Wardens’ Report: July 2016

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.

This month we gathered in the sanctuary and thanked God for the work and ministry of Kat Downs among us.  Kat’s careful attention to detail has served our entire staff and congregation well as she manages our financial and administrative processes and lovingly cares about all that comes with daily use of a beautiful facility like ours.  No two days of her job are alike (or all that predictable) and she manages competing priorities with grace and poise.  We also prayed for the decisions before us asking God to give us clarity and wisdom as we looked to nudge the budget across the finish line and consider many other items on our agenda.

We joyfully received a discernment team report for one of our aspirants exploring a call to the priesthood and were pleased to make a recommendation that he be considered by our Diocese’s Ordination Committee.  We are so thankful for these teams of congregants engaged in the work of discernment for four people at different stages of the ordination process – what an amazing gift of their time and insights that will undoubtedly shape our congregation, the denomination and the Kingdom of God for many years to come!

We also received and approved edits to our Building Use Policy from the Facility Team who now has the benefit of two years of history in our building to suggest practices to ensure the use of our property is furthering our purpose and mission.  And we approved a set of disbursement recommendations totaling about $108k from our Outreach Steering Team (“OST”) which was set up to evaluate grant requests for the 10% of all our offerings which we designate for outreach purposes. We are pleased to have great partners globally and locally who help us live into our strategic plan and engage the poor and the stranger in our midst and beyond.  To learn more, visit the Outreach page, check out the 2016 Outreach guide, or reach out to Liz Gray or our Vestry representative to OST, Dietrich Kuhlmann.

The Finance Team’s Report for June was an encouragement and the situation has largely remained unchanged from the past few months.  Our attendance is essentially flat from last year but our rolling four-quarter average Sunday attendance was up about 5%.  Our YTD general fund offerings were 97% of budget and ten months into the fiscal year, our spending is only slightly above budget at 100.9% of budget.  Thanks be to God, thank you for your generosity and thanks to our diligent staff team that remain good stewards of our resources. 

In terms of our forward looking budget discussions, we completed the hard work begun by the finance team and staff and finalized our FY 2017 budget.  In the coming year, we’re projecting financial growth of about 15%. This year’s spending changes are driven largely by the priorities set forth in our strategic plan with a particular emphasis on our local church planting efforts.  While the Church Planting Steering Team (“CPST”) is still working on the specifics of our strategy, we expect to see concrete steps taken towards a local church plant in the spring of 2017.  Please plan to join us at our next parish meeting on October 9 at 1 PM to hear more about the budget details and plans for the coming year.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers, your words of wisdom and your faithful commitment of time, treasure and talent to our congregation.  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 Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: June 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered in the sanctuary on Tuesday evening as Liz led us in prayer.  We gave thanks for Kathy Kenyon and her work as Coordinator of Sacramental Life and all that her role entails — oversight of baptisms, weddings and funerals and the coordination of many volunteers including marriage mentors.  We also prayed for Morgan Reed as he completes his internship with us and moves towards a new phase focused on completing his dissertation while serving other parishes as a Deacon in our diocese. And with heavy hearts, we prayed for world events and the unfolding news of the day’s atrocities in Istanbul.

We began our business meeting by approving a Facility Team recommendation for the repair of floor tiles in the Upper Narthex.  We also received our regular Finance Team update which showed that while monthly attendance was down 3.1% compared to May 2015, general offerings were at 97% of budget.  These current indicators were helpful as we prepared to consider the FY2017 budget.

The bulk of our meeting was in discussion about next year’s budget.  The discussion was led by our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, and our Assistant Treasurers Dietrich Kuhlman and Meredith Lloyd who with the Finance Team spent countless hours compiling data, interviewing staff, making projections, and outlining potential scenarios.

We worked in multiple steps toward completion of the budget: first considering income projections, then reviewing “steady state” expenditures and finally considering how we would lean into the Strategic Plan — particularly the vision to plant local churches.  We look ahead with great anticipation for what the Spirit will do with our collective resources of time, talent, and treasure.

While the bulk of our hard work and discussion on budget issues was completed this week, we will finalize and approve the FY17 budget at our July meeting.  We appreciate your prayers as we work to discern and listen well.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of 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 Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: May 2016

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 custom, we started our meeting with prayers at the rail — this month focused on the ministry of Isaiah Brooms, our Director of Youth Ministries. We thanked God for the vision he has for mentoring our youth and helping them understand the relevance of Jesus to their lives today. We prayed for his committed team of volunteers and asked for creativity and energy as they partner to reflect the love of God while building a strong middle and high school community in our midst.

Our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, presented a Finance Team Report that paints a strong picture as we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year. We are essentially on budget with a healthy but prudent cash cushion on hand to weather unexpected changes to the trends. The Finance Team, in partnership with staff, is now deep in the budgeting process with a plan to present a first draft FY2017 budget to the Vestry in our June meeting. We are grateful for the many skilled volunteers in our community who labor behind the scenes and keep us on track financially (and otherwise).

As we’ve written in past reports, much of our strategic focus this year has been on church planting and identifying the next few steps necessary to make meaningful progress towards this aspect of our strategic plan. At our January retreat, we established a Church Plant Steering Team (CPST) and in this month’s meeting, we received an update with recommendations to consider a “Church Plant Residency” program (which, incidentally, was the mechanism at The Falls Church Anglican that resulted in “the Arlington Project” which birthed what we’ve come to love as Restoration Arlington Church!) and a strategy that actively pursues opportunities to partner with other ministries to nurture existing groups in our area into new churches. There is still much to be prayed through and discerned as we prepare to execute our plans, but we are grateful for a wise and prayerful team to advise us.

Please pray for wisdom and clarity and attentiveness to the Holy Spirit’s work among us as we move forward with budgets and plans for the future. And please join us on Tuesday evening, June 7 at the church for our Parish Meeting. We’d love to tell you more about the amazing things God is doing in our community and answer any questions you may have. We need all of you to consider new ways to invest your time, treasure and talents in the work ahead.

In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, 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.’

-Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: April 2016

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 at the rail this month were focused on the work and ministry of Matt Hoppe.  He has a very visible role in our midst as music pastor, but there is so much more that he does for our community that is unseen and faithfully executed.  We thanked God for his thoughtful use of music and art to connect us to God, to each other and to the needs of the world.  And we prayed for continued vision as he raises up leaders and helps nurture our experience of faith through the arts.

Our Finance Report was full of encouraging news regarding attendance and budget performance.  Our Q1 average Sunday attendance was 11% higher than Q1 of 2015 and on Easter Sunday we hosted 757 people who celebrated the good news of the resurrection with us on Quincy Street!  In terms of budget performance, our YTD offerings were 97% of budget and seven months into the year, our spending is essentially on target at 101% of budget.  Thank you to all of you who faithfully invest your time, your treasure and your talent in our community.

Other topics on our agenda were designed to help pave the way for our budget deliberations planned for June and July. (As a reminder, our new fiscal year begins September 1).  We received a report from the Outreach Steering Team, discussed possible options for funding church planting initiatives, discussed a possible Thematic Goal (“most important thing”) for FY 2017, and reviewed the budget timeline.

As we promised in our January Wardens’ Report, we wanted to make you aware of some upcoming happenings related to a few of the postulants (candidates for the priesthood) from our community:

  • On Sunday, May 15, Jesse Blaine will preach at both morning services. Jesse was ordained to the transitional diaconate at Restoration last fall.  We look forward to having Jesse and Sarah and the girls in our midst over the next few weeks before they head back to Phnom Penh where he will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John on May 29.
  • Also on Sunday, May 15, at the 5 PM service, Morgan Reed will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop John. Please join us if you are able to celebrate this milestone in Morgan’s life and ministry.

What a wonderful way to celebrate Pentecost Sunday!  We hope you will join us for as much of the day as possible as we thank God for raising these leaders in our midst.

Please pray for us over these next few months as we look to the future and discern the next steps in the execution of our strategic plan.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together.  Also, please keep an eye out for an announcement of our next parish meeting which will take place in early June in the Fellowship Hall.  We’ll provide more detail on our progress towards our strategic plan and happily respond to any questions you may have.

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’

 

-Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer, Wardens

 

 

Wardens’ Report: March 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered on Tuesday and began our meeting with prayer at the rail. This month we gave thanks for Nathan and his work in shepherding small groups, in organizing the newly formed Church Planting Steering Team (or CPST), and in his preparations to preach on Easter Sunday. We also prayed for Women Unscripted gathered in the fellowship hall, the small groups which are concluding another trimester, and many of the other ministries which are connecting people to God, to others and to the needs of the world.

Our business meeting included consideration of Facility Team requests, a monthly financial update, discussion of increasing our building reserve fund and a look ahead as we work through the budget process for next fiscal year which begins September 1.

Ramsey provided an in-depth Treasurer’s report for the first six months of FY16. Monthly attendance was up nearly 14% over last February, which is an encouraging sign of growth. Similar to last month, giving is at 95% of plan while spending is at 100% of our budget. In conjunction with our tireless staff, the Finance Team is carefully and prayerfully helping to keep us financially on track. In addition, we are considering the feasibility of growing our budget in order to undertake new discipleship, evangelism, and church planting efforts.

We spent a significant amount of time discussing our recent dinner with Bishop John Guernsey. Each year our Vestry has the opportunity to meet with Bishop John and we always walk away humbled and thankful for his leadership and great wisdom. He was able to provide practical and experiential advice about church planting and challenged us to think boldly about how we fund such initiatives. We left more thoughtful and more encouraged in the work God is doing in our midst.

As we anticipate Holy Week together, we invite you to intentionally join others in the events leading up to the incredible celebration of Easter. It is a story not to be missed and we hope you will bring others who have never grasped the amazing news of Christ’s resurrection!

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of 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 Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: February 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered in the sanctuary — as we do each month — to pray.  This month we devoted additional time to pray for David and his upcoming sabbatical.  We prayed through the instruction to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  We took time to pray for those close to David and for God to sow seeds of long term fruit during these next six months.

As was outlined at our recent parish meeting, Vestry will be chaired by the Senior Warden (Carolyn Weimer) over the sabbatical season.  We are grateful for the five advisory teams that work diligently and think critically about many facets of our life together.  We approved new vestry liaisons to each of those teams (Personnel, Finance, Facility, Outreach, and Church Planting), as well as many new members who will serve one- to three-year terms.  Restoration is home to a talented pool of individuals with a range of expertise and we are thankful for the ways you practice your gifts for the common good.  To that end, the Personnel Team presented Vestry with options for updates to our healthcare plan and the Facility Team brought forward recommendations for necessary repairs to our property.  

Our new Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, walked us through attendance and financial reports.  For the first five months of our fiscal year (beginning Sept 1) we are at 95% of year-to-date budgeted giving and are currently operating at 99% of budgeted expenses.  We’ll keep a careful eye on this dynamic over the next few months. Thank you for your continued financial commitment to this church and the work to which God has called us.  

We concluded our meeting by looking ahead to possible 2017 budget priorities in light of our strategic plan.  As we consider the time and costs of growing 1000 disciples here on Quincy Street and looking outward to growing 1000 more disciples through church planting, we are thinking carefully about our gifts and resources. We invite you to revisit the vision that our leadership carefully considered in 2014.  As we move forward, please look for ways to connect and grow with us. 

Also, please pray for David and his family during his sabbatical.  Pray for our staff as they adjust to new roles, pray for our Vestry and advisory teams as they navigate budgets and priorities, and pray for our church—that we we would live into our mission to connect people to God, to others, and to the needs of the world.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of 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 Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report from the Vestry Retreat

Wardens’ Report: Vestry Retreat 2016

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.

We gathered last Friday in a beautiful home in the rolling (and snowy) hills of Knoxville, MD.  Our goal on Friday was to get to know one another better and to continue the conversation that David started on Gifts for the Common Good.  We each shared our understanding of our own spiritual gifts and we prayed for each other that the Holy Spirit would “fan into flame these gifts of God” for the good of our community. 

Saturday’s business was two-fold: the election of Vestry officers for the coming year and a conversation on the next steps of our strategic plan – Restoration 2019

We are astounded by the way God works through the Vestry election process to provide wise and skilled leaders to help us discern our next steps.  And we are thankful for the role each Vestry member plays. The results of the election were as follows:

Wardens: Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer

Treasurer: Ramsey Wilson

Assistant-Treasurers: Meredith Lloyd and Dietrich Kulhmann

Secretary: Mike Dodson

Please pray vigilantly for us that we would be sensitive to the work that God is doing in our midst and that we would diligently use our gifts for the common good.

The bulk of our time on Saturday was spent thinking about church planting – and more specifically, the next few steps we felt were necessary to make meaningful progress towards this aspect of our strategic plan.  We prepared for the weekend with some advanced reading on the theological basis of church planting and discussed some strategic, operational and tactical options.  We approved the formation of a new advisory team called the Church Planting Steering Team (or CPST) and asked Nathan to suggest candidates at our meeting in February. 

If you have experience, thoughts or curiosities on this subject, we’d love to hear from you.  Please reach out to Nathan or anyone on the Vestry to lend a word of encouragement or caution or to dive right in and help us define our vision.

Everyone is invited to our parish meeting on Tuesday, February 9 in Fellowship Hall. There will be a chance to meet Vestry members, hear from David and the staff about recent happenings in our church (including David’s upcoming sabbatical) and to get a more detailed update on our progress toward the strategic plan.

If you have questions, concerns, 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 Hannah Royal, Wardens

2016 Wardens

Wardens’ Report: January 2016

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 at the rail were again guided by the Evening Prayer Service in the Texts for Common Prayer. We asked God to have mercy on the vulnerable in our community — especially those suffering challenges from the winter storm.  And we asked for a joyful ministry among our staff and volunteers and for humility and wisdom as we began our first business meeting in 2016 with six new members: Meredith Lloyd, Becky Mohr, Michael Dodson and Dietrich Kuhlmann as elected congregants and Liz Gray and Nathan Dickerson as non-voting staff participants in this sabbatical year.

This meeting served as a continuation of the new vestry orientation process that began in December taking extra time to explain the breadth of church operations and the role of Vestry in them.  We discussed the various officer roles in preparation for the upcoming election of our officers: two Wardens, a Secretary and a Treasurer.  And we took care to explain how we have come to some of the practices we hope to maintain as we learn to make decisions together for the good of the community.

Among the responsibilities the church has given the vestry is the care and oversight of our Rector. To that end, we discussed with David his 360 performance review. We expressed our appreciation for his exemplary work as our “CEO” and pastor. We are blessed to have him. 

Another special vestry responsibility is making recommendations to the Ordination Committee of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic for our members who are exploring a call to the priesthood.  We are pleased to have a full pipeline of five candidates in various stages of the process and received with joy the reports of their progress. We acknowledge with grateful hearts the countless hours given by various members of our community who have participated in discernment processes to equip the Vestry to fulfill our role.  We will be sure to make you aware of any upcoming ordination services as the processes play out at the Diocesan level.

We received a strong financial report for December 2015 and reviewed our overall financial picture four months into fiscal year 2016. Effectively, our operating income through December 31 was about $602,000 or 103% of plan and total operating expenses were about $463,000 or 100% of plan.  We began our fiscal year with about four months of operating cash on hand and still have that healthy cushion, well within our targeted range.  Thanks be to God.

Please pray for us as we head to Western Maryland for a Vestry retreat this weekend.  We will elect our officers and are devoting the 21-hour period to a discussion of church planting — a major part of our strategic plan called Restoration 2019.  We are thankful for Nathan’s leadership in this endeavor and look forward to the places God will call us.

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: 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

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