Capital Campaign: Sowing Seeds
Sowing Seeds of Hope
Undertaking major capital improvements during a global pandemic was risky, albeit necessary, in our case. One might argue that at a moment when our doors were shuttered, we should have spent far less time and resources worrying about making the foundation more solid for the future. However, from where I sit, it was a boldly faithful decision about the confidence that your leadership has about God’s mission, and our participation in that mission. Making these necessary structural updates was a profound declaration about our belief in the work we are called to do. Your vestry showed great courage and faithful imagination in understanding how our spaces are to be filled for generations to come, and how our decisions today impact those possibilities.
In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (9:6), he writes, “The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” We are inviting you to join us in this bountiful proclamation of faithfulness before us: to partner with God in building God’s kingdom. The picture you will find below is more complicated than simply a repayment for a loan, and purposefully so. Your Vestry has intentionally made known how these most recent repairs fit into the more robust vision of St. Michael’s in the future. In making contributions to our Endowment Fund, we ensure that our generosity makes a lasting impact. With funds made available for the Major Maintenance Fund, we ensure that we can respond to all eventualities that may arise in the care of aging buildings. In working to pay off the loan we acquired to pay for these repairs, we free up more funding for outreach and formation.
Please join us in making a bountiful commitment to our Sowing Seeds Capital Campaign. You may make a gift at any time by directing it to the parish office. Pledge cards will be mailed to all households in the coming days. Each and every seed you sow makes this hopeful vision a reality.
The Rev. Beth Franklin
From our Senior Warden, Caroline Haynes:
Many thanks to those that were able to join us for the forum on the capital campaign on February 13th. Below is a recap of the information that was discussed.
The focus on major maintenance needs is not new. In 1995-1996, St. Michael’s conducted an exhaustive analysis of anticipated short and long-term major maintenance needs, resulting in the 1996 Master Facilities Plan. The plan recommended that $18,000 per year be included in annual budget and transferred to the Major Maintenance Fund (equivalent of $32,776 in 2022 dollars).
The proposed annual contribution of $18,000 per year was a “catch up” to fund anticipated needed capital projects; this budget transfer was to be reduced gradually to approximately $10,000 per year, once resources had built up in the Major Maintenance Fund. Contributions to the Major Maintenance Fund were made for a just a few years, before more immediate short term needs arose, and the plan became more aspirational, and eventually abandoned.
In 2020, the Vestry updated the master facilities plan, based on 1996 plan, noting the variation in longevity of some facilities (some last much longer than anticipated; others need replacing long before the supposed useful life). Many of the needs identified in the 1996 plan have been addressed, either during the past two years or during the last capital campaign (such as replacing windows, roofs, HVAC, flooring, repairing stained glass windows, etc.). However, as we know, we will never be “finished” as upkeep of aging buildings will continue to require regular attention. Ultimately, we will save money in the long-run if we can address major maintenance needs before they become critical.
In 2020-2021, urgent repairs and renovations totaled about $308,000. We were fortunate that we were able to draw on assets from a variety of sources, since we had very little to draw from the Major Maintenance Fund. The good intentions of 1996 had not materialized.
The Vestry is interested in using this opportunity to again try to take a longer view, and begin to replenish our resources so that we can complete the remaining projects, and develop a plan to be able to anticipate and fund longer major maintenance needs. Going forward, we want to ensure that St. Michael’s has the ability to anticipate and respond again quickly to future needs.
2022 Capital Campaign
There is a direct trade-off between being able to tap capital needs through the Major Maintenance Fund or through Capital Campaigns. If there are little or no resources in Major Maintenance, then a Capital Campaign becomes necessary. Below are the objectives for the 2022 Capital Campaign:
- Complete remaining near term projects
- Plan for longer term Major Maintenance expenses
- Pay down the loan
- Begin to replenish the endowment fund
- Create a contingency fund to enable possible future additional uses of building
We are incredibly grateful for those who have already made contributions over the past year, which total $105,000. In this next phase, we hope to raise at least an additional $65,000. Our hope is that parishioners will be able to make pledges or contributions to the Capital Campaign by August of this year.
We will also continue to explore revenue generating opportunities to use the church buildings so that we might contribute to the Major Maintenance Fund.
St. Michael’s Endowment Fund
We were extremely fortunate to be able to take $130,000 from the endowment fund over the past two years. The vestry recognizes the need to rebuild the endowment fund: a reduced level of endowment assets results in reduced earnings contributing to “other income” to support the Mission Spend Plan, as well as reduced assets available for future needs.
We encourage individuals to prayerfully consider including St. Michael’s as a beneficiary in estate planning, especially for those who might not be in a position to make a direct contribution right now to the Capital Campaign.
All of the Financial Pieces are Connected
We are so grateful the continued financial support of this community, and this Capital Campaign further highlights how all of the pieces are connected. Pledges allow us to develop the Mission Spend Plan, including debt repayment and contributions to Major Maintenance Fund. Drawing down the endowment reduces the “other income” that supports the Mission Spend Plan, as well as reduced assets for future needs. Capital Campaigns are necessary when we lack funds dedicated to Major Maintenance.