The vestry met on July 27 for our second in-person monthly meeting of the year. Due to summer travel schedules two members still joined virtually and we remain thankful for the technology we’ve semi-mastered over the past 16 months that makes remote participation possible in a variety of ways.
Dan Vogel led the vestry in prayer at our newly-reinstalled chair rail in the sanctuary, as we specifically gave thanks for the ministry and gifts of Ryan Goyer and Lexi McMann. We are so grateful for the unique gifts and talents they bring to our Sunday services (technology and music, respectively) and as the Apex leaders for our middle school and high school students. We were blessed to lift them up in prayers for their marriages, continued professional discernment, and richness and depth in the relationships that will be formed as the school year begins in September.
After approving the June meeting minutes and a motion to use funds from our Building Reserves to paint the interior of our building and outside railings before things kick off for the fall, we tackled two approvals that have been the focus of our discussions for much of this calendar year: the refinancing of our mortgage and the FY22 budget.
The Finance Team, chaired by our Treasurer Dan Vogel, has spent the last several months collecting and assessing options for refinancing our mortgage. We were humbled at the opportunity to approve a motion to move forward with finalizing a financing package with our current bank, which combined an attractive interest rate, low closing costs, and generally favorable terms that put us on a clear path to pay off our mortgage in roughly a decade, Lord willing. We express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to both current and former members of the Finance Team and vestry who have worked tirelessly on this effort for years, giving countless hours of their expertise, time, and prayers to put Restoration in a position to be faithful stewards of our physical building and resources.
With the vestry having provided clear guidance in June on the scope of the next annual budget to the Finance Team, it was a relatively short discussion before we unanimously approved the $2.1 million FY22 budget (which takes effect September 1, 2021). Once again, the vestry affirmed our collective desire to step forward in faith and anticipation of what God will grow at Restoration. The $2.1M figure represents an increase of approximately 4.5% over the FY21 giving.
The last item the vestry unanimously approved was the recommendations on grants from the Outreach Steering Team (OST). As a reminder Restoration commits to giving at least 10% of our income each year to outreach efforts and partners, many of whom we have been highlighting during our Sunday services. Our OST solicits and gathers grant proposals from domestic and international partners, with a growing emphasis on local organizations serving under-resourced or historically marginalized groups.
Finally, the vestry discussed the new guidance from the CDC related to COVID and mask wearing, noting that transmission rates in the DMV are not at the ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ level threshold levels. We continue to monitor both federal and state/local COVID data and guidance in the event our policies need to be updated. In the meantime we ask you to join us in pleading for God’s mercy in bringing a swift end to the pandemic and both physical and relational healing to the world.
~Brad and Lorene