June 22, 2021
On June 22, this year’s vestry gathered for our monthly meeting for the very first time IN PERSON. We were thrilled to have met outdoors for our parking lot mini-retreat in early May and appreciated even more the opportunity to sit around a table in the fellowship hall to discuss the questions and opportunities in front of our church in this next season.
Lorene Eberhardt led the vestry in prayers of thanksgiving for the ways in which Louise Brooks and Abigail Westbrook have ministered to the youngest members of our church and so many others during the past year. We are so grateful for their creativity in planning and leading Zoom and outdoor KSGs, virtual and in-person gatherings and story time, nursery pilots, liturgical toolkits, and helping us stay connected even while apart.
After 15 months of Zoom meetings we had to work through some new technical challenges so two members could join us virtually. Turns out creative camera and microphone positioning along with remembering to mute remain important in a hybrid setting!
We noted two more significant milestones Tuesday evening: 1) our first meeting in which pandemic-related protocols and options were not on the agenda, as our plan to reopen both the 9 and 11 am services without masks or pods on June 27 remains on track; and 2) Kat Downs joined us for the first time in her role as Restoration’s Executive Director.
We kicked off the business portion of the meeting by approving the May meeting minutes and Restoration delegates to the DOMA Synod to be held in November. Discussion then centered on updates from our Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Team, Dan Vogel, in anticipation of the FY22 budget the vestry will need to approve in July. Dan thoughtfully walked the vestry through the analysis and options the Finance Team has prepared, Kat gave us insight on the staff and personnel needs, and collectively we had an opportunity to express our desire to step forward in faith and anticipation of what good things will grow at Restoration.
In addition to preparing the annual budget draft, the Finance Team has also been working on refinancing options for our mortgage. Dan presented an overview of the different bids we have received, and we ask for your prayers as we enter final negotiations with lenders and put Restoration on a path to paying off our mortgage in about 10 years. We are praying boldly for the most favorable terms and a good working relationship with the selected financial institution, seeking to be good and faithful stewards of the financial and physical resources God has entrusted to us.
The final item for discussion and approval was based on an update David shared at the June parish meeting about a group who are working on justice initiatives around race and Restoration. These folks have participated in a variety of Restoration small groups and working groups over the last year that have been focused on a Biblical understanding of justice, reconciliation, and ethnic identity. The vestry chose to take up two of the action items that have come out of these racial justice working groups:
- The creation of a designated offering fund for clergy development: The Restoration Clergy Development Fund (RCDF). Our diocese has already given us a $10,000 grant to seed the fund and we are grateful for the vision and excitement in partnering with us.
- Using the proceeds from the fund to create a Restoration Clergy Development Program, a 10-12 month opportunity for people of color and women to learn about strategic, pastoral leadership while receiving practical training in a church setting (Restoration!). We encourage you to read David’s 6/24 update for more information on this program.
~Brad and Lorene