Diocesan Development Fund kicks off Feb. 15


CHARLESTON — An opportunity for parishioners in the Diocese of Charleston to express their stewardship is near at hand. “Returning God’s Gifts” is the theme for the Diocesan Development Campaign for 1998. Sunday, Feb. 15, has been designated as DDF Sunday.

Greg Bowden, DDF assistant, said that this year’s effort is the largest logistical angle the campaign has ever undertaken.

“This is the most thorough campaign that has ever been run,” he stated. “We are trying to get a response from every household in the diocese on behalf of the bishop.”

The first step in the campaign, according to Bowden, was to thank parishioners for last year’s contributions.

That was accomplished through the four donor recognition events held in each deanery across the diocese in late January and early February. (For more, see next week’s issue of The Miscellany).

Another feature was the distribution of a stewardship newsletter, titled The Spirit, to every address in the Office of Stewardship and Development database. The publication featured witness talks, questions and answers on stewardship, opportunities to practice stewardship and stewardship messages in upcoming Scriptures.

“Things that are done every year will cost less this year, which will enable us to do newer things and produce higher quality materials while maintaining low cost,” stressed Bowden.

He added that much will be familiar with this year’s DDF campaign, however, renewed emphasis is being placed on the fact that DDF is a year-long effort.

“We don’t just want a big bang at the beginning,” said Sandy Ferencz, director of Stewardship and Development for the diocese, “we want persons to give in the middle and the end” of the appeal.

Added Bowden, “The real growth will be in flattening the curve (in giving) during the summer months.”

To prepare for the start of the appeal, kick-off meetings for the drive were held in each deanery over the past two weeks: at Church of the Infant Jesus in Marion, Corpus Christi Church in Lexington, Prince of Peace Church in Taylors and St. John the Beloved Church in Summerville. Each of the gatherings for parish finance workers featured contributors from local churches explaining why they contributed to DDF.

The goal for this year’s campaign is $1.75 million.