Securing Our Future!
Our Faith, Our Church, Our Future       

A Challenge from Father Mark

Dear St. Jude Supporters and Parishioners,

“To whomever much is given, much will be required; and to whom much is entrusted, more will be asked.” Luke 12:48

The Lord calls us to be responsible stewards of all the good gifts He entrusts to us. He expects us to give back in some manner from the blessings we have received, whether that is our time, our God-given talents, or our treasure. Throughout my time at St. Jude you have taken this call of God to heart, and for that I am grateful.

In 2014 St. Jude launched an ambitious fundraising campaign to secure funds for building a new parish community center. Thanks to nearly 700 St. Jude parishioners, we raised enough funds to allow that construction to begin, and now we enjoy that beautiful new community gathering space.

In these past three years just over $1.5 million was pledged, raised, and used to reduce the construction loan and associated expenses. Today, as we approach the end of the three-year pledge period, we are announcing that the parish is undertaking an effort to reduce and, we pray, eliminate the remaining loan balance of $2.8 million.

Securing our Future by eliminating the debt and moving forward in a strong financial position is essential to a bright future for St. Jude parish. I pray that you will join me in helping to make this happen.

Christ himself invites us to be good stewards as an integral part of our faith journey. As we walk this road together, let us be mindful of our stewardship responsibility, particularly during this Easter season.

God bless.

Fr. Mark Reasoner


Questions About Giving

How much should I/we give to St. Jude’s Securing Our Future campaign?

Being a good steward of the gifts God has entrusted to us means we in turn trust the Lord to guide us in these types of decisions. As faith-filled Disciples of Christ it is important to turn to Him to help us arrive at the answer.

God calls us to sacrificially give to all those in need, as well as to help achieve the mission of His Church. Since the inception of St. Jude Parish many have sacrificed to start the church, build the school, build the worship space and now get the Community Center completed. So, now it is our turn to ensure a strong parish, free of debt, is there for generations that will follow us. We are asked to prayerfully consider how we are being called upon to make a sacrifice for present and future generations. Finally, your pledge isn’t legally binding, but rather a covenant with God, so please make it with full faith and intention.

Why a three-year pledge period?

Pledging enables members to make a more significant investment than might be possible with a single cash donation. Members can realize optimal tax savings by spreading their contributions over a period of several years.

Are my payments fully deductible?

As a general rule, payments on your pledge are tax deductible in the year they are made. As with all tax questions, you should have your accountant review your specific circumstances.

How can I make my gift?

Cash or Check - What could be simpler? During the 3-year campaign period you can fulfill your pledge weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually by using church envelopes.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly from my checking or savings account -Electronic pledging is a commitment that is automatically deducted from your checking or savings account on a regular basis. This is an optional way in which to pay on your pledge.

Credit card - The donor form has a place where the information can be securely entered. There is a link on the St. Jude website where the pledge can be securely entered as well. All information is stored off site by an independent financial firm that specializes in this type of gift.

Securities or real estate that has appreciated - By donating appreciated securities or property there are opportunities to avoid capital gains tax.

I.R.A. Distribution – Those who are 70 ½ or older may consider donating all or a portion of their required minimum distribution up to $100,000. IRA distribution can also be used to pay a pledge. If interested please contact the St. Jude Business Office for the proper forms that need to be completed BEFORE making the commitment.

How often will I have to pay my pledge?

You may pay weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. A chart will be available to help you consider your pledge to the campaign.


- FAQ’s -
Frequently Asked Questions
 

Did parishioners pledge enough to cover the entire cost in the first campaign, Building for the Future? No. The first campaign resulted in nearly $1.4 million committed, of which 93% has been collected to date. The remaining balance is primarily from those who will complete their pledges by June 30, 2017. The total cost of the Community Center was $4.1 million. The parish owes $2.8 million to the Archdiocese of Dubuque on a low interest (1.5%) loan.

Why did we build if we could not cover Financially? The parishioners during the various listening sessions identified a new parish center as a significant need. The Archdiocese agreed with that recommendation and approved the loan, provided there was at least $1 million in pledges. Now it is our responsibility to honor their faith in us to pay off the loan in a timely manner. The goal is to work hard to pay off the loan by June 30, 2020.

What is the money from the second campaign going towards? All proceeds from the Securing Our Future Campaign will be used to pay down the low-interest loan from the Archdiocese.

What value have we seen from new Community Center? Chief among the value is increased pride in the parish and a strong demonstration by parishioners in the future of St. Jude Parish. It is a more inviting space both inside and outside.

There has been extensive use of the new Community Center. This includes parish usage for faith formation, meetings, Sweet Corn Festival General Store, breakfasts, fish fries (where attendance has nearly doubled), and so much more. Rentals for wedding receptions, parishioner private parties, and other outside groups are way up.

How do we fund improvements to Community Center and the rest of the parish facilities? The general parish budget now includes all costs related to operating and maintaining the Community Center. No funds from this campaign will be used for those purposes. At this time no other improvements will be funded until this debt is paid.

What are we doing with original Parish Center? How is it being used now? It is used in conjunction with the Community Center for meetings, faith formation, RCIA and other activities. In the absence of traditional conference rooms, this allows for simultaneous meetings with the many parish committees and social activities.

What do we charge for Community Center rental? The parishioner rate is $115 per hour. The non-parishioner rate is $190 per hour. These rates are very competitive with other parish center rentals. If interested in renting the space, contact the parish Business Office.

Does Archdiocese provide any funding? How much? The Archdiocese backed the initial loan of $2.8 million but it is expected that St Jude Parish will pay off the loan in a timely manner. The Archdiocese is only charging 1.5% interest on the balance.

At first, I didn’t think that new community center was necessary, why should I pay for it? There were many parishioners who did state in 2014 they were not in favor of St. Jude proceeding with construction. However, since it has opened, many parishioners who at first expressed skepticism have stated how much they enjoy the new space. In fact, many who originally did not pledge a gift have now stepped forward and contributed. The Community Center is and will continue to pay dividends for our parish for generations to come. Keeping our parish strong in all ways is all of our responsibilities.

Didn’t I hear something about Phase 2 of building upgrades? When will we be starting that? The plan is to address the debt incurred before making any other substantial changes to the facility.

Can’t we just get the people who can afford it to pay for it? No matter the size of the gift it is important for all to prayerfully consider the many gifts God has blessed us with in this life. We are responsible to be good stewards of all those gifts. Giving sacrificially to support the day-to-day work of the parish as well as its capital improvements requires all of us to pull together and participate in closing the debt

How much are we paying to a consultant to run this campaign? This campaign is being run entirely by parish volunteers. Please pray for their continued efforts to secure the funding needed to continue the ongoing mission of the St. Jude parish.


 

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Download 2017 Pledge Chart (PDF)

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