2019 Impact and Financial Report
Message from Finance Council
We are delivering this report to you during a time of profound uncertainty and fear. The COVID-19 crisis has thrown most elements of our daily life into disarray, creating feelings of anxiety, fear and apprehension. While we are unable to currently gather as a worshipping community, we can draw hope from a variety of sources: from our religious beliefs, the love of our families and the relationships with friends. Your continued support of St. Mark’s parish during these trying times is an inspiration and provides a ray of hope. Thank you for being an active and faithful member of St. Mark’s Parish community. By giving to St. Mark’s, you show that our church has a meaningful place in your heart. We feel blessed by your generosity. Donations like yours make a big difference in the work our church is doing in our parish and community and is helping us to weather the Covid-19 storm.
We have taken a different approach with this year’s Annual Report. This report contains information about how St. Mark’s uses your financial gifts. In addition to making you aware of the financial health of the parish we wanted to share with you stories of the impact or influence the parish is having in our community. Your donations ensure that we are able to provide meaningful faith formation programs for youth and adults in our community. With your support we have assisted local families with school supplies and have provided many who are in need with necessary food and clothing throughout the year. We support the work of the Sisters of Mercy in their missions in Peru and we have sponsored refugee families. We have partnered with local nonprofits like Romero House and KV Oasis. Together, we can continue to make a difference.
Exciting things are happening in the Parish. Late in 2019, we purchased a new piano. Next to air quality, music is the single greatest environmental factor for our worship. It determines how parishioners feel in church. Singing is a strong indicator of church health. Because we want our parish to grow and stay healthy the purchase of a new piano was essential. This spring you have witnessed the installation of an elevator in our church. The elevator will allow us to reach one of our strategic goals of making St. Mark’s a more accessible and welcoming parish. More information on St. Mark’s 5 year capital plan can be found in this report.
We need your help to continue our work. Our operating costs are quickly outpacing our regular weekly collections. In 2019, our current weekly expenses averaged $313.00 more than our regular collections. Looking ahead to our 2020 budget, and further compounded by the COVID-19 impact, we expect a higher shortfall, without an increase to regular donations. Just as with your household budget, you know this is not sustainable. We take steps to regularly review our expenses but with many of our cost fixed we have limited options. In 2019, a little over 50% of our spending went towards the salaries of our pastor and staff. Church and rectory maintenance, which includes heating, power and snow removal accounts for another 24% of annual costs. The annual non-discretionary assessment charged by the Diocese, which is based on a percentage of St. Mark’s revenue earned and is provided to the Diocese to help fund its costs, makes up another 12%. In 2019 we benefitted from a significant reduction in our share of priest’s and lay persons’ pension costs but going forward we expect to see an increase in these costs. We look forward to your continued generosity to help reverse this trend.
We hope you find the information in this report helpful and encouraging. If you have any questions about the information, please contact one of the current members of the Finance Committee listed below.
Thank You, Father Burns and Members of the Finance Committee of St. Mark’s Parish:
Cathy Rignanesi 847-5480
Imelda Gilman 216-0305
Lynn McLaughlin 847-9085
Mike Hogan 849-8812
St. Mark’s Parish by the numbers….
· We celebrated 364 Masses
· The average total attendance at our three weekend Masses was 450 people
· We celebrated 11 baptisms, 14 Confirmations, 18 First Holy Communions,
and 18 funerals
· We had over 437 Facebooks Followers and 126 Twitter Followers
· On an average weekend, over 20 children attended Little Church
· 86 guests completed our evening Alpha sessions
· Our parish, through the Care and Concern ministry, help 120 families with
Christmas and Easter celebrations
· We spent $1,282 ordering and distributing Sunday envelopes
· Our electricity bills and water expenses totaled $10,252
· The total cost of furnace oil and repairs was $14,895
· Snowplowing cost us $14,471
· The parish spent $1,670 on wine and hosts for Mass and $1,000 on candles
Keep up the Good Work – How Giving Helps
Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the basics of the Christian faith. Designed to create conversation, each session looks at a different question that people have about faith. It’s an open, informal and honest space to explore and discuss life’s big questions together.
What people are saying about Alpha:
Alpha has helped me connect with my faith family. Now when I go to church, I say hi to all the Alpha people who were in my group. – Elsie
Alpha is a great way to share your feelings and meet great new friends, not to mention a great meal. – Yvonne
Going to Alpha was a wonderful experience. I shared great meals with new friends and engaged in interesting conversations about Christianity. It re-awakened my faith and brought me closer to God. – Russell
We are blessed with very active ministries in St. Mark’s Parish.
If you have never served in a ministry of the parish or are considering returning to ministry after a period of absence, below there is a list of coordinators and the ministries that are in need of volunteers.
Jake Hebert Eucharistic 849-3439
Rick Northrup Hospitality 847-4554
Wendy Ellis Faith Formation
Contact the Office Lectors &
Other ways to serve 849-5111
The Peru Committee
In the past 3 years, St. Mark's Peru Committee has raised over $16,000 for the Misericordia Mission Fund to support the work of the Sisters of Mercy in Peru! St. Mark's Peru Committee raises funds for Peru through sales, raffles, our Change for Change Jar and our annual Lenten project. Funds raised here at St. Mark's help the Sisters to meet the basic needs of poor families in Peru, including food, clothing, fuel, medicine, education and shelter.
Care and Concern Ministry
Care & Concern Ministry has been devoted to relieving the suffering of the poor of our community for over 40 years. The impact to recipients is tremendous – for some families providing the only way of celebrating Christmas or Easter. Over the years St. Mark’s Parish has supported as few as 12 families and as many as 129. One family was able to enjoy Christmas even though they had to spend it at IWK thanks to the Care & Concern ministry. Thru Care & Concern families in need receive support to pay their Hydro bill. Families who receive support are so appreciative and eager to pay it forward with their own support when they are in a position to do so. In addition to parishioners, Care & Concern receives support from the Town of Quispamsis, local businesses, other churches, and High Schools in the area.
Little Church, or Children’s Liturgy of the Word, is offered at our Sunday morning Mass for children from pre-school up to Grade 1. Our Little Church has grown from about half a dozen children a couple of years ago to between 15 and 25 children today. Our leaders, Jenna and Emily, help the children understand the readings each Sunday and connect Jesus’ teaching to their lives as little disciples, with help from Fr. Burns as he helps break open the word each week with the children.
Our faith formation program for grades Kindergarten to high school uses the Gospel Weeklies program to tie in the weekly readings at Mass with the everyday lives of children and youth, helping them to grow as disciples of Jesus. To support families and to help reinforce these links, we publish in our bulletin a Whole Parish Catechesis that links to each year level as well as the Sunday readings. It can also be enjoyed by those without children in our program as a standalone tool to further explore the Sunday readings!
Year End Financial Report
2020 operating outlook (includes estimated impact of Covid-19 Pandemic)
We have estimated that the Covid-19 pandemic will result in a $17,000 increase to the revenue shortfall.
Five Year Capital Plan
As our buildings age, just as with your homes, regular maintenance is required. St. Mark’s Finance Committee, with recommendations from the St. Mark’s Building Committee, has developed a 5 year capital plan. This plan, which will be reviewed regularly and updated as needed, is summarized in the table below.
As you know, St. Mark’s has established a Building or Special Projects Fund to help pay for major church repairs or renovations, asset purchases or other special projects that are planned or may unexpectedly arise. Parishioners have been contributing to this fund and thanks to your generosity, along with a Federal Government Grant of $86,000, the fund has grown to $224,803 as of December 31, 2019.
In 2019 we used money from the Building Fund to purchase the new piano and as you have noticed, the elevator installation is underway:
- Our current piano was beyond repair. Next to air quality, music is the single greatest environmental factor for our worship – it determines how parishioners feel in church. Singing is a strong indicator of church health. Because we want our parish to stay healthy we purchased a new Baby Grand Piano for $40K. We were fortunate to receive a substantial 25% church discount from Yamaha towards this purchase. A fundraiser “Adopt a Key or String” has been launched to help replenish the Building / Special Projects Fund for this purchase. Please check out our website for this.
- St. Mark’s was fortunate to receive a federal grant of $86,000 from the Federal Government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund. This is allowing us to install an elevator in the church at a deep discount of 25 cents on the dollar. The elevator allows us to reach one of our strategic goals of making St. Mark’s a more accessible and welcoming parish. The work to install the elevator is underway.
As you know, we have had to “rob Peter to pay Paul” – using money from the Building / Special Projects Fund to support regular operations. If we want to ensure we are able to pay for major church repairs that will no doubt arise, this cannot continue.
We are respectfully asking that you continue to contribute generously to both the St. Mark’s Building/Special Projects Fund and to our regular Sunday Offerings.
Ways to Give Your Treasure*
Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR)
Please consider using PAR for your regular Sunday offering. It is a safe, secure process for automatic withdrawals from your bank and gives you the flexibility of choosing weekly, bi-weekly or monthly donations.
Just like giving with envelopes, you will receive a tax receipt at year end.
Envelopes are one of the ways for parishioners to give weekly to St. Mark’s. When you sign up, you receive personalized envelopes for the year, plus envelopes for any special collections. One benefit of giving with envelopes is that the parish records your giving and supplies you with a tax receipt at the end of the year.
A bequest, such as a lump sum bequests as stated in your will or by naming St. Mark’s as a beneficiary of your life insurance may be made by individuals, families, organizations and/or corporations. Giving to charity can earn significant estate benefits and provide tax advantages for individual and business owners.
Donations of Stocks and Mutual Funds
If you have a nest egg of shares and investments, it turns out there are several tax and cash flow benefits to donating shares to St. Mark’s. You may consider gifting a block of shares in lieu of cash.