Our entire St. Alban’s community is invited to worship together on January 26 following our annual meeting. What better way to demonstrate our essential unity across differences as the body of Christ?
We will pray and sing in both English and Spanish. Don’t worry – the bulletin will be in both languages, and we are not going to say everything twice.
Join us after we conclude the business of the parish by worshiping as one parish in two languages.
JANUARY VESTRY NEWS
by Vestry Secretary Ted Swett
The Vestry voted to adopt a 2020 balanced budget of $1,997,500 in operating income and expenses. The budget makes significant resources available for the Youth Ministry, the Music Program, and the Spanish Liturgy. It also moves the financing of outreach programs and Christian social ministries fully onto budget.
The cornerstone of the budget is the assumption of $1,350,000 in assumed pledge income, including $25,000 representing a conservative estimate of likely pledges that have yet to be submitted. The pledge campaign is currently running slightly behind last year’s in terms of the number of households pledging but reflects a considerable increase in total dollars pledged. And there’s still time for stragglers to get their pledges in!
A notable piece of good news: the Vestry received word of a gift of a little more than $150,000 from the estate of Heather Karen Hunt, to be devoted exclusively for social outreach ministry. The Vestry voted to accept the gift with that restriction, allocating $50,000 to a designated fund available for immediate use and the balance to a restricted subfund in the Endowment to be named The Heather Karen Hunt Fund.
There was a lively discussion of the Strategic Plan adopted by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington in terms of what it implies for our parish. The plan emphasizes engagement with the surrounding neighborhood and challenges churches to know their communities and to envisage new ways of interacting with neighbors who, for whatever reason, may not be drawn to mainstream faith traditions.
Expanded summaries of this and previous Vestry meetings can be found here.
PLEDGE CAMPAIGN UPDATE
by Walker Carter & Suzy Mink, 2020 Stewardship Chairs.
Our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have made a financial commitment to St. Alban’s for the New Year. Each and every pledge is vitally important to our parish life. We’re pleased to report that the 2020 pledge campaign crossed a significant milestone this week: We’ve topped last year’s campaign! Dollars pledged for 2020 stand at $1,325,340, which is 2% more than last year. This is very good news. Thank you so much for your generosity!
But there is still work to be done. We’ve heard from 274 households so far but we need to hear from 30 more to match the 304 pledges from last year. If you haven’t yet pledged, please consider doing so today. There are many ways to pledge: Pledge forms are available on the pledge table in Nourse Hall; you can pledge online on the church’s website or you can or call Doug Dykstra, our Director of Finance. Also, if you’ve already pledged and are considering increasing your pledge, please let us know. So far, of those households who were able to increase their giving, the average increase is an astonishing 18%! We’re very excited about 2020 at St. Alban’s and hope you are too. Please make your pledge today.
2020 pledge envelopes are available for pick-up in Nourse Hall. As you know, on the first Sunday of each January pledge envelopes are available to those households that have made a pledge and requested envelopes.
Our annual celebration and community dinner was full of joy and beauty, from the faces of our guests and our many volunteers to the gorgeous flowers and uplifting music and inspiring preaching that filled the sanctuary. Thank you, thank you to all who played a part, and especially to dinner organizers Tricia Pinkard, Suzy Mink and Phoebe Jane Winthrop and to our flower guild.
Our Advent forum series, "Waiting with Mary," brought English and Spanish-speaking parishioners together for a wonderful potluck lunch. Parishioners brought a favorite image of Mary and shared why it is meaningful to them. The images included pictures and statues from various home countries represented in our parish as well as from classical art. We've posted photos in this gallery.
Many thanks to Karina Rodriguez and the Rev'd Emily Griffin for coordinating the event.
Recordings of the forum series, which looks at Mary in the Gospels, in music and in art, are posted here as they become available.
Did you volunteer at the Op Shop or buy something there or bring in donations this year? Look at the good you did!
In 2019, WSA awarded $209,200 from Op Shop proceeds to the following 35 agencies: A Wider Circle, Calvary Women’s Services, Charlie’s Place at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, Cornerstone Community, Downtown Cluster of Congregations, Downtown Cluster's Geriatric Day Care Program, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Five Talents USA, For Love of Children, Friendship Place (Aim Hire), Hope and a Home, Hope House, Housing Up, Hyacinth’s Place, Iona Senior Services (Active Wellness Program), Joseph’s House, Jubilee Jobs, Loaves and Fishes at St. Stephen and the Incarnation, Mary House, Miriam’s Kitchen, New Endeavors by Women, Nomis Youth Network, Pregnancy Aid Centers, Project Knitwell, Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, Seabury Resources for Aging (Age In Place), St. Philip’s Childhood Development Center, Suited for Change, The Family Place, The Lorton Art Program, The Welcome Table at The Church of the Epiphany, Thrive DC, Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International, Transition Assistance Program at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, and Voices for a Second Chance.
Thank you for your continued support of our Op Shop.
The annual Thanksgiving dinner was hosted by St. Alban's this year and it was a huge success. We had 50 to -75 more people than past years for a total of 240 or so diners (so I've been told). We had blessings in Spanish, Hebrew and English by the priests and rabbi. And our guests came from a wide range in our community: from homeless people to Muslim refugees, rich to poor, Latino to Anglo, elderly to young.
Even though the bigger numbers meant we ran out of turkey at the end, it also meant we strengthened the ties in our community among disparate populations. It was wonderful to see it all in action, and I feel lucky to have spent the day with all of these folks. My day was made when a homeless man gave me a hug and told me he felt spoiled by the warm meal and hospitality, as he walked out the door with leftovers. Success... at least for a day!
Your offerings of time, food, love and prayer made it all possible. This day was a gift to many and I thank you for being a part of it all.
CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION
On a November 25 conference call, the Vestry finalized the slate of candidates for election on January 26, as developed by the nominating committee. They are (in the random order in which they will appear on the ballot):
For Junior Warden (one, for a 3-year term): Ted Swett, Carol Aschenbrener
For Vestry (four, for 3-year terms): Megan King, Karina Rodriguez, Rachel Colson, Anton Vanterpool II, Lisa Garnett, John Thorne IV, Carol Aschenbrener
Note that one of the Warden candidates is also standing, simultaneously, for election to the Vestry. We have instituted this practice – of offering Warden candidates the opportunity to also stand for election to the Vestry – in order to avoid losing altogether the possibility that a Warden candidate who is not elected to that office may have no other chance to serve in elected lay leadership. It will work this way: a winning Warden candidate will be dropped off the Vestry Member list, and any votes he/she receives for Vestry Member will be disregarded. The remaining Vestry Member candidates will be ranked by votes received, and elected accordingly.
from Walker Carter and Suzy Mink
Thanks to all of you who have renewed your pledge for 2020. We have made good progress toward ensuring that we can fund the critical missions of this parish that benefit those within and outside our walls. More than half of you have increased giving levels from prior years, and we are grateful for your commitment to St. Alban’s.
That said, we are moving rapidly into our planning cycle for 2020, and we are looking to establish as much certainty as we can with respect to the resources that will sustain this parish. If you have yet to make your pledge, please take a moment to reflect on the important work of St. Alban’s and what it means to your own life and in the lives of others.
For those of you who are new to St. Alban’s, please consider making a pledge, and if you have any questions on practicing generosity, please contact any member of the clergy or me, and I would be happy to share with you how critical the annual appeal is to ensuring that our parish continues to thrive. As a reminder you can make your pledge online through the parish website. You can also call Doug Dykstra or fill in a pledge card (available on Sunday in the narthex) and mail it to the parish office (St. Alban’s Church, 3001 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016).
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