About Us

Faith Weavers of St. Mary is an all-volunteer, faith-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We exist because of the generosity of many people who dedicate their time and talents to running our community. Thanks to all of you! Your dedication keeps this community together to support one another and serve the needs of our communities, local, national, and international.

You are invited to join any of our committees or activities. Your time and talents are valuable commodities and you will feel well rewarded if your use your gifts to support our community activities. Please contact Dave Karmon if you want to volunteer.

 

Mission and Focus of our Community

We are a faith community formed to support one another in working to build the kingdom of God through service to others in all aspects of our lives.  We are committed to creating an environment open to new expressions of growth and maturity by expanding our vision of ourselves, our church, and our world, and through our commitment to social justice.

Our community is committed to living out our mission. We do this in many ways:

  • We conduct monthly prayer services and pray for the needs of members of our community and the larger communities within our area, our nation and our world.
  • We support charitable works through donations to local, national and international charitable organizations.
  • We have an international outreach to the people of El Salvador by promoting social justice, and donating to support education and infrastructure improvements for communities in El Salvador.
  • We sponsor social events to maintain a sense of community within our group.

Focus Statements:

  1. We are a faith community in the Roman Catholic Tradition.
  2. We support the implementation of the progressive reforms of the church adopted by the Vatican II Council.
  3. We embrace diversity within our community welcoming all people seeking support in living their Christian faith.
  4. We support one another through prayer, community activities and outreach to others.  Prayer is our relationship with Christ; community addresses our needs as social beings to support one another, and our prayer and community provides the foundation to reach out to others.

History

Faith Weavers of St. Mary is a faith community that started in a Roman Catholic parish, St. Mary’s University Parish in Mt. Pleasant Michigan. Bishop Allen J. Babcock, Bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, started the parish in 1959 to serve the students, faculty, administration and staff of Central Michigan University. In 1971 the parish was transferred to the Diocese of Saginaw. As a parish, we served the sacramental needs of our community along with educational and social justice activities.

Over the years the parish attracted people from outside the university community. It had a mixture of student members as well as non-students affiliated with Central Michigan University, Mid-Michigan Community College and the greater Mt. Pleasant community.

When Kenneth Untener became bishop of the Diocese of Saginaw in 1980 he encouraged the pastoral team at St. Mary’s to be a vanguard parish in implementing the changes brought about through the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. The mission of St. Mary’s University Parish was expanded to provide a model for students on how a parish should function. Students would then have the knowledge and experience to be lay leaders in parishes they joined after leaving Central Michigan University. Non-student members of the parish worked with students to run the parish. The non-student parishioners saw their role as mentors to students as they matured into adult Christians.

Bishop Untener died in 2004 and the direction of the parish was dramatically changed with the appointment of a new pastor in the fall of 2006. The parish has become a student center with a different set of goals.

Many former parishioners, who joined other area parishes, wanted to maintain our faith community, to support one another in living our Christian beliefs, and to continue our work in helping students as they mature into adult Christians. We are not a separate church, but a faith community within the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. However, we are open to people of other faith traditions who want a community to support them in living out their Christian ideals. We are also ecumenical in cooperating with other churches to provide programs supporting the needs of our community.

We formed the nonprofit corporation, Faith Weavers of St. Mary, in the State of Michigan, to establish a legal structure for our faith community. The name Faith Weavers of St. Mary comes from the motto of St. Mary’s University Parish, “Weaving Faith into Life.” This motto expresses our desire to live as Disciples of Christ through the ordinary activities of daily life. We realize that we are Christians seven days a week and we must conduct our daily lives in harmony with Christ’s example of service to others. We included St. Mary as part of our name to remind us of our roots in St. Mary’s University Parish.

 

Activities

  1. Provide regular opportunities for our group to gather for prayer, and community-building social events.
  2. Maintain communication with members of our community through an email distribution list, biannual newsletters, and this website.
  3. Provide support for families with young children in transmitting the faith to their children.
  4. Engage in social justice and charitable activities.
  5. Provide opportunities for growth by offering retreats and days of reflection on aspects of our faith.

Faith Weavers Endowment Fund

The Faith Weavers Endowment Fund was established in 2008 to support charitable organizations that promote social justice locally, nationally, and internationally. The Board of Trustees oversees the management of Fund assets, and grants to charitable organizations.

Contributions to the Endowment Fund are permanently retained in the fund. The fund was established with an initial contribution of approximately $181,000. Income from these investment securities is used for grants to charitable organizations.

 

Organizational Structure: Boards and Committees

Boards

Board of Directors for Faith Weavers of St. Mary has the legal authority to operate Faith Weavers of St. Mary. It meets on an “as needed” basis to make decisions to organize and operate our community. For example, in the past Directors have authorized the committee structure for Faith Weavers, authorized legal documents to be filed, and authorized the establishment of the Faith Weaver’s Endowment Fund.

Board of Trustees for the Faith Weavers Endowment Fund, has legal responsibilities for the activities of the Endowment Fund. It has the responsibility to oversee investment policies and make distributions to charitable organizations.

Committees

Steering Committee

This committee is responsible for the programs offered by Faith Weavers of St. Mary. It meets every other month to plan the prayer services, days for reflection, and social gatherings. It is the committee that oversees all the activities of our faith community.

Social Committee

This committee prepares the main dishes for our social gathering after the monthly prayer services, and organizes the set-up, and cleanup for the meal. There are no meetings needed to plan the meals for the monthly gatherings. Committee members just pitch-in and do what is needed. Members also help plan other social gatherings like our annual “Tornado Picnic” and August Party. They meet on an as-needed basis to plan these events.

Service and Justice Committee

The Service and Justice Committee identifies and evaluates organizations requesting grants from Faith Weavers. The committee focuses on local charities but also considers national and international charities for grants.   They also screen applicants for donations from the Faith Weavers’ Endowment Fund and make recommendations to the Endowment Board of Trustees for gifts to specific charitable organizations. The committee meets quarterly and communicates by email as needed to make grant decisions.

Friends of El Salvador

This committee works for social justice and charitable outreach to the people of El Salvador. Committee members cultivate friendship and solidarity with El Salvadorans through bi-annual visits to local communities and funding projects to improve their living conditions and educational opportunities. Committee members meet twice a year and are active through email exchanges.

Investment Committee       

This committee monitors the investment portfolio of the Faith Weavers Endowment Fund. It selects securities for the portfolio, balances portfolio risk, and monitors performance. Committee members also recommend the amount of money to be removed from the portfolio for grants. It meets twice a year.

Communication Committee

This committee develops and maintains the communication channels within our community and with people outside our group. It has developed a brochure describing Faith Weavers of St. Mary, maintains its website and electronic distribution list, and expands our presence on Facebook. The committee meets on an as-needed basis.

 

 Legal

We are a tax-exempt charitable organization

Faith Weavers of St. Mary is a non-profit corporation chartered by the State of Michigan. We have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status so all contributions to us are tax deductible.

Written requests for legal documents related to our nonprofit and tax-exempt status can be sent to:

Faith Weavers of St. Mary
2020 South Mission Street
Suite 404
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858-4425

Financial Information

The majority of our income, $55,421 in 2015, came from donations from our members. The Faith Weavers Endowment Fund generated $6,810 in dividends from securities held by the Fund. Also, we had $740 in income from programs offered by Faith Weavers.

Sources of Income

 

Uses of Income

Because we are a volunteer organization we are able to give $55,171 to charitable outreach in 2015, ,. We spent $5,175, conducting worship services; $386 conducting enrichment programs, and $3,852 in administrative costs in 2015.

 

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