St Thomas has a strong and longstanding tradition of active stewardship. Our Stewardship Committee, created in 1999, is concerned with all aspects of stewardship. It not only pays attention to how the parish uses its members’ time, talents, and treasure, but is concerned with how our parish property is used in socially relevant ways, as well as paying attention to the parish’s environmental practices.
Financial Stewardship: The Committee develops and manages the annual parish campaign to secure members’ financial pledges for the next year, which helps enormously in budgeting. The 2017 package includes:
All of these documents are available on this website.
The Stewardship Committee also organizes an annual dinner to celebrate our parish life and ministry. Central to this is appreciating the spirit of fellowship that runs throughout our parish community. It is a low-key, catered dinner at which those present participate in enjoyable activities and fellowship. These have recently included a photo captions contest and a Bible quiz! There is no agenda except enjoying each other’s company!
Welcoming new parish members, engaging them, and integrating them into our parish family is crucial to parish renewal. It is an important dimension of how we value our parish members and seek to give them the opportunity to grow within the parish and participate meaningfully in our parish mission. A Work Group on Welcoming and Integration submitted a report in mid-2014 and made a number of recommendations on this topic. Its full report is titled ‘Final Report Welcoming and New Member Integration 15 June 2014’.
We also organized a ‘Connections Café’ parish breakfast on May 30, 2015 to which we specifically invited our newest parish members as well as any longer-standing members who wished to attend. We shared information about the parish’s history, governance, and mission, outreach ministries and volunteering opportunities. In addition to providing information about the parish, the event provided opportunities for newcomers to meet other parish members. The event was judged a success, and plans are developing for a repeat in 2017.
While not a Stewardship Committee project, Braeside House (described elsewhere on this website) represents a use of the parish property that is most consistent with our Christian stewardship principles. While there have been commercial opportunities for that part of the property, the decision to build housing for developmentally challenged adults reflects the parish’s priority on high social relevance and Christian values.