When we think of service and ministry, we often think of action: feeding a hungry person, praying with someone, building a house for a family in need. Taking action, however, is not the only way to serve—and in most cases, action requires funds before it can begin.
That’s where two endowment funds at St. Gregory’s—the Anne de Wolfe Fund and the Eastburn Endowment—come in. Under the direction of special committees and the Vestry, these endowments provide critical funding for outreach activities at St. Gregory’s.
The Eastburn Fund was established in 2015 by St. Gregory’s member Jeff Eastburn, a regular attendee at the 8 a.m. service. This $1 million bequest was “a wonderful surprise from a quiet and modest man,” according to Nancy Stroud, senior warden at St. Gregory’s and chair of the Eastburn Committee. “It was really a gift from heaven,” she says.
Per Mr. Eastburn’s wishes, the Eastburn Endowment provides funds specifically for South Florida Haiti Project and Family Promise. The Eastburn Committee reviews grant applications from those ministries and makes recommendations to the Vestry, which approves or rejects the recommendations. The endowment is an income-generating fund and will continue to grow over time, with roughly 4 to 4.5 percent of the money distributed to the two ministries each year.
Last year, the endowment provided $18,400 to South Florida Haiti Project to fund teacher salaries, teacher training, and latrine cleaning. The fund also provided $50,000 to Family Promise to purchase a much-needed van for transporting families and WiFi service for the Eastburn House. “It’s so heartwarming to see what good work is being done by both of those ministries and know that we can help and fund them,” Nancy says.
Nancy has also chaired the Anne de Wolfe Committee, which oversees the Anne de Wolfe Fund. This fund is solely directed to food-providing ministries. This year the following ministries were awarded $1,000 each: Holy Redeemer Episcopal Church; St. Laurence Chapel; the Rector’s Discretionary Fund at St. Gregory’s; Blessings in a Backpack; and Kay Timoun Children’s Home.
The Anne de Wolfe Fund, also an income-generating fund, was established in 1975 with $2,000 by parishioner Anne de Wolfe. It now distributes $4,000 to $5,000 each year. “It’s amazing to see us be able to keep distributing this fund the way Anne wanted it to,” Nancy says. “Every little bit can grow into a beautiful gift.”
Nancy would like to see more direct contributions to this fund to generate additional growth. She also asks St. Gregory’s parishioners to consider leaving a legacy of their own through an endowment or other structured bequest. “These funds are gifts of service, faith, and love,” she says. “They sustain life-giving ministries for decades into the future, and that is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”