For Immediate Release
May 17, 2023
Durham, NC – Twenty years after their last capital campaign, the Vestry of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church—an almost 65-year-old pillar in the Durham community—has unanimously voted to move forward with their 2023 Capital Campaign.
This decision came after the conclusion of a 4-week Readiness Assessment period, which included 12 Focus Group Meetings. During these Focus Group Meetings, everyone—including both members and friends of the church—were invited to attend. Attendance at the Focus Groups Meetings was astounding, as approximately 74% of the average number of parishioners who attend Sunday service came to one of the 12 meetings to hear a brief presentation about the proposed campaign, participate in a question-and-answer session that immediately followed the presentation, and finally, to fill out a confidential questionnaire.
The parishioners who attended the Focus Group Meetings appreciated the transparency that the meetings offered, as well as the confidentiality of the Focus Group Questionnaires. Incredibly, out of all respondents to the questionnaire, not one parishioner stated that they would not support the 2023 Capital Campaign.
Although raising funds is the reason for moving forward with the capital campaign, Fr. Sandy, St. Stephen’s new and energetic Rector, made sure to let the parish know that “Money is the means towards ministry; it is not the ministry.” Fr. Sandy participated during the entire Readiness Assessment period, and his excitement about the possibilities and realities that the 2023 Capital Campaign can bring to St. Stephen’s spread throughout the parish.
The $4.3 million dollar campaign will focus on two things: to give a rebirth to the past while simultaneously looking ahead to the future and asking, “What will St. Stephen’s look like in 10, 20, 30 years?”
Once the funds are raised from the campaign, St. Stephen’s plans are to restore the organ in the Sanctuary; replace the HVAC in the Sanctuary and other buildings; rehabilitate the playground and Meditation Trail; add solar panels to the roof the Sanctuary; replace the outdated signs throughout the campus; upgrade the livestream in the Chapel and Parish Hall; create a seed fund for a Curacy Training Program that will involve a heavy focus on youth outreach and ministry; and the long-term dream of building a Ministry Housing for Organ Transplant Aftercare, which will provide 16 apartment style units for short-term housing for organ transplant patients and their caregivers. Also, ten percent of all money raised from the capital campaign will be placed into an endowment that will be used to fund major grants for local charities in Durham and the surrounding communities.
The Campaign Director for James D. Klote & Associates, and the on-site consultant for the St. Stephen’s 2023 Capital Campaign, stated, “When we speak of churches that move beyond just their buildings and spread their dedication to Christ throughout the community, we are talking about St. Stephen’s. The love here is infectious.”
Over the next 12 weeks, James D. Klote & Associates, Inc. will be providing full-time resident service at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. With offices in Falls Church, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Toronto, Ontario, James D. Klote & Associates is the largest full-time, on-site stewardship consulting firm in North America. For additional information, please contact the firm at www.jdklote.com or (703) 532-7633.