June 14

Every week we receive requests from people who are in need. Sometimes they need help with rent or a medical or veterinary bill. Other times they are looking for a bus ticket or a gift card to the store. Many of these requests come from our guests at the Edible Hope Kitchen. Some are from parishioners. You may have received a request like this or had a similar need yourself.

The church has a discretionary or “alms” account that is set aside for just such needs. The account is accessible to the clergy and Senior Warden and is audited annually. It is discrete because neither the identity of those who receive assistance or those who contribute to the fund are revealed.

The canon (church law) governing such funds states:
The Alms and Contributions, not specifically designated at the Administration of the Holy Communion on one Sunday in each calendar month, and other offerings for the poor, shall be deposited with the Rector (Vicar) or with such Church officer as the Rector shall appoint to be applied to such pious and charitable uses as the Rector shall determine.

At St. Luke’s we don’t designate offerings for this purpose, particularly since most people no longer contribute through giving in the offering plates! Instead, generous people often give an extra gift and designate it to the discretionary fund so that we have money on hand to meet these urgent needs.

Every month a lovely person sends me five $5 bills for this purpose. It is in honor of a parishioner, Shirley Nunn, who was a faithful member and had spent much of her adult life on the margins. She died in 2019 and I think of her every time I am able to assist someone with a little cash that will help them meet a basic need.

Generally larger needs are met by paying the landlord, utility bill, storage unit or medical provider directly. That way we keep accurate accounting of where the funds have been used.

If you have a need that the discretionary fund might be able to meet, please let me know. Or if you would like to refer someone (rather than giving money directly), or to contribute to the fund, please call or email. This is one of the ways we practice love for one another.

Blessings,
Canon Britt