-22 fiscal year. Church Collections for the quarter totaled $507,223 which represents 22% of the annual budget of $2.3 million and is an increase from the prior year by almost $48,000. WeShare contributions accounted for 59% of total collections. Additionally, we received one IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution of $10,000. Thank you to everyone for generously giving to support our parish as we are in with both feet. To date, the Church has spent 21% of the operating expense budget and 4% of the capital budget. The Church continues to support the grade school through a subsidy. The total subsidy budgeted for the year is $375,000 and allocated to the school quarterly. The school opened up the year with a total of 911 students enrolled as of quarter end, after ending the last school year with 871 students enrolled. Total tuition recognized for the quarter was $953,345, which represents 25% of the annual budget of $3.7 million. To date, the school has spent 24% of the operating expense budget and 86% of the capital budget.