At St. Thomas, stewardship is not only about money. It’s about our people, and about using all our resources as effectively as we can in our wider ministry.
Operation 12K Church Cleaning
Operation 12K Church Cleaning, which has existed for over 40 years at St. Thomas, continues with approximately 60 volunteers, who belong to five teams.
Teams take turns cleaning the church Saturday mornings for one to two hours. The team captains are Jim Doherty (coordinator), Lorraine Balderson, Richard Cherry, Chris Chadsey, and Bill Danson.
Operation 12K, with a budget of $2500 for supplies, saves St. Thomas considerable money by not having to pay for the services of a cleaner. One of its main values is the building of a sense of community amongst the volunteers who enjoy the fellowship and see the fruits of their labour. Many of the team members and captains have assisted for a long time. However, we are always in need of additional assistance. A number of members do not want to “retire” , but deserve it, and we need to replace them and others who are no longer parishioners. If you want to join the crew and have some fun, speak to one of the captains or give Jim Doherty a call at (613) 523-2487 or email@example.com
The wardens recognize the 12K volunteers each year with a dinner and entertainment in appreciation of their work.
The St. Thomas Property Committee continuously monitors the physical condition of our church premises and identifies what needs fixing. The Committee is responsible for planning expenditures for the year and the future, identifying not just minor items (broken soap dispensers, etc.) but also major items (roof repairs, etc.) that require large expenditures from our Capital Maintenance Budget.
We recently completely renovated our worship space. The result is a church that is very friendly to those with disabilities, easy for parish members to use, and very supportive of our worship.
The St. Thomas Finance Committee consists of the Parish Treasurer and senior members of our parish governance team. The Committee continuously monitors parish finances to determine whether our receipts are covering our expenses. If expenses exceed receipts, the Committee determines whether this is a temporary situation or one that requires more extensive action.
Finance Committee also takes the lead on setting annual parish budgets and in presenting these to our Annual Vestry for discussion and approval.
St. Thomas relies on our Finance Committee for advice, guidance, and decisions on our financial health.
Environmental Stewardship at St Thomas
We at St Thomas view environmental consciousness as a stewardship issue. To us, how we use the earth’s natural resources, including energy and water, in the most responsible way, is simply another dimension of how we use our time, talents and treasure – the more traditional stewardship concerns.
In the fall of 2013 we organized a ‘green audit’ of the church buildings which examined energy efficiency, water efficiency, kitchen and washrooms, air quality, property, etc. The audit was conducted by an organization called “Greening Sacred Spaces” (GSS) with financial support from the National Church. GSS helps faith communities identify concrete actions to create a more energy efficient place of worship and to educate members of the community about ecological issues and saving resources.
Representatives from the Property and Stewardship Committees accompanied the auditor as he looked at every room in the church. The audit resulted in a 34 page report, titled ‘Green Audit Report – St Thomas the Apostle’ which can be viewed here. It contains a number of recommendations, some short term fixes, easy winners, and others requiring substantial expenditures but achieving long term savings. The report stated that overall, the Church is in good operating condition, yet has opportunities to reduce electricity, natural gas, and water consumption in a number of areas. It can also pay attention to air quality and waste reduction and recycling.
Read more about the work of the Stewardship Committee.