August 28, 2011

goose on lakeIf the forecast held true, then Hurricane Irene made a northerly turn and completely missed the state of Florida. Let us pray for the safety and well being of those in the path of Irene in the Carolinas and beyond.  We may get some wind and rain but will have been spared from any serious weather or damage.  I would say that this would be much needed rainfall, however, we are on a roll recently and have received measurable rainfall (at least a trace) every day since August 14.  We are building a healthy surplus of water in our lake at the front of the site.  Our Canadian goose seems to have risen several feet over the last few weeks.  We still have approximately two months remaining in the rainy season so barring a dry spell, we should be in pretty good shape heading into fall.

The lighting in the North parking lot behind the Claussen Center has been an issue since the installation back in 2005.  The bollard lights initially installed have deteriorated and been reduced to a corroded mess in only six years.  Mark Stahlman (buildings and grounds committee member) recently contacted the original vendor to come out and inspect the bollards.  Based on their deplorable condition, the vendor has agreed to replace all 45 fixtures at no cost to the parish. We will only be responsible for labor to install the new fixtures. Thanks to Mark for his efforts in saving the parish substantial dollars and enhancing the poor lighting in our parking lot.

In last week’s column, I inadvertently included the wrong dates for the flu shots. Here is the correct information.  The Visiting Nurses Association will once again offer Flu and Pneumonia shots right here at St. John the Evangelist on Thursday, October 6 and Tuesday, November 15 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the ballroom of the Parish Life Center.  The seasonal Flu shot is $25 and the Pneumonia shot is $65.  Both shorts are covered by Medicare Part B.

After meeting with several members of the finance council last week, the subject of the Catholic Faith Appeal came up and a long discussion ensued. These members were concerned that many of our parishioners are still not completely aware of the mechanics of the CFA.  Over the past eight years, I have explained in detail from the altar and in writing the importance of the CFA and the financial implications of reaching and exceeding our goal.  However, I will once again lay it out in detail. As you know, the CFA is the single most important component of our annual budget. This year’s assessment/goal is $440,000.00.  How is this number derived?  We are assessed at a rate of 26% on all receipts which the Diocese of Venice deems to be assessable income. This includes regular offertory, rental income, memorial garden income and special gifts and donations.  Jamaica Outreach, Habitat for Humanity and all Diocesan Collections (Catholic University, Peters Pence, etc…) are non-assessable.  We then receive a credit (30%) for all donations made for tuition subsidies and gifts to other parishes. Gifts to other parishes would include the payment of our obligation for the convent in Clewiston. The net of the assessable receipts and credits results in our annual assessment, which is based on the prior fiscal year.  Beginning in February with kickoff Sunday, we have approximately 11 months to raise the funds to meet our goal.  Everyone receives a mailer from the Diocese and has the option of making an annual pledge. We strongly encourage all parishioners to make a pledge. Many choose to forego this option and make donations to the CFA through the offertory during the course of the year. These checks are then sent directly to the Diocese of Venice. The funds allocated for the CFA are non-assessable and every penny of every dollar donated will be used to offset our assessment.  Your contributions to the CFA are not recognized by the parish, and, therefore, you will not see your gifts on the annual statement from St. John the Evangelist.  You will receive an acknowledgement from the Diocese of Venice at year’s end detailing your contributions to the CFA if you gave in excess of $250.00 during the calendar year.  If not, you will need to retain your cancelled checks or copies for tax purposes.  If we exceed our $440,000.00 goal by the first week of January 2012, the excess will be returned to the parish free of assessment to be used for whatever programs or ministries we choose.  This could be a huge windfall for the parish as we could use these funds to create reserves to replace the aging Parish Life Center air conditioning units or to purchase materials for Faith Formation, Music, etc. Conversely, if we fall short of our goal, which we have numerous times in the past, we must use funds out of our general operating income to pay the shortfall.  We have exceeded our goal for the past three years straight, however, this year we

seem to be lagging behind somewhat. Our budget for 2011/2012 is based on meeting our CFA goal, therefore, if we fall short, this could certainly be a “budget buster.”  I hope this lengthy explanation has cleared up any questions you may have about the mechanics of the Catholic Faith Appeal.  It is imperative that we reach our goal and with your help, I am confident that we can extend our streak to four years.  If you are able, please consider making a pledge or contribution to the Catholic Faith Appeal.  Please make your check payable to the CFA with St. John the Evangelist in the memo line.

I have included in this bulletin frequently asked questions regarding the Catholic Faith Appeal. This should clear up any misconceptions you may have as to the use of your donations.  Thanks you again for your support of the Catholic Faith Appeal.

In His work together,

Scott Schlossberg, MBA

General Manager

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