St. Jonah Orthodox Church
P.O. Box 1427
Spring, Texas 77383
July 31st 2005
" And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God,
as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon
thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.’"
I Kings 5:5
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Glory Be to Jesus Christ!
Several years ago, a small group of Orthodox Christians, with a vision for an Orthodox presence in the North Houston/Spring area, planted a seed. Fortunately this seed fell upon fertile ground and it blossomed.
" It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew,
and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it."
In a short period of time this small group of Orthodox Christians has grown into a viable Orthodox Community. Although this tree has grown, it has not laid down roots. Our community has now outgrown its present rental location in less than a year and the time has come to search for that permanent location so that the roots can be firmly established.
The Parish Council has sanctioned a Property Acquisition Committee to search for that perfect location to build that house unto God. This will not be an easy task since the new permanent location must meet the needs of the present and the needs of the future.
In order to better focus our search for that permanent location, we as a community must look inwards and ask: "What can we afford?" This is a difficult task compounded by the myriad properties and locations available as well as the ever escalating cost of land. Although we have managed to save some funds, the time has come to turn to the members of our community for support.
A Fund Raising Committee, to be sanctioned by the Parish Council, will be charged to investigate various means to raise funds. However, a substantial portion of these funds will have to come from the St. Jonah Community. This letter is not an appeal for funds. Rather we are asking each of you after much prayer and meditation to look inwards and indicate how much you would be willing to give to St. Jonah's to realize that dream of an Orthodox presence in North Houston/Spring. The information we are soliciting is for planning purposes only and in no way commits anyone. Our ideal plan is to accomplish the property acquisition and building without any loans from financial institutions.
A form is attached for you to complete and return. Again, completing this form in no way commits anyone, but rather gives our committees some idea as to what we can afford. All information will be held in strictest confidence.
Thank you very much for any help you can give to achieve this dream of a permanent Orthodox presence in North Houston/Spring.
" He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock:
and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house,
and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock."
Yours in Christ,
Fr. John Whiteford
A common question that is repeatedly asked: "I would like to help but I do not have any money or sources of money to help with." This is a situation where if one's desire is strong enough to want to help then there are means to access funds. Although just increasing one's weekly/monthly tithe is a very viable option, at present this does not satisfy the immediate need of a substantial amount of money for at least a required down payment.
Several ideas are presented below for consideration. Each idea must be evaluated based upon one's own financial situation and possibly with the aid of an accountant or financial planner. This is not an exhaustive list but presents several avenues that can be pursued.
Withdrawals from Savings Account - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize.
Sale of stocks, bonds or other securities - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize. Costs may be associated with commissions for the sale. Also, capital gains taxes may also be applicable.
Home Equity Loan/Second Mortgage - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize. Interest on loans may also be tax deductible. Costs may be incurred for fees to acquire the loan. Failure to pay back the loan may result in loss of house since your house is used as collateral.
Loan from Life Insurance Policy - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize. Need to check terms of policy and any penalties.
Loan from Company 401k Plan - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize. You pay back yourself through payroll deduction for a set period of time. Tax consequences may result if you leave the company prior to loan payback.
Cash Advance from credit card - donated funds are tax deductible on your income tax provided that you itemize. Very high fees and interest rates. However, if one takes advantage of special promotions for new credit cards, there maybe no fees and interest rates maybe very low for the introductory period.