JANUARY VESTRY NEWS FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
By Laura Ingersoll
The Vestry unanimously approved a nearly $2 million balanced budget for 2018, thanks to the $1.2 million in 2018 pledges received from parishioners to date. The budget provides funding for a part-time children’s music director, and for a part-time administrative assistant who would free our Parish Administrator, Charles Porter, to work on pressing infrastructure and property maintenance matters. We provided a cost-of-living adjustment increase to clergy and staff salaries, and added funds for music and an array of other parish programs. We increased our Outreach budget (not including OpShop and other “pass-through” receipts) to $105,565 to match our slightly increased annual Diocesan contribution – moving each item toward our aspirational goal of a 10% tithe of the Operating budget (which now stands at about $1.8 million).
On the income side, the 2018 budget benefits from $218,582 in accumulated gifts carried forward from 2017, which resulted from good financial management as well as $100,000 in unanticipated income from pledges and other parish support. The Vestry allocated those accumulated gifts as follows: $84,904 to the Operating Fund, $53,678 to pay (through the Reserve Fund) for an identified array of long-deferred maintenance work, and $80,000 as an initial payment to the Diocese against the loan we received to cover the Rev’d Dr. Deborah Meister severance payments (which ended in November 2017).
Associate Rector Jim Quigley reported that the monthly Mustard Seed collections will be replaced by intermittent collections, determined by clergy, to support responses to local, national, or international crises. He announced that the annual parish Gala will be on Saturday, April 21. Associate Rector Emily Griffin noted that St. Alban’s children are invited to participate in the Cathedral’s music festival on February 24-25.
Vestry members and Diocesan Delegate ending their terms of service gave heartfelt reflections on their service. And Ken Patterson brought one of his amazing cakes so we could celebrate Geoffrey Hoare’s birthday!
The first meeting of the new Vestry will be on February 28.
NEW STEPHEN MINISTERS
Margie Delaney, Mary Beth Evans, Mercy Lightsey, Carol Aschenbrener, and Marcy Fisher have completed extensive training and are ready to serve. Our Stephen Ministers offer confidential one-on-one support to parishioners in life transitions such as illness, bereavement, divorce, unemployment, aging, relocation, caregiver stress and challenges within families. They are caring people of mature faith who can listen, pray and provide encouragement. Also commissioned as a Stephen Leader today is Ann Nix, joining Jo Turner in that role. Ann completed leadership training last summer. If you or someone you know might benefit from the care of a Stephen Minister, contact Jo.
YOUTH MISSION TRIP
This summer, St. Alban's youth will have a new destination for their mission trip. They'll be working with the people of Irvine, Kentucky through St. Timothy’s Episcopal Outreach Center. Youth who are rising 9th graders and above, and any interested adults, will depart from the St Alban’s Day Picnic on June 24 and return the following Saturday, June 30. The cost per participant is $225.00. Scholarship assistance is available on request. Contact Rev'd Geoffrey for more information.
Children's pageant. Candlelit services. Community dinner. St. Alban's celebrated Christmas 2017 with great joy. Some 200 neighbors joined us at noon on Christmas day to enjoy a delicious feast of roast turkey, mashed potatoes and other vegetables and—always a crowd favorite--many homemade pies. The guests include elderly or homeless neighbors, celebrating together as a community of friends. Dozens of St Alban’s parishioners, members of the Washington Hebrew Congregation, and some local residents volunteered their time and talents to make this a bountiful, joyful occasion. Sincere thanks to each of you. Watch for a story about our Christmas season celebrations in the next issue of Alban Life. Subscribe to receive blog updates by email.
CANDIDATES FOR LEADERSHIP
The nominating committee and Vestry have announced candidates for election to lay leadership positions in 2018. We will be electing a Junior Warden, five Vestry members and two Diocesan delegates. A list of the candidates and their statements are available here. A candidates' forum will be held on Sunday, January 14. The election will be on Sunday, January 28. Please contact Charles Porter in the church office if you need an absentee ballot.
A large contingent of St. Albanites (19!) gathered at Memorial House in Rehoboth Beach on December 1 for the annual Advent retreat. The weekend, spent largely in silence, was centered around meditations on T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, led by The Rev'd Geoffrey Hoare. The retreat was nourishing and centering, providing respite from the daily barrage of news and the press of our individual agendas--a chance to worship, reflect and prepare for the coming of Christ. If you've never attended, consider going next year. Read more about it on our new blog, Alban Life.
COMBINED CHOIRS FOR ALL SAINTS SUNDAY
St. Alban's choirs sang excerpts from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem at the 9:00 and 11:15 services on November 5, marking All Saints Day. It was glorious. We'll be posting more videos soon on our YouTube channel. Please subscribe!
NOVEMBER VESTRY NEWS FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
By Laura Ingersoll
The Vestry took a “first look” at a preliminary 2018 budget, and heard how our final budget could be re-shaped around aspirational assumptions that the Annual Appeal will raise $1.2 million in pledges for 2018 – 20% more than was pledged for 2017 – and that budgeted operating expenditures for 2018 will be brought in tighter line with anticipated actual spending requirements based on recent years’ experience. A more finely-tuned budget will be examined at the December Vestry meeting, for ultimate passage in January. We heard that, as of early this week – even before fundraising letters were mailed – 42 pledges had been received, for a total of $219,652. All but one of the Vestry members, officers, and Diocesan Delegates have already made their pledges. Geoffrey Hoare announced that the parish will celebrate the Annual Appeal’s “in-gathering” of pledges at Sunday services on December 10. Meanwhile, parishioners are invited to a celebration of the Annual Appeal at the home of co-chairs Dominic and Ashley Bianchi on Sunday, November 19.
The Vestry adopted a policy that any contract involving the expenditure of $10,000 or more should be entered into after at least two competing bids have been obtained, unless the nature of the project (e.g., highly specialized, or emergency) makes doing so impracticable, in which case that decision should be memorialized and reported to the Vestry.
The next regularly scheduled Vestry meeting will be on December 20.
Notes on previous Vestry meetings are available in the archive.
BISHOP BUDDE VISITATION
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Diocese of Washington made her annual visit to St. Alban's in October. She preached about prayer, and then led a forum and discussion about spiritual traditions and change in the church.
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