As this new program year begins, I am reflecting on the many opportunities and uncertainties facing us, as individuals and a community. We have come through two and a half years of Covid, and although we are deeply grateful for vaccines and the gradual return of being together in person, we are reminded frequently that the disease is still with us. We have learned how precious our life together is, and how vulnerable. May we always remember to care for one another and tend our community’s health and well-being. May we relish our opportunities to be together — worshipping, learning, serving, singing, and of course eating!
The past few years have been challenging financially as well, particularly as we experienced the loss of important rental income and were impacted by the uncertainty faced by all our givers and pledgers. Thank you for your loyal, generous support of Ascension! This fall, many of us are anxious about money, and the church feels that too. Our endowments have dropped precipitously in the last months. We cannot continue to draw as much from them as we have in the past. A special task force has begun meeting to look at how we can make our finances more secure and sustainable in the coming years, looking at budget priorities and how to develop new income to support our mission.
In these liminal times, as we discern what new things God is calling us to be and do, we need you — your presence, most of all, and the support of your pledges, participation, and prayers. Your pledges help us plan; they keep our worship vibrant, our ministries active, and our buildings welcoming. Your participation, both in person and online, helps us experience God’s love “with skin on.” And your prayers undergird all that we do and are together.
This page reflects this year’s stewardship brochure, which will tell you about our needs and goals, about exciting plans for our Harvest Dinner on November 10, and how to pledge and pay either online or by check or credit card. I particularly love the photos of our parish life and the many diverse members and activities we share! There is so much to be thankful for in this community.
There is an old gospel hymn that says, “We’ve come this far by faith.” Beloved friends, that is true for us at Ascension, and God surely has much more for us to do and become together, more love and good news for us to share in a world that needs it desperately.
Please pledge as generously as you can in support of our church. We need you. The stewardship committee, vestry and I welcome any questions you have about your pledge, and about our life together.
May God bless you richly; you are a blessing to our parish family.
The Rev. Elizabeth Maxwell, Rector
Why does Ascension need my pledge?
- Our beautiful church buildings, some of which are 178 years old, require constant maintenance. New surveys of their structural condition point to necessary but quite expensive renovations.
- Our relatively small clergy and staff work hard to provide inspiring worship services, pastoral care, manage our buildings, schedule
programs and oversee daily operations of the parish.
It costs approximately $3,800 a day to keep the parish running!
- Our elected Vestry carefully budgets expenditures and oversees our finances. Currently, a substantial drawdown of income from our endowment is necessary to meet our annual budget. While the Vestry is careful to limit the endowment draw to the standard 5% rule for nonprofits, we need to increase pledge income to secure our financial future.
- We must plan now for all our activities, so that we are ready to respond to both familiar and new challenges in 2023. These include regular worship, educational opportunities and community services as we witness to God’s love in changing times.
Our message to you about financial support
- Whether you worship with us in person or via Internet, you are invited to join us in supporting communal life at Ascension
- The current financial and political atmosphere has affected our members financially in differing ways. Please consider supporting Ascension according to your means.
- Your support is not limited to financial contributions. We welcome your talents and participation in our ongoing activities. (Call the Parish Office at 212-254-8620 to learn of opportunities for participation.
- You can pay online right here on our website! Just go to ascensionnyc.org/give. You can also pay online via the Abundant platform. Visit abundant.co/ascensionnyc/give. Or you can download the Abundant app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Whichever route you choose, set up an account with an e-mail and password, then select an amount, frequency, and “Stewardship Pledge 2023” as the fund to contribute to.
- Pay your pledge by check placed in traditional weekly envelopes that will be mailed to you if you check that box on the Pledge Form.
- Pay your pledge with your credit or debit card by checking the box to have the bookkeeper contact you for your credit card information, so that your card can be charged at regular intervals throughout the year.
Pledge Form for 2023
Distribution of Pledge Cards:
October 3–7, 2022
You will receive a pledge card and information in the mail.
November 10, 2022
For a very unusual festive dinner, we will celebrate our life together as a community. We have asked Ember Arts, an applied theatre company, to collect memories and stories from our parishioners, particularly around the COVID pandemic and reopening times. They will weave the stories collected into a narrative performance for the Harvest Dinner. Save the date; there is no charge.
Blessing of Pledges:
November 20, 2022
We aim to gather pledges from everyone by this date for blessing at the 11 am service.