What is the Annual Pastoral Appeal?
The Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) is a fundraiser of the Diocese of St. Petersburg for parishioners, asking them to contribute directly to Diocesan ministries and services as a way for our parish to pay for necessary services we depend upon and that the Diocese provides. It helps fund essential items such as seminarian support, the diaconate program, training programs for lay ministers, youth programs, human resources, insurance of all kinds, employee benefits, accounting, payroll, information technology, training, and all manner of legal/compliance work.
The Diocese operates and manages ministries and services that serve the entire Diocese. We, the parish, are the beneficiaries of their formation programs and are freed from many of the business aspects of running a parish. APA also serves as an opportunity to focus the spotlight on the larger mission and ministries of the Diocese. This allows us, as a faith community and Diocesan family, to fulfill God’s call to discipleship by spreading the gospel message in word and deed and to serve each other in His love.
Why should you give?
As good and faithful servants of God and each other, we are called each year to participate in the Annual Pastoral Appeal, the yearly campaign for the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Each of us individually, along with each parish and mission, is asked to use the gifts that God has given us to help support diocesan operations, services, and ministries that in turn meet the physical, educational, and spiritual needs of thousands of people throughout our larger community of faith. We recognize that we are part of something greater and are called to act in the world to build up the Body of Christ.
I have heard that APA is an annual assessment for the parish. What does that mean?
To be precise, each year the Diocese allocates its budget for operating income across the 80 parishes and missions of the Diocese. If this were the corporate world, we would know this “assessment” as “general, administrative, and overhead” expenses – a way for the “operating division” to fund the common corporation services (HR, technology, training, accounting, etc.).
APA is the fundraising campaign to help the parish pay its assessment. In other words, if no one in the parish contributes to APA, the parish still has to pay the assessment. And that is fair. We are supporting the common ministries of the Diocese which are so important to us in the parish.
The ultimate goal for each parish and mission is to reach or exceed the assessment amount through the Annual Pastoral Appeal. If the assessment is paid through direct donations from parishioners, more offertory money will remain at the parish to fund parish level ministry. However, if the goal is not met, the balance due is billed to the parish.
I received my Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) materials and the donation envelope already. Can I make my donation and mail it from home, or do you want us to bring the envelope to church?
Certainly, you can mail the envelope from home directly to the Diocese. If you want to bring it to church and drop it into the offertory basket, that would be a great.
Will there be APA envelopes in the back of the church in case I forget or lose mine?
Yes, there will be.
Can I bring my donation envelope to the parish in general?
Yes, you can. You can drop the sealed envelope into the Sunday offertory basket, drop it off in the Gift & Book Store, or at the front desk of the Parish Office. If you want to bring it to church and drop it into the offertory basket, that would be fine.
What if I just drop a check in the offertory envelope?
If you mean, a “loose” check in the offertory basket or within one of your offertory envelopes, there is a chance we might overlook it. There will be APA envelopes in the back of the church. Please help us by putting the check in the envelope, and then place it in the offertory basket.
Do you have online giving for APA?
Yes, we do. Our Online Giving has a fund named “Ongoing Diocesan Support (APA)” you can use to make one-time or regularly scheduled donations to the APA campaign.
The Diocese has a great online giving system for APA, which is different than our parish online giving system. You can donate here. You can use your existing account (for APA giving) or create a new account. You’ll notice a “Quick Give” option, however, that can not be used to give to APA
Are there other online giving places other than the Diocesan APA system?
This year we are also offering two additional ways to make one-time donations. You can use PayPal. There is no need to create an account. Just click and give here.
Does the donation have to be one-time or can I make a pledge? Do you prefer one instead of the other?
You can make both one-time or pledged gifts. Pledges provide parishioners with the opportunity to make a more significant and planned gift to the mission of the Church as opposed to an on-the-spot gift. A contribution is easier to pay off over a period of time rather than immediately, out of pocket. It is important to note that pledges are not legally binding but rather a statement of what the parishioner intends to do. Each parishioner is asked to make a planned, prayerful, and sacrificial pledge to APA.
Are you looking for giving guidelines?
If you gave last year, would be able to match last year’s gift – or maybe even increase the amount? If you did not give last year, would you be able to give at least $150?
When will pledge redemption begin?
Parishioners who make pledges, via the diocese, will receive their first reminder mailing within one month after their pledge is received. If possible, donors are asked to complete their pledges by December 31st (the end of the calendar year). Parishioners who choose electronic donation options (credit card, online giving) will not receive reminder statements.
What if my parish goes over goal? Where does the excess go?
All funds collected over a parish’s goal will be placed into a savings account the parish can access for future assessment payments, or if a parish chooses, for a parish identified project. If accessed for a project, the funds become revenue to the parish and become part of future assessment calculations.
What happens if my parish does not meet its established goal?
If the goal is not met, the balance due is billed to parish.