Mid-way through the month of January it looks as though we have finally found winter in Southwest Florida. High temperatures for the past several days have actually been below normal and it looks as though we may have a continued stretch of at least average temperatures for the next week or so. High temperatures in the mid 70s with lows in the 50s sounds pretty good to me so let us all enjoy this magnificent weather while it lasts.
The final results are in for the 2013 Catholic Faith Appeal. To say that our parishioners really came through again this year is an understatement. As you know, our assessment (or goal) was $454,000.00. We officially ended the annual appeal with pledges of $484,194.19. This means that we exceeded our goal by $28,194.19. This is now the second straight year that we have exceeded our goal substantially. The entire surplus will now be returned to the parish free of assessment to be used for whatever programs and ministries are most in need. Thank you again for your extreme outpouring of generosity.
Tickets for the 16th Annual Super Bowl Party are flying out of the office at a very brisk pace. If you would like to join us, please get your ticket soon. We are limiting sales to the first 300 to ensure that everyone has a great viewing experience. Your $25 ticket (price has not increased in 16 years) will entitle you to a full buffet and an open bar with beer and wine included. Ask those who have attended in the past and they will confirm that this is a great party. Although we are not yet sure of the matchup, we do know that there will be representation from the west coast. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will decide this weekend whether or not we have representation from New England or whether this is a west coast/mountain west Super Bowl. Either way, it will be a great game in a great atmosphere. Proceeds from this event will be used for the benefit of our Youth Ministry program.
As the director of our Memorial Garden, I have written on more than one occasion about the guidelines for placing flowers and other items on gravesites. Every year during the holidays, we take a softer approach as many loved ones visit and place anything and everything in the Memorial Garden. This will serve as notice that we are going to remove all non-approved items from the garden this coming week. For those who are not aware, I will once again address the proper protocol for placing flowers on gravesites. One glance around the garden and you will notice that there are countless flowering shrubs and annuals. Some examples are geraniums, hibiscus, knockout roses, penta and more. We kindly ask that rather than placing an obtrusive bouquet or display on the grave that you instead simply pick one of the many flowering varieties and place that flower on the grave of your loved one. Miniature American flags are always welcomed and will not be removed. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Following up on my prior paragraph, limited space still remains in our Memorial Garden. For the all-inclusive price of only $1,500.00, you can make Saint John the Evangelist your final resting place. The pricing includes the opening, closing, urn and engraved headstone. As mentioned before, this pricing is extremely competitive and only a fraction of what you will pay at a cemetery. If you are interested in taking advantage of a great opportunity, please contact me at 566.1678.
Annual Contribution Statements were mailed out last week to all parishioners who contributed at least $100.00 during the 2013 calendar year. In year’s prior, we have mailed statements to everyone that contributed at least $1 in the calendar year. By using this new threshold, we will save money and eliminate a lot of hassle for those who do not itemize. Remember that the IRS now requires your cancelled check or credit card receipt as acknowledgement to accompany your statement from Saint. John the Evangelist. The statements were mailed “first class” in order to eliminate any problems with the bulk rate mailing process. As you know, we have made great strides in the past several years to ensure that your statement is accurate. If there is an error on your statement, please contact me as soon as possible so that I may research and rectify the situation. The following are examples of contributions that will NOT appear on your annual statement from Saint John the Evangelist. 1) If you have been contributing to the Catholic Faith Appeal in the 2013 calendar year and have exceeded the IRS $250.00 threshold, you will receive an acknowledgement directly from the Diocese of Venice. If you did not meet the $250.00 threshold for CFA contributions in 2013, you will need to use cancelled checks for tax purposes. 2) If you made a contribution directly to the Jamaica Outreach Program (JOP), your gift will be recognized by JOP. 3) If you made a contribution to the St. Vincent De Paul Society (directly or through the parish,) your gift will be recognized by the St. Vincent De Paul Society. 4) If you deposited loose cash in the offertory and did not use an envelope, we have no record of the gift. 5) If you are not a registered parishioner, you will not receive a statement. Thank you very much to all of our parishioners for your generous support in 2013. We would not be able to efficiently operate without your generosity.
In His work together,
Scott Schlossberg, MBA