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FEBRUARY UPDATE

For the love… 

 

Relationships are a vital part of who we are, within our personal and spiritual lives. Keeping relationships healthy and fulfilling takes time and attention, even in the good times when things are flowing, communication is good, and we feel love and appreciation for the ones we care about. To have a healthy relationship our usual “go to’s” are togetherness, mutual trust, comfort, and reliability. The past couple of years have been tough because all of the things that help us  build relationship have been challenged by isolation, fear, mistrust, and unpredictability. When these challenges arise we feel disconnected and unsure, right? Some of us just want things to  be back to “normal.” We are getting weary of fighting this battle, keeping positive thoughts and looking for the silver lining. 

Let us remind you that your church family is here. It has never left. It has looked different, sounded different, felt different, but it has been here all throughout the pandemic. Some of us are embracing it for all it is worth, some of us are hanging on to it despite its unfamiliarity, some of us are setting it aside to see how it ends up looking when all this is over. We implore you to: Hang in there! Reach out! Phone an Eliot friend. Send a note to someone at Eliot who means a lot to you. Thank someone at Eliot who has helped you. Stay involved. Get involved. Read the weekly update. Attend service. Attend coffee hour. Sign up for a group. Be there for someone.  Allow someone to be there for you. 

Eliot has been there for you in the past, it is here for you now, and it will be here in the future for you and for future generations. We are the church and the church is you. We can make this happen but only if we stay together in relationship with one another. 

 

For the love… 

Your Stewardship Team

                                                 


 

JANUARY UPDATE

Happy and hopeful 2022! At the dawn of this new year the Stewardship Team has been exploring the question; “How does stewardship help us further Eliot’s Mission?”

 

Our Mission:

Bound by courageous love,

growing in spirit,

and inspiring compassionate action.

 

Stewardship is believing that Eliot Chapel and it’s mission is something worth caring for and preserving, therefore, we pledge responsibility to oversee and protect it. That pledge takes many forms; financial support, involvement through volunteering, strengthening your spiritual growth, and supporting one another. “Weaving a tapestry of love and action”, as we state each week in our shared plate offering. Without a church, there would be no mission, therefore financially supporting the church is a very necessary way to demonstrate stewardship. When we pledge and fulfill that pledge, and when we donate to church fundraisers, and when we include Eliot Chapel as part of planned giving in our will. A thriving church needs more than money because members thrive within the church community when we show stewardship through involvement!

 

We show stewardship of courageous love:

When we intentionally welcome those of varying abilities, ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds into our church. 

When we participate in Room At The Inn.

When we stand at a Black Lives Matter vigil. 

When we make meeting space for various political roundtables.

When we accompany those seeking asylum. 

When we are recognized as a church for social justice in action. 

When we take part in any of the seven action teams working toward social justice. 

When we work in partnership with 9 community organizations in the St. Louis area supporting justice and inclusion. 

When we pridefully support reducing prejudice by increasing awareness, understanding, and acceptance of LBGTQ persons.

 

We show stewardship of growing in spirit:

When we attend services as well as volunteering to make the service meaningful, creative and welcoming.

When we attend coffee hour and church-sponsored events.

When we participate in and lead groups and discussions that center around spiritual growth.

When we participate in or lead Covenant Groups.

 

We show stewardship of inspiring compassionate action:

When we support the monthly shared plate.

When we join the Caring Team in supporting members in need with meals, cards, visits, and phone calls.

When we participate in youth service projects when the call comes out for toys, diapers, etc.

When we reach out to others who we see, in the Order of Service, needing our thoughts and support because they have just suffered a loss or are having surgery or are hospitalized.

 

Yes, we are doing church differently due to the pandemic, but that does not mean our mission stops and stewardship is put on hold. Thank you for continuing your stewardship of Eliot Chapel in all the ways that you support it. We encourage everyone to take stock and decide how you will act on Eliot Chapel’s mission and become the best steward you can in the upcoming year.

                                                   

In Gratitude,

The Stewardship Team

 


 

December Update
Your donations are critical to sustaining our Eliot. During the pandemic, your dollars have been a critical lifeline for the Chapel, allowing us to support our staff and to continue outreach to members. Thank you for this support – your donations have allowed us to sustain Eliot during the spring and summer and to reopen to in-person services during the fall.
 
As we celebrate the reopening, we wanted to take time to spotlight some of the improvements and investments that your generous donations have made possible during 2021-2022. Many of these investments were focused on making needed repairs and updates to the chapel and building to be ready for our return to in-person services. We have also highlighted areas where the staff have worked to find substantial efficiencies and savings to help make your dollars go further and sustain our congregation.
 
Focus areas included:
Finding cost-savings & efficiencies:
  • Staff applied for and obtained two PPP loans to support Eliot.
  • Negotiated new trash and recycling contract—at 70% of previous contract.
  • Negotiated new copy machine contract—at lower cost per month than previous contract and with more services.
  • Refinanced Eliot’s mortgages (Chapel and adjacent property) into one mortgage with reduced interest rate to generate savings of approximately $20,000 per year.
  • Obtained long-term real estate tax exemption for lot adjacent to Eliot following demolition.
 
Making critical repairs:
  • Repairs to the tower and kitchen to remediate the fire damage from 2019.
  • Repairs to restroom damaged by roof leaks; repainting and upgrades to restrooms.
  • Upgrades to Sanctuary electrical panel, bringing all electrical panels up to code.
  • Chair lift and elevator updates to meet certifications and regulations.
 
Improvements for safety:
  • Installation of iWave air purification systems on our HVAC systems (9) that reduce certain bacteria and viruses (including SARS-CoV-2 [Covid-19] at a rate of 99.4%) in the coil and living space.
  • Hand sanitizing stands throughout building & outside restrooms, nursery, and kitchen.
  • Elevator cellular system with 24-hour monitoring.
 
Enhancing security:
  • Installation of outdoor security cameras with videotape back-up.
  • Update to keyless/security door entry system.
 
Environmentally friendly energy efficiency:
  • Installation of energy-efficient furnace/AC for tower.
  • Cool and Energy Star ratings on the RE wing.
 
Fire safety needs:
  • Upgraded flooring in second floor tower, replacing carpet.
  • Fire escape ladders for lower level rooms in tower.
  • Small fire extinguishers for every room.
 
Preparations for “How we do church now and in the future”:
  • Improved phone system allows staff to better receive messages, track calls, and respond to these, using the Church’s number, not their personal phone number.
  • Necessary staff computer updates and upgrades to accommodate remote securities and accounting supervisions.
  • Hired IT technical service that monitors staff computers, upgrades, addresses problems, provides IT counsel and options for software, new systems and security.
  • Purchased electric piano, tent, and other items necessary for outdoor services.
  • Repairs to the storage room beside the sound booth to create more storage space for the Audio/Visual equipment and a workspace for Eliot’s AV technician.
  • Purchased and installed ChurchPix, an all-in-one video production solution that enables any church to easily stream its worship services online.
  • Purchased new laptop and other peripherals for livestreaming.
  • Repaired and upgraded electrical and Wi-Fi needs in the Sanctuary for livestreaming purposes.
  • Hired a part-time AV technician, Nicholas Rousseau, who videotaped the outdoor and indoor worship services and will livestream future services.
  • New nursery furnishings and equipment, to provide a larger nursery in Room 003 in the lower level for social distancing.
 
Your generosity is a critical lifeline for Eliot Chapel. We thank you for your support that sustains our mission. If you are not sure that you have made your pledge or that your donations are up to date, you can check your giving status on Realm. Need help? There are instructions here on our website under the “Giving” tab: “Give To Eliot Chapel,” or call (314-821-0911) or email frontoffice@eliotchapel.org.
 
In Gratitude,
The Stewardship Team
 

October Update

This October the theme of our services has been Cultivating Relationships. One of the ways we are in relation to our church is through stewardship. The dictionary defines stewardship as follows:

 

stewardship [stoo-erd-ship] noun - The responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.

 

At Eliot Chapel we are a voluntary organization led by people’s outpouring of time, talent, and leadership and funded from people’s generosity. We are stewards of our beautiful church and our loving community. We stand in commitment to each other and our broader community. Eliot is a place where we nurture our minds and grow our spirit.

 

As the church year starts up, the Stewardship Team wants to thank you for all of the ways you have chosen to “oversee and protect” Eliot Chapel because you see our church as “something worth caring for and preserving.” Thank you for volunteering to do something for the church, even if it’s something you do from home, such as sending cards to people who are sick or in mourning, or calling a member who is isolated to chat for a bit. Maybe your volunteering takes an even bigger commitment of time such as serving on the Board or leading one of the Social Justice Teams. Perhaps you facilitate one of the Religious Education events, set up for outdoor services, or lead a Covenant Group. Thank you!

 

We are grateful to you, also, for supporting our church financially and pledging to continue that support throughout this church year. If you have questions about your pledge or financial contribution, please let the office know by calling 314-821-0911 or emailing frontoffice@eliotchapel.org. Our fiscal year started July 1, so you may want to check the status of your personal pledge at this time. The Stewardship Team is committed to keeping you informed about the ways in which your time, talent, and treasure are contributing to the safekeeping and care of our church. Be on the lookout for a monthly “Spotlight on Stewardship”!

 

Reverend Barbara describes stewardship in a church as a three-legged stool. The three legs representing the foundation of stewardship are planned giving, annual pledges, and fundraising. We will be sending out a quarterly status of this year’s (2021-2022) pledge fulfillments. Here is the first one:

 

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