Published on 21 Aug 2012
Part 1: Financial Facts (Jan. 1 – May 31, 2012)
Total Revenue YTD 2011 $347,441
Total Revenue YTD 2012 $387,362
Total Budget YTD 2012 $362,351
Revenue higher than budget $25,011
Income Fast Facts:
1. Parishioner offering is tracking 1.5% ahead of the same period last year;
2. Greatest gains in the receipted offering category have been made by Friends of the Cathedral – up 87.5% over the same period last year;
3. Attendees of the Christopher Gaze Birthday event raised $4,000 for the Street Ministry Projects.
Total Expenses YTD 2011 $577,652
Total Expenses YTD 2012 $565,740
Total Budget YTD 2012 $557,860
Expenses higher than budget ($7,880)
Expenses Fast Facts:
1. Spending on staffing and salary is down (Dean’s salary cut by 2%, Development Director reduced to 1/2 time, wage and benefits freeze);
2. Building expenses are currently tracking $12,150 ahead of budget due to the planned but unbudgeted expense of refinishing the Nave & Chancel floors. Cathedral leadership had hoped to cover this expense within the annual operating budget but has been unable to reduce any of the regularly scheduled maintenance of our Heritage Building in 2012;
3. Street ministry expenses are currently tracking $3,247 ahead of budget.
Surplus(Deficiency) of Parish Offering before Capital Grants
Actual YTD 2012 ($178,378)
Budget YTD 2012 ($195,509)
YTD Draws from Capital Grants (approved at Vestry to reduce deficiency in parish offering)
Endowment Fund for Youth Ministry $10,229
Curacy Fund for Curacy position $18,333
Heritage Building Fund – R&R Debt
Heritage Building Fund Donations YTD $7,759
R&R Loan Payments YTD $22,468
Offering Deficiency YTD ($14,709)
Heritage Building Fund Debt at Dec. 31, 2011 $98,851
Heritage Building Fund Debt at May 31, 2012 $92,892
Heritage Building Fund Fast Facts:
1. The Heritage Building Fund has been the beneficiary of gifts from estates, foundations and the consistent support of Cathedral parishioners to reduce the R&R debt;
2. For the past five years, the Cathedral has received a $20,000 annual gift from a Foundation and the gift commitment was completed in 2011;
3. YTD R&R loan payments includes loan interest expense of $1,799 & principal payments of $20,669;
4. The difference between the YTD offering & the YTD loan payments results in drawing down the cash reserve held in the Heritage Building Fund and diminishing the rate at which we are retiring the R&R debt.
Part 2: Inspiring Generosity – Mrs. Darlene Howard
By Mark Munn
I tell Darlene that she looks like a Kennedy about to go on a boating adventure. She laughs, but it’s true! It’s more true than I could have guessed… after our meeting she’s off to meet her husband for lunch on their boat!
This is the first time we’ve met. We’re walking down the hallway, next to the Cathedral offices, on our way to the Park Room. On our right is the Parish Hall, site of countless coffee hours, AA group meetings and Sunday School. It is where the servers, choir and clergy gather before worship to pray. Above us (way above us), is the Cathedral Chancel: a holy space made from local wood – sunlight streaming through stained glass windows. And above that, the aging Cathedral roof, protecting all that happens inside.
Before we sit down in the Park Room, I ask to take Darlene’s photograph. Usually I would take several dozen pictures, from a bunch of angles, with the hopes that one captures the essence of my subject in some way. I take 3, and glance at the preview screen on the camera – “Hey, these aren’t too bad.” On the screen, Darlene is standing with the windows of the Park Room behind her, and I can see the city of skyscrapers that have shot up around the Cathedral since it was first built here, 124 years ago. Darlene smiles, says “Good,” and sits down. She has an unnerving trust in my photographic abilities.
Over the next hour, we’re going to talk about why Darlene has made a gift to the Cathedral’s Heritage Building Fund. At least, that’s the idea. But, for a discussion about gifts and fundraising, we sure do a lot of talking about family. I think in Darlene’s mind, giving is an extension of who you are, and where you’ve come from. So, somehow, the two subjects (family and philanthropy) are a part of one story.
Darlene’s story has a modest beginning. ”My mother was divorced by the time I was 5. So there was just my mother and I. Which went completely counter-culture to anything she was brought up with. So, when I grew up, we didn’t have two cents to rub together. And my husband was also very clearly middle class. So we really understand the value of the dollar. And we brought our children up the same way. They’re very grounded as well.”
She says some revealing stuff about her grown adult children, Christopher and Reid. “He’s compassionate.” “A loyal friend” “He eats numbers for breakfast.” “He loves problem solving.” “He’s happy.” “His wife just fits into our family like a glove. She’s amazing. And when I look at the two of them, and see how they are supportive of one another, how they bring out the best in one another, what can I say? They’re great!” “Family, friends, relationships – these are the most important things in life. And I mean real, deep relationships, not superficial ones.” “We’re lucky, we’re a very close family.”
This theme of luck is the other major subject of our conversation. Her husband Paul became involved in Ballard Power, and did very well, retiring early. ”We were fortunate in life. There was certainly skill and knowledge my husband had, but there was also timing and luck involved. So we were very fortunate in life.”
These words, ‘luck’ and ‘fortunate in life’ are repeated again and again in our conversation, and they reveal not a great sense of pride about her wealth, but a humility, as well as a sense of gratitude. And a calling to do something with the gifts that have been given her….
“I think if you have been fortunate in life, you need to look around. I cannot spend my days playing nothing but tennis. You know, I just think that’s a waste of a gift you’ve been given.”
So how has she used the gifts she’s been given? Early retirement meant she could devote time, a great deal of it, to several organizations. Darlene worked on the Playhouse Theatre Company Board for 8 years, 4 of them as Chair, and the last two years as Past Chair, until it closed this February, and has served on the Board of Family Services of the North Shore, as well as that of Collingwood School, and has been Warden at St. Francis-in-the-Wood. She and her husband, Paul, also invest their financial resources in Vancouver’s arts and culture community, and support several other charities involved in compassionate service to the poor. She wouldn’t say so in our interview, but they are important Vancouver philanthropists.
Before we can continue, we are interrupted by a few early people coming in to the Park Room for the noon-hour AA meeting. ”Maybe we should move into my office.”
We walk to the Cathedral office, under the Nave, a space used for worship, but also as a venue for the Arts. Last week, a motley crew of Cathedral parishioners and friends pulled off a Godspell performance to remember. Today, Cathedral staff are setting up the space for the Welsh Men’s Choir. Tomorrow they’ll strip the Chancel of chairs and will lay down the Cathedral’s labyrinth.
“To me the arts are very important,” she says “and they’re hard to fundraise for. Community is hard to fundraise for.” Darlene is preaching to the choir! She goes on: “Vancouver needs to expand in different ways than it’s expanding. This is a city of beauty. You have this jewel of the ocean on one side, and the rising mountains behind you. And we see this beautiful scenery every day. But I really think that Vancouver needs to deepen and strengthen its arts and cultural center. We need to be a more creative city. How do you attract people to live here? We attract lots of people to buy here, not necessarily to live here. We need to concentrate on those things that are interesting and attractive and challenging to those people that live here.”
So I ask her “So, is that how you would articulate the value of the arts?”
She says “I think that the arts make people more tolerant. That’s the bottom line. I think we learn about other experiences that we haven’t necessarily had ourselves. We learn about other cultures. We learn about other problems we haven’t experienced. In my mind it teaches tolerance. (Long pause) So, the arts are connected to the church as well because the church teaches tolerance. And the church teaches and promotes diversity. And if it doesn’t, it certainly should.”
We arrive at my office. The chairs, artwork and even the files in my office have their own heritage – all donations from Cathedral parishioners or friends. “So, is that why you gave your gift to the Cathedral?”
“I think the Cathedral plays a major part in the city. I think as a building, it should be upheld, hence my support for the Heritage Building Fund. And I think the work it does in this community is outstanding. It’s a shining example.”
When I ask her what work she’s referring to, she gives a fascinating answer:
“I think it’s acceptance of people, of all people, no matter what race, culture, gender or religion that they are. The Cathedral does work in all of those areas, and I know Bishop Michael does on the global platform. You know, the broader brush strokes of tolerance and understanding. That’s what interests me. As well as, in terms of the community, feeding the poor and the homeless, and giving help to the people in the community.”
Darlene’s gift was for the Cathedral building, though. I ask her, “And the building…? Do you see the building facilitating that? How does the building fit into that?”
“I think the building does play a major role in that. But great cities need great buildings! We need a fabulous art gallery. We need great theatre (don’t get me started on that subject). And we need great churches like the Cathedral – it’s a great shining example of what churches should be doing. The roof, for example, is not an attractive capital fundraising program, but it’s a necessary thing. Because the building is the outward accoutrement of the shining example of the hard work done inside.”
Amen to that, Darlene!
We return to the topic of her sons, and talk careers. And eventually she leaves me standing in my doorway. She goes upstairs and out our open doors – the shining example of our work since 1889.
Part 3: The Cathedral Needs You Now
Christ Church Cathedral serves as a centre for progressive Christian thought and practice, and stands for inclusive community and the reconciling love of God and Jesus Christ. It was the site of the first ordinations of women in Canada, and has been a leading progressive voice for the full inclusion of lesbian and gay people in the Anglican communion.
But right now, more than ever, the Cathedral needs your support. The Cathedral relies entirely on support from parishioners and friends of the Cathedral like you for financial support.
Vancouver, and the world, need Christ Church Cathedral, its Heritage Building, and its visionary leaders. Will you support the Cathedral with an increased monthly gift – which provides the Cathedral with ongoing, reliable funding?
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