Ways We Give

Please join us as we strive to work as the hands and feet of Jesus through our offerings of money, service and time. Ways We Give brochure.

How We Give

The Elijah Kellogg Church's goal is to donate at least 10% of its budget each year to people and agencies throughout the region and into the wider world of God's creation.

The Church's Mission Board, Deacons Fund, Sunday School and Women's Fellowship oversee the selection of recipients and dispersal of funds accumlated through offerings made each Sunday, through annual pledges and special collections.

Our congregation's gratitude and generosity in giving of their time, service and money are encouraged as acts of worship and very real expressions of our trust in God.

2022 Budget

December 8, 2021

Dear Members and Friends and Elijah Kellogg Church,

A year ago, the members of the Board of Finance had no idea how we would be able to navigate the pandemic and its impact, from both a public health perspective and the financial well-being of our church.

So, it is with both relief and delight that we can say we expect to end the year in the black, a testament to the endless grace of God and the incredible hard work of our membership.

In March, we were facing a compounding deficit and the prospect of having to borrow against our endowment fund to make payroll and pay bills. An ad hoc committee was formed to strategize ways to stabilize our finances and grow the church. Many of the recommendations of that committee were embraced and its report helped energize work already underway in various committees and boards.

A case in point: enclosed in this envelope is the finance board’s first narrative budget, a description of how we spend our money that we hope will give you a greater understanding of our finances and mission. Please take a look; we hope it will inspire you as it did us. 

Additionally, as spring arrived, we were able to resurrect our events and the congregation and community responded in an astounding way. From an inaugural chowder takeout lunch to our Barn Sale, Chicken Barbecue, Online Auction and finally our Christmas by the Sea holiday fair, we raised enough money to propel us to the end of the year without having to take a loan from our endowment. Our gratitude to everyone involved in these events is profound.

Challenges, however, loom as we look forward to 2022. Breakthrough variants of the coronavirus could wreak havoc again. The federal Payroll Protection grants we received for the past two years will not be renewed. And after a long respite, inflation has begun to rear its head, increasing costs and reducing how far our dollars will go. We hope to raise $150,000 from our pledges, roughly equal to the amounts received in 2018 and 2019. With that financial base, we feel confident we can adopt a budget that will allow us to award a modest cost-of-living increase to our part-time staff.

For those reasons, we hope you may find yourself in a position to increase your pledge for 2022 as we continue the work and the growth of our church. We ask that you prayerfully consider your pledge and return the enclosed card by Dec. 19. Going forward, we are adding two new options to support the church financially: soon there will be a button on our website that will allow for online contributions, and we will start offering information for legacy giving.

We can assure you that the board will continue to operate as frugally as possible and to seek ways to reduce costs. Yet we are buoyed by the generosity and resiliency that has been displayed by our members and friends for the past year. We feel truly blessed.

Sincerely,
Your Board of Finance
Win Gillis, Charlie Cary, Amber Skinner, Rob Porter, Suzanne Gagne and Carol Coultas

 

 

2022 budget

Supporting our Mission: Where Your Church Dollars Go    

The people of Harpswell who have gathered to worship in the center of town since 1756 embody and bring to life the Scriptural foundation of Congregational churches that “where two or three gather together in My name, there I am with them.”

From that simple philosophy, the Elijah Kellogg Church has operated as a place of worship, a haven for humanity and a committed partner in the life and well-being of local people. Today, the church brings that mission to life in five distinct ways, using a multitude of resources including financial giving, opportunities for fellowship and volunteerism and strategic partnerships.

The following is a brief summary of that work:

WORSHIP: The bulk of our church’s budget (33 percent) goes toward worship, the weekly and seasonal celebration of Christ’s teachings that ground us in our journey of faith. Gathering together for Sunday worship, whether in person or electronically, is a connection that binds us as members and nourishes our need for spiritual reflection and action. Under this category appears the bulk of our ministerial expenses and supplies we use for Communion, special Easter and Christmas services, and costs associated with the upkeep of this historic church. It also supports the work of our exceptional choir, which uses its musical gifts to praise God and bring joy to our congregation.

MISSIONS: The Kellogg Church has a rich and varied history in its outreach within the community, the nation and the world. Today, 23 percent of our combined budgeted and discretionary expenditures goes toward this important work, led by our Board of Missions and a dedicated part-time staffer. The church supports many local initiatives, such as the Oasis Free Clinic, which provides free medical and dental care to uninsured adults; the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Project, which provides nourishing meals and groceries for people facing food insecurity, and the Tedford Shelter for people dealing with homelessness.

It has also sent thousands of dollars to vetted international aid organizations dealing with natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, drought and famine, and sent donations to the American Red Cross so it can better deal with dire domestic emergencies.

Of particular concern here in Harpswell are our older neighbors. Harpswell has the oldest median age within the state, and Maine has the oldest median age of the entire U.S. Many older residents face issues of isolation, food insecurity, home weatherization and heating challenges, and transportation problems. The church has been an active supporter of Harpswell Aging at Home through financial donations and making our facilities in Fellowship Hall available for HAH gatherings and events. Additionally, we maintain a free vegetable share table during summer months to spread the bounty of local gardens.

Mission work can be found throughout the church’s boards, committees, and membership: the Deacons oversee an independent fund they use in strategic ways to offer help where it’s needed most. In recent years, the money has been used to fund holiday food baskets distributed to local families in need and to support a learn-to-swim program for grade schoolers, an important skill in a community where fishing has been an economic driver for more than 300 years.

Through its Sunday School curriculum, the Christian Education board has supported a child living in poverty so that he can attend school and graduate. It also connects us with the Salvation Army’s annual efforts to provide Christmas gifts to underprivileged local children.  

As a covenant church, the Kellogg Church has supported Habitat for Humanity by fielding work crews for home construction and participating in its annual fundraising walk.

And for almost 20 years, the church has hosted the Harpswell Community Nursery School, providing a nurturing place and administrative support for area preschoolers.

CONGREGATIONAL CARE: Here is reflected our commitment to helping one another as Christians. It represents 17 percent of our budget, covering expenses related to home visits for housebound folks; hospital and nursing home visits; wellness and well-being check-ins our Deacons perform; prayer requests; funerals and weddings; and other ways we connect with and care for people within our church family and the greater community.  

EDUCATION: Learning about our faith helps us to live it. To that end, about 15 percent of our budget is allocated to education. We hold Sunday School classes for the children of the church, and Bible study for the adults. A lunch-and-learn series brings opportunities to learn about a variety of topics from guest speakers while sharing fellowship with one another. But we also support secular initiatives: Women’s Fellowship provides scholarships for the Harpswell Community Nursery School and the church manages a scholarship fund that in 2021 awarded four, $2,500 scholarships to local high schoolers headed to college.

FELLOWSHIP: One of the greatest benefits we receive as members of this church is the companionship and friendship we enjoy with each other and with the broader community. Fellowship, which receives 12 percent of our financial support, creates a network of care that supports us all whether through acts of simple human kindness or monetary gifts. When permissible, each of our worship services ends in a coffee hour, where people can connect and catch up with one another. We host delicious public suppers and split the proceeds with a local charity. Our annual chicken barbecue is offered as an opportunity for community fellowship, as is our annual Easter egg hunt and barn sale. And Women’s Fellowship is an active and lively association whose members hold monthly lunches to enjoy each other’s company and harness their impressive energy for some of the church’s most successful projects, including the annual Christmas by the Sea holiday fair.

This is but a sampling of the way we embrace Christ’s teachings and do his work through the Elijah Kellogg Church. Although the details, events and programs may change from year to year, our devotion to doing good remains as steadfast in 2021 as it was 265 years ago.

© 2022 Elijah Kellogg Church Congregational • 917 Harpswell Neck Rd, Harpswell, ME 04079 • 207-833-6026

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