Update!!! Burn the Note:Imagine the Future Campaign

July 3, 2019

Dear Saint Stephen's Community,

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I can't think of a more appropriate way to start this update letter to you all about our plan to 'Burn the Note' so that we can 'Imagine the Future.' Wow!

I want to share some numbers with you and put this into the larger context of our faith and life together. Our Burn the Note: Imagine the Future drive was in many ways a continuation of the work that was begun several years ago, and I think it is important to acknowledge the commitment of years past, the commitment of this year, and our drive above and beyond which all are a part of the generosity of Saint Stephen's. It has taken the work of the entire community to be in a place to celebrate where we are.

When we first began a capital funds campaign to build a new parish hall and expand the preschool, there were a total of 232 households that contributed or are still contributing to the original campaign. In 2019, 269 households made a pledge to support our annual operating budget this year. In addition, 87 other households have contributed to the plate for a total of 356 households supporting our normal operating budget and impacting the ministry of our community this year. Wow!

And to top it all off, an additional 127 households (including a few people who gave at the end of last year before we started our official campaign) have contributed above and beyond their tithe to eliminate the debt so that our church community can be debt free and in the absolute best position to continue to be a thriving community for years to come. To date we have pledges and gifts in hand for $829,550 of our $842,000 goal. Wow!

I am thrilled to share that there is not a doubt in my mind that by the end of January 2020 when pledges are fulfilled, our church will be debt-free. As long as commitments from the original campaign and commitments from the Burn the Note campaign are fulfilled, plus just a smidgen of more fundraising takes place, we will reach our goal. In January, we will have a special liturgy and burning of the note. I am especially grateful for Leslie Passafiume's leadership as our committee chair and the work of our Burn the Note committee.

There are some immediate implications to this new reality due to our community's generosity. I will share in an email next week when a few more details are firmed up about our transition and search process for two Associate Rectors and how those positions will shape our community and life together. Job descriptions have been posted and we are receiving names.

Finally, if it was your plan and desire to contribute to Burn the Note at some point this year, please join in and make a donation. I would hate for you to be completely liberated from this awesome opportunity to be a part of our church's incredible drive to BURN THE NOTE! We are only $12,450 away from reaching our goal! Mims Cooper shared a helpful image: "We are on the goal line with 2 minutes to play." Let's finish strong!

I am so grateful for each of you and marvel at the generosity of our community. Thank you!

The Rev. John B. Burruss

Stasi Bara