You, and all parishioners at Good Shepherd, have many things to be proud of with regard to your contributions. There is one huge contribution, however, I would like to highlight, especially given the challenge of patiently waiting to find out who our new Rector will be.
Just eight short years ago, with an outstanding mortgage balance of $750,000, we embarked on the first of three capital campaigns to reduce our debt. Over this eight year period, we have reduced this balance to an astonishing amount – approximately $60,000. This is a 92% reduction in our debt in just eight years!
In addition to paying down the debt over the last seven years we have paid about $150,000 in additional capital expenses for our fee for the Fund-Raising company we used in the 2014 Campaign, the principal and interest we have paid on the loan from the Capital Campaign, our commitment to the Cathedral Ridge Capital Campaign, our roof replacement, and our basement renovations. In summary, we have paid about $100,000 per year over and above our annual operating expenses for the last seven years, as we have paid down our debt.
While I had previously vowed to hand off Capital fund raising to the next generation, I am humbly approaching you with one more capital ask. How great would it be if we could begin the next era at Good Shepherd with no debt? Of course, there are also very significant reasons to increase our operating capital beyond the retirement of the mortgage. There are many deferred maintenance items, such as our furnace, which are ticking time bombs, and it would be great to avoid stretching the budget to fund emergency repairs and maintenance that are bound to come up. As we have all learned from life experience, things have a way of going wrong when you are least prepared.
We would like to have as many families as possible participate in this last capital “Ask” to pay off our debt. You will receive a letter and pledge card in the mail for a one-year pledge to this capital “Ask” to run from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.
To reach our goal of $60,000 we will need significant participation. However, even if you are stretched thin, simply setting aside $1 per day or $365 over a year would mean $18,000, or almost 1/3 of our goal, if we can find 50 families to participate. With our new online payment portal, it is easier than ever to set up recurring payments. As a bonus, for those whose credit cards accumulate awards, cash back bonuses, or airline miles, you can use your capital payments to generate bonuses through the online portal.
Thank you all for your support over these last seven years and hopefully we can finally retire our mortgage and be debt free, while also setting aside additional rainy day funds!