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.
-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens