Wardens’ Report: February 2019

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

The Vestry gathered on Tuesday and began with prayer at the rail, submitting ourselves to God in humility and with thanksgiving.  This month we gave thanks for God’s continued outpouring of grace and wisdom on David as he leads the good work in our church, including our church planting initiatives, RILA, Restoration staff and vital ministries.

 We considered the recommendation from the Outreach Steering Team to designate the Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and Easter Offerings for RILA (Restoration Immigration Legal Aid) as they work to expand their ministry of providing legal services to support refugees and asylum seekers in our community.  Additionally, we considered RILA’s longer term needs and options to continue to grow and support this vital Resto “startup” that is meeting the needs of some of the most vulnerable among us.  We also considered the report of our Vestry Retreat for sharing with the wider church. 

We are blessed with an amazing staff who has worked diligently to adapt to the astounding growth in many areas of our walk here on Quincy Street.  In response, we spent some time reviewing our financial status for the remainder of the current fiscal year as well as the possible flexibility next year to see if we could start hiring additional part time staff to support our children’s and operations’ ministries.  We noted that average Sunday attendance in January (594) increased 10% over the previous year (540) and our giving, though slowing from December, remains  higher than last year and around 102% of year to date budget.  We continue to give thanks for your generosity as we consider how to best steward our resources for God’s glory.

Finally, the vestry received the great news of Liz’s calling to lead the effort at the South Arlington church plant and began to consider all the implications of this amazing gift from God.  We hope you continue to take advantage of the opportunity to read the Church Plant Strategy document that was distributed via CCB.  Additionally, church planting will be the main focus of the upcoming Parish Meeting (February 28) and we encourage everyone who wants to hear more to attend.   

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

– Hannah Royal and Dietrich Kuhlmann, Wardens

Wardens Report: January 2017

Vestry Table

The Wardens’ Report: a brief summary of highlights from monthly Vestry meetings, designed to provide information about our growth, finances, priorities and progress towards our strategic plan.

The new Vestry gathered on Tuesday for our first official meeting of 2017.  Each month we aim to begin with prayer at the rail, submitting ourselves to God in humility and with thanksgiving.  This month we gave thanks for the good work in our church, including our church planting initiatives, RILA, Restoration staff and various ministries, and remembering our team traveling in Cambodia. 

Following our Vestry orientation earlier this month, we continued to acclimate new members Chris Belen, Sean Burke, Leigh McAfee and Susie Wallin, and voted in our new officers.  Dietrich Kuhlmann and Hannah Royal will serve as Wardens, Sean Burke as Secretary, and Meredith Lloyd as Treasurer.  In addition, we worked to finalize advisory team and Vestry liaisons to those teams.  We continue to be grateful for members of our church who spend time each month thinking and praying about our facility, our finances, our outreach initiatives, our church planting vision, and our personnel and human resources. 

We considered a grant request from the Outreach Steering Team for RiLA (Restoration Immigration Legal Aid) as they work to expand their ministry of providing legal services to our immigrant neighbors.  We also considered an ordination report.  As stated in previous Wardens’ Reports, one of the roles of Vestry is to recommend members of our congregation seeking ordination to the Ordination Committee of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.  We are grateful for the individuals seeking care and guidance under our Bishop and for the discernment teams who are praying alongside our postulants. 

We were pleased to receive our first Financial Report from our new Treasurer.  While average Sunday attendance in December remained flat from the previous year (508), our giving was significantly higher than last year and around 106% of year to date budget.  We are thankful for your generosity as we continue to think about how to steward our resources for God’s glory.

On February 3rd and 4th we will gather for our annual Vestry retreat and would welcome your prayers as we continue our conversation about church planting.  We anticipate discussing the feedback that we receive from you through the sermon series and the upcoming discussion during our services on Sunday.  We hope you have had a chance to read the Church Plant Strategy document that was distributed via CCB and provide your feedback through the survey that was linked in that email.

As always, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Dietrich Kuhlmann and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: November 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered on Tuesday for our last business meeting of the calendar year.  As is our custom, we began with prayer in the sanctuary — this time led by outgoing Vestry member Michael Dodson. Our liturgy focused on the six candidates who have graciously agreed to serve, if elected. We thanked God for their leadership and all the ways they serve and love God and the people of Restoration.  (As a reminder, Sunday, December 4 is the last day for members to vote for four of the six candidates on the slate. The results of the election will be announced via blog post on Tuesday, December 6).  We also gave thanks for those rolling off Vestry and the ways that Ali Burke, Michael Dodson, Carolyn Weimer and Ramsey Wilson have used their gifts for the common good.  

Our meeting included updates about our facility, including an accident that damaged the side of the building and doors adjacent to the parking lot.  Our able Director of Operations and Facilities Team continue to keep a close eye on many aspects of our building, including routine maintenance and issues when they arise.  We thank God for their technical skills and gracious manner as they represent us well among our engineers, contractors, county officials and service providers. We also received an encouraging Finance Team report and remain optimistic about our financial health two months into the new fiscal year.

We spent the bulk of our meeting on two strategic items.  The first was the continued cultivation of healthy Vestry practices and ways we can help future vestries grow in faith, cohesion and leadership.  We also reflected on our progress with Restoration2019 and some important next steps in the implementation of our strategic plan.  We remain compelled by the vision to grow coherent disciples of Jesus on Quincy Street, in new neighborhoods in and around the beltway and around the world!

We realize our local church planting plans are still nebulous and maybe even scary for those of you who have finally found your home at Restoration, but we are excited by the opportunities that will emerge for our own discipleship as we create space for more people in more places to find their home in God’s work of redemption and restoration.  You’ll hear more about our vision during Epiphany as our clergy lead us through a sermon series that describes our motivations for wanting to plant churches out of Restoration. 

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we receive the Incarnation during Advent and rejoice that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: October 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered at the rail on Tuesday and gave thanks for Liz Gray and her vital ministry among us.  We thanked God for her passion for prayer and the practical ways in which she helps connect us to God, to each other and the needs of the world. We prayed for RestoWomen and upcoming Outreach trips and we thanked God for the careful ways she has mentored our aspirants and postulants through the DOMA ordination process. We prayed for strength and wisdom as she handles many pastoral needs and we thanked God for her love of learning and the wonderful ways in which God has used her and her husband and children to bless us and so many others around the world.

Our business meeting began with an update by Carolyn Weimer on the recent Wardens Gathering with Bishop John and other wardens from partner churches in DOMA.  She shared both spiritual insights (like the encouragement from +John to raise up intercessors for our leaders) and a few business matters (like a minimum recommended insurance checklist) from this day-long gathering designed to encourage and enable Anglican churches in our area.

We joyfully received yet another discernment team report for a member exploring a call to ordained ministry and were pleased to make the recommendation that he be considered a postulant by our Diocese’s Ordination Committee.  Thanks again to the team who surrounded this aspirant with prayer and wisdom and took great care with this important decision.

We also received a letter of resignation from one of our members, Ali Burke, who notified us that she will be unable to serve the last year of her term on Vestry.  We are so thankful for all her contributions over the past two years and are glad she will remain in our midst as a committed member (and busy nursing student).  This does mean that we will be electing four new Vestry members at the upcoming election – three to serve three year terms and one to serve the remaining year of Ali’s term.

Our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, walked us through our Finance Report.  While we are only one month into our new fiscal year, the story remains full of God’s provision with increased attendance (7% increase from last September), a strong start to giving (94% of budget) and under-budget spending.  The Finance Team also presented recommended changes to our Finance and Accounting Manual helpfully clarifying roles, updating procedures and providing recommendations to further bolster our financial planning and controls.  Thanks be to God for a strong Finance Team that cares deeply about our church and how we use our resources towards God’s strategic purposes.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, we’d love to hear from you!

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: September 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered in the sanctuary on Tuesday to begin our work with prayer. We welcomed David back into our midst, rejoiced in what God had done in us and through us during the sabbatical, and prayed for the Holy Spirit’s guiding in this next season of ministry at Restoration. We also gave thanks for Louise Brooks and her ministry to the children of Restoration.  We prayed for the shepherding of children’s small group leaders, the safety of our kids, and the myriad other ways Louise invests in the spiritual development of this (rapidly!) growing population in our church.  And we prayed for the entire Brooks family as they grieve the sudden loss of Louise’s mother this week.

We joyfully received two more discernment team reports for members exploring calls to ordained ministry and were pleased to make the recommendation that they both be considered as postulants by our Diocese’s Ordination Committee.  We are so grateful for the twelve people comprising the two teams who gave significantly of their time and energy to listen, pray to help discern these calls.  Your thoughtful approach did not go unnoticed!

Other business included an update from the Church Plant Steering Team, a debrief of a recent facilities project to replace broken tiles in the Upper Narthex and the approval of an Emergency Response Team tasked with formulating relevant procedures.

The Outreach Steering Team presented several documents including a debrief of last year’s activity, a forward-looking action plan, an update to our Outreach Guidelines and a recommendation for our Christmas Eve offering.  As you may remember, it is our practice to give all our Christmas Eve offerings to a local organization doing important work in our community.  This year, we are pleased that our offerings will go to Little Lights, an organization in SE Washington, founded by one of our sabbatical guest preachers, Steve Park.

Our Finance Report presented a summary of last year’s financial performance.  Amazingly, our general fund offerings were 97.4% of budget and thanks to the careful stewardship of our staff, our spending was only slightly above target.  Thanks be to God for his steady provision and thanks to all of you for your faithful giving.  We hope you will join us at our upcoming Parish Meeting on Sunday, October 9th following the 11 o’clock service to hear more from the Finance Team about how we ended the year and our plans for the year to come.

Our last item of business was to discuss a proposed change to the upcoming Vestry election process.  While our existing process has served us well historically, we think it can be improved to reflect some of the realities of our larger size and the specialized needs of the vestry team. We’d love to tell you more about the changes to the process at the upcoming Parish Meeting, so please do come and enjoy pizza and a ‘family meeting’.  Nursery care will be available for children 3 and under.  We hope to see you there.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: July 2016

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.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’.

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: June 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered in the sanctuary on Tuesday evening as Liz led us in prayer.  We gave thanks for Kathy Kenyon and her work as Coordinator of Sacramental Life and all that her role entails — oversight of baptisms, weddings and funerals and the coordination of many volunteers including marriage mentors.  We also prayed for Morgan Reed as he completes his internship with us and moves towards a new phase focused on completing his dissertation while serving other parishes as a Deacon in our diocese. And with heavy hearts, we prayed for world events and the unfolding news of the day’s atrocities in Istanbul.

We began our business meeting by approving a Facility Team recommendation for the repair of floor tiles in the Upper Narthex.  We also received our regular Finance Team update which showed that while monthly attendance was down 3.1% compared to May 2015, general offerings were at 97% of budget.  These current indicators were helpful as we prepared to consider the FY2017 budget.

The bulk of our meeting was in discussion about next year’s budget.  The discussion was led by our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, and our Assistant Treasurers Dietrich Kuhlman and Meredith Lloyd who with the Finance Team spent countless hours compiling data, interviewing staff, making projections, and outlining potential scenarios.

We worked in multiple steps toward completion of the budget: first considering income projections, then reviewing “steady state” expenditures and finally considering how we would lean into the Strategic Plan — particularly the vision to plant local churches.  We look ahead with great anticipation for what the Spirit will do with our collective resources of time, talent, and treasure.

While the bulk of our hard work and discussion on budget issues was completed this week, we will finalize and approve the FY17 budget at our July meeting.  We appreciate your prayers as we work to discern and listen well.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: May 2016

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.

As is our custom, we started our meeting with prayers at the rail — this month focused on the ministry of Isaiah Brooms, our Director of Youth Ministries. We thanked God for the vision he has for mentoring our youth and helping them understand the relevance of Jesus to their lives today. We prayed for his committed team of volunteers and asked for creativity and energy as they partner to reflect the love of God while building a strong middle and high school community in our midst.

Our Treasurer, Ramsey Wilson, presented a Finance Team Report that paints a strong picture as we enter the final quarter of our fiscal year. We are essentially on budget with a healthy but prudent cash cushion on hand to weather unexpected changes to the trends. The Finance Team, in partnership with staff, is now deep in the budgeting process with a plan to present a first draft FY2017 budget to the Vestry in our June meeting. We are grateful for the many skilled volunteers in our community who labor behind the scenes and keep us on track financially (and otherwise).

As we’ve written in past reports, much of our strategic focus this year has been on church planting and identifying the next few steps necessary to make meaningful progress towards this aspect of our strategic plan. At our January retreat, we established a Church Plant Steering Team (CPST) and in this month’s meeting, we received an update with recommendations to consider a “Church Plant Residency” program (which, incidentally, was the mechanism at The Falls Church Anglican that resulted in “the Arlington Project” which birthed what we’ve come to love as Restoration Arlington Church!) and a strategy that actively pursues opportunities to partner with other ministries to nurture existing groups in our area into new churches. There is still much to be prayed through and discerned as we prepare to execute our plans, but we are grateful for a wise and prayerful team to advise us.

Please pray for wisdom and clarity and attentiveness to the Holy Spirit’s work among us as we move forward with budgets and plans for the future. And please join us on Tuesday evening, June 7 at the church for our Parish Meeting. We’d love to tell you more about the amazing things God is doing in our community and answer any questions you may have. We need all of you to consider new ways to invest your time, treasure and talents in the work ahead.

In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together on Quincy Street.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group.’

-Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer, Wardens

Wardens’ Report: April 2016

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 at the rail this month were focused on the work and ministry of Matt Hoppe.  He has a very visible role in our midst as music pastor, but there is so much more that he does for our community that is unseen and faithfully executed.  We thanked God for his thoughtful use of music and art to connect us to God, to each other and to the needs of the world.  And we prayed for continued vision as he raises up leaders and helps nurture our experience of faith through the arts.

Our Finance Report was full of encouraging news regarding attendance and budget performance.  Our Q1 average Sunday attendance was 11% higher than Q1 of 2015 and on Easter Sunday we hosted 757 people who celebrated the good news of the resurrection with us on Quincy Street!  In terms of budget performance, our YTD offerings were 97% of budget and seven months into the year, our spending is essentially on target at 101% of budget.  Thank you to all of you who faithfully invest your time, your treasure and your talent in our community.

Other topics on our agenda were designed to help pave the way for our budget deliberations planned for June and July. (As a reminder, our new fiscal year begins September 1).  We received a report from the Outreach Steering Team, discussed possible options for funding church planting initiatives, discussed a possible Thematic Goal (“most important thing”) for FY 2017, and reviewed the budget timeline.

As we promised in our January Wardens’ Report, we wanted to make you aware of some upcoming happenings related to a few of the postulants (candidates for the priesthood) from our community:

  • On Sunday, May 15, Jesse Blaine will preach at both morning services. Jesse was ordained to the transitional diaconate at Restoration last fall.  We look forward to having Jesse and Sarah and the girls in our midst over the next few weeks before they head back to Phnom Penh where he will be ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John on May 29.
  • Also on Sunday, May 15, at the 5 PM service, Morgan Reed will be ordained to the transitional diaconate by Bishop John. Please join us if you are able to celebrate this milestone in Morgan’s life and ministry.

What a wonderful way to celebrate Pentecost Sunday!  We hope you will join us for as much of the day as possible as we thank God for raising these leaders in our midst.

Please pray for us over these next few months as we look to the future and discern the next steps in the execution of our strategic plan.

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of our life together.  Also, please keep an eye out for an announcement of our next parish meeting which will take place in early June in the Fellowship Hall.  We’ll provide more detail on our progress towards our strategic plan and happily respond to any questions you may have.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

 

-Hannah Royal and Carolyn Weimer, Wardens

 

 

Wardens’ Report: March 2016

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.

The Vestry gathered on Tuesday and began our meeting with prayer at the rail. This month we gave thanks for Nathan and his work in shepherding small groups, in organizing the newly formed Church Planting Steering Team (or CPST), and in his preparations to preach on Easter Sunday. We also prayed for Women Unscripted gathered in the fellowship hall, the small groups which are concluding another trimester, and many of the other ministries which are connecting people to God, to others and to the needs of the world.

Our business meeting included consideration of Facility Team requests, a monthly financial update, discussion of increasing our building reserve fund and a look ahead as we work through the budget process for next fiscal year which begins September 1.

Ramsey provided an in-depth Treasurer’s report for the first six months of FY16. Monthly attendance was up nearly 14% over last February, which is an encouraging sign of growth. Similar to last month, giving is at 95% of plan while spending is at 100% of our budget. In conjunction with our tireless staff, the Finance Team is carefully and prayerfully helping to keep us financially on track. In addition, we are considering the feasibility of growing our budget in order to undertake new discipleship, evangelism, and church planting efforts.

We spent a significant amount of time discussing our recent dinner with Bishop John Guernsey. Each year our Vestry has the opportunity to meet with Bishop John and we always walk away humbled and thankful for his leadership and great wisdom. He was able to provide practical and experiential advice about church planting and challenged us to think boldly about how we fund such initiatives. We left more thoughtful and more encouraged in the work God is doing in our midst.

As we anticipate Holy Week together, we invite you to intentionally join others in the events leading up to the incredible celebration of Easter. It is a story not to be missed and we hope you will bring others who have never grasped the amazing news of Christ’s resurrection!

If you have questions, concerns, words of wisdom or encouragement, please know that we are open to your feedback on all aspects of life together.

You can read an archive of past Wardens’ Reports on our website or Vestry Meeting minutes on CCB, under the ‘Files’ tab in the ‘Entire Church Group’

-Carolyn Weimer and Hannah Royal, Wardens

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