A couple of days ago I received a letter from Paul Campbell, the Music Director at St. Thomas More Ordinariate parish in Scranton, Philadelphia, with more details about a music scholarship programme planned for the coming academic year (the fourth funding project this year):
“As you may have read in the newsletter we just sent out last Friday, with Fr. Bergman’s permission we have launched an effort to bring to our choir for the coming season two “Choral Scholars,” music students from Marywood University, who would sing with us in our Parish Choir.
As someone who lives at a distance from the Scranton area who would not often have the opportunity to be blessed by hearing our choir, you may wonder why we would appeal to you for aid. Yet as we stated in the newsletter, as an Ordinariate Parish we take seriously our mission to share the great gifts of our heritage with the wider Church, and thus this program will allow our Parish to minister TO these budding musicians, exposing them to orthodox preaching, excellent music, and robust liturgy sorely lacking in many corners of the Church.
This ministry is not included in our budget, so we are raising funds through Kickstarter, an online fundraising program whereby all funds must be raised by an appointed cutoff date, or the project does not proceed and no funds are collected from those who have pledged. We have set this date as September 1, so by the start of the fall semester we will know whether we can proceed this year.
Our goal is to award each of two students a scholarship of $125 per month, or about $25 per Sunday… pocket change by today’s standards, but hopefully enough to entice a couple of college students to sing among us and thus be exposed to the beauties of our traditions and teaching. Doing the math, this results in a fundraising goal of $2,250 over the next 40 days; otherwise the project will not proceed. To add some perspective, $25 will fund one student for one Sunday; $50 both students for one Sunday; $125, one student for one month; and $250, both students for one month. Larger or smaller gifts are also most welcome!
The direct link to our project on Kickstarter is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/799126309/choral-scholars-for-st-thomas-more-parish?ref=email .
You can read more about the project, view a video about it, and – if you would like to contribute – arrange a pledge and secure credit card payment, which does not proceed unless we are fully funded on time. If you prefer not to use your credit card online, contact me with a figure for your pledge instead; we can make the payment via the church credit card, and you can offer your pledge directly to us to pay off the card.
Thank you very much for prayerfully considering a contribution, and please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. We will email our members and friends from time to time to inform you of our progress toward reaching our funding goal.
Yours in Christ,
Music Director, St. Thomas More Parish”