•Invite-Welcome-Connect. There was terrific energy in the Parish Hall on September 8-9 as 140 parishioners gathered for this program. The Vestry expressed appreciation for all of the planning and preparation for this program by the Rector, Mark Simmons, and other staff members. We heard stories about other growth-oriented Episcopal churches and generated ideas and next steps to help St. Luke’s grow. One result of our work was the creation of the collect that has been added to the Prayers of the People offered on Sunday mornings. Also, based on parishioners’ preferences, teams have been formed to work on projects such as re-thinking the location of coffee hour, using nametags at services, and creating a small group dinner-study program. We look forward to our follow-up session on October 28.
•Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Atlanta visit. Presented by Day 1 on September 17, Bishop Curry spoke on “We Need Some Witnesses to the Way of Jesus!”, a stirring message on the Jesus Movement and how we can play a role in reviving the mainline churches to follow the Way of Jesus today. His remarks are available at www.Day1.org in the Latest Day1 TV section.
•Wednesday Bible Study. This 15-person study group has resumed for the program year and has become a real community, with many gathering for lunch following the 11 a.m. class every Wednesday. The group is studying Isaiah; new members are welcome!
•Elevator. The elevator is out of service. Funds for the repair will come from the loan obtained to replace the boiler; this loan will be paid back with interest out of annual operating (pledge-supported) funds. In the future, projects like this one would ideally be funded out of pledge-supported Church reserves.
•Stewardship. The 2019 stewardship theme is “Living Simply, Loving Generously,” and priorities include helping parishioners understand how all of our financial contributions have a real and positive impact on our church and in our community, as well as the spiritual aspect of giving. The campaign runs from September 30 through October 21 when we’ll celebrate St. Luke’s Day by returning our pledge cards at Sunday morning services and attending Evensong at the church in the evening. Vestry members will join with other parishioners in writing notes to church members on October 7, pondering the questions, “What is enough?” and “What matters?”. C.J. Cash and Russell Currey, Vestry liaisons to the 9-person Stewardship Committee, also noted that whereas our parishioners’ giving levels remain fairly constant, our expenses are rising in large part due to maintenance of our beautiful yet aging buildings.
•Summer Schedule Survey. A survey requesting parishioners’ preferences for summer worship times is available for completion. Every active St. Luke’s parishioner should take the opportunity to voice preferences for summer worship. Please complete the survey before September 30 (available online on the St. Luke’s homepage).
•Evangelism Program. “Invite-Welcome-Connect” will be held at St. Luke’s on September 8-9. Parishioners will hear stories from other growth-oriented Episcopal churches and generate ideas and next steps to help St. Luke’s grow.
•Space for The Ansley School. The Vestry approved a resolution to provide space to The Ansley School for both teaching and administrative purposes.
•Christian Education Report. Susanna Roberts and Drew Vann reported that Rally Day is scheduled for September 9 and will mark the start of Adult Christian Education as well as Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministries programming for the church program year. Elizabeth Shows Caffey (associate priest for Christian Education) has prepared a full calendar of Adult Education classes (information is available on the church website). Kristin Houser (f.k.a. Lennon, director of children, youth, and family ministries) has been busy preparing for this year including:
•HVAC/Boiler. The boiler project is moving forward. The Vestry approved a plan to borrow funds for the project. The boiler loan will be paid back with interest out of annual operating (pledge-supported) funds. In the future, projects like this one would ideally be funded out of pledge-supported Church reserves
Business items from the June Vestry meeting:
Business items from the May Vestry meeting:
• Youth/Children’s Ministries. Parents of youth gathered at the home of Scott and Leslie Inman for a casual event to get to know Kristin Lennon (new Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries) and share ideas for the coming year with her and The Rev. Elizabeth Shows Caffey. Kristin and Elizabeth are working very closely together and are making plans to hire an additional part-time person to complete the team.
• Evangelism Program. St. Luke’s plans to initiate a national Episcopal program titled “Invite/Welcome/Connect” to bolster our evangelism efforts. Information on this program will be shared in the coming months.
• Shakespeare Tavern Summer Camp. A delay in the renovations at the Shakespeare Tavern has resulted in lack of space to host their annual summer camps, so St. Luke’s has offered to host this program for about 15 children.
• Capital Expense. We need to replace our 60-year-old boiler system that has reached the end of its useful life. It was rebuilt in 1999, but this time we need to replace it with a new system. The new twin boiler system will be both more reliable and more energy-efficient. The 2018 operating budget, which is based primarily on pledges from the congregation, does not have sufficient funds to pay for the $250,000 cost of the boiler. $95,000 of the cost will be covered by the proceeds of the recent sale of property in Coweta County (a bequest from a parishioner). The Finance Committee is considering options for funding the $155,000 balance. This project will take place later this summer.
• Property Committee Report. Neil Schemm reported on the work of this active, 24-person committee chaired by Bobby Mays. The report outlined projected short-term and long-term repairs and capital expenditures that are not currently funded from the church’s operating budget. Neil noted that we are blessed to have our beautiful church and related buildings but that the buildings range in age from 60-112 years old and therefore require continuous repairs and capital improvements.
Business items from the March and April Vestry meetings:
•Budget The Vestry passed a balanced budget. One of our objectives for 2018 was to pass an operating budget that lives within the means provided to the church by pledges and gifts, real estate revenue (parking lots and sign shop rental), and endowment draw. With changes that took place in financial operations, the movement to three priests, and a sharp focus on all church expenses, the 2018 budget accomplishes that. There are several items that we all should note:
•New Member Communications New members will be introduced to the congregation by including photos/profiles in the Shepherd’s Voice.
•Youth/Children’s Ministries Youth and Children’s Ministries are a top focus for St. Luke’s. The Vestry
fully supports Kristin Lennon and Elizabeth Shows Caffey as they craft their plan for this essential work. Once Kristin has had time to assess the current program, she and Elizabeth will hire an additional person to complete the team.
•Administrative Support for The Rev. Horace Griffin and The Rev. Elizabeth Shows Caffey. Given the change in clergy duties prompted by the movement to three priests, existing church staffing has been reconfigured to provide administrative support for Horace and Elizabeth.
•Martin Luther King, Jr. Vigil Service The Vestry commended Dan and clergy/staff on crafting this very meaningful service that was attended by 225 people; the spirit was palpable!
Welcome to the Vestry Corner! The Vestry Corner is a new monthly feature of the Shepherd’s Voice to provide the congregation a window into the Vestry’s work on its behalf and a way for the Vestry to advance important topics of interest.
This year’s Vestry added C.J. Cash, Sara Kennedy, Neil Schemm and Drew Vann to returning members Pat Brumbaugh, Russell Currey, Scott Inman, Ann Kimsey, Richard Lee, Sue McAvoy, Carolle Perkins and Susanna Roberts. Cap Putt - Finance Chair, Robert Long - Chancellor and Mignon Crawford - Treasurer also serve as non-voting Vestry members. Our Rector leads the Vestry.
The Vestry kicked off 2018 with a retreat designed to welcome and “onboard” new members and prepare the Vestry to work as a team to do the work of the Church. Priorities for 2018 include refreshing the 2013 Our Journey Forward strategic plan to target the most relevant items for 2018/2019 and opening new channels of communication among the parish, Vestry, clergy and staff to keep us all update and engaged on important Church news and business.
Business items from the February Vestry meeting: