Reflecting YOUR stewardship
Thank you! As our staff continues to work and pray together through this unique time in history, we find our hearts filled with gratitude for the opportunity to serve such an amazing community. Because of the uncertainty around the current post-COVID situation, many parishes have had to figure out ways to operate on only half of their budgeted offertory. This is not the case at St. Isidore as parish members have showed incredible generosity. Since March 15, the first weekend we were not allowed to hold Mass, we have received 81% of our budgeted offertory. Since April 5, we have received 93% of our budgeted offertory. The most incredible part of this is we are receiving approximately 300 fewer gifts each week, which means our core parish members have vaulted their generosity to keep the parish going. Additionally, our St. Vincent DePaul Society has received increased financial support to help fund the food pantry and the direct assistance that they offer. Our Baby Pantry has also received an increase in support. For your incredible support through these times, we would like to say “Thank you!”
We were all taught that our actions speak louder than our words. The actions of St. Isidore operations reflect our gratitude. Parish operations have taken steps to reduce and repurpose to better serve the community. In mid-March, we froze unnecessary spending by:
- Drastically reducing operating time for light timers and HVAC equipment to save costs.
- Unplugging equipment and “mothballing” items when appropriate.
- Suspending many of our contracted services including snow removal and waste removal.
Other cost reductions occurred due to limited demand on the facility. These measures helped us to operate under budget by more than $20,000 over the last three months.
St. Isidore used this unique time in history to serve as we believe Church is intended to serve. Our Church chose to double down on our core values of CONNECT, REACH, BUILD. Both our food and baby pantries have extended assistance at unprecedented levels through the pandemic. Our Faith Formation team completely retooled operations to make approximately 5,500 protective gowns for first responders through the Angels Wear Gowns initiative. Our SITE program and Faith Formation program found new ways to connect to the people they serve. SITE has offered online meetings and our Faith Formation team retooled their online presence by introducing a Facebook page that has allowed greater outreach to families. A phone call initiative was rolled out where calls were made to many of the members of the community to simply see how they were doing and if there was anything we could do to assist them. With Fr. Ron at the center of this ministry, food has been delivered to many families. Our Blood Drive, scheduled in the heart of quarantine, was a success. Our online Mass, which we have offered since the very first weekend without an in-person Mass, has been a huge success as well with hundreds of viewers each week. Our website interactions have reached unprecedented levels, allowing us to build our community even when we were apart. Many staff members have contributed fresh and inspiring content to the website. Fr. Ron started offering online reflections on the Gospel during the week as a way to touch base with the community and offer inspiration for the day. In so many areas we have adapted to the times and worked our best to shine the way a church community is supposed to. I can’t help but think of Matthew 5:14-16 when I reflect on all that our community has accomplished during these restricted times: “You (we) are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let you light shine before men (people) in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
The easing of the gathering restrictions has provided new opportunities. As soon as we were able, we offered Mass for the community. We have offered weekend liturgies since the very first weekend we were able to as well. In opening for Mass, we recruited a large group of volunteers to help make this a reality. Dozens of parish members came together to develop “safe” protocols and to roll out the registration process. A core team of ushers were especially helpful in offering assistance and suggestions while serving at all of the Masses. We sent out letters and made phone calls to explain our new processes. We secured signage to help our parish members feel comfortable rejoining the community. We replaced the filters in each of our 14 HVAC units to provide fresh, clean air. Throughout campus, our restrooms now have touchless flush valves. Additional sanitization stations have been installed and facemasks have been secured. We have infused new cleaning processes and secured proper cleaning products to meet CDC standards. Our maintenance team, and many staff members, have worked tirelessly to secure a safe environment for all of our guests. We were as excited as each of you to have the ability to gather again. We continue to be inspired by all of the people who worship with us every weekend.
As we move forward, we will continue to contemplate ways we can better serve the community. We are committed to offering the broadcast Mass for the time being. With that said, we are moving forward with the installation of equipment which will allow us to live stream all of our Masses and liturgical celebrations. Our Faith Formation team has developed an at home Vacation Bible School program and at home learning opportunities for our families. We will continue to reevaluate the needs of our people and respond accordingly. Please know that it is our pleasure to serve in the capacity we do. We look forward to continuing our journey together. If we haven’t seen you yet, we hope to see you soon, and until that time, we hope you and all whom you love remain safe and healthy.
St. Isidore…pray for us!