2007 Annual Appeal Kicks Off With Festive Event
Published: September 14, 2006
ATLANTA—Banners and balloons, confetti and fanfare marked the kick-off of the 2007 Archbishop’s Annual Appeal Aug. 23 at the Cathedral of Christ the King.
Pastors and their stewardship workers convened in the CTK parish hall for the “Gathering of Champions,” the official start of the annual appeal.
Speaking from a podium surrounded by Wheaties cereal boxes, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory welcomed the attendees to the meeting and offered a stewardship prayer. He then introduced Lori Clarke, director of development and stewardship for the archdiocese, who was the first of many speakers to make remarks about the appeal.
As Olympic theme music set the tone, Christine Heusinger, coordinator of stewardship, announced some of the parishes earning 2006 annual appeal achievements.
Christ Redeemer Church in Dawsonville was the top church in reaching its 2006 goal, with members pledging 241.77 percent of their goal. St. Joseph Church in Athens earned top honors for the greatest participation of its families, with 42.3 percent making a pledge to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal. Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta was the parish with the highest average household gift of $157.94.
This year, the archdiocese is seeking a goal of $6 million, which is needed to support the diverse ministries of the Catholic Church in North Georgia. Archbishop Gregory chose “We Are His Hands” as the theme of the 2007 appeal.
The funds generated by the appeal support such ministries as:
– The Office of Vocations, which is slated to receive 30 percent of the appeal.
– Ministries of the archdiocese, including pro-life ministry, black Catholic ministry, youth ministry, young adult ministry, disabilities ministry and Hispanic ministry, which will receive 19 percent of funds.
– Education and Catholic Charities, which are each slated to receive 18 percent of funds.
– Evangelization ministries, which are slated to receive 15 percent of annual appeal funds.
The kick-off event also showcased speakers who gave personal testimonies about the way the annual appeal funds have helped them, including Carolina Den Brok-Perez, who adopted her daughter through Catholic Charities of Atlanta’s Pregnancy, Parenting and Adoption Program.
Clarke said that they hoped to encourage pastors and stewardship workers with the event.
“We wanted to give them a good spiritual base and to give them an opportunity to hear from the benefactors of the appeal, so they know the reason we are doing what we’re doing,” she said. “That way, they can take it back to their parish and educate the people. People want to know, in this day and age, what they are giving for, where their money is going.”
“They need to be informed so that they know that their gift goes totally to fund the ministries of the archdiocese, not the administrative needs.”
On Oct. 28, parishioners will be able to make a pledge to the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal during Treasure Commitment Weekend at their parishes.
“When people are considering stewardship of treasure for their parish, we hope that they consider their larger family in faith, which is the archdiocese,” Clarke said.
For more information about the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal, visit www.archatl.com/offices/development.