Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
God has blessed us with so many gifts. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to offer the gifts entrusted to us to further the mission of Christ's church, both in the Diocese of Ottawa and beyond.
At each diocesan synod, I am uplifted by report after report of the great work being undertaken in our parishes, community ministries and through our n
Yet God calls us to give more. Our Diocesan Strategic Plan approved by Synod in 2007 is only funded through the end of 2012. With this fact in mind,
in October 2010, Synod endorsed a diocese-wide financial stewardship initiative to raise $12,000,000
, to be pledged over a five-year period.
I am excited to introduce this initiative to you as "Growing in Faith Together" or, simply put, GIFT.
GIFT asks each member of our church to make a gift over and above regular offerings to support the ministries that grew out of our Strategic Plan.
It has been decades since our diocese
has undertaken a financial campaign of this importance.
I am committed to the premise that the parish is the best place for ministry to unfold; therefore, our parishes remain our first priority.
Through GIFT, parishes will retain 50% of all funds raised and will not incur any campaign consulting or administrative costs from their share.
In addition, many of the diocesan initiatives will support parish life.
Clearly, the bar has been set high. This exciting case for new money is our challenge - for your parish, our diocese and the wider church. The demand for compassionate and creative ministry is compelling. I invite you to join with me and to embrace GIFT by responding generously. We are called to grow in faith together, freely giving so that our diocese can respond to God's call to accomplish more.
The Right Reverend John H. Chapman
Bishop of Ottawa