2015 Vestry Election Results

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking with all of our candidates for vestry.  We had such a strong slate this year.  They represent the depth and breadth of our Restoration leadership bench.  I am thankful to God that so many people come forward in so many different venues and offer their experience, talents, and time for the sake of the work that God is doing in our church.  

Restoration, you are generous, creative, and strategic with your resources.  It is my great pleasure and honor to partner with you on so many adventures.

In our polity, your vestry works closely with the rector for the purpose of discerning and funding a strategic plan that guides the programs and activities of the church.  They pray a lot.  They listen to the Holy Spirit and to people in the congregation.  They take faithful risks and careful steps.  They rejoice in the momentum of growth and depth that is happening around our church.

Our plan is called Restoration 2019.  In this space we describe where we hope to be and the route we are taking to get there.  We update it every month with a progress report.

Vestry Election Results

Thank you for praying over and voting in our vestry election.

  • Mike Dodson will join the class of 2016 and complete Isaiah Brooms’ term of service.
  • Dietrich Kuhlmann, Meredith Lloyd, and Becky Mohr will join the vestry as the class of 2018.

The next 2 months will be quite full for them with orientation and transition.  Please pray for your vestry and give thanks to God for our new members.

-David

Wardens’ Report: November 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

Our prayers this month were guided by the new Evening Prayer Service which is found in the Texts for Common Prayer, a recent addition to our pews in the sanctuary.  We remembered those around the world and in our congregation who are suffering in body, mind and spirit and pleaded for strengh and comfort for the McNeil family. We thanked God for Louise Brooks and the ways she cares so well for our children.  And we thanked God for Drew Bond, Isaiah Brooms, Endel Liias and Mac Wheatley who were attending their last Vestry meeting after years of faithful service to our community.

Our primary order of business was to review the sabbatical team’s proposal.  This team of seven has prayerfully and carefully considered the needs of our rector, his family and our congregation.  We were pleased to approve the plan and budget for a March 1 – September 1, 2016 sabbatical during which David will engage several activities designed to deepen his love for Jesus and his family.  While we will undoubtedly miss his preaching and pastoral care in the short term, we see wisdom in investing in his long term spiritual health and are excited about the myriad opportunities to develop our capable staff and lay leadership in his absence.

We received a preliminary financial report for October which indicated another strong month of giving and on-budget spending. Thank you for your faithful giving that allows us to enter this year of a new mortgage and a full staff team with confidence in God’s sure provision.

If you have questions, concerns or words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: October 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

As we kneeled at the railing, we said many prayers of thanksgiving — for the hiring of Isaiah Brooms, for our fall retreat and the great good that can come from living into our vocations, for the many friends willing to stand for vestry election, for those thoughtfully considering Restoration membership, and for the steady, faithful preparation for David’s 2016 sabbatical.

The upcoming sabbatical is providing occasion to examine carefully how we make decisions and who makes which decisions.  Without doubt, the leadership bench is deep in our church family, and new leadership is already emerging for 2016 and beyond.  In addition to adding Isaiah to the staff, the nominating committee is finalizing the slate for our November vestry election. We are also refreshing our advisory teams (outreach, personnel and finance) – asking people to lend their time, knowledge and experience to our strategic operations.  These teams toil in relative obscurity and cannot be thanked enough for their important contributions. 

The first month of the fiscal year brought more positive financial news.  Operations are almost exactly on budget, and outreach is doing even better.  Through your unanticipated generosity and the effective fundraising efforts of our short-term mission teams to West Asia, Cambodia and West Virginia, our outreach fund was overflowing by several tens of thousands of dollars at the end of fiscal year 2015.  We had the joy of receiving and approving several recommendations from the Outreach Steering Team to expand Restoration’s support to many good partners in ministry. 

If you have questions, concerns or words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback.  We’d love to hear from you!

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: September 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

After a brief hiatus in August, we gathered last Tuesday at the church commencing our meeting as is our new custom — on our knees. We used the BCP’s early evening devotions (p139) and reflected on our call to “proclaim Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as [his] servant”. We also thanked God for the smooth transition of Nathan Dickerson to our staff team and for the small groups commencing this week. Indeed, we have a terrific group of small group leaders who so ably shepherd our congregation in community, Bible study and prayer. 

Our Treasurer, Mac Wheatley, presented an encouraging preliminary financial report for the fiscal year ended August 31. Our budget aimed for revenues to equal expenses, and we barely missed the target. Expenses were less than 2 percent above revenues (roughly $22k). Missing by such a small margin is amazing given the uncertainty with which the fiscal year began as we moved back to 1815 North Quincy Street, and it is a non-event given the church’s healthy operating cash reserve. Thanks to you all for the unusually strong summer giving. Thanks to the staff for their continually reliable expense management. Thanks to God for his faithfulness. We also heard of the orderly amortization of our construction loan and paid our first monthly mortgage payment with no issue or surprises. Mac will present a fuller picture of our 2015 fiscal year results and financial position at the upcoming Parish Meeting which begins at 12:45 PM on Sunday, October 4.

Other topics of conversation included the process for electing a new class of Vestry members (more at the Parish Meeting), tweaks to the new member education / integration process, a review of our communications efforts and a robust Rector’s report including the ongoing shaping of David’s upcoming sabbatical and an outline of the preaching plan in his absence. The Sabbatical Team, chaired by Christine Jones and Chris Belen, will provide further information at the Parish Meeting.

We hope to see you on October 4. In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns or words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback and need your prayers.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

 

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: July 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

Our prayers this month were highlighted by gratitude for the way God continues to lead us through the web of amazing opportunities and complex issues: the hiring of Nathan Dickerson; the not-yet-hiring of a youth director; the conversion of our building loan to a long term mortgage; the creation of a building maintenance reserve; and the adoption of next fiscal year’s operating budget.

For the third month in a row, our primary business was the operating budget for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2015. Thankfully, the staff and the Finance Team’s hard work provided clear information that allowed us to nudge the budget across the finish line. In the coming year, we’re projecting financial growth of about 15% — and remain prayerfully willing to experience more than that. Budget details will be made available at the next parish meeting on September 9 at 7pm.  As we’ve mentioned before, spending changes are driven largely by the priorities set forth in our strategic plan: hiring a new Associate Rector for small groups and church planting; absorbing the implications of a newer, larger building as home base for increased discipleship; and loving our staff well by shielding them from health insurance cost increases.

During the last couple of months, the Outreach Steering Team (“OST”) has been hard at work evaluating applications for outreach grants for the coming year. Since inception, our church has chosen to use 10% of all offerings for outreach purposes.  The vestry created the OST to do the heavy lifting of receiving and evaluating applications and making spending recommendations to the vestry. During our meeting, the vestry reviewed and adopted the OST’s recommendations to make about a dozen different gifts, totaling about $100,000. To learn more, visit the Outreach page, check out the 2015 Outreach guide, or reach out to Liz Gray or our Vestry representative to OST, Hannah Royal.

The Treasurer’s Report for June was an encouragement.  Year-to-date operating income is 99.9% of plan.  We’re not kidding;  it was that close to the target.  Thanks be to God, and thank you for your generosity. Operating expenses are 98% of plan. Thanks be to God, and thanks to David and staff for being good stewards of our resources. Second quarter average Sunday attendance was 535, about 25% higher than any prior second quarter in Restoration’s young history. With the third quarter come summer vacation and a predictable drop in attendance to 392, which matches the highest third quarter in our history.

Finally, some of you may have noticed that the home directly behind the church is for sale by owner. We all recognize that this is a special opportunity for the church to purchase an adjoining lot. It is easy to dream about the possibilities – more green space or a potential parsonage. Not without some pain, we decided not to pursue the opportunity as a church, at this time. The reasons are as varied as there are people on the vestry. Most notably, there isn’t clearly a tight fit with our strategic plan to plant churches, and we have a brand new building with a significant mortgage burden. We would love for a friend of Restoration to own the property. If you’d like to talk to someone about this, feel free to reach out to Carolyn Weimer or Mac Wheatley – or just go have a look and check it out!

If you have questions, concerns or words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: June 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

As lightning flashed outside, the electricity flickered inside, and we began our June Vestry meeting thanking God for tangible reminders of His power, providence and care. We thanked God for Matt Hoppe’s ministry, his thoughtful preparation for and execution during Sunday services, as well as his leadership of our stable of volunteer musicians and the RestoArts team. We were also mindful of the imminent departures of the West Virginia and Cambodia teams and prayed for the many transitions in our midst, including Clay and Rachel Morrison’s departure and Nathan and Stephanie Dickerson’s arrival.

The primary focus of our meeting was to evaluate the draft budget prepared by the Finance Team for the fiscal year beginning September 1, 2015, and it was easy to remember God’s providential care when we considered the context for our deliberations. Average Sunday attendance inched up to about 550 during the second quarter, and this fiscal year’s financial results are on target, with year-to-date giving and spending at about 97% of budget. Our operating reserve is also at a historically high level of about six months.

With those strong indicators, our working assumption is that attendance and giving will grow modestly next year. The spending changes we discussed for next year offer no surprises as they are driven almost entirely by previously-announced decisions that bolster our strategic plan – for example, hiring our new Associate Rector, Nathan Dickerson; constructing a larger building and taking on a mortgage; and creating a capital reserve for future major repairs. In addition, we’ve shielded our beloved staff from significantly increased health insurance costs.

When we vote on the final budget next month, we will also be weeks away from the conversion of our construction loan to a long term mortgage. We have been astounded by your diligent and sacrificial contributions to the capital campaign and are happy to report that only $258,000 (of the original $2.5 million in pledges) remains outstanding as of May 31. This puts us in a very strong position to minimize our mortgage amount upon amortization so that we can devote more of our regular offerings to the strategic plan and amazing work God is doing on Quincy Street and beyond.

Toward that end, we did want to draw attention to this upcoming financial event and invite you to prayerfully consider fulfilling the remainder of your pledge by July 31. Of course, if you’re unable to give the remainder until December 31 (the originally communicated end to the capital campaign), we fully understand and respect that. Also, if you’ve come to Restoration since we’ve begun services in our new building, we invite you to consider giving to the building fund to help reduce our community’s debt burden.

Seeing and sharing the new space is a continual reminder that God has been doing something special, here and now, in this place. And when something brand new doesn’t work quite right – a broken door or temperamental A/C unit – that, too, is a reminder that this home is temporary, and we are citizens of another place.

If you have questions, concerns or words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

 -Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: May 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

Vestry began our monthly meeting in prayer, kneeling at the rail in the sanctuary.  With the hustle and bustle of the Women Unscripted Celebration event in our ears, we earnestly thanked God for Liz Gray‘s ministry among us and prayed for continued creativity and energy as she so ably encourages us in our discipleship and outreach and prayer (among many other things!)

The trajectory of our finances remains consistent with a close tracking of our finances to this year’s budget.  Year-to-date, giving is about 96% of budget, and expenses are about 97%.  Given that our fiscal year ends August 31, we began a discussion of next year’s budget priorities with an eye towards welcoming the Finance Team’s draft budget next month and finalizing the plans in July.  Our operating reserve is healthy, and we remain well positioned as we anticipate the significant change to our fixed costs with the August amortization of our new mortgage.

The hiring processes for a Senior Director of Discipleship and Church Planting, as well as Director of Youth Ministries are ongoing with significant progress underway.  Nothing definitive to report yet, but the Holy Spirit is clearly at work.

We hope that you will join us at next Tuesday’s parish meeting at 7:30 PM (Pizza at 7 PM).  We look forward to this “family meeting” and plan to provide updates on our summer plans, recent and upcoming missions trips and our financial situation (including an update on the capital campaign and more detail on what exactly is happening with the mortgage in August).  We’ll also hear a report from our sabbatical planning team which is doing great work to prepare us all for a sabbatical for David now that we approach the 7th anniversary of his ministry among us.

We remain open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: April 2015

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

As is our new custom, the Vestry began its monthly meeting in prayer, kneeling in the sanctuary.  We prayed especially for the people of Baltimore:  for peace, order, justice, grace and understanding.  We also raised issues unique to Kathy Kenyon’s ministry as Restoration’s Director of Volunteers and Community Life, with special thanks for the strong turnout at the most recent liturgical volunteer training.

With Baltimore on our minds, we received an encouraging report from the Outreach Steering Team.  Thanks to the generosity of those attending Holy Week services, we were able to give $22,788.63 toward the church building efforts of Church of Christ our Peace.  In addition, Restoration will send $8,000 to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund to aid earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.

The Personnel Team offered a brief report on the hiring processes for a Senior Director of Discipleship and Church Planting, as well as a Youth Ministry Coordinator or two.  Simply put, those processes continue.  David and the hiring teams assisting him are listening faithfully, deliberating thoroughly and acting patiently.  These teams are doing a great service for our church.  We are grateful.

The treasurer’s report was happily uneventful and filled with encouraging data.  Regular offerings through the first seven months of the fiscal year stand at 97% of budget, while regular expenses remain at about 94% of budget.  Our cash position is healthy, with at least three-and-a-half months of operating reserve.  Average Sunday attendance across all services since returning to Quincy Street inched up to 512 – 414 adults and 98 children.  We also received last year’s final financial statements and a good, clean report from our independent auditor.

You can read an archive of past Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

As always, please contact either of us or anyone on the Vestry, if you have questions about the life of our church. We need your thoughtful input and constant prayers.

-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens

 

Wardens 2015

Wardens’ Report: keeping you informed

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Welcome to the first “Wardens’ Report” — a brief summary of Vestry meetings to help demystify our work and provide some information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

We recognize that as Restoration grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to know how things are going. We hope this summary will be helpful as you pray for our church and consider the ways you will engage in our community.

Restoration’s Vestry met last Tuesday evening, as it does each month, to oversee the business of the church. Here are some highlights:

When we met with Bishop John Guernsey two weeks ago, he encouraged us to devote more meeting time to prayer. This was no doubt a wise and godly suggestion but also daunting, given our scarce meeting time. We embraced his advice by changing our routine in a couple of ways. We met in the sanctuary to kneel in prayer, and we raised issues unique to a specific area of ministry:  Kat Downs and her vital ministry as Director of Operations. Next month, we’ll focus on another.

We are just over a year into the implementation of the new strategic plan for the five year time period ending 2019. Last year’s focus was to complete our building project and ground ourselves in our new space. This year we are focused on hiring key positions to our staff team. The hiring process for a Senior Director of Discipleship and Church Planting is well under way. Another key hire for our team planned for 2015 is a Youth Ministry Coordinator to fill the position that will be vacated when Clay and Rachel move.

Mac Wheatley’s treasurer’s report showed that giving and spending through the first half of the fiscal year were both about 94% of budget; the operating reserve is strong at more than three months of budgeted expenses; and average Sunday attendance across three services since returning to Quincy Street is roughly 500 people – 403 adults and 95 children.

We happily voted to recommend to Bishop John that Scott Buckhout begin postulancy, the formal process that may lead to ordination. We appreciate the work of the discernment team that prayerfully met with Scott and provided a thoughtful recommendation. Other postulants from our community recently recommended to Bishop John through similar processes include Jesse Blaine and Morgan Reed.

Next January will mark the end of David’s seventh year of service at Restoration. As envisioned by our personnel handbook, and for the good of Restoration as well as our rector, we asked a team of wise leaders to prepare a plan for David to take a six-month sabbatical beginning in February 2016. We’ll share more information as the plan takes shape.

As always, please contact either of us or anyone on the Vestry if you have questions about the life of our church. We need your thoughtful input and constant prayers.

Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson

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