Published on March 1, 2014
“God... has given us the ministry of reconciliation” 2 Cor. 5:18 Called to be Ambassadors of Christ A Narrative Budget for The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine 2014
The Sisterhood A strong community life “Reconciliation is a gift from God, it is not earned; it is accepted, not deserved. The acceptance of this truth means waking up to God’s loving intention for our daily lives.” – Denise M. Ackermann, “Making Way for the Image of God” in Cowley, Fall, 2013, p. 26. A strong community life is essential for all our ministries to flourish and for us as individuals and groups of Sisters to reach out and serve others. Our “household of God” includes not only Sisters, but also Associates, Oblates, Alongsiders, volunteers, friends, donors and benefactors. On September 8th, 2014, we will celebrate our 130th Anniversary; we want to continue reaching out to thousands of people in loving service, sharing gospel values in everyday life, in ways that make a difference. 2
Prayer, Worship, Music Centre of our Spirituality “Times of stillness, silence, and solitude are vital for nurturing a spirituality of reconciliation.” – Denise M. Ackermann, “Making Way for the Image of God” in Cowley, Fall, 2013, p. 31. O ur daily personal and corporate prayer enables us to be attentive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It also gives us the focus and the energy to serve the world God loves. We invite you to join us in our corporate worship both at the Convent in Toronto and at BC House in Victoria, to enjoy times of stillness, silence and contemplation, and to lift your souls to God through music and song. Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $112,800 3
Hospitality A The heart of our ministry t the heart of our life of love, prayer and service is the ministry of hospitality. We welcome guests to share in our life for rest, refreshment, retreat and participation in the Community’s prayer and liturgy. Our Guest House is an oasis of quiet — a wonderful place to rest, renew and reflect — a place where people may pray, meditate, find spiritual nurture and deepen their relationship with God. They may come for individual or group retreats, for spiritual direction, or simply to spend time apart for rest or discernment. “Thank you so much for carrying my heart in these, my days of deep brokenness. This short time away has been one that has brought some peace and comfort, and has helped to restore a struggling heart of faith.” – A guest Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $316,900 4
Outreach Ministry of reconciliation “A missionary task is to build bridges of communication and to wage spiritual warfare against all the powers and forces that would make people lonely.... I’ve come to see both pastoral work and community engagement as a strategic campaign in God’s long-term war against human loneliness. Bereavement, loss, illness, ongoing suffering... are all far worse when compounded by loneliness....” – Stephen Cherry, Barefoot Disciple, p. 157. O ur outreach includes our house of prayer and outreach in Victoria, BC, our ministry with Associates and Oblates, our work at St. John’s Rehab, our retreats and quiet days, preaching and teaching, both at the convent and in Canada and the U.S. Sisters are also involved in ministry at both the diocesan and national levels, e.g., as an interim priest in the Diocese of Toronto and as chaplain to the Council of General Synod. Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $133,800 5
Pastoral & Spiritual I Ministry of Compassion n a world beset by pain and anxiety, there are times when all of us need the support of others — someone to listen to us with an open heart and mind who can enable us to discover God’s presence in our lives. At times like this, prayers for healing and comfort or simply a listening ear can help in profound ways. We offer this both through our ministry of spiritual direction and informal conversation and through our pastoral care at St. John’s Rehab (SJR). Sisters visit every patient at SJR and hold regular services in the hospital chapel. “Compassion is the ability to ‘get inside the skin of another’ in order to respond with loving concern and care.... The truly loving person breathes in the pain of the world and breathes out compassion. The compassionate person identifies with the suffering of others in such a way that she or he makes a space within the heart, a womb of mercy, to allow suffering persons inside and to embrace them with arms of love.” – Ilia Delio, The Humility of God, p. 91–92 Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $100,100 6
Education Ministry to/with those in formation O ngoing education keeps our minds active, informs our prayer, and helps us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ better. What we learn, we pass on to others. The most important part of our education program is the ongoing formation of those in the Novitiate and in First Vows. This is a vital part of ensuring the continuing vibrancy of SSJD. New members spend an average of 3½ years in the Novitiate and an additional 3 years in First Vows. “Jesus has come, not only to break down the dividing wall between us and other people; he has also come to break down the dividing wall within us.” – Curtis Almquist in SSJE pamphlet, “Conversion”. We also have an exciting Alongsider program which gives women a first-hand experience of the monastic life. We offer the EFM (Education for Ministry) program in which participants study the Old Testament, New Testament, Church History and Theology, over a period of four years. Finally, our 3½ week summer discernment program (“Women at a Crossroads”) gives women in transition some skills and forms of prayer to help them discern what God might be nudging them to do next. Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $105,100 7
Community Life Ministry to one another P rayer, mutual love and concern, respect, and forgiveness are at the heart of our community life. We try to live our lives quietly, peacefully, and in union with God’s desire for us. Our community life helps us to satisfy the spiritual hunger in the hearts, minds and spirits of others. We are committed to caring for each other for the whole of our lives, from the moment we join the Sisterhood to the time of our death. A very important part of this is providing ongoing care for our Sisters who live in the infirmary, as well as support for the health needs of all the Sisters. “To love is to risk being rejected by the other. God takes a risk in loving us because the gift of divine love bears with it the possibility of refusal. God’s love respects the independence and freedom of the other because love does not seek to control, dominate, or manipulate; rather love seeks to empower the other for the flourishing of life.” – Ilia Delio, Of the Unbearable Wholeness of Being, p. 84. Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $778,200 8
Stewardship of Resources Making the best use of our financial and human resources “M erciful God, ground and keep us in your compassion and make us ministers of your reconciling love. Take from us all fear and suspicion and help us to discern Christ in one another that together we may proclaim by work and example that all things have been set free and made new in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” – Source unknown Resources required to sustain and grow this ministry: $185,600 9
2013 was a year of great activity! • Due to the generosity of many we met our GAP appeal goal of $100,000 by mid-December. How can we ever say thank you! • We stepped out into our concern for the environment by getting involved in alternative energy sources – and installed solar panels on the north wing roof of the Convent. Once our decision was made to do this, almost immediately we received donations (a large anonymous donation, a donation from the Anglican Foundation, and many individual donations) – and the solar panels were paid for! • Our investment in solar panels earns a 10% return – saving 10% of our electricOur investment in ity costs annually. solar panels saves • Our building is now nine years old and energy costs annually. this has been an extraordinary year for maintenance and repair expenses. • We take several steps to ensure that our Founders Fund remains healthy, by reviewing our investments regularly, endeavouring to ensure ethical investment practices and trying to be careful stewards of the gifts given to us. ou will notice that our annual expense budget is allocated to seven ministry areas. It includes all operating expenses as well as salaries for our employees. Y 10
revenue gives a where Our 2014comes from.goal challengepicture of will be: our revenue Our in 2014 • To continue to ensure the health of our Founders Fund upon which we rely for our daily needs and the future of the Community. The contribution from our Founders Fund of 29% in supporting our ministries this year includes all the returns from our investments: investment income and capital gains. This means no growth in our Founders Fund. • To keep pace with the ongoing maintenance and repairs to the Convent buildings. This year we will need to replace the dishwasher which cannot be repaired much longer ($15,000). • To maintain and increase the This year we will need to level of donations in 2014. replace the dishwasher. e confident the generosity of WtheareSisterhoodthatand Friends the and support oneour Associates, Oblates will continue. Including of St. John Divine as of your charitable outreach opportunities is a wonderful way to link your life with our ministry and mission. 11
If you would like to make a donation, please contact: Fundraising Director The Sisterhood of St. John the Divine 233 Cummer Avenue Toronto, ON M2M 2E8 416-226-2201, ext. 303 Fax: 416-222-4442 firstname.lastname@example.org 12
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