My name is Frank Borik, and I and my wife Stella have been attending St. Paul’s for 20 years this past August. When Pat Krader asked me to speak as a stewardship witness, I knew I had to do it. Quite honestly, I’m surprised I didn’t get asked earlier, and I said to myself: “OK, I guess it’s my turn.” So here I am.
And, as I thought about it, there have been so many things that St. Paul’s has given me; from a place to enjoy my passion for musical performance, a spiritual home, comfort and support in time of need, a wonderful social life. But in order to run the church, you need the money. Yes, today it’s about the money. So, how does one try to quantify that which cannot be quantified? How do I talk about the many things I receive that money cannot buy?
Then, I thought, maybe I’m not approaching this correctly. Is there a way I can estimate the value of my pledge in terms of money? What if I took the 75 ministries that St. Paul supports and compare that with an equivalent service in the economy? What if I used my professional skills in cost estimation for the Government and come up with a number that quantifies that which IS quantifiable. And I’ll see if what I’ve been pledging all of these years makes sense from the viewpoint of a smart investor.
Let’s start with the Sunday services. Here we are, and every week we get to enjoy a professionally produced musical drama in this splendid theater, and each week we leave feeling moved. How much is a 90 minute show of this caliber and subject matter worth? $50.00 per ticket? Probably underpriced considering, but take that and multiply it by the over 24,000 attendees we had last year – That’s over $973,000. Add the weekly services and now it’s over $1.1 million! Funny how that matches our stewardship goal. So, we get our dollar’s worth just by coming every Sunday. But wait, what about all of the other 70+ ministries that St. Paul supports? Let me give you a brief summary of what I came up with:
- Stephen Ministry and 12 step programs: $420,000 in equivalent psychological services
- Showers of blessings: $28,000 for a truck stop shower and a haircut
- Arts committee: $23,000 for art exhibits
- Cathedral Forum: $40,000 in continuing education credits
I could go on, but my time is getting short. The bottom line is that the ministries of St. Paul’s provide over $2.2 million in equivalent value to people throughout this city, and even beyond. I don’t know about you, but getting a 2-for-1 return on my investment is a pretty good deal! Truly, our monetary contribution is the parable of the fishes and loaves made manifest.
So, what are you waiting for? A pledge to the cathedral is an investment that pays off in miraculous ways, just like those loaves and fishes, changing the lives of countless people throughout San Diego. Fill out your pledge card and come and join me at the altar. It’s the best investment decision you’ll ever make.