Dear Trinity Member,
During the last ten years, Trinity Cathedral has become a leader in the revitalization of our downtown and of Greater Cleveland. Our considerable financial investment in Trinity Commons built one of the city’s first green buildings, provided an important civic gathering place and hosted the first new retail storefronts in the area. Programs like A Place at the Table, Blessings in a Backpack, the Urban Farm, the Urban Service Corps, our partnership with Marion-Sterling School, and our leadership in Greater Cleveland Congregations have strengthened our community. Cathedral worship, music and education have enriched the lives of our members and attracted many seekers to the Episcopal Church. In all of these endeavors, Trinity has been supported by the generosity of members and by contributions from our endowment.
When the Great Recession of 2009 started, Trinity leadership made a conscious decision to maintain our programming at a time when the need was the greatest. Even as our investment portfolio took a considerable hit and returns declined, the leadership strove to ensure the congregation’s and community’s needs were met, which required a greater contribution from the endowment. This was done with the knowledge that it was not a sustainable practice in the long run and the intent was that we would make adjustments when the economy improved and the need was less.
The time has come to renew our commitment to be faithful stewards of our resources. We also want to continue our civic leadership, community outreach programs and vibrant congregational life into the future. To sustain Trinity’s continuing positive impact, the draw on the endowment must be gradually reduced to ensure that the endowment will be sufficient to benefit future generations. Trinity leadership has been studying the issue carefully and is in the process of developing a plan that will put us on a sustainable path over a reasonable period. That plan will include reducing expenses and increasing income from sources outside the endowment, while preserving our mission.
We are asking the cathedral community to increase their financial support as well. The Stewardship Guild has adopted a goal of increasing our pledge income by 15%, to $670,000. This can be done through a combination of increased pledges and new pledging members.
In the coming weeks you will hear more about this year’s stewardship campaign. Please prayerfully consider your 2014 pledge amount.
Brant Lee, Chair Thomas Reuter, Chair
Stewardship Guild Vestry Development Committee