June 2018

From the desk of Rev. Jason Prisley

As a parish family, we have been generously blessed by God in so many different ways and have been able to further share that blessing with the wider Stouffville community for almost 140 years. That’s amazing. In a world of constant change, Christ Church’s steady presence in Stouffville is proof of God’s blessing on our parish community. 

Just as I’m sure each of you are, I’m so proud to be a member of this dynamic and active parish, knowing that what Christ Church has accomplished is the result of God’s consistent and generous blessing on us. 

“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift,
is from above, coming down from the Father”

 James 1:17

Addressing Our Financial Challenge

As the town of Stouffville continues to expand I’m excited about our long-term growth prospects for our parish as more families seek God’s presence in their lives, but in order to grow we also need to consider the financial stewardship of our Church.

At our 2018 annual vestry meeting we discussed challenges related to a reduction of income from the Christ Church daycare and other financial shortcomings which we need to address.

As a parish we stepped up to this financial challenge in a number of ways, including:

  • A commitment from ministry leaders and office staff to reduce discretionary expenses wherever possible
  • Examining and reworking daycare oversight and marketing
  • Putting a focus on fundraising 
  • Increasing parishioner donations by at least 10% 

As we come into the summer months, we are approximately at the halfway point of our year, and while we are seeing good progress in ongoing expense management and are humbled by the financial generosity of our parishioners, our financial situation requires additional focus.

As of the end of May 2018 our year-to-date donations fell short of our operating expenses by approximately $22,000. 

Additionally, while we continue to look at ways to address the daycare income challenges, we have also been hit with unexpected costs related to insurance deductibles following the damage from the recent ice storm and are also faced with the need for significant roof repairs and other ongoing building maintenance projects. Needless to say, short-term cash flow challenges and the ongoing financial sustainability of Christ Church are matters which we prayerfully need to consider.

I see a wonderful opportunity for Christ Church Stouffville to flourish in the years to come. We have started the processes of developing a long-term parish growth strategy, recognizing that finances are only one aspect of a healthy church, but we do need to come to terms with the immediate financial realities facing our parish. 

For those of you who have already answered the call made at vestry for increased donations I want to extend heartfelt thanks on behalf of myself and all the members of Christ Church. Your continued financial contributions to Christ Church are a testament to your gratitude of God’s many blessings upon our parish.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Luke 20:35

Ways to Give to Christ Church

I would ask that, in addition to prayerfully looking at ways to increase our individual donations to Christ Church, for those who have not already done so, please consider signing up to our Pre-Authorized Giving program.

Utilizing the Pre-Authorized Giving program is a convenient and easy way to make donations to Christ Church and also allows for a predictable stream of year-round income to the parish regardless of seasons when attendance is lower or at times when you may not be able to attend in person.

Outside of the Sunday offer envelopes, one-time or lump sum donationscan also be made through the parish office or online via the Christ Church website.

In addition to ongoing regular contributions of our time and money, there are other methods of giving to Christ Church which can have a long-term impact on the sustainability of the parish. Some of these might include:

Insurance: Christ Church Stouffville may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

Bank Accounts: Bank accounts or certificates of deposit may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to Christ Church Stouffville, in accord with local bank and tax requirements.

Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to Christ Church Stouffville as an outright gift.

Real Estate: Real estate may be donated either by making an outright gift or, in the case of an existing residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. 

Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to Christ Church Stouffville by means of a legally executed will, or Christ Church Stouffville may be named as beneficiary of a trust agreement. 

As the term “charitable planning” implies, these types of donations typically require some planning. If you are interested in contributing to Christ Church Stouffville using one of the methods outlined above, we encourage you to consider the matter in prayer and also seek guidance from your financial and legal advisors. When you are ready, make arrangements to meet with Christ Church’s Treasurer, who would be happy to have a confidential discussion with you on the matter.

Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly
or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

2 Corinthians 9:7

We Give Because God Gave First

Our parish positively impacts the lives of so many people, both members of our active parish family as well as the wider Stouffville community. In additional to weekly worship services, baptisms, weddings and funerals, our church property is host to many community groups such as Girl Guides and Brownies, and is also the venue for concerts, entertainment functions and recreational sports leagues.

Please take the time to explore the various ministries featured below and all the wonderful events that are scheduled over the next few months. 

Christ Church Stouffville is a home to our parish where our Christian faith is proclaimed and lived out in many varied and wonderful ways, we need your continued support to serve the community and share the love of Jesus Christ. 

Yours in Christ

The Rev. Jason Prisley

Christ Church Ministries

Our parish serves the community in so many wonderful ways.