Bishop's Appeal 2014
May 23, 2014
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
Christ is risen. The Lord is risen, indeed! After a record-breaking winter here in the Midwest, we are grateful not only for the resurrection of Christ but also for the signs of spring, growth and renewal in nature.
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago is also growing. Clergy and lay leaders are eagerly signing up for our programs like Thrive and Fierce Conversations that promote congregational vitality and effective communication. Members of my staff are spending time in our congregations supporting leaders and members. From children’s choirs to our CROSSwalk youth jobs program, from campus ministry to lifelong Christian formation, we are doing wonderful work in Christ’s name. And that is why I’m writing to ask for your help.
The Diocese of Chicago may look like a big organization, but we run these programs and ministries with a lean operating budget. Just as many of our churches rely on annual stewardship campaigns, our diocesan operating budget comes primarily from yearly parish contributions, which we call the common mission share, and donations to the Bishop’s Appeal. Year in and year out, the work we do depends on your financial support.
In the past few years we’ve been gratified by outpourings of generosity that have allowed us to address long-neglected capital projects in our diocesan home. We were also blessed by the endowment of the Nicholas Center, a gift to strengthen clergy and lay leaders for service in the church and in the world. Now I am asking you to support the sustaining work of ministry and outreach, operations and communications that build vitality among our leaders and congregations.
I’m grateful for the ways your contributions already make our parishes and diocese stronger and I ask you to help us continue our work by contributing to the Bishop’s Appeal. Your contribution to the Bishop’s Appeal will make possible essential initiatives that allow good and dedicated people to innovate, grow and do the work that the Holy Spirit is calling us to do.
The Holy Spirit is building something great in our diocese, and I hope we can work together to help it grow. Thank you for giving my request your prayerful consideration.
The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee
Bishop of Chicago