Change Font Size:   A A A

Sep 08, 2011 | Jeanie Sablatura and Terry Nathan

ECF Vital Practices Features St. David's for Innovative Stewardship

In today’s world of decreasing church attendance, changing parish demographics, and difficult economic times, it is essential that all of us optimize the stewardship of the resources with which we are blessed. At St. David’s, Austin, our leadership has chosen to proactively explore opportunities to further our mission through maximizing all of our resources including our physical facilities. Located in the heart of Austin since 1854, St. David’s has seen significant growth and increased vitality of our downtown in recent years. Due to this, St. David’s is perfectly situated to explore new ideas for building community and increasing revenue.


With a membership of over 2,200 and an annual budget of just over $2.5 million, we continue to challenge the old norms about the roles of church and business. We have found new ways to lead our congregation and grow, spiritually and numerically, in mission in the community and to increase our financial stability.  


Consignment Shop 
Thinking-outside-the-box has long been routine for St. David’s. Since 1959 volunteers have been running Next-to-New, a consignment shop that is housed in its own building in North Austin. What started as an outreach ministry has grown into a successful, well-known Austin business through marketing efforts and word-of-mouth. Annually, Next-to-New contributes over $100,000 to local charities and to the preservation of St. David’s Historic Church. In addition to the economic impact the proceeds have on the community, it also offers a valuable service to customers and consignors. By providing affordable clothing, furniture, and appliances, the shop is filled daily with shoppers. In addition, the store provides work training and service opportunities to over 100 volunteers who keep the merchandise flowing six days a week and offers the opportunity for Community Service credit for numerous people.  


Parking Garage 
St. David’s sits on an entire city block in the middle of downtown Austin. As the town continued to grow around the Church, leaders knew that parking capacity would have to be increased to accommodate growth in our programs and population. In 1985, St. David’s began building a 5-level parking garage, and then expanded it to eight floors ten years later.  


The 545-car garage is free for parishioners and visitors to the church. For others, daily or monthly rates are paid while they work nearby or head downtown for an evening out. 


Continue reading article at