At St. Mary's, our mission has always included a desire to “practice our faith with compassion.” In 2011 our vestry created a program, Small Sacrifices, to help address this part of our mission. Our clergy have discretionary funds which they use to provide charitable gifts to those in need, within our church and the community. These funds are not a budgeted item and depend upon the gracious arrival of gifts or gratuities. “Small Sacrifices” is an opportunity for the parish to give directly to the discretionary funds of our clergy.
For community members in need, we usually work with Catholic Community Services. This is an organization which our church and others in the community work with to assure that our giving is being done responsibly and is helping those truly in need. Their caseworkers interview those seeking help, and when there is a need beyond their programs and resources, they provide them with pledge cards with which they can approach churches for financial aid. Catholic Community Services then confirms the pledge, collects the money, and actually makes whatever purchase is necessary for the client. Every month about two dozen people bearing pledge cards contact our clergy for help. We help as many as we can.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:15-16) You will find this passage written above a locked alms box mounted on the narthex wall. We hope that you will consider sacrificing a small part of your own discretionary spending by placing it in this box and passing it on to the discretionary funds or our clergy, where it can work a real change for the better in the lives of people in desperate need.