St. James's congregation is a place of boundless energy for God's Mission both within the framework of congregational ministries and far outside that framework. Individual members raise funds for school initiatives, non-profit efforts, overseas missions, environmental justice advocacy, and so much else, in addition to supporting the operating budget of St. James's and our Growing Together Fund for the furnishing of our soon-to-be new parish house. A significant proportion of our annual operating funds – 4.5% – goes to support our Helping Hand Food Pantry and its 1/3-time Director, the Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman. Another 5.5% supports a wide variety of grants through the Missions Committee to overseas missions efforts, all with congregational connections, such as the Haitian orphanages of Ministries of Aides International, with whom St. James's choir member and Lay Eucharistic Visitor Yvette Verdieu is active, or Kenya Self Help Project, with Hospitality Committee member Sarah Forrester a founder, which helps Kenyan girls stay in school. 1% of our budget supports our membership in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization. Still more goes to the diocese through our assessment.
All together, a total of 16% of our annual budget goes to mission outside the congregation. Because we fund so substantially missions outside our pastoral life within the congregation, our Vestry has adopted a policy that specifically requests that public fundraising at Announcements & Celebrations or through the Sunday News be limited ONLY to initiatives already formally adopted by the Vestry or our diocese - such as the Walk for Hunger or the Life Together Micah Fellowship. We do allow individuals in the congregation to solicit other individuals privately for funds for individual mission efforts (though not for personal financial difficulties, for which we have a Rector's Discretionary Fund). But in order to prevent subjecting the congregation to a confusing plethora of funding requests, we ask that any individual member hoping to fundraise for an individual mission initiative obtain permission from the Rector and Vestry before soliciting the congregation publicly.
Please review our policy above for more information. Click here to learn more about our Missions Committee.