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.
-Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson, Wardens