Allen Jones: Investing in Our Spiritual Lives

Given at church on Commitment Sunday, November 4, 2018

Good morning. I am Allen Jones, and as a member of the vestry and Head of the Stewardship Committee, I am excited to be speaking to you on Commitment Sunday about our 2019 Stewardship campaign. As you know our campaign this year is centered around the theme “Investing in our Spiritual Lives” Over the past few weeks, you’ve heard form Hugh, Kathryn and Joanna about what St. Andrew’s means to them and why they support the stewardship effort. I want to take a few minutes this morning to speak to you about why pledging is important to the Jones Family.

St. Andrew’s has been in important part of our lives since 2004, the year we moved to Wellesley from Atlanta Georgia. We were introduced to St. Andrew’s through the Montessori school as our daughter Carly started there in 2004 followed by her brother Stewart, a couple of years later. We began attending St. Andrew’s on a regular basis in 2005 when our kids were young- attending Church Services and coffee hour. Over time we started to become more involved in the Church. A personal highlight for me was teaching 2nd grade in 2008-2009 with Tim Raeke (we had no idea what we were in for!).

Whether it’s Bargain Haul, Rite-13, the church picnic, or the Fall Party, we actively support what St Andrew’s does for Wellesley, Boston and beyond. Our family makes giving financially to St. Andrew’s a priority each year and we feel fortunate to be able to do this. While we give to other great charities and to our Alma Maters, we give to St Andrew’s because of what we get in return and what the Church does for our family. For me the return is pretty simple. I love the fellowship, really enjoy the Men’s book club but honestly one of the things I enjoy the most…… I know (generally, sometimes I cheat) that each Sunday morning I will take some time to reflect and unplug. I cherish the “Off the Grid time!”

So this is why we give and I ask you that as you think about giving in 2018, what is important to you and how your gift helps this congregation to Invest in our Spiritual Life. I hope the testimonials that you have heard and read over the past few weeks will help you to be as generous as you can be. For those of you who have completed your pledge for 2019—thank you! And if you have not we are asking you to do this today, commitment Sunday.

As you know our campaign goal is to raise $1.025 million and have participation from at least 300 families—these are both modest increases over what we accomplished in last year’s successful campaign. As a reminder it’s easy to pledge. You can pledge on line, pay by credit card, check, appreciated stock or use a donor advised fund. We will happily accept all of these (smile)!

Beyond raising money for the St. Andrew’s and its programs, here are some key aims of our campaign:

  • We want to broaden our pledge base. We want to get participation from 300+ families and reduce reliance on a few large donors
  • We want to reduce our dependence on draws from the endowment
  • We want and expect to maintain current staffing levels
  • And we want to continue to have a robust outreach program

These are just a few ways St Andrew’s remains a strong participant in the community. One thing that I have not mentioned, is the 125th anniversary next year. St. Andrew’s has been rock solid for more than a century, we want to maintain this for the next 125 years and continue to Invest in our Spiritual lives. Your pledge also helps us maintain our outstanding liturgy, music and formation ministries for all ages. Like the 2nd graders I taught 10 years ago, they are now young adults and about to make their mark on the world. Please give what you can and help us to make a mark on the world, also.

And a reminder… I said this last year. Markets have continued to be kind to us. As a matter of fact, an article appear recently that stated… Thanks to the bull market in stocks, equities now account for a bigger share of household net worth than real estate. This has happened only a few times in the post-WWII era.

We know this cannot last forever.

And finally, thank you for those of you who have already made your pledge for 2019. If you have not, I hope that you can pledge today. Please help us by being as generous as you can and I thank you for your support.

2019 Step Up Chart