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Welcome

Welcome to St. Alban’s Church! Every Sunday, and most days in between, people gather in this place to worship, to learn, to grow, to share the joys and struggles of our lives, and to seek God’s grace in the midst of our lives. We do not come because we have it all figured out, but because we are seeking light on the way. We come as we are and welcome one another.

On this website, you can find information about our worship, our classes for people of all ages, membership at St. Alban's, and about how we seek to make a difference in this world. We warmly encourage you to join us for a Sunday service or for some of the many other events that happen here. You belong at St. Alban’s.

Please fill out this welcome form to connect with us.

Contact us with any questions. Call (202) 363-8286 or email the church office.

 

Service Times

Beginning on Trinity Sunday, May 30, 2021, worship will be open to anyone without pre-registration or distancing requirements. We will continue requiring that worshippers be masked for now. 

Our schedule of services will remain the same throughout the summer:

 - 9:00 a.m. (English) in the church

 - 10:30 a.m. (English) in the church

 - Noon (Spanish) in Nourse Hall

Communion in one kind (i.e. wafers) will be offered at the main altar, although we will happily bring communion to those for whom steps are challenging. 

Masked hymn singing both indoors and outdoors will be permitted, and music will be supported by a soloist and organ. 

On-line worship services in English and Spanish are available on Sundays beginning at 8:00 a.m. on our YouTube channel.

 

 

Directions

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church is located next to the Washington National Cathedral at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues in the northwest section of the District of Columbia.

From either direction on the north loop of the Capital Beltway/I-495 follow signs for Route 355/Wisconsin Ave south toward DC. St. Alban’s is located on the left just before the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a left onto Lych Gate Rd before you reach Massachusetts Ave. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

From any Virginia main in-bound thoroughfare (George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395, Route 50, I-66), follow signs to Rosslyn and take the Key Bridge from Rosslyn north across the Potomac River into Georgetown. Go right on M St, left on Wisconsin Ave. St. Alban’s is located on the right just after the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues NW. Make a right onto Lych Gate Rd after passing Massachusetts. As you enter the drive, the church will be on your left and Satterlee Hall and the Rectory on the right. Stay on Lych Gate until it becomes Pilgrim Rd.

Parking is available on Pilgrim Road Monday-Friday after 3:30 pm and all day Saturday and Sunday. Parking is also available in the Cathedral’s underground garage for a fee Monday- Saturday and for free on Sunday.  You may also park on neighborhood streets according to DC parking signs.

What to Expect

Visiting a church for the first time can be a bit daunting. So we have tried to put together the answers to some of the questions you’re likely to have and to ensure that you find a warm welcome here. Click on the questions to learn more.)

How do you worship?

What time are services on Sunday morning?

How long do services last?

Where can I park?

Do you offer programs for children?

What should I wear?

Do you have provisions for the differently-abled?

For Your Kids

Children’s Ministry

At St. Alban’s, we believe that a child’s spiritual growth is just as important as their physical and intellectual growth. Our goal is to help children name and value the presence and love of God in their lives. We do this through a variety of means – by providing stable and consistent adult mentors, encouraging strong peer relationships, and supporting parents in their families’ faith lives at home.

Worship: Children’s Chapel meets at the start of the 9:00 a.m. service. Starting in September 2021, Children’s Chapel with Communion will be held outdoors on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month at 9:00 a.m. To learn more, contact the Rev’d Emily Griffin.

Education: All church school classes resume the Sunday after Labor Day with our annual Open House. Instruction starts the following Sunday.

Learn more about Children's Ministries


Youth Ministry

Four teen groups participate in formation classes at St. Alban’s on Sunday mornings. We use the nationally recognized Episcopal curriculum “Journey to Adulthood," or J2A. J2A has two guiding principles: 1) Manhood and womanhood are gifts of God; and 2) Adulthood must be earned. This is a strong program with over 50 youth participating, many of whom engage in a wide variety of ministries at St. Alban’s. Two or three adults mentor each of the groups for two years, sharing their own faith journeys and forming strong bonds of fellowship with the participants.

Learn more about Youth Ministries

The Episcopal Church

As Episcopalians, we follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe God is active in our everyday lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Christ. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the gospel, and promotes justice, peace and love. The Church carries out its mission through the ministry of all of its members.

We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer. We believe the Holy Scriptures are the revealed Word of God. In worship we unite ourselves with one another to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God's Word, to offer prayer and praise, and to celebrate the Sacraments. The Celebration of Holy Eucharist is the central act of worship in accordance with Jesus' command to His disciples. Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with 70 million members in 165 countries.  The word "Episcopal" refers to government by bishops. The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church. Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops. 

We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person. We welcome all to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.

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Vestry News & Meeting Minutes

07.20.20 | News, Connect

    Vestry meetings are usually held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 pm in Room 301 of Satterlee Hall, and are open to all. During the Coronavirus shutdown, meetings are held via Zoom. The Senior Warden provides a summary of each month's meeting.

    ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - November 17, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The Vestry conducted an abbreviated meeting for November in order to allow the Vestry members time to place calls or other contacts to parishioners who have not yet pledged to annual appeal. We were pleased to be introduced officially to Mery Montenegro, the Parish’s new Communications Director. Mery has a marketing and branding background, and her last job was with the 2020 Census focusing on outreach to the Latino community. She will be taking on a number of Charles Porter’s responsibilities, and is the lead on livestreaming services.

    Treasurer’s Report. Hollis McLoughlin reported that we are track with pledge income for 2021, especially given a reduction in some expenses and our history of receiving a surge of income in December. We see nothing to suggest that won’t happen again this year. Our cash situation is very strong; we have now dispersed over $250,000 toward the HVAC project. The Finance Committee is still formulating a recommendation on how we bridge the gap between capital-campaign pledged amounts and the amount of those pledges we have in hand (we offered three years to pay pledges). The Vestry approved the second of two required motions to support withdrawing up to $300,000 from the endowment as needed to address the deficit between the pledged amounts of the capital campaign and the eventual final costs. That draw can now be made when necessary. The endowment is doing well at $6.6 million as of this writing.

    Lisa Garnett, chair of the Annual Appeal, reported that we have received pledges from 117 households (our goal is 286) toward our 2022 budget, and a total of $653,000 toward our goal of $1.35 million. Parishioners are urged to get their pledges for 2022 in as soon as possible. There are two weeks left in the public phase of the campaign, as we will turn our focus inward during Advent.

    Nominating Committee. The Vestry voted to accept the slate of candidates proffered by the Nominating Committee for the January 2022 election. For Senior Warden the candidates are Tom Gufstafson and Ted Swett. For the Vestry election, to fill four upcoming vacancies, the candidates are Michele Armitage, Erin Bowers, Ted Cage, Brian Glosh, Tom Roth and Jessica Vermooten. Nominating Committee members are Paul Brewster, chair, Josepha Musabyemariya, Dudley Winthrop, Laura Ingersoll, Joe McLean and me.

    During the Rector’s report, Geoffrey sought the sense of the Vestry about how we should respond to the likely relaxation of the mandate in the District of Columbia to wear masks. The Diocese is deferring to individual parishes on how to react. A number of factors were discussed by Vestry members including: the current incidence of new cases in DC is above the CDC guidelines for when to stop masking; the percentage of children who have been vaccinated is low; our HVAC improvements in the church building that will better filter the air are not yet complete; and, it is likely that holiday gatherings and travel will increase infections. The general sense of almost all the Vestry members who spoke is that we should maintain the requirement of masking at our services through the holidays, regardless of what the Mayor does. The Rector will notify the Parish of this continuation of our requirement.

    In the Senior Warden’s report, I was pleased to announce that the kickoff for collecting (and taking) photos and confirming contact information for a new online Parish directory is January 9, 2022. Mery Montenegro will take the lead on the project, and Stephanie Curcuru and Deborah Potter have been kind enough to agree to assist. My thanks to all!

    As required by the Bylaws, the Vestry will approve the voting procedures for the January 2022 election at our December meeting. I informed the Vestry that my recommendation, and that of the Executive Committee, would be that we once again conduct the voting online using ElectionBuddy.com; this will allow more people to vote regardless of ongoing concerns they may have about gathering indoors.

    Junior Warden’s Report. Many aspects of Ted Swett’s thorough report were covered in Geoffrey’s detailed parish-wide email earlier this month describing the plans and impacts of the capital improvements to the HVAC, security and the kitchen. Ted highlighted the generous gift from John Nickum and Linda Lear that enabled us to replace all the chandelier lighting in the church with LED lights, brightening and cheering up the space.

    In his report, Jim Quigley informed the Vestry that he and Megan King (Parish Life lead on the Vestry) are in conversation with the director of IONA Senior Services about St. Alban’s hosting a small Christmas Day dinner for the vaccinated members of the IONA community who use our church reach week. This smaller event will enable the parish to serve a group who will welcome this holiday food and fellowship, but do so in a way that is safer in Covid times and requires only a small number of volunteers. Instructions on how to contribute will come out soon. Jim also reported about the recent gatherings of the “We Care” group, our dedicated group of lay pastoral caregivers, and cited in particular Marcy Fisher for her extra efforts leading this group while her co-chair Margie Delaney is assisting husband Paul as he rehabilitates from an accident.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - October 27, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    In her meditation opening the October 27 virtual meeting of the St. Alban’s Vestry, Lisa Garnett talked of finding our “true north,” that thing that if we keep our eye on it will guide us through the storm to a life well lived. She described an aunt she recently lost as someone who lived by a set of principles and simple actions (like always having coffee ready for whomever came to her door, or having a joke at the ready when someone needed to laugh, or knowing whose dog liked which kind of treat) that together caused her to be surrounded by loving friends and family. The combination of all these “little” things resulted in her aunt being “aligned with who she was,” and left a positive mark on Lisa’s life.

    Treasurer’s Report. Hollis McLoughlin reported that we continue to be in good shape on both an income and expense basis. Though the third quarter was weak in terms of pledge income and we accordingly will proceed cautiously, there is no indication that suggests that we won’t receive all that was pledged for 2021. Hollis also offered a motion to accept the 2018 Audit Report; as a governance matter the Vestry just “accepts” the audit. Our outside auditor already presented the audit to the finance committee who reviewed it. It was a clean audit with no material weaknesses, but there were a couple of recommendations relating to how we post credit card expenses and how we document the wishes of a donation to the endowment by a living donor. The Vestry accepted the report on the Treasurer’s recommendation. Hollis also reported that the Finance committee is currently reviewing how the endowment is being managed, and at their next meeting will meet with our representative from Vanguard, our endowment manager. The committee also is formulating a recommendation about how to handle the cash flow for the capital improvements, as we secured pledges of $2.1 million but, as anticipated, have to date received only approximately $1.1 million in cash from those pledges. Even with the endowment draw not to exceed $300,000 (noticed to the parish last month), funding the capital work apace may require that we take a short-term loan, or borrow the differential from the endowment to be paid pack when full pledged income is realized. Finally, as required as a matter of financial governance, the Vestry approved one of two sequential votes required to withdraw from the endowment the $300,000 draw referenced above.

    Adult Formation. Suzy Mink reported that, even in the face of pandemic, adult formation is going strong. Fall offerings are ongoing in Education for Ministry, Adult Enquirers, Sacred Ground, Way of Life and Growing in Faith Together. There are also plans underway that, should they come to fruition, will bring James Alison, British author and theologian, for a Memoriallecture in March 2022. Writings by Mr. Alison are currently being used in two of the adult classes.

    In her first report of the Annual Appeal season, Lisa Garnett reported that we have received pledges for 2022 from 46 households totaling $265,056; the campaign goal is $1.325 million from 286 households. Lisa was pleased to report that, of those households pledging for 2022 that also pledged in 2021, pledges are up by an average of 4.9%.

    Nominating Committee. Paul Brewster, chair, reported that the committed is on target to present a full slate of candidates for Senior Warden and four Vestry positions at the November meeting.

    From his thorough written report on the state of the capital improvements, Junior Warden Ted Swett highlighted for the Vestry a delay in the kitchen-range hood replacement caused by a failed inspection; the Project Manager for capital improvements is on top of resolving the issue.

    Highlights from clergy and staff reports included: previously-funded upgrades to the organ are
    underway; the move from recorded services to livestreamed ones will be made for the Spanishlanguage service this Sunday, and for the English services the change will come in mid November; on November 7 we will celebrate All Saints Day in a multi-cultural way, as Yoimel will lead a forum on the background and symbolism of the Day of the Dead, and after the 11:15 services we will have an outdoor gathering in the Columbarium with potluck food (family favorites that can be picked up by tongs requested) and will read aloud the names of those we love and see no more.

    As to the Christmas community dinner, the Vestry began discussions led by Jim Quigley and Megan King about what we should do about our holiday tradition of serving a community dinner as we continue to live in times of the Delta variant(s). Options being explored range for having a smaller event, perhaps targeted at the patrons of the IONA Senior Services we host each week, to channeling parish resources toward some other more Covid-19-friendly way of providing food for the holidays to those in need. The volatility of Covid-19/variant situation, which could affect both attendance and availability of volunteers, may dictate against an inperson gathering. More to come.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - September 15, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The Vestry’s September meeting opened with a meditation by Rachel Colson centered on the book The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk. The author, a psychiatrist whose specialty is trauma/PTSD, posits that traumatic experiences become imbedded in a primal part of our brain beyond conscious awareness. The discussion was timely given the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. Rachel asked the question of what impact a different type of traumatic event, the prolonged experience of Covid 19, might have on our post-pandemic lives. What will we carry forward, and will we be able to recognize the subconscious pain if it surfaces in the future in ourselves or others such as fellow members of our faith community?   

    The Vestry was pleased to welcome to our meeting and to our parish our new seminarian, Omar Rodriguez de la O from Virginia Seminary. Emily Griffin will be supervising Omar.

    Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin reported that pledge income is down, but this is typical during this time of year.  Because expenses remain on track with the 2020 budget, and St. Alban’s pledgers historically fulfill or exceed their pledges, we project from an operating standpoint our financial position will remain sound.  Our endowment is at a record $6.5 million. In response to questions from the Vestry, Hollis reminded us that 10-12 years ago the parish had little to no endowment. Generous bequests have changed this, and we benefit from the current performance of the stock market.  The endowment is currently managed by Vanguard, subject to a 65%-35% equities/bonds split. The Finance Committee will review at its next meeting whether to retain that split. The Vestry was reminded that the 2021 Annual Appeal is nearing kickoff, and were asked to make their pledges immediately, increasing the amounts from last year as they are able.

    Rachel Colson reported out on Children’s Formation, which includes Children’s Chapel, Sunday School/Godly Play, Acolytes, and the Chorister Program.  Most of these activities are underway in one form or another; however, utilizing children as Acolytes, additional activities for 2-3 year olds, and staffing the nursery remain on hold pending availability of Covid vaccines for children or other changes that increase parishioner comfort with children being indoors.  Outdoor Children’s Chapel around the Peace Cross and has been well received, and Sunday School for children is meeting in the tents on St. Alban’s School campus.  The Chorister program is under way with both online and in-person rehearsals.

    As part of the Junior Warden’s report, the Vestry approved a budget totalling $2,314,505.12 for the upgrades to the physical plant that were the subject of the Hallelujah Homecoming Capital Campaign: replacing the existing heating and cooling systems in Satterlee and the Church, improved security for access to the buildings, and the new stove and exhaust system in the kitchen. Also included in the motion were: granting the authority to compensate the project manager, who is now overseeing all construction activities and not just the HVAC improvements; allowing money within the approved budget to be moved from one line item to another with approval of Charles Porter and the Junior Warden as long as neither the total amount or the amount paid under any individual contract is not exceeded. The budget as approved includes some contingency funding for unknowns (for example, opening of some walls may require additional asbestos abatement). By way of update on work that is already under way or completed, asbestos abatement has already taken place, the Op Shop had to be refurbished after the old radiators were removed, and the installation of the new stove and kitchen exhaust system is ongoing. 

    The largest expense of the capital improvements is the approximate $2.1 million for the HVAC systems. We will replace the Church system with a new system similar to the old one. Satterlee Hall will be receiving much improved equipment that allows for each room in the building to be heating or cooled separately as controlled by computer; this will allow that only those spaces under use at a given time will be served, reducing our utilities and our carbon footprint.    

    There are two major next steps for the overall capital improvement project. First, now that the Vestry has approved the overall budget, the mechanical contractor will prepare a schedule for when certain construction activities will take place and what effect these activities will have on our use of different parts of the facility. The mechanical contractor will then convene clergy, relevant staff, and lay leaders to receive feedback about any problems the schedule may present.  This information will then be shared parish-wide. We have prioritized for the contractors our wish to be able to have Christmas services in a warm church; the Satterlee work to expected to be finished next spring.  The other upcoming major step regards accessing the endowment because the total amount of the capital improvement budget ($2,314,505.12), exceeds the amount pledged for the capital campaign assuming we receive no further pledges ($2,012,934). Accessing the endowment requires notice to the parish (which will be issued formally this week), and then the Vestry must approve the endowment draw at two consecutive meetings. In order to not have to repeat this process in the event that there are unanticipated overages in capital project costs, notice will be provided that accessing the endowment in an amount not to exceed $300,000 is under consideration by the Vestry.

    In my Senior Warden report, I updated the Vestry on some items I hope to see completed before my term as warden ends in late January. Jim Quigley and I continue to work with wood craftsman and former Gaithersburg rector Joe Clark to have designed and built an altar table for use at the Spanish-language service in Nourse Hall, as well as a second complementary table, shorter in height, to serve both as the altar for Children’s Chapel and as a credence table at adult services. These altars will be in memory of the late Ron Hicks, faithful servant of this parish. Some time in mid-October, we hope to begin work on an online parish directory with photos and contact information for all members. Finally, I am working with Doug Dykstra to add a Venmo or similar link to the bulletin to allow for easy contributions to the parish, particularly during services.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden  

    ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - August 18, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    Dudley Winthrop led off our August virtual meetings with reflections on a quote from author E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web, among others): “If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.” How do we as a church and as individuals improve the world in which we find ourselves, and how do we live an enjoyable life while doing so?  Dudley also emphasized  that as we gather together in the new church year it is important to bring more people into our ranks, not only to fill our pews but to increase the cadre of folks to go out into the world and do good on St. Alban’s behalf.  

    Treasurer’s Report. Hollis McLoughlin reported that, while pledge income was down somewhat for July, it continues to be our experience that the people of St. Alban’s invariably meet and often exceed their stewardship pledges by year’s end. On the expense side, as the church begins to reopen and we deal with the vagaries for the impact of the continuing pandemic, increased expenses will continue to be monitored closely.  The Annual Appeal campaign will be particularly important this year, because (hopefully) 2022 will be more of a “regular” year with “regular” expenses; this year our ability to stay within the operating budget has been aided by reduced expenses associated with building closure. The Endowment stands at $6.245 million. 

    In finance-related business, the Vestry approved a motion to ratify the Executive Committee’s action of approving an additional $6,306.60 from the reserve fund to cover the full cost of a contract to prepare the church for quality live streaming of services. This was necessary as it is the amount by which the contract led us to exceed the previously authorized $50,000 Covid fund within the reserve fund. A second motion was approved authorizing a further expenditure from the reserve fund of $10,700 for the purpose of preparing the library and Room 301 for hybrid meetings (with some folks online and some in person).  

    The Annual Appeal for 2022, led by Lisa Garnett assisted by Matt Cunningham, kicked off with the first committee meeting on August 18. To that effect, Geoffrey urged the Vestry members to set the tone for the campaign by pledging early and increasing their pledge for 2020.

    Youth Ministries. Having coordinated with Yoimel, Matt Cunningham reported on the status of our ministry to youth.  Highlights included the observation that, Covid protocols allowing, we should strive to have as many of the Youth activities in person, particularly those of the Senior Youth, as an antidote to 1.5 years of Zoom-call burnout.  The plan is to start in-person classes on September 12. In addition, we will involve “Senior Senior” Youth (our 12th-graders, of which there are four this year) in actual church ministries (lay reading, ushering, etc.), and then have them reflect on the impact of this service.  The J2A youth have a new curriculum this year.  Also, as the pandemic impact has affected some traditional fundraising efforts (e.g., food-related ones), ideas on other ways for our youth to raise money for their pilgrimage are being sought. Finally, while we have seven committed teachers/leaders for youth classes, we could always use more! 

    In my Senior Warden report, I was pleased to remind the Vestry about the rousing success of the Hallelujah Homecoming Capital Campaign, having exceeded its goal with donations and pledges that total $2,012,934. These gifts came from 165 donor households and two bequests, and individual amounts ranged from $50 to $315,000. Each donor has been thanked individually by letter, but plans are underway for perhaps a (likely outdoor) cupcake and coffee celebration in the early fall. Again, I join my co-chair Suzy Mink in thanking the campaign leadership team, the clergy and staff, and especially all those who generously contributed.

    One priority of mine before my tenure as Senior Warden ends is to complete a lasting project for the church in memory of Ron Hicks for which a fund was established from parishioner contributions. To that end, after consulting with the other Clergy, Jim Quigley and I are meeting with a wood craftsman (a retired Rector) on September 1 to discuss building a portable altar for Nourse Hall. Tentative plans are to design a piece to serve the Spanish-language services that can be adjusted down in height for use in Children’s Chapel. Other priorities of mine for the rest of year include establishing some alternative easier ways to donate to the church, particularly during services, such as VenMo or Paypal links in the bulletin, and working with staff to ramp up work on creating an online church directory with contact information and photos of all parishioners.

    Junior Warden Ted Swett shared timing information about the HVAC portion of the capital improvements project.  The top priority articulated to the contractors is having the HVAC work associated with the Church building completed in time for Christmas services to be conducted in a warm Nave. The equipment for the Church has already been ordered.  We anticipate that the Satterlee equipment will be ordered in the next two weeks as soon as final drawings and prices are confirmed.   

    Robin Rudd announced that during the five weeks the Op Shop was open, it generated over $10,000 in income despite the rooms being quite warm.  Over 30 volunteers helped achieve this.

    Emily Griffin noted current efforts to recruit new layreaders. One focus of the recruitment is to diversify the number of voices we hear during worship. Into the fall, we will continue to have at least one lay reader who remains seated in the congregation and does not vest; it is hoped that the opportunity to lay read without taking on the added responsibilities of vesting, processing  and serving the chalice, will attract new folks. 

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson
    Senior Warden

    ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - June 16, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    Junior Warden Ted Swett presented this month’s meditation to open our virtual meeting by referencing writings by Amy Joy Levine, an Orthodox Jew who is an expert on the New Testament, and retired Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Levine, in her work Short Stories by Jesus, posits that modern Christians have always misunderstood the parables. Ted’s reflections centered around whether we can we truly be expected to understand the gospel without putting ourselves in the shoes of people who lived 2000+ years ago and being guided by the morés and cultural assumptions in place then. Must we be steeped in the nuances of the Aramaic and Hebrew languages in which the New Testament was written? Even though we may acknowledge these as hurdles, we continue to rely upon these texts as the source of our religious inspiration. Can we take comfort that, in the same way we believe the Holy Spirit guided the original authors, the same Spirit enables us to meaningfully understand words that are cultures and centuries away? It was a very heady topic that folks agreed gave excellent food for thought.

    Treasurer’s Report: Hollis McLoughlin reported that we remain “on track” with regard to pledge income, promising that again in 2021 we will come in on budget. There will be upticks in expenses since we are regathering for in-person events sooner than we thought would be possible when the budget was developed. The endowment remains strong at $6.3 million. The principal financial business of the evening involved enabling the beginning of ordering of materials and moving forward with the capital projects to be funded by the capital campaign. To that end, the Vestry authorized: (1) the engagement of Interstate Service Co., Inc. as mechanical contractor and general contractor for the HVAC project, subject to formalizing a construction contract; and (2) the spending of up to $2 million to fund the HVAC project and additional capital improvement projects, subject to the Executive Committee’s determination that the economic terms thereof are reasonable in the circumstances. The Executive Committee and the Project Manager will develop for presentation to the Vestry a formal budget for the HVAC project, etc., when more detailed cost information is available.

    Nominations Chair Paul Brewster put forth Susan Morris as the nominee to serve out the remainder of the Vestry term of Barbara Manard who has relocated. The Vestry unanimously approved the nomination, and we welcome and congratulate this long-time servant of St. Alban’s in her new role!

    Vestry member Karina Rodrigues updated us on the Spanish-language services and our Spanish-speaking community. Good news included: (1) new folks are joining from the immediate neighborhood; (2) Danielle Bendjy and Samuel Munguia are now providing music for the services; (3) among our congregants who attend the Spanish services we have over the last year had three baptisms and a reception into the Episcopal Church; and (4) the recorded services have provided an opportunity for now distant alumni of San Albano to not only “attend” but to participate in readings, etc. Rev. Emily announced that Virginia Theological Seminary student Omar Rodriguez de la O will join St. Alban’s as a seminarian in September, working with both Spanish and English speakers in the Parish and at services in both our languages.

    Joined by co-chair Suzy Mink and Leadership Committee member Stephanie Curcuru, I was happy to update the Vestry on the progress of the Hallelujah Homecoming Capital Campaign. As of Thursday afternoon, June 17, the campaign has received pledges and donations totaling $1,894,050 from 116 households! I cannot express our gratitude enough for that generosity! I would like to remind the approximately 185 other households that are use these wonderful old buildings, and delight in being together in them, that you have until Sunday morning for your pledge to counted among the ones we will celebrate on St. Alban’s Day. Only $105,000 to go to our working goal!

    There will not be a regularly-scheduled Vestry meeting in July. On behalf of the Vestry, I send you all good wishes for midsummer. As we begin to venture out with renewed freedom, I leave you with this prayer:

    O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey’s end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    VESTRY NEWS - May 19, 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The May 19 virtual meeting of the Vestry began with an opening meditation by Vestry Secretary Carol Aschenbrener who described the profound effect that participation in the Sacred Ground curriculum has had on her. She described how growing up in one of the “whitest places in America,” Dubuque, Iowa, among parents who taught her to treat all people as equals, and then enrolling in medical school in North Carolina where she experienced racism practiced with some regularity, had shaped her perceptions. However, her learnings in Sacred Ground truly caused the “scales to fall from her eyes” as to how she had negotiated life more smoothly than people of color. She has come to understand how “white privilege” does damage to all of us, not matter our skin color, and the important role the church can plan as we strive for justice, equity and inclusion.

    From the Treasurer: Hollis McLoughlin reported that April brought a substantial increase in pledge dollars paid, and we have already collected 50% of the pledge income budgeted for this year. Parish support (contributions from parishioners and others who did not pledge) still lags behind last year. The Treasurer, Finance Director and the Vestry will continue to closely monitor income against expenses, particularly because of the increased expenses associated with a somewhat earlier expanded opening up of the church for worship; we had originally budgeted for a September opening. The endowment closed in April at approximately $6.2 million.

    The Hallelujah Homecoming Capital Campaign: All parishioners should have received a snail-mail letter and an email this week introducing them to the plans, and need for, a capital campaign to ready our buildings for re-gathering. I was pleased to report that as of the meeting, we have pledges and donations totaling $1,381,000 from 42 households. Our working “goal” is $2 million, but this may change as estimates of the various components (topped off by the cost of the HVAC renovation) are bid out. I urge all St. Albanites to be alert to invitations in the near future to participate in Zoom calls that will explain in more detail the needs for the campaign with a video and testimonials by folks who have pledged during the “silent phase.”
    Pastoral Care: Carol Aschenbrener reported out on the current state of lay pastoral-care efforts at St. Alban’s. We currently have 45 “We Care” volunteers who carry out the good work of spreading the word when folks are in need, and providing meals and other necessities. This group can always use more folks and you can contact Margie Delaney and Marcy Fisher. As to the Stephen Ministry, current Ministers are being interviewed to update their interest, availability and need for training. This ministry is also preparing to better address the needs of our Spanish-speaking parishioners, as well as exploring strategies to help our people who have suffered any type of loss as a result of the pandemic.

    Nominations: Paul Brewster, Nominations Chair, introduced and the Vestry passed a motion on behalf of the Nominations committee to add three non-vestry people to that committee: Laura Ingersoll, Joe McLean and Bob Witten. These three, together with Ken Patterson, Josepha Musabyemariya, Dudley Winthrop and Paul – all whose officer/vestry terms end in January -- comprise the full committee. Paul also moved for, and the Vestry approved, the addition of Susan Morris to the Buildings and Grounds Committee. In the coming weeks, the Nominating Committee will prepare to recommend a candidate for filling the vacant position on the Vestry that occurred when Barbara Manard moved away; the Vestry will act on this nomination in June.

    After consideration of the Junior Warden’s report, the Vestry approved a resolution to ratify an additional payment of $6800 to Apex, an environmental consultant who has abated contamination from asbestos and mold in certain areas of the church and the mechanical rooms of Satterlee Hall. The Vestry also approved the expenditure of up to $20,000 in legal fees associated with ensuring that the contracts for services related to the HVAC and other capital improvements are protective of the church’s interests. In the near future, the Vestry will approve an overall budget for all capital expenditures related to re-opening the buildings (and being funded by the capital campaign) and upon doing so, the Vestry will no longer have to approve individual expenditures that are within that budget.

    As the final matter of the evening, the Rector discussed revised worship guidelines that will allow for greater participation in person. These can be found in the email from St. Alban’s yesterday afternoon, May 20, at 3:38 p.m. In addition, Associate Rectors Emily Griffin and Yoimel Gonzalez Hernandez recognized and thanked the Sunday School teachers and youth leaders who served so faithfully and flexibly to virtually minister to our children and young people this year.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson
    Senior Warden

    Vestry News, April 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The April Vestry meeting was a somewhat melancholy one as we bid farewell to Vestryperson and Diocesan Delegate Barbara Manard, who after 30+ years of loving service to St. Alban’s is relocating to Florida. Barbara shared a poem by English poet Philip Larkin as part of the opening meditation, and per Vestry tradition was offered a chance to close the meeting with her advice and observations as a “retiring” vestry member. She said it was hard to contain the gratitude in her heart as she bid the parish farewell, and advised us to “be not afraid” about the future. She also expressed her desire that we continue to enthusiastically support the Spanish-language services. Geoffrey and I presented her with the first ever “Is there Anything Around Here You Haven’t Done?” award, and earlier in the day Yoimel had delivered to Barbara’s home a signed collage of photos from the Spanish services. 

    From the Treasurer: March produced a strong pledge income of $72,000, and with expenses being on target, the operating budget is in sound shape. We will continue to monitor the impact of reduced amount of parish support (contributions that come in outside pledged income). The endowment is at $6.119 million, and the Reserve Fund is holding at $377,000. In Vestry finance-related action, we acknowledged with gratitude the generous bequests from the estate of Barbara Yeomans in the amount of $59,452.56 and the estate of Samuel W Lewis and Sallie Kate Smoot Lewis in the amount of $200,000, and approved $50,000 from the combined requests being placed in the Reserve Fund and $209,452.56 to be allocated to the Capital Campaign. The vestry also approved spending up to $10,000 from the Reserve Fund to update the outdated gadgetry on the church organ console that has resulted in  the organ lacking features that are standard on most organs today.  After this upgrade, from a music-technology standpoint, the organ will be brought up to “iPhone” standards that, among other benefits, will enable Matthew to be more communicative to the choir while playing.

    From the Junior Warden: Ted Swett produced a thorough written report on the repairs and renovations related to safe regathering, including the HVAC project at the heart of those renovations. Ted lauded the project manager, Gary Baker, for his work to date. Ted also cited the many issues that will affect the pace of repairs, including in particular: (1) the fact that the complexity of the repairs requires the involvement of multiple professional disciplines, including a design engineer, a mechanical contractor, and an architect, as well as an environmental engineer to ensure that work can proceed safely given the presence, albeit relatively minor, of asbestos; and, (2) the balancing of an expeditious construction schedule against how to make optimal use of our buildings during that construction (particularly given the desire to gather fully for worship as soon as that is safe) as well as getting the work done well so as to serve us into the future. Ted will continue to work with the Vestry, Charles, the contractors and Geoffrey on all these issues, and as soon as a more complete picture of the work and schedule therefor is available, the parish will be informed and kept updated.

    “New Power:” Geoffrey led a discussion, with more to follow in the future, about “new power,” in managing issues related to our common life as a church and the church’s role in our world. The Vestry had been asked to read an article by Jeremy Heimens and Henry Timms on “Understanding New Power” in the Harvard Business Review.   (https://hbr.org/2014/12/understanding-new-power). A quote from a review of Heimens’ and Timm’s book New Power, helps to understand this way of thinking: “[p]ower is shifting as never before, and [this book] addresses a vital issue for our times: how to make the voices and choices of all, not just a few, count for something.” While this topic was broached to the Vestry within the context of developing a new church mission statement, it has broader implications for how the larger church tackles the issues of the day, notably how to be who we are in such a way that we are still relevant to what is going on in the world.

    Capital Campaign: I am pleased to report that as of today, the (recently named) “Hallelujah Homecoming Capital Campaign” to fund the safe reopening of our buildings and invest in our infrastructure for the future, has amassed $1,092,416 in pledges and donations during what we have called its “quiet phase.” This is a great, but we have more to do. Stay tuned for the parish-wide rollout of the campaign in the next two weeks, and prayerfully consider your personal gift to this important effort.  

    In other business, Paul Brewster reported out on the Special Diocesan Convention to consider “Canon 54 Diocesan Stewardship and Parish Vitality,” that would allow the Diocese/Bishop to intervene in a parish whose health and vitality is in question. After a good deal of wordsmithing, the Canon was approved with few nay votes. 

    Finally, like the rest of the Parish, the Vestry awaits the results of the announcement on May 1 of who will be the next Bishop of South Carolina, a position for which our Rector is one of five candidates. We stand equally ready to celebrate with Geoffrey and immediately turn to the task of finding our next Rector, or continue on the good path we are on as a church with Geoffrey at our head – a path to which Geoffrey has remained fully committed while God’s will makes itself known for South Carolina. 

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    Vestry News, March 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    March’s virtual meeting of the Vestry opened with a meditation by Paul Brewster. Paul spoke on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s book Love is the Way, in which Bishop Curry posits,  “Imagine, if you will, the impact of each and every person on this planet taking the time to define and then live out loving principles. In fact, imagine 50% of everybody doing this, and being successful even half the time. Politics, business and commerce, religious life, and community would be transformed.” The loving principles include: meditating daily on Jesus’ teachings; remembering that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation, not victory; walking and talking in the manner of love; praying daily for God to use us to help make all men free; sacrificing personal wishes for the good of others; observing with friend and foe the rules of courtesy; regular serving others; refraining from violence of fist, tongue or heart; and, striving to be in good spiritual and bodily health. Vestry members talked about the roles these principles play in their own lives, and which ones they find more difficult to implement.  

    St. Alban’s Mission Statement. The business of the evening commenced with a discussion of St. Alban’s mission statement, led by Geoffrey. We have had a number of statements of mission and purpose that have been embraced and/or used publicly, ranging from relatively brief ones like below, to longer ones:  

    • We welcome the faithful, the seeker and the doubter, for God’s embrace is wide and God’s good news is for all.
    • One parish, two languages.
    • Our mission is to nourish an inclusive, diverse Christian community, transforming lives by doing God’s work inside and outside our walls.

    We discussed some of the themes that any such statement should contain, including the concept of accessibility to all regardless of their background, race, or preferred language, and the extent to which our statement should reflect how we demonstrate the Diocesan “Vital Signs of Parish Health.”  Geoffrey and Megan King will examine current and past language that has been used, and pull together an up-to-date mission statement for future Vestry consideration.

      Finance.  Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin reported that we had a very strong February in terms of pledge income receipts (7% higher than last year). Parish support (people who contribute with some regularity but don’t pledge) came in significantly below last year, and expenses were down approximately 6%. Cash balances are strong, driven partially by the receipt of contributions to the Regathering Capital Campaign. The endowment continues to be strong, closing in February at $5.9 million.  It was noted that, in good times and bad, we benefit from a culture of extreme generosity in the parish.

    Nominations. After a report from Paul Brewster, Chair of the Nominations Committee, the Vestry appointed Candice Brown to a three-year term as a Diocesan Delegate, and Amanda Gilman, Asha Matthei and Anton Vanterpool to one-year terms as Alternate Diocesan Delegates. The Nominations Committee was benefitted in their process by nominations received from the Parish in response to a solicitation for candidates distributed parish-wide by Paul in keeping with the Bylaws. Paul and the Governance Committee are reviewing minor changes to the Bylaws regarding the election of Delegates. The Vestry thanks Heather Sondel, whose term just expired, for her service.  

    Facilities/Regathering. The Junior Warden’s Report focused on the latest in our efforts to upgrade our facilities to make them safer for regathering. The next major step in the most extensive part of that work -- updates to our HVAC system -- was to appoint a Project Manager to help develop and oversee an engineering plan and schedule that will minimize disruption in the use of our buildings once COVID restrictions are relaxed. Four candidates were interviewed, and on motion out of the Executive Committee, the Vestry approved the following:  

    Resolved, that St. Alban’s hire Mr. Gary Baker, through his firm, Realco Project Management Services, as Project Manager for the job of upgrading and retrofitting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in church, Nourse Hall, and Satterlee Hall, for a fee of up to $20,000, subject to such further inquiries as the Executive Committee may deem advisable and to the concluding of a written agreement with the firm.

    Ted expects we will be licensed to begin work on the exhaust system in the kitchen imminently, but this work may be somewhat delayed by the need for an environmental assessment to determine whether the kitchen ceiling-tile glue contains asbestos. In addition, the new stove for the kitchen, funded by a donation from Linda Lear and John Nickum, has been ordered. The Vestry also expressed gratitude to the Strimple family for their generous donation in memory of  daughter Karen that will be used for upgrading the plantings around the church and in particular around the Columbarium.

    Global Missions. In her report, Josepha Musabyemariya highlighted how St. Alban’s yearly contributions, and this year’s Mustard Seed donation directed at humanitarian relief, continue to change the lives of the students at Hope and Resurrection School in the South Sudan and St. Saviour’s School in Jordan. 

    In other business, Lisa Garnett, chair of the 2021-2022 stewardship campaign, has begun early planning for the campaign. Matt Cunningham will be joining her as co-chair, and will lead the campaign in 2022-2023.  I reported out that Suzy Mink and I are finalizing plans for the official rollout of the Regathering Capital Campaign to the whole parish, and forming the Campaign Leadership Team; the campaign has already raised almost $860,000 in pre-kickoff contributions and pledges. Please contact Suzy and me if you already prepared to make a pledge. Finally, Paul Brewster briefed the Vestry on the April 17, 2021 Special Convention of the Diocese at which the business will be consideration of a proposed canon that allows the Diocesan Council, at the request of the Bishop, to conduct a health and vitality assessment of a parish that is struggling. The draft canon provides that, where appropriate, the Bishop may intervene in parish activities in a range of ways that range from providing counseling to a parish and its leadership, to closing the parish or merging it with another. 

    Respectfully submitted, and in hopes you all remain safe and well,

    Ken Patterson,

    Senior Warden

    Vestry News, February 2021
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    For the February 2021 meeting of the Vestry, we continued the tradition that the opening meditation of the first meeting of a new Vestry is assigned to the Senior Warden. I took the opportunity to discuss my reaction to the recent controversy around allowing the Texas mega-church pastor Max Lucado to present a recorded sermon from the National Cathedral pulpit. Dean Randy Hollerith of the Cathedral invited Lucado to the pulpit unaware of his position against same-sex marriage (a position he has neither recanted or apologized for) and even after Lucado’s anti-gay statements and writings in the past were brought to the attention of the Dean and Bishop Mariann, the invitation was not rescinded. After Dean Hollerith and Bishop Mariann addressed the controversy in writing, they convened a call last Sunday evening to hear from their LGBTQ+ constituents from across the Diocese, and due to the reach of the Cathedral’s message, from across the country. Apologies were made as were promises that more intense vetting of future Cathedral preachers would occur. Both the Bishop and the Dean said that had Lucado’s past statements been racist instead of anti-gay, his being given a spot in the pulpit would have been nipped in the bud. 

    My meditation focused on  the fact that members of the LGBTQ+ community are already treated as less than equal in the national Episcopal Church as a result of the compromise reached on gay marriage that allows individual Bishops to discriminate against gay people by not supporting their marriage, as long as they can find a neighboring bishop to advise and care for those priests who wish to bless same-sex unions. While this compromise did allow for gay marriage to “pass” in the Episcopal church, it still placed LGBTQ+ people in a “lesser than” status than other minority groups and gave credence to the argument that homosexuality is inherently wrong from a Biblical perspective, although many learned theologians read Leviticus and other passages in a way that supports that a religious body should not discriminate against anyone based on who they love; in addition, attempts to justify segregation and slavery based on Old Testament scriptures were seen through for what they were decades ago. The national Church thus has a way to go on full equality for all, but the bottom line of my musings was that I feel fully equal and beloved by my parish, and despite the hiccup with Lucado, by my Diocese. I’ll keep fighting the good fight.

    Nominations. The first business of the evening related to comprising the 2021 Nominating Committee and then acting on nominations for Officers and Committees.  The Vestry approved the Vestry members of the Nominating Committee (i.e., as required by the Bylaws, all those Vestry members or elected officers whose term ends in January 2022): Ken Patterson, Barbara Manard, Paul Brewster (Chair), Dudley Winthrop and Josepha Musabyemariya. Also approved for one-year terms were: Carol Aschenbrener as Secretary; Hollis McLoughlin as Treasurer; and, David Ridenour as Chancellor. The Youth Representatives to the Vestry were approved and we are pleased to welcome Annie McLean and Hana Keenan. 

    Laura Ingersoll and David Brown remain as members of the Memorial Lecture Committee, with a third member still to be selected, and the following Vestry Committees were appointed for 2021:

    1. Executive Committee:  Rector, Senior and Junior Warden, Secretary, Treasurer
    2. Personnel:  Ted Swett (Chair); Tom Gustafson, Lisa Birchard, Abel Smith
    3. Buildings and Grounds:  Junior Warden (Chair), Bob Witten, Barbara Manard, Lucy Fraser Cage, John Nickum, Noel Sottile, Bob Pinkard
    4. Budget and Finance:  Treasurer (Chair), Dudley Winthrop, Bill Cline, Ashley Bianchi, Lisa Garnett, Stephanie Curcuru
    5. Governance: Senior Warden (Chair), Bob Pickard, Rachel Colson, Matt Cunningham, the Chancellor (ex officio)

    Governance. Two bylaw amendments were discussed for possible action at the 2022 Annual Meeting: correcting an inconsistency in the bylaws related to selection of Diocesan Delegates, and changing the Bylaws to allow that a person whose term as a Vestry member ends in January of a given year is eligible to be nominated as one of the Wardens that same year. Currently the Bylaws say two things that read together prevent this: (1) that all retiring members of the Vestry shall be on the Nominating Committee; and, (2) that no Nominating Committee member is eligible to run for any position.

    2021 Parish budget. The Vestry approved the budget for 2021. Notable aspects of the approved budget include the following:

    • Despite a reduction in overall income (lower pledged amount and no contribution from Op Shop revenue, among other factors), our budgeted amount for outreach ($247,000) is the same as last year. Effectively, this means we are spending a larger percentage of our budget on outreach.
    • The overall budget, using conservative numbers for income (e.g., anticipating lower parish support -- contributions by folks who have not made pledges but contribute with some regularity—and that we will receive no additional pledges) shows a deficit of only approximately $10,000. Because of the conservative income assumptions, and the possibility that expenses will be even depending on how long buildings are closed, the deficit may be lower or zero. In the event that the deficit between income and expenses remains at year end, the Vestry authorized that the standard yearly draw from the endowment may be increased from 4% to as much as 5% if needed to fill the gap. 
    • St. Alban’s is not going to seek a loan from federal Payroll Protection Plan moneys.
    • On the personnel side, the budget contemplates filling the currently-vacant Parish Administrator position this coming fall. No cost-of-living raise has been authorized for existing staff; the hope is to make up for that in next year’s budget.

    Facility Upgrades to Facilitate Safer Re-gathering. Junior Warden Ted Swett reported to the Vestry on continuing work toward upgrading the HVAC systems in the church and Nourse Hall and in Satterlee Hall.  This project will be complicated, time consuming, and costly but the result will be safer and more healthful buildings in which to regather the parish once the pandemic wanes. Although COVID-19 has underscored the vital importance of ventilation and air exchange indoors, the upgrade would be needed in any event because many components of our systems are well beyond their useful lives, resulting in frequent breakdowns and excessive repair costs (note: the Executive Committee is also considering what procedures to recommend to the Vestry for avoiding excessive deferral of maintenance in the future so as to not have this history repeat itself). Charles Porter, Bob Pinkard and Ted have been in discussion with an engineer who has analyzed our systems and made some recommendations, along with rough cost estimates, and his firm this week presented a proposal for designing retrofitted systems, which we are now considering.  We are also seeking out a project manager for this large job as well as a firm to conduct a necessary environmental assessment.  The extent of the work involved presents a serious question as to the amount of time reasonably required to carry the project to completion and requires us to think through how best to operate during the disruptions involved.    

    Re-gathering Capital Campaign. To fund the HVAC work and other repairs and upgrades to make St. Alban’s able to more safely reopen, the Vestry formally approved moving forward with the anticipated capital campaign for the purpose of regathering safely with an initial goal of raising at least $1,750,000. Please stay tuned for the formal rollout of the campaign. I am pleased to announce that new Vestry member Suzy Mink has agreed to co-chair the campaign with me, and that as of this writing we have already received pre-campaign-kickoff contributions and pledges totally $857,963 from 23 households.

    Diocesan Convention. Diocesan Delegate Barbara Manard reported out about the 2021 Convention. The Convention was virtual, and Barbara reported that while this helped make voting on resolutions more efficient, the downside -- with which we are all too familiar-- is the lack of human contact and networking normally afforded by this meeting. The convention was also conducted bilingually, an advance facilitated greatly by our own Associate Rector, Yoimel . Yoimel was also the sponsor of a resolution that passed regarding support for Episcopal Migration Ministries, the focus of which is on immigrants and recent detainees. Barbara cited the participation of numerous other St. Albanites, including Paul Brewster, Jim Quigley, Sarah Thorne, and Anton Vanterpool, and noted that the recorded musical contributions provided by St. Alban’s music program were “beyond fabulous.” Other significant issues included: resolutions on equity and justice; a resolution regarding making the lectionary-recommended readings during Holy Week ones that were less anti-Semitic; and, a change to the Canons providing a process for the Diocese to make a determination of “whether the continued vitality or viability of a particular parish as a self-sustaining entity furthering the mission of the Episcopal Church is in jeopardy to the extent that Diocesan oversight or intervention is necessary.” 

    Other Business. The Parochial Report to the Diocese was approved, and Jim Quigley shared the news that the recent Mustard Seed offering, directed at addressing urgent humanitarian needs at the schools we support in Jordan and the South Sudan, generated $18,000, the largest Mustard Seed offering ever. 

    I also reported that I have had discussions with Bishop Mariann and the Diocese’s Canon for Leadership Development and Congregational Care, the Rev. Dr. Robert Phillips, whose portfolio includes helping a parish plan for an actual, or as in our case possible, change in Rector. The Executive Committee, the Vestry and I continue to plan ahead should Geoffrey’s candidacy for Bishop be successful, or to stay the happy course if he stays at our helm.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson
    Senior Warden

    Vestry News, December 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The Vestry was spared travel on this cold and icy night, one of the rare advantages of the Zoom meetings necessitated by the pandemic. The meeting opened with a meditation by Dudley Winthrop that very thoughtfully likened the Advent to the anticipation being felt in this country as the news of distribution of vaccines becomes real. As we begin the new liturgical year, we reflect with hope on the celebration to come of the birth of Jesus, in much the same way that we as a country await, to quote Winston Churchill, “perhaps the end of the beginning”of the pandemic. 

    Jim Quigley and Carol Aschenbrener then discussed with us their experience to date with Sacred Ground, the anti-racism curriculum endorsed by the Episcopal Church. This film- and reading-based series focuses on Indigenous, Black, Latino and Asian/Pacific American histories as they have intersected with European American histories. The series is open to all, but is especially designed to help white people talk with other white people and peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day. The first 10-session offering has been extremely impactful on the diverse participants, and more offerings are to come. Our Clergy have been exploring how these discussions can help us as a Parish grow more socially competent as a non-racist church. 

    Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin reported that the November pledge income was slightly down from what was budgeted to be received this month, and we entered December expecting and hoping that all who pledged for this past year will fulfill those pledges. Historically St. Albanites have fulfilled their pledges, and we have in the past received additional gifts in December over and above amounts pledged. With the buildings closed, expenses are below budget. Accordingly, we could still enter the new year “in the black.” I urge all of you who are able to fulfill your pledges as soon as possible. We are pleased to report that endowment crossed the $6 million mark this month. The Vestry also approved a continuing resolution that authorized that spending levels authorized for 2020 operations be extended into 2021 until such time as the Vestry approves a 2021 budget. 

    Rachel Colson reported that the Annual Appeal for pledges to support the 2021 budget continues, with the positive news that as of Thursday, 201 households have pledged a total of $1,066,735 and there has been an average increase of 5.7% in those pledges compared to this year. However, there are still 89 households who pledged last year from whom we have not heard, and I ask that those of you in that category consider making your commitment to St. Alban’s this week. 

    In other business, upon motion reported out from the Governance Committee, the Vestry approved a resolution regarding the St. Alban’s Chancellor, David Chancellor, that reconciled his service in that role with his law firm’s requirements for any pro bono work performed by one of their attorneys.   

    It was announced that we will collect a Mustard Seed offering after Christmas to address dire conditions affecting the students and teachers and others around St. Savior’s School in Jordan, where families of the students have been reduced to having their children collect food from others’ garbage. While the situation at our other traditional school beneficiary, Hope and Resurrection School in South Sudan, are not as severe, there are humanitarian needs in that community also. The offering will be directed at humanitarian relief in both areas, rather than teacher and headmaster salaries and other school-related needs. In our local food ministry, Barbara Manard recognized Emily and Yoimel for their assistance in recruiting folks to assist with the tremendously successful December 11 Grate Patrol (212 served!). 

    The final business of the evening was the approval in principle of a capital campaign for the limited purpose of regathering safely in our buildings, including a complete overhaul of our air handling and HVAC systems, security for Satterlee Hall, contactless bathrooms and bringing the kitchen range hood to code. The campaign will kick off officially in first quarter 2021. A second motion passed that allowed for using any early gifts to the campaign to begin spending on the contract for replacement of the kitchen range hood, work that is ready to go, at an amount up to $125,000. While the rollout of the campaign is in early 2021, there have been early gifts made and we continue to accept those. Some donors have chosen to take advantage of the Federal CARES Act provision that allows for 100% of a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income, when given to charity, to be deducted from Federal taxes, a provision that as of now will expire December 31, 2020. Should you wish to make an early gift to the campaign, please contact Ken Patterson at , or the Rector. 

    Personally, and on behalf of the Vestry, I wish for you many occasions for joy during the Christmas season. May God bless us every one and bring us back together soon.

    Ken Patterson
    Senior Warden

    Vestry News, November 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    Your Vestry’s November meeting was convened via Zoom, and commenced with our traditional meditation, and this month Josepha Musabyemariya shared stories of the courage and resilience of her parents. Her parents left the violence of Rwanda in 1969 with two young children (Josepha’s older siblings), to go to Uganda, a land they did not know with a language they did not speak. For their family, soon thereafter to include Josepha and another child, they did what was necessary to adapt and raised them to value education and hold fast to a faith in God. Josepha’s message was how this background has equipped her to deal with the troubles so abundant in our world and the divisions so apparent in our country, and her wish for all of us that courage, perseverance and faith will carry us through the pandemic and into a brighter, more just future.

    On another personal note from the meeting, we thanked Emily Griffin for joining us even though it was her birthday, and also recognized Doug Dykstra for joining us on his birthday eve! Happy days to both!

    From the Treasurer’s report, we continue to predict that we will receive the amount of pledge income during 2020 on which our budget for this year was based, but this depends on everyone fulfilling their pledge between now and December 31. I would urge all those are able to fulfill their pledge as soon as possible to do so. The endowment continues to grow; as of yesterday it was valued at $5.8 million with $4.7 million of that unrestricted (that is, not dedicated to a specific purpose by a grantor).

    Looking to 2021, the Annual Campaign continues. Reports from the campaign are a “good-news/not sure-what-will-happen scenario.” The good news is that those households who have pledged have on average increased their amount by 5.8 per cent over their 2020 amount, and we currently stand at an amount of $821,000. (Note: this was the amount as of the Vestry meeting; as of 11/30/2020 we stand at $845,033). The uncertain news is that there are still 132 households who pledged for 2020 but have not yet pledged for 2021, and I would urge all those folks to please do so that budgeting for next year might commence. You may use this link:
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScWzvKICk3rMztChq8lCqNTawmi_Eg-JJFBoyikhDOO2vxaeQ/formResponse

    At the January 24, 2020 Parish Annual meeting, we will be electing four Vestry members to three-year terms, replacing retiring members Leo Coco, Walker Carter and Glenn Davis, as well as the position currently filled by Megan King who was selected earlier this year by the Vestry for a partial term. Leo Coco, chairperson of the Nominating Committee, presented the great news that candidates for the 2021 Vestry election have been identified and an email officially announcing them, and notifying parishioners that additional candidates may be nominated by petition, will soon come out. In the meantime, I am happy to announce the following candidates who were approved by the Vestry: Matt Cunningham, Stephanie Curcuru, Amanda Gilman, Megan King (who is eligible to seek a full term), Suzy Mink and Scott Russell. My thanks to the Nominations Committee for this fantastic slate and my appreciation to all these candidates!

    On the topic of the January 24, 2021, Annual Parish Meeting and Election, the Vestry will be approving Balloting procedures by electronic vote this next week as required by the bylaws. This normally routine act by the Vestry takes on new significance as this year’s meeting will be virtual and I am recommending to the Vestry that the voting be done using an electronic platform called Election Buddy that will allow voting to be conducted the week before the meeting, using a link that will be emailed to all eligible voters. Stay tuned for more information, and please know that we will take all necessary steps to make this process transparent and user-friendly it will be thoroughly explained in both of our Parish’s principal languages. Provisions will be made for those who do not use email, and I would urge any St. Albanite who knows another who does not have access to email to contact Charles Porter immediately. (UPDATE: the

    Election Procedures were approved by the Vestry and were distributed via an all-parish email on November 24, 2020).
    The bulk of our meeting concerned the steps that must be taken before we can safely regather in our building and return to some sense of normalcy in carrying out our common life as a parish and accomplishing our mission to serve those around us. These considerations have been a subject of the last few vestry meetings and work by our staff in obtaining bids and evaluating options has continued. The focus of our discussion this evening was how we are going to pay for the infrastructure needs that allow for regathering. After much discussion, it was the sense of the Vestry that St. Albans should plan a capital campaign for the limited purpose of re-gathering safely in person when circumstances permit. We will do this by overhauling our air handling systems, bringing our kitchen up to code, providing security at our Satterlee Hall entrances and retrofitting our bathrooms to meet current public health recommendations. While the campaign will likely begin officially in early January, we have already received extremely generous generations earlier this fall on which to build.

    With hopes you are all safe and well,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    Vestry News, October 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    The Vestry’s October virtual meeting began with our traditional “what matters” meditation by Barbara Manard. Barbara started off with data from her role as Parish attendance keeper, and shared recent Diocesan resolve to not track church attendance numbers past January and February of 2020 until the pandemic “ends,” choosing rather to rely on other measures to indicate how parish is doing. The promising news for St. Alban’s is that in January and February of this year, we averaged 348 persons, an 8% increase over 2019. Barbara’s reference to the effects of the pandemic led to her describing reactions to the current state of the racial inequity and violence in this country– she referred to her story as one of pandemic transformations. She described her experience of leaving New Orleans to go “up north,” where she learned that not everyone thought of the Civil War as “the war of Northern aggression. Recent work on her family’s archives while sequestered by the pandemic have further illuminated what she knew about family involvement on behalf of the Confederacy, a journey that recently ended in Barbara relegating the heirloom portrait of Rebel officer Uncle Junius, once hung over the mantel of her family home, to the landfill. For her it was the tearing down of her personal Confederate monument. It was a moving and beautifully recited story.

    Financial Report. As to business of the evening, the Treasurer’s report indicates that we are solvent and have no significant cash-flow issues. 2020 promises to be a year that we “break even” because anticipated pledge income will meet predicted operating expenses. However, while we are on track at this time, we won’t know until December because there is always an uptick in pledges the end of the year; in addition, our 2020 budget anticipated that our pledge income would be higher than the pledged amount because over the last few years it always has been. Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin reminded the vestry that we have significant issues to deal with in the next couple of months associated with significant reopening expenses such as rehabilitating our HVAC system and repairing the kitchen range hood. We are now below $400,000 in the Reserve Fund, and will need to start considering how we are going to replenish that. The endowment remains over $5million.

    EDOW Signs of Parish Health. We had a discussion of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s “vital signs of parish health” (https://www.edow.org/congregational-vitality/revitalization/vital-signs-of-parish-health). These measures, generally used to evaluate parishes during more “normal times,” include the extent to which a parish has:

    • a Compelling Mission and Vision
    • a Clear Discipleship Path
    • Uplifting and Inviting Worship
    • Welcoming and Connecting Ministries
    • Blessing of the Community Around Us
    • Faithful Financial Practices, and
    • the Ability to Inspire Capable Leadership

    The general sense of the Vestry from the discussion, from my perspective, is that we are faring very well as a parish, in particular against the backdrop of the pandemic. Our mission remains clear, and to the extent that these unusual times illuminate opportunities for tweaking aspects of vision for the future, we have shown we are nimble. Discipleship paths (Enquirers’ class, Growing in Faith Together, Bible Studies, Sacred Ground) are ongoing virtually. Our outdoor worships have been well-received thus far, and our clergy and staff will continue to adjust our offerings to the conditions around us. Virtual coffee hours, hymn sings and other activities keep us in touch with one another. Our music offerings continue to excel, and the Chorister program is growing. Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners and good financial management, we remain healthy in that regard.

    Vestry members recognize that we do have challenges on some of the measures of health. For example, the impact of the pandemic has had perhaps a disproportionate impact on our Spanish-language parishioners based on the attendance numbers at the services so far. Our outreach to the community remains limited by the inability to make human contacts and to utilize our kitchen for the feeding ministries. Longstanding programs like the IONA lunch program have been terminated due to lack of outside funding as the Parish learned by email from the Rector on October 22, 2020. Bottom line: while we are a healthy parish, we in no way isolated from the impacts of the pandemic.

    Stewardship Campaign. The campaign is underway, and while we may be slightly ahead of where we were this time last year, we have a long way to go to fund a budget for 2021, even one straight-lined from 2020. The good news is those who have already pledged who also pledged in 2020 have increased their pledge by an average of 8%. As of Monday, we have received pledges from 62 households in an amount that is 29% of the total from last year’s campaign total. I urge each of you to consider exercising your generosity at your earliest convenience.

    Facilities. The main business here concerned the work necessary to bring the range hood in the Satterlee kitchen up to code. Owing to the fact that this is a complex project requiring a contractor with a wide range of different types of expertise that don’t co-exist in many vendors, the Vestry approved a resolution that exempts us from having to obtain multiple bids and go with the contractor already found suitable. The resolution did not fund the project, estimated at a cost of around $170,000, as this expense is among those that must be considered alongside the HVAC system rehabilitation as a necessary expense for reopening; funding options for these high-dollar expenditures are still being explored. For a further update on facilities, I direct your attention the regathering team update referenced below.

    Regathering. My report to the Vestry provided updates on the work of the St. Alban’s Regathering Team. For an update on the issues related to returning to our buildings, and accommodations being made to keep us thriving in the meantime, please review my report from last night which can be accessed here.

    With best regards and wishes that you are well and safe, this report is

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    Vestry News, September 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    With all Vestry members present, Glenn Davis led our traditional opening meditation by summarizing a recent Harvard Business Review article about how profound change affects people, and how we deal with the unknown. Today, the “change” is our partially shutdown world, and the “unknown” comes in the form of not knowing how severely and how long our lives will be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or how our world will change once the pandemic subsides. Under the premise that transition into the new and unknown can be a gift, the author posits that there are three “rules” for dealing with this particular unknown: (1) don’t overthink it – we cannot change uncertainty by thinking about it, and overanalyzing a crisis may make it seem worse; (2) reach out and offer help to others who are suffering; “hyper-analyzing” a situation can make us self-centered; and (3) rewire our mind through self-discovery—the current situation allows us time to reflect on issues like “when during the day am I most productive?” and “how can I plan my day around when I am at my best?”. If those rules can be reinterpreted as “have some faith it will be okay,” “care for one another,” and “come to know oneself through self-reflection,” this article about productivity starts to sound a lot like spirituality.

    As to the business of the evening, it began with the Treasurer’s report. During the month of August, we saw momentum in pledge income and parish support similar to July. Both exceeded what we had budgeted for as well as last year’s numbers. We remain cautiously optimistic that we will achieve the 2020 pledge income assumed in our budget. Reserve funds are currently low, but this is based on expenditures we had already budgeted for like the water infiltration abatement and the “refreshing” of Satterlee Hall. The annuity is at a record $5.6 million.

    Rachel Colson and Lisa Garnett gave a report on the structure and schedule for the 2021 Stewardship Campaign, followed by my report summarizing the preliminary recommendations of the St. Alban’s Regathering Team (“StART”). I will soon be sharing via an all-Parish email the summary report presented to the Vestry, and I recommend it to your reading. The subcommittees have been diligently working on considerations and recommendations regarding how we can safely regather, and the planning and actions that must precede any reopening of the buildings. Because fully reopening our buildings is not imminent, the report also contains recommendations on how we can continuously improve our ability to address parish and community needs in the virtual world. The report also updates the parish on all the ongoing offerings in Christian education, and announces plans for outdoor services that will be firmed up and scheduled soon. In the Vestry discussion about the report, one theme that emerged was importance of ensuring the safety of our clergy and staff, and a recognition of the additional burden they will absorb when in the future we continue recorded (and/or livestream) services together with in-person services.

    While not a topic for the Vestry meeting, I want to report that Yoimel remains in frequent contact with our Armando Pineda, through his wife Virginia. Armando’s recovery post COVID-19 hospitalization is slow and he begins rehabilitation soon. He is walking, albeit slowly. Please keep them in your prayers.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    Vestry News, August 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    As the Vestry began its August virtual meeting, Leo Coco started  us off per custom with a reflection on “what matters,” and noted how very different our St. Alban’s world is now compared to his first turn at offering the Vestry meditation years ago when we with joy welcomed our new Rector. He cited the difficulty in not focusing daily on the effects of the pandemic on our collective psyche. Leo has been turning to poetry (as well as ukulele lessons!) for peaceful distraction and I thought the first one he offered us by Mary Oliver was particularly worth sharing with you:

    Whistling Swans

    Do you bow your head when you pray or do you look up into that blue space?
    Take your choice, prayers fly from all directions.
    And don’t worry about what language you use,
    God no doubt understands them all.
    Even when the swans are flying north and making such a ruckus of noise, God is surely listening and understanding.
    Rumi said,  There is no proof of the soul.
    But isn’t the return of spring and how it
    springs up in our hearts a pretty good hint?
    Yes, I know, God’s silence never breaks, but is that really a problem?
    There are thousands of voices, after all.
    And furthermore, don’t you imagine (I just suggest it) that the swans know about as much as we do about the whole business?
    So listen to them and watch them, singing as they fly.
    Take from it what you can.

    Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin began the business of the evening with encouraging financial news based on Doug Dykstra’s always-thorough written report. July pledge income bounced back after a slower June, and all indications are that 2020 pledge income will allow us to have a balanced budget.  Reductions in “plate” offerings, special offerings and Op Shop income have been balanced out by some reductions in operating expenses due to closed buildings, as well as our forbearance in hiring a new Parish Administrator until the buildings do reopen. The late Dick Parkins’ bequest directed at Global Missions was mentioned with appreciation, and it was noted that we have been able to fulfill our promised contributions to the schools in Jordan and the South Sudan without tapping the Endowment’s newly-established Parkins’ fund. 

    In his Youth report, Glenn Davis praised Associate Rector Yoimel’s efforts to sustain activities for our youth, including a Bible study of Revelations using art works that represent various aspects of that Book.  Whatever the autumn brings, there are plans for a fulsome youth program, including reinitiating their involvement in the new pandemic-sensitive Grate Patrol. On that latter note, Barbara Manard reported the plans to routinely prepare 120 Grate Patrol “supper bags” in individuals’ home kitchens that will be delivered to masked volunteers on Lychgate Road and retrieved from folks’ car trunks. St. Alban’s will thus be able to help address the ever-growing hunger needs in our community with nominal exposure to volunteers and no use of our buildings. This effort is currently more than adequately staffed by parishioners and neighbors of St. Alban’s, but as needs arise Barbara will keep us posted.

    The chairs of the Annual Appeal, Rachel Colson and Lisa Garnett, provided an update on the plans to begin this stewardship drive late in September. These plans include calls to parishioners by Vestry members and other volunteers, and testimonies about the joy and fulfillment of giving back during our virtual worship services. By the end of September, the online pledge cards will have been adjusted for 2021 pledging, and all parishioners are reminded that paying one’s 2021 pledges in 2020 (to take advantage of the CARES Act temporary elimination of a limit on the deductibility of charitable contributions) is welcomed. 

    I was pleased to report that StART (St. Alban’s Regathering Team), comprised of approximately 30 clergy, staff, Vestrypersons and other parishioners, is up and running. Please contact any of the following subcommittee chairs should you wish to become involved or want to provide input in a particular area: (Worship: Dudley Winthrop; Music: Matthew Steynor; Technology: Deborah Potter; Facilities: Ted Swett; Op Shop: Robin Rudd; Kitchen Use: Barbara Manard; Christian Education: Emily Griffin and Jim Quigley; Communications: Megan King; Parish Life: Megan King; and, Finance: Hollis McLoughlin).  All groups are anticipated to have preliminary reports to the StART chair (me) by the time I return from vacation September 9. Focal, overarching issues currently include timing of re-gathering in person, the capacity of our buildings’ air-handling system to bring in fresh air, and ensuring that those who are allowed to use the building acknowledge the risk and promise to hold the church harmless. The latter is occasioned by the high likelihood that any lawsuit brought against  the church based on an allegation that a person contracted CoVid-19 in our facilities, would not be covered by our insurance.

    Junior Warden Ted Swett reported on ongoing contractor work to perform an engineering analysis of the extent to which our various heating systems recirculate indoor air as opposed to exchanging it with fresh air from the outside. Analyses of this type are being completed in facilities throughout the world based on emerging science that aerosolization of the CoVid -19 virus causes its spread to be potentially worsened by re-circulated indoor air.  While I don’t wish to get ahead of the engineering report or the work of StART, there is a likelihood that our HVAC systems will not achieve a clean bill of health (so to speak) with regard to bringing in fresh air. This, together with the metrics used to calculate how ubiquitous the virus is in our Region (which fluctuate but have not shown a steady decrease by any calculations), mean that it is much more than likely that in-person worship or other large indoor gatherings at St. Alban’s will not occur any time soon. Your parish leadership will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our beloved over all things, including our collective, understandable desire to be physically together.

    Given that it may be some time before we see one another without a computer screen between us, many of you are like me and know it’s much harder to connect with your church family when you don't see each other at least once a week. But one way to keep in touch is our Alban Life blog. The blog is updated about once a month with news and stories from the parish. If you subscribe (and I hope you will), you’ll get new posts by email.  Want to suggest a topic? Deborah Potter.

    With prayers for your continued well-being, this report is

    Respectfully submitted,

    Ken Patterson, Senior Warden

    Vestry News, July 2020
    by Senior Warden Ken Patterson

    At the Vestry’s virtual meeting this month, the customary opening reflection was given by Rachel Colson who spoke of her participation, at the age of 23, in an Episcopal Young Adult Service Corps mission to Kenya. She was awestruck about how immediately welcomed she felt, and how very much “at home.” Her relationships there were marked by extreme generosity on the part of people who had little to spare. These memories have been on her mind as we deal with the current realities of the pandemic. Rachel observed that, while these memories sustain her, they also cause her to mourn the inability to be out in the world providing in-person support for others. During the pandemic, many are torn between seeing so much that needs to be done, while being cautioned about doing those things that require human contact. Other folks at the meeting responded about how much they relate to this feeling of loss when we ponder serving others “with one arm tied behind one’s back,” a frustration exacerbated by the fact that the “normality horizon” seems to keep moving further and further away.

    In the business of the evening, Rachel and Lisa Garnett updated the Vestry on plans for the Annual Appeal to support our budget for 2021. Among the ideas being considered are a series of calls in the nature of the “We Call” check-ins, undertaken by Vestry members and others, and/or Zoom-based information sessions about the budget for 2021 where parishioners are invited to listen and learn. The early calls would focus on asking parishioners how they think the church is doing in these unusual times, and would hopefully help to stem some of the “drift” that may be occurring as a result of not gathering as a church. It was pointed out that “We Call” effort had been sometimes frustrated by the staleness of our database contact information, and Ann Nix was praised for her efforts to help update contacts for many folks.

    Robin Rudd, Vestry liaison to the Workers of St. Alban’s (WSA), was joined by Susan Morris in a thoughtful and thorough presentation asking the Vestry to consider a very limited reopening of the Opportunity Shop, which has been closed since the Diocese suspended public worship due to COVID-19. The WSA proposal highlighted steps that would be taken to protect the

    volunteers and patrons, and was grounded on: (1) a desire to address an overflow of donated merchandise that needs to be sorted with an eye toward being ready when a full reopening is possible, as well as allowing for unsellable items to be donated to various charities who could use those things now; (2) providing an opportunity for volunteers to return to providing a service they love, and for shoppers who have long relied on the Op Shop to return; and, (3) generating income to enable the WSA to fulfill its mission of supporting the community around us. Concerns were raised by some Vestry members about: the upward trend in new coronavirus cases in this area; inconsistency with current Diocesan guidelines about opening our buildings; uncertainty about the risk to patrons in particular due to the small size of the shopping floor; and the lack of a clear assessment among experts about the of risks of transmission. While a formal vote was not taken, the general sense of the Vestry is that we should support allowing a controlled number of volunteers to work on number (1) above while observing all known precautions, but not open the Op Shop to customers. Robin and Susan will draft a proposal along these lines for the Rector to present to the Bishop, and we will revisit the question of reopening to customers at our August meeting and regularly thereafter as necessary. 

    As to church finances, Treasurer Hollis McLoughlin noted that after a very strong pledge income for the beginning of the year, we have experienced a significant drop off in June and July. While our operating capital is very adequate at this time, Hollis, Doug Dykstra and the Vestry will continue to monitor pledge and other income. The Rector and Treasurer are working with Doug about where we can realize savings from needs reduced by not gathering in person (e.g.,printing, coffee, and similar), as well as exploring what costs can be deferred until we have a better idea of how close we will be to the income on which the 2020 budget was based. We are also carefully monitoring the Reserve Fund, earmarked for capital expenditures, that has been tapped for a number of expenses related to water-infiltration abatement and refurbishments in Satterlee Hall. On a brighter note, the endowment achieved a record high of $5.3 million in July.

    I would like to express my appreciation to the many of you who continue to honor your pledge to St. Alban’s and contribute in other ways, and remind those who are in a financial position to do so to consider taking advantage of the temporary lifting by the IRS of ceilings on charitable contributions by making a gift to St. Alban’s or paying your pledge for 2021 this year.

    As Senior Warden and Chair of the St. Alban’s Regathering Team (”START”) I updated the Vestry on the membership, proposed subgrouping, and slate of issues before this task force aimed at planning for a gradual regathering in person when it is safe to do so. We have assembled a very capable group of clergy, staff, vestrypersons and parishioners to tackle the formidable job. More to come as START begins to meet. This group will weigh in on, and add to the planning for our near-term response to the pandemic that was already underway by the clergy, staff and Vestry.

    With blessings and wishes for your continued safety and health, Ken Patterson

    Senior Warden

     

     

     

     
    Summaries of previous Vestry meetings and meeting minutes are available in the archive

    Click on the links below to read minutes from past Vestry and church meetings.

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    2020 

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