The message of stewardship is central to the Eucharist and engrained throughout the scriptures. One of the most important lessons Jesus taught, was at the Last Supper when He reminded us we are called to serve. Jesus was the perfect steward, giving His very life. The gifts that He asks us to share are small compared to the gift He gave for us.
The offertory collection is an important part of the Mass, going back to the earliest days of the church. The collection basket holds the gifts of our congregation, the "first fruits" of our work; connecting each of us through prayers, faith, love, sacrifice and worship. The offerings are our collective sacrificial offerings in union with Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. We bring the gifts of bread and wine and treasure to the altar. The priest receives them with gratitude, blesses them with reverence and presents them to God with respect.
A life lived in tribute equal to the gift of life.
We value the time that you spend with us attending Mass and visiting our facilities, and we take care that your time is well spent, that your spirit is refreshed and your needs are met, in safe and enjoyable surroundings.
We respect the unique and wonderful ministerial gifts that you share with us, whether it's when you sing in our choir, crochet prayer shawls for the homebound or shepherd our littlest sheep through Vacation Bible School.
And always, we guard the financial treasures you entrust with us, so that you are secure in the knowledge your contributions are put to their best use: furthering the mission and vision of God and the people of our parish.
The dictionary defines steward as one who manages another person's property or financial affairs. In one way or another each of us has no doubt been a steward on a personal level at some point in our lives. Has a friend or relative asked you to hold something of theirs for safekeeping? Did you not find yourself being more careful with their treasure than if it were your very own? Our clergy and staff members of St. Juliana Parish are careful, conscientious stewards of the time, talent and treasures of its people, the parish of St. Juliana.
Where does the money go?
Sometimes, in the same way that you may when surveying your household accounts, we find ourselves wondering, where DOES the money go? It seems as though there's never enough. Realistically, we know exactly where each dollar goes and we share that with our community in our interim and annual financial reports. While number-crunchers may like the familiarity of a GAAP balance sheet, many of you may appreciate a more visual perspective.
Using our beloved church bell tower as a graphical representation of our parish coffers, we illustrate where our ordinary expenses fall in an ordinary fiscal year.
- Employee expense consists of salaries, employer FICA/Medicare taxes, health insurance, and pension contributions. Unemployment claims, outside priests and professional growth/ministerial expense are included here as well. Most costs associated with salaries are fixed and the only way to decrease overall spending here is to eliminate staff positions. This is the bright pink area and it represents 72% of our total ordinary expense.
- Occupancy is where costs related to the physical structures and grounds we inhabit are grouped. Insurance, electric, heat, water, scavenger and normal repair and maintenance are reflected in blue, and this category represents 16% of our total.
- Next up is administrative expense at 6%. Our largest ministry–St. Juliana School– as well as CCD bring a lot of activity to this green section, as it includes textbooks, workbooks, instructional materials and software, as well as office supplies, small furnishings/equipment and related items.
- What we internally refer to as Archdiocesan “taxes” are set by the Archdiocese as a percentage of our previous year's operating income. It covers church, school (OCS) and priests' retirement assessments and is represented in black at 4%.
- Finally, we have our miscellaneous category. In here we find ministry/formation, marketing/public relations, meeting/hospitality and gifts/donations. Together, our miscellaneous items add up to just under 2% of our total expense, reflected in red on our graphic.
Members of our parish finance council oversee our stewardship efforts and offer guidance and advice to the pastor and administrators. If you are interested in joining the finance council, please get in touch with our pastor, Father James Wallace.
Anywhere you see this gift box, is a direct link to our online donation site, givecentral.org. The gift icon is also at the top right corner of every page on our web site, next to the search, Facebook and Twitter icons.
GiveCentral for recurring Sunday donations is the most efficient and cost-effective method for donating to St. Juliana Parish. You save money on checks, we save money on offering envelopes, labor and handling costs, and everyone gets a secure, convenient electronic record of your contributions. You can set up weekly, bi-weekly, monthly recurring donations, or log in and make one-time donations at your convenience, 24/7. All of the second collection funds–sharing parish, Catholic Charities, etc.,– are also represented at GiveCentral.
Want some help setting up GiveCentral? Our office staff will be happy to assist you.