Q1: I don’t mind giving for our current needs, but why should I worry about the church’s property needs 10 years or more from now?
A: For more than 2000 years, Christians have handed the Church forward to the place it is now — in our hands. As Christians, we care about the future: that’s who we are and what we do. If those who came before us over the past 127 years hadn’t cared about the future, there would be no St. John’s, Roanoke at all. They cared about things bigger than themselves, and who isn’t hungry to do the same today? Our forebears placed into our care this vibrant church with the expectation that we would hand it to the future in, at a minimum, as good shape as they gave it to us. Over the generations, what a gift. And responsibility. AND opportunity!
Q2: May I designate my commitment to support one particular phase of the campaign?
A: Yes, you may. While undesignated gifts enable us to fund all of the campaign components, we understand that certain phases will resonate strongly with certain individuals. We know that when you give where your heart is, your joy is multiplied in seeing the fruits of your generosity.
Q3: Why haven’t we been putting money into a reserve account all along?
A: We have! After a comprehensive analysis of our non-recurring property needs a decade ago, the Vestry has regularly allocated between $30,000 and $65,000 a year to a property account to address these needs. Unfortunately, our aging facility is requiring an increasing amount of annual financial support, and our reserves are just not keeping pace. This deficit must be addressed. The costs for routine property needs and maintenance (about 6% of our annual operating budget) will continue to be paid from the operating budget. The new funds we are raising will be used for major capital needs over and above minor repairs and normal everyday maintenance expenses.
Q4: What is the status of our current Property Reserve Account?
A: At this writing, we have $170,000 in the Property Reserve Account–not an adequate amount to cover the $1 million in expected needs.
Q5: Doesn’t St. John’s have other special investment accounts with monies that could be used for all these property needs?
A: No, we do not have additional assets for this purpose beyond the property reserves mentioned in Q3 and Q4 above. All restricted investment assets have been placed in our existing Endowment Fund to better satisfy the varied wishes of the donors. Unrestricted assets have been placed in our operating reserve accounts to bring those balances to appropriate targeted levels.
Q6: Is the Endowment Property Account separate from our current Endowment Fund?
A: No. The portion of the Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign funds intended to address the longer-term non-recurring property needs (ten years and beyond) will be placed in a Property Account within the existing Endowment Fund. An annual distribution of the earnings from this account will fund future property needs while allowing the principal to remain intact.
Q7: Are we in danger of having to cut ministry programs if we don’t raise enough money?
A: Yes. Unless additional revenues are found for property expenses, more and more money from the operating budget will have to be allocated for property at the potential expense of staff, program or ministries. Most of St. John’s ministries occur within our buildings or on our property. Taking care of our building and property is an integral part of continuing to support these ministries.
Q8: How do I decide how much to pledge to the campaign?
A: Each household will make its own financial commitment decision. To help you as you decide, we invite you to pray, attend worship services and special Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign events; read the printed materials; talk with fellow members, the clergy and staff; and speak with the Cornerstone of Faith Capital Campaign Committee members for information. We hope that God will move you to give from a place of faith and joy.
Below are examples of what various levels of commitment would look like over a five-year period.
Weekly Monthly Annual Gift 5-Year Total
$10 $40 $480 $2,400
$25 $100 $1200 $6,000
$50 $200 $2,400 $12,000
$75 $300 $3,600 $18,000
$100 $400 $4,800 $24,000
$200 $800 $9,600 $48,000
$300 $1,200 $14,400 $72,000
$400 $1,600 $19,200 $96,000
$500 $2,000 $24,000 $120,000
Q9: How long do I have to pay my pledge?
A: There will be a five-year payment period (if needed) for pledges. You may choose any payment plan you wish over that five-year period: a one-time payment, annual, semi-annual, monthly – whatever works for you. You will receive a quarterly statement from the church letting you know the status of your pledge. You will also receive an annual statement for tax purposes.
Q10: What if my financial situation changes or I move before the end of the five-year giving period?
A: At any time during the giving period you may change your pledge by notifying our financial staff. We will be grateful if you are able to fulfill your total pledge.
Q11: What is the annual operating budget of St. John’s Church?
A: The annual operating budget of St. John’s Church for the current year is $1,733,000.
Q12: How does my capital campaign pledge affect my annual stewardship giving?
A: Your capital campaign response is a separate commitment. All money received for the
Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign will be directly applied to completing its components. Your campaign commitment is above and beyond your current annual giving to St. John’s ongoing ministry and programming needs.
Q13: How do I make a pledge?
A: You will be called by a Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign visitor – one of your fellow church members – to ask to come discuss the campaign with you at your home, office or another place convenient to you. The purpose of this visit is to talk about St. John’s, this campaign, and the importance of every pledge. There is no pressure!! We believe you will find that you really enjoy the chance to “talk church” with a friend (perhaps a new friend!) and to have any questions about the campaign answered.
Q14: Who will see my pledge?
A: Your pledge is confidential. When a visitor (one of your fellow church members) comes to talk with you about the campaign, you will be invited to seal your pledge in an envelope. The campaign visitor will return the sealed envelope to the Minister of Parish Administration, who will open and record your pledge.
Q15: Can a bequest in my estate plans count for a campaign pledge?
A: Yes. We are seeking both outright cash gifts AND gifts from one’s estate plans (planned giving) as a part of this campaign. We strongly encourage everyone to consider including St. John’s in their estate plans with a bequest or a planned gift.
Q16: What will be the priorities if all the money is not raised?
A: The funding priorities as outlined in the Cornerstone of Faith capital campaign case statement will provide first for Immediate needs of $1 million. Next, $1 million will be allocated to the Property Reserve Account to cover projected physical plant needs in years 2-9 beyond this campaign. The remaining $2 million we seek to raise will be allocated to the Endowment Property Account. The Vestry will then be charged with recommending next steps based on the results of the capital campaign.
Q17: With the trends away from church affiliation, will St. John’s be here to benefit from the investment I am being asked to make?
A: Yes, our parish is growing and thriving! We recently confirmed 28 adults and baptized 13 babies and children, and attendance at our Sunday services reflects a growing number of young families participating in our multi-generational congregation. A successful Cornerstone of Faith campaign will mean that the worship, education, fellowship, outreach, programs, and ministries which have drawn individuals and families to St. John’s for over 125 years can continue to do so for the next 125. We are a people of faith and this campaign gives each of us an opportunity to live into that faith.
Q18: What if I have additional questions?
A: There will be many opportunities for you to learn more throughout the campaign process. For answers to many of your questions, please contact Cornerstone of Faith Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Jan Garrett or Barbara Johnson.