A Message from Bishop Ely: Join Me in Giving to the 2018 Alleluiafund Appeal

A Message from Bishop Ely: Join Me in Giving to the 2018 Alleluiafund Appeal

Diocese Proclaims ‘Christ Is Risen in Our Deeds’ for Fifth Consecutive Year

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Greetings.

Today, I want to talk with you about the Alleluiafund.

Whenever I am at Rock Point Camp and listen to one of the campers tell me about something they discovered on a walk in the woods, or about their first time ever in a kayak, or a craft project about which they are extremely proud, I think, here is the Alleluiafund at work. Whenever I am visiting a congregation that has an active food ministry supported by a grant from the Alleluiafund, I think, here is the fruit of God’s generous people at work. Whenever I witness a connection to global mission being strengthened by a grant from the Alleluiafund, I think, what a difference generosity is making in the world.

What a difference generosity is making in the world!

One of the questions I am being asked more and more since my retirement announcement is what I am most proud of as I look back over these past seventeen years as your bishop. Once I get past the awkwardness of a question that often feels like it is more focused on my accomplishments, I generally find myself saying something about the generosity I’ve experienced as Bishop of Vermont. That generosity has been expressed in so many ways, not the least of which is the financial generosity of people in responding to various appeals. I recall with amazing appreciation the outpouring of support following Tropical Storm Irene. I recall being wonderfully surprised when announcing many of the offerings gathered during Diocesan Conventions and earmarked for support of important ministries related to that year’s Convention theme. Year after year, I am ever so grateful for the way congregations do all they can to fulfill their diocesan budget share, all the while knowing how fragile local budgets are. Most recently, the response to the $1.7 million-dollar Partnership Campaign for Rock Point has filled me with a profound and deepened sense of gratitude.

And then there is the Alleluiafund! Seven years ago, we realized that the capacity of the Diocesan Budget alone would not be capable of supporting all the ministries that felt vital to our mission as the Episcopal Church in Vermont.

We launched an Annual Appeal to try and fill the gap with individual donations from folks who wanted to give over and above their local giving to important ministries of the Episcopal Church in Vermont. In 2013, this effort grew into the Alleluiafund, our annual Easter appeal in which we proclaim, “Christ Is Risen in Our Deeds.” The results have been amazing! Generosity has flourished, and lives are being impacted by that kindness. Since 2011 over $350,000 have been raised, including over $285,000 in the past five years of the Alleluiafund. In 2017, we exceeded the $40,000 goal by over $5,000! Every dollar raised goes directly to ministries of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, including local outreach and global ministries.

Please join with Ann and me and hundreds of others in making a gift, or pledge to the Alleluiafund.

So, if you want to know what makes me proud looking back over these years of episcopal ministry, the Alleluiafund is high on the list. Not because of anything I have done, but because of what you have done. Generous people sharing in God’s mission, seeking to make a difference in our world is something worth celebrating, and my hope is that you are celebrating with me. This year’s Alleluiafund appeal launched on Easter Day and I’m hoping you will join with Ann and me and hundreds of others in making a gift, or pledge, in witness to the power of Christ’s resurrected life making a difference in our world.

And, thank you for all your expressions of generosity!

Full Signature
The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely
Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Vermont

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