November 30, 2021
The Vestry met on November 30 for our last in-person meeting of the year. Before gathering in the fellowship hall for dinner and peanut M&Ms, we knelt in our Advent-decorated sanctuary for prayer. Dennis Wong led us in giving thanks for Chris Lugo and his service and ministry as our Curate and for our three vestry members rolling off in less than two months. We prayed fervently for God’s wisdom and discernment in our ongoing vestry election and the process of identifying DOMA’s next Bishop.
Rector David Hanke kicked off our meeting with reminders and updates about the Vestry election and the many events we have during Advent.
After approving the October meeting minutes and a facilities motion, the Vestry discussed the establishment of a new Advisory Team focused on Race+Reconciliation Initiatives at Restoration. In 2020 various small groups centered on race and faith issues began meeting, and in the past 18 months, three mission-oriented working groups have emerged to explore ways our church can pursue reconciliation and justice. The seed that would become the Restoration Clergy Development Fund and Program was planted in these groups, and we watch in hopeful expectation and anticipation of the good things we will see the Lord grow next. With the vestry’s approving vote, the Advisory Team was established, and Karen McNeilly designated as the Vestry liaison. Members of the team will be identified over the next month so that it can convene and begin advising the Vestry in January 2022.
As a reminder, Restoration advisory teams are led by members of the Vestry (Personnel, Finance, Facility, Outreach Steering, and Race+Reconciliation) to help advise Vestry and staff. In addition, we have Vestry liaisons to RILA and Prayer + RestoArts. We are blessed to have such capable and willing volunteers and leaders serving on these teams, and if you would like to participate, please reach out to a member of Vestry or staff.
We reaffirmed our vote last month to designate RILA as the recipient of this year’s Christmas Eve offerings. Parishioners will have the opportunity to give during the Christmas Eve service as well as online via CCB.
We closed the meeting with updates from our Personnel and Finance Teams. We hope to have new staff members in place soon and ask for your continued prayers for our open positions. It was also encouraging to hear that our income (giving) continues to be above projections and our expenses under budget. Every vestry member was also present to sign the last document to finalize our mortgage loan modification. Thank you for your generous giving and to our staff for their diligent budgeting and management of resources.
Our church has been very blessed this year and is not only stable but thriving. To that end, we have been able to focus on long-term projects such as the mortgage loan and also approving a succession plan as a way for future Vestries to have good policies in place for unforeseen or unplanned events.
We ended the meeting with a discussion of things that went well and how we can improve the work of the Vestry. It was a friendly and fruitful discussion yielding some great suggestions for practices and new ideas to implement next year. Finally, we encourage every Restoration member to vote for the next three members of Vestry. You should have received the slate of nominations and bio book via email, and an individualized SurveyMonkey link to vote by December 5.
Lorene and Brad