Faithful Generosity Offering

The St. Thomas Faithful Generosity Offering is an opportunity to increase inclusivity, community impact, and spiritual growth in support of our mission at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. This offering will address improvements to our outdated infrastructure, thereby directly supporting the three pillars of the STEC Strategic Plan:

  • Outreach (serving Christ in others),
  • Formation (forming disciples of Jesus Christ), and
  • Invite Welcome Connect.

Additionally, as a biblical demonstration of what God calls us to do, we will dedicate a tithe of this offering to selected outreach partners. This effort will be resourced by the Estate of Mr. Thomas Shelor, a number of faithful parishioners who wish to make an offering, and a portion of St. Thomas’ investments that we currently hold in reserves. Several faithful parishioners have already contributed, and we would like to open it up to others to contribute as they see fit.


Who is Thomas Shelor?

Mr. Thomas Shelor, a dedicated servant of Jesus Christ and St. Thomas, lived a life of intentional generosity. Tom was both humble and faithful, and he would always find ways to provide his time, talents, and treasures to further God’s mission at STEC. He loved playing the organ and would occasionally come to play during the week. Tom gave willingly to his community and was a generous supporter of the Lahaina food bank on Maui after fires devastated the community. Not surprisingly, Tom’s final offering was a gift of $50,000 to St. Thomas through his estate.

What is the goal for the Faithful Generosity Offering?

A goal has been set at $175,000. To date, $150,000 has been received!
The gifts come from:

  • Thomas Shelor Estate: $50,000
  • Donors stepping forward to make a gift: $50,000
  • Reserves approved by Vestry: $50,000

And now, we’re asking the congregation to be generous in contributing toward a combined offering of $25,000.

What are the dates for the Faithful Generosity Offering?

May 5 – May 19

How will the offering be used?


As an act of faithful generosity, a 10% tithe of the total amount received will be given to the most extraordinary needs of one or more of our community outreach partners. Our Outreach Leadership Team will identify and make a recommendation for allocating this gift.

Church Infrastructure

St. Thomas’ parish hall and education wing were built in the early 1970’s and the current sanctuary in 1993. The improvements over the years have been modest. The gifts of parishioners will enable St. Thomas to address several needed improvements over the summer. Our ability to thrive and minister to the needs of our congregation and community are dependent on eliminating these stressors.

The Property and Grounds Team has identified installing an LED lighting system in the sanctuary as the top priority. Why? The current sanctuary lighting system can no longer be supported. Bulbs typically last only about a month, are difficult to locate for purchase, cost about $100 apiece, produce tremendous heat, and are dangerous for our property and grounds team to replace in the rafters. Additionally, the control panel used for the lights doesn’t function properly and must be replaced. If the old system isn’t updated, we run the very real risk of worshiping some Sunday without lights in the sanctuary. The estimated cost is $80,000.

The complete list of improvements (in no particular order after tithing to outreach partners and a sanctuary lighting system) are estimated at an additional $84,000:

  • Door replacement (parish hall and office entry)
  • Professionally designed outdoor and indoor signage
  • Indoor welcome space in narthex
  • Move audio-visual streaming to the first floor to make room in the loft for our growing choir
  • Replace two kitchen stoves
  • Replace parish hall entry, hall and kitchen floors
  • New technology for closed circuit TV, parish hall, sanctuary, and staff
  • New wall HVAC units in two offices and multipurpose room
  • New multipurpose room furniture to reconfigure room for optimal use
  • Painting hallways and doors from office entrance to second-floor staircase

The combined estimate to complete all summer projects is $164,000. The estimated cost with a 10% contingency would bring the total project cost to $188,000.

Who has determined these projects as top priority?

For more than two months ministry leaders have prayed about what God is asking us to do and how to optimally resource our mission and remove infrastructure stressors that get in the way of serving others. The leaders involved are the Vestry, FINCOM, Outreach, IWC, Property and Grounds, and Congregational Development.

Why isn’t a new restroom close to the sanctuary on the list of priorities?

We’re grateful for this question, and we hear you. Building a restroom in close proximity to the narthex and sanctuary has been the #1 request among the leadership and donors. And no doubt, most of you will agree.

It’s a much larger-scale project than St. Thomas can complete this summer. The factors include the cost involved, City of Chesapeake building codes and permits needed, and extending water and sewage lines. We hope to address this project in a future campaign.

When will the projects be started, and when will they be completed?

The starting date is scheduled for June 1, and work should be completed no later than late summer.

How will the congregation be kept informed as projects progress?

We will provide updates with photos to the congregation in the weekly News from the Office email.

How can I make an offering?
There are three ways to participate in the Faithful Generosity Offering:

  1. Contribute online with a card in Tithely (below); use the dropdown menu to scroll down and click on “Faithful Generosity/Spring 2024”

  2. Write a check with “Faithful Generosity 2024” in the memo line
  3. Place cash in the offering plate in an envelope labeled with your name and “Faithful Generosity 2024”