Cheerful Givers Wanted!

Stewardship is rooted in discipleship and responding to the gifts that God has given. Christian Stewardship is the precious partnership we have with God to manage and share the talents and blessings we have received from our loving Heavenly Father, and through this process, assure that God’s abundance is distributed as widely and as generously as Grace affords. No talent is too small or unimportant; each has its place in the plan of God. Just like our parish tradition, all are welcome, all are needed!

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Click here for the 2017 Stewardship Brochure!


 

The Saint Miriam Generosity Campaign for 2017: A Friar’s Circle!

For it is in giving that we receive…

12 Months, 12 Gifts….

That is what we need now. To enhance what we started and to build on what we began. We cannot do it with out you. Many have sacrificed so much: from our priests to our membership, but we need to now not rest, but to continue to give and do so generously and with a regular rhythm that allows our clergy to focus of spiritual growth and a life of prayer and hope. Our 2017 mission will be to complete the needed painting, which included the Sanctuary ceiling, now completed and absolutely beautiful! Our further enhancements will include a new Friary Rectory, where our pastor and other Franciscans can come and rest and serve. Who among us would deny them a place to live after all they so generously give to us every day? We will also add to our liturgical furnishings with a new pulpit that will also protect our new AV system from harm, and finally a beautiful hanging Altar Cross! Every Catholic parish needs to focus on the Altar, the Cross, and the Tabernacle.

In addition, our outreach continues to grow and exemplify the inclusive values you have come to know and love about Saint Miriam! We offer “Scarfs with a Purpose” whereby we care for the homeless in the coldest of months, and we also collect paperback books for the men’s and Women’s Libraries at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. These books help inmates access recreational books, popular fiction and non-fiction, as well as reference, self-help, inspirational and educational resources. We have an ongoing support arrangement with Laurel House, a secure and warm home that offers an array of supportive programs and services to those who are impacted by domestic violence. Saint Miriam also maintains and fosters a deep relationship with the Community of St. John, an Episcopal Religious Order of women who desire to bear witness to the light of Christ, cherishing him in their hearts, and and revealing him to others. Also, through our schools, we provide scholarship assistance to any family in need so that they can afford to send their child to a private religious educational program and gain a wonderfully interactive educational experience, regardless of their ability to pay! Finally, we maintain that Jesus is the heart of this parish, so we offer the means of worshipping Him through the Sacrifice of the Mass, Adoration, Annual Retreats, and so much more. Every dollar given goes to support mission and values. It is that simple promise that has enabled us to grow every year. We have earned the right to say we are good stewards!

What is Christian Stewardship all about?

Stewardship is rooted in discipleship and responding to the gifts that God has given. Christian Stewardship is the precious partnership we have with God to manage and share the talents and blessings we have received from our loving Heavenly Father, and through this process, assure that God’s abundance is distributed as widely and as generously as Grace affords. No talent is too small or unimportant; each has its place in the plan of God. Just like our parish tradition, all are welcome, all are needed!

Who we are and what we believe are clearly revealed by how we share our talents and blessings. The world should see us being Christian, not be told! The good news is that God has given us the power to become what we believe, and to become all that we want to be, by the life-giving power we receive from the exercise of generous Christian Stewardship. All that we are, all that we do, and everything we strive to be is made meaningful and complete as we give, live, and serve the God who has given us an abundant life and the commission to share that abundance with others. This is the meaning and the privilege of Christian Stewardship. That is why at Saint Miriam, we do not ask for equal giving, only equal sacrifice. By your weekly or monthly donation, given electronically, we are better able to budget and serve God more abundantly. It is truly a win-win, but all must participate. Please remember that since we do not take up a collection at Mass, eGiving is needed by all, and even our ministry team and priests give to the parish they serve and do so by tithing a percentage of their earned income.

We hope that you will join us on our continuing magnificent journey that began some eight years ago in a small rented chapel in a Jewish Synagogue. Today, Saint Miriam has grown and become vibrant because we have always honored our loving God through the generous and joyful commitment of our lives and resources. We have come to know intimately that when one is generous, God hears and listens and adores! We recognize that all that we have comes from God and we are called simply to be good and wise stewards of these gifts and to ultimately leave a legacy for tomorrow!

What is the 2017 Stewardship Campaign all about?

Stewardship is far more than just numbers or buildings; the emphasis should always be on God’s people. At Saint Miriam we touch lives every day, we bring people together, and we connect Catholics from all walks of life to the eternal and lasting tradition that illuminates our lives. Our communal flame of tradition and community burns brightly. Now, with our new campus, is the time for Saint Miriam to build upon its legacy and plan for the future, but this cannot be done without the financial stability of a robust endowment. This year’s campaign will not only help us sustain our current levels of excellence, allow us to increase our weekly and monthly giving from those who have yet to participate, but will empower us to redefine expectations of what Saint Miriam can mean to our greater community and God’s holy Church.

How does The Saint Miriam Fund fit in?

The Saint Miriam Fund will be more than just for an annual stewardship appeal, it will be an actual invested endowment to provide for the future of the parish and its related entities. An endowment is a permanent fund established by Saint Miriam to be used for specific purposes. Most endowments, including those at Saint Miriam, are invested in a manner that keeps the principal amount intact and generates income that can be used by the Congregation to support operations, as well as to fund specific and innovative programs, building needs, or services. Best practice dictates that a congregation of our size and diverse programming requires a minimum endowment of three to five times our annual budget. This year’s Stewardship Campaign is designed to move us toward that milestone. Our endowment will be professionally managed and invested in a diversified portfolio of Index and Mutual Funds. The Saint Miriam Fund will begin this year with any contributions so designated directly by the giver, and/or by any surplus donations and pledges received above and beyond the annual projected budget needs.

How will the money from the endowment be used?

The income generated from the unrestricted endowment will be used to support the general operations of Saint Miriam and its related entities (except our cemetery, which has its own restricted endownment) Income generated from designated funds will be used to pay expenses associated with the specific designation.

How long does the Campaign run?

This program will run through the dates of Lent, March 1st – April 13th 2017.

How do I know how much to give?

There are many ways to support the annual Campaign. You may need to reflect upon the role Saint Miriam plays in your life, your children’s lives, and in the life of the community to determine the appropriate level of contribution. Any member of the Campaign’s leadership team will be happy to meet and talk with you to respond to questions. Special dedication/naming opportunities have been identified for the campaign and there are also appropriate honor and memorial categories that can help guide you.

Is my contribution to the Campaign tax deductible?

100% of every contribution to the Campaign is tax deductible. Saint Miriam is a recognized 501(c)(3) Religious Organization and all of our entities are not-for-profit. The timing of the tax deductions can depend on how your contribution is structured. Please consult your tax professional to confirm the appropriate timing of your deduction(s).

What is a planned gift?

A planned gift is an agreement to make a gift at some point in the future, usually in your will or other bequest. Many planned gifts are structured as irrevocable bequests. Other planned gifts are structured to take effect during the life of the contributor after some specific event or time period. We have experts to help guide you, should you decide to leave a legacy for the future!

Please consider matching gifts, too!

Did you ever inquire to see if your employer, or club, or social network offers assistance to parishes or schools? Your gift could double and help us grow without anything more from your own pocket! So far four parishioners have found ways to help through their work that include United Health Care, IBM, and LVHNN! Please remember to ask…it never hurts and can double your gifts to support our ministry!

How will my gift be recognized?

Saint Miriam has created honor categories to pay tribute to those who support the Campaign this year along with specific dedications. Gifts of $5,000 (one time or spread throughout the year and given electronically on a regular, predefined basis) will receive a beautiful replica statue of St. Francis Joliet, located in our beautiful new Section F! Gifts of $2,500 and over will be recognized in perpetuity on a formal plaque to hang in the Bell Tower. Additionally, we will offer the opportunity for you to engrave personalized bricks for any gift over $500 that will create a walkway to both our new preschool playground and the planned outdoor Saint Miriam Bell Tower Wedding Garden! And, finally, all donations and gifts will be recorded in The Friends of St. Francis Honor Guild. Every level of giving is welcome, needed, and appreciated as it supports the mission of this wonderful place we call home… Saint Miriam!

How can I contribute?

You can support this Stewardship Campaign in many ways. An immediate cash contribution can be made, or spread out weekly, monthly or bi-annually electronically. For larger gifts, in excess of $10,000, you may request a predefined structure for over as many as five years. Donating assets other than cash, like appreciated securities, stocks, bonds, or even vehicles and boats, is also an option! Additionally, there is always the option of making a legacy gift through your designating Saint Miriam as part of your Last Will & Testament. Finally, a contribution can be structured using both a planned gift and a current cash contributions. There are may ways to benefit your desire to give and the parish you have come to love who gives so much back to you and your family!

How does this work if I am already giving, or have never given before?

There are three main groupings of individuals who attend and call Saint Miriam their spiritual home! (1) Those who have never given, (2) Those who give, but only periodically and without regularity, and (3) Those who already give electronically and on a regular interval that allows us to budget better and reduces the stress on our ministry team, especially our pastor! Let us take each here to make it easy!

1. If you have never given, just complete the form that came with this brochure, or pick up another in the Library, or from anyone on staff, and we will process it for the amount and date you specified! It’s that easy! Start today and watch your gift help others!

2. If you are giving, but not on a regular basis, please consider doing so this year! Regular givers help us to plan better and budget better and your planned giving becomes party of your overall giving portfolio, and you would be surprised how gifts of any size adds up quickly to support the mission and values of Saint Miriam! Just complete the enrollment form that came with this brochure, or pick up another in the Library, or from anyone on staff, and watch your gift help others!

3. If you are already giving on a regular basis electronically let us be the first to give you one enthusiastic thank you!! Your regular gifts help us help others and has brought us this far! We could not be more thankful. To increase your giving, which we ask everyone to consider every year, just see anyone on staff, email us at Info@mySaintMiriam.org, or write a quick note to let us know how much you would like to increase and we will take care of it for you! If you have your user name and password, you may also go to our website and log in under “Support” to Vanco Services and increase your weekly or monthly amount at any anytime!

Make this the year that you join the many parishioners who give so we might live, grow, and thrive to help others!

What about talent?

What is your area of expertise? What do you know how to do better than most people around you? What are you really good at and enjoy doing? Perhaps it is parenting, or maybe you are an excellent accountant, or have a beautiful voice and can sing like an angel. You listen well and are a caring friend, or you know how to bake a mouthwatering apple pie. You are a creative and inspirational artist, or perhaps you are a teacher who has the ability to explain even the most difficult concept in a way that seems simple and easy to understand. These attributes are called “talents”. We survive, as a parish, because of all the wonderful volunteers who commit to so many areas. These needs include the Saint Miriam Cafe’, cleaning, support services, pre-school volunteers, greeters, readers, acolytes, Eucharistic Ministers, sacristy support, choir members, PREP Educational volunteers and teachers, and so much more.

How do I get involved?

We welcome all who would like to be involved in the Campaign effort! Please contact Mrs. Pat Wilcke 215-836-9800 x702, our Stewardship & Fund Chair, for more information.

Evangelism: The dirty word in Catholicism!

To help us grow, we also need to spread the word and that’s called Evangelism! Since Pope John Paul II called the Church to a new “horizon of evangelization,” there has been increased interest in the mission of evangelization. Parishes and dioceses throughout the country have active evangelization teams and even offices of evangelization! Yet, as central as evangelization is to the mission and life of the Church, there is still a lot of reluctance on the part of many Catholics to become involved in it. Why? Simple: Catholics don’t do that!

Well, we were actually once a mission parish and look at what we’ve become by working and spreading the word together? So, as part of our Stewardship plan this year, we would like to begin with a brief introduction to evangelism – spreading the word – about Saint Miriam, and the Old Catholic Church, and our vital and exciting mission, and then set ourselves up for even greater success in the three main areas. The idea is rather simple: after a time of formation, three teams will be formed. The first team will focus on enriching the actively practicing and involved Catholics in the parish. The second team will reach out to ‘lapsed’ Catholics within our own parish. The third team will contact non-Catholics, and those outside our parish, by providing informal visits to their homes, onsite, or to public venues for a brief introduction to all that we are at Saint Miriam. The main areas of our evangelism will encompass (1) Bible, (2) Christ, (3) The Church, (4) Our Mission. Scripture is the word of God in human language and a source of Divine wisdom. Christ is the Word of God incarnate for us, and the Church is the household of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth made manifest for our worship and God’s glory and praise! We honor all of this and so much more at Saint Miriam…it’s time to spread the word!

We will begin with prayer and contemplation, as an active participant with God, to evangelize the community. Scriptural prayer allows us to understand our own lived experience and the experiences of others so that we can present Christ and His Gospel in a way that is relevant and life-giving. Only this will bring true peace, justice, and freedom to our world, and only this will satisfy the longing of the human heart.
Join us this Lenten Season for three sessions on March 19th, March 26th and April 2nd.

“For it is in giving that we receive…”

Those are the words of St. Francis of Assisi and they could not be more true of our parish and its philosophy on giving. We give because we love. We care because God loved us first. We throw open wide our doors every day, at every Mass, at every time of year, because we know the sting of what it is like to be orphaned and rejected. We give from our wealth and in our poverty, too, because we believe that it all belongs to God first. And when we reject giving, we reject God. Not here.
Our mission has remained fairly simple: We welcome everyone! And, that core belief, that core attitude, that change in the hearts of all who call Saint Miriam home has prevailed and extended and survived despite the world’s best effort to change us. We welcome everyone. It is that simple.

From our humble beginnings some almost nine years ago, in that rented space within a Jewish Synagogue with only two active parishioners, to today where we now reside on 12.5 acres in the middle of beautiful Montgomery County, we have survived and grown into a place of hope and life!

But we have never once stopped. No not once have we rested on our laurels. We have used what we have gained – and what you have so generously given back to God – for the betterment of the world. We provide everyone who comes a place of welcome and hope and peace with our wonderful parish. We invested heavily this past year with new electrical, plumbing, restroom upgrades, paint, carpet, and heating systems. We increased our commitment our strong Green Policy and protected God’s environment and reduced further our carbon footprint with better HVAC, LED technology inside and out, Energy Star kitchen appliances, refillable water station, and electronic environmental and lighting controls. We enhanced our hospitality with our Saint Miriam Cafe’, we provide a quality, affordable private education to any child, from any circumstance that needs or desires one, and we rejuvenated a historic cemetery; a place of rest for the souls who entrusted their remains to others, and made it even better with the opening of the newest section, The St. Francis of Assisi Green Memorial, Section F. But, we weren’t done yet and soon cared for the least among us – the lower of creatures, but as St. Francis would have wanted, and blessed the new Angels of Assisi Pet Memorial Garden, too!

We did all of this because of you, your generosity, and your abundant love. But, there is much more to do!

Make this the year that you join other parishioners who give so that we might grow, continue our wonderful mission, support our children, and thrive to help others beyond our walls!


Stewardship Pledge




 

We are grateful for your financial commitment to Saint Miriam and our mission. We’d love to hear your story. How has your life been changed by God through Saint Miriam? Why do you give? In a sentence or a paragraph or even more, use your own words to describe: “This is why I give.” It may just inspire others and remind you why Saint Miriam is so important!


 

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