A hallmark of St. Stephen’s has been our commitment to live within our means to the best of our ability. During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020-21, when many churches faced a shortfall in income, we have been blessed to have a number of very generous pledgers who actually increased their pledges to help us continue to pay our bills and maintain our outreach program. In fact, the average pledge in 2021 was almost $900 more than in 2020. We received 31 pledges for 2021, down slightly from 2020 but still a remarkable increase from the 20 pledges received in 2016. We had a $21,000 surplus in 2019 that we have set aside to help meet our transition and other expenses in the coming year. All this is yet another example of our resilience and our determination to move forward.
Our top budget priorities are to pay our operating costs, clergy salary and benefits and our Diocesan assessment and to give 10 percent of our pledge income to outreach grants. All other spending categories are funded according to the income we receive. Our typical budget is very conservative, and we have always managed to avoid red ink and sometimes even produced a surplus.
The strength of our financial position gives us a true sense of confidence that St. Stephen’s will weather this time of pandemic and clergy transition in good shape.
St. Stephen’s by the numbers:
Click here to view our parish budget for 2021: