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