•Youth Minister Search. Filling this part-time position is a top priority; Elizabeth Shows Caffey and Kristin Houser have posted the job notice widely and have enlisted support from the Vestry and others in the congregation to spread the word. If you know of any interested candidates with a passion for youth and interest in this part-time position (most youth work takes place on evenings/weekends), please let Kristin know!
•Farewell and Godspeed to Rebecca Rice. Rebecca has served St. Luke’s for 44 years. We will miss her lively personality and loving care for our sanctuary!
•The Boiler is Here! The new twin boiler system will be both more reliable and more energy-efficient than its 60-year-old predecessor. The cost of the new boiler was $250,000. We used almost $50,000 from the sale of property in Coweta County (a bequest from a parishioner) along with a $200,000 loan to purchase the boiler. We will need to raise another $20,000+ in pledges and giving each year for the next ten years to pay back the loan.
•Reception Area Upgrade. The Memorial Gifts Committee completed a fabulous upgrade of the Reception Area outside the Parish Hall. Stop by to see a beautiful tribute to the Rev. Reynell Parkins as well as several historic, architectural drawings of our church buildings. The funding was provided by a specific memorial gift.
•Property Needs. The Property Committee prepared three lists outlining maintenance and upgrade needs for our buildings: Absolutely Necessary, Very Much Needed, and Nice to Have. We generally do not have funding for these items in the annual operating budget. We want everyone at St. Luke’s to understand that there is work needed to care for our beautiful, yet aging, buildings. The Vestry and Property Committee will have to determine when the projects can be performed and how we will pay for them.
•Evangelism Committee Report. Ann Kimsey reported that there is much energy surrounding evangelism, primarily with the success of the Invite-Welcome-Connect weekend program held in September 2018. Of the 110 registered participants for the entire weekend, 62 of them committed to work on specific evangelism-focused projects. Evangelism Committee priorities are: shepherding and supporting parishioners and groups as they seek to implement their Invite–Welcome–Connect projects, welcoming 132 (7% increase in current membership) new St. Luke’s members by lowering barriers and increasing opportunities to join the parish, and redesigning the welcome and assimilation processes by which newcomers engage with one another and existing members. Ann reminded us that we all need to reach out to family, friends, and co-workers to tell them why we love St. Luke’s and invite them to join us on Sundays or for other ministries offered by the church.
•Top of the List: Finances and Stewardship. Funding the church and its work is top of mind for the Vestry. With candid discussions, sharing of financial facts and complete transparency, we need to change the conversation and culture about discussing finances at our church. With a $200,000 loss last year, a stewardship campaign for 2019 that is still $300,000 short of last year’s campaign, and $350,000 in additional costs related to the rector transition still coming, we must try new strategies to fund our church and its mission.
The Vestry, along with the stewardship and finance committees, is committed to the change that must take place. You will see novel approaches, like our weekly attendance/giving/pledging reporting, our By the Numbers section at the Annual Meeting, and our recent list thanking those who have turned in their pledge cards so far. Talk to anyone on the Vestry if you have ideas about raising the support that St. Luke’s needs or if you would like to get involved on the Stewardship Committee. And, if you haven’t gotten your pledge card in, please do so ASAP or pledge online – we need pledges to finalize the budget, and we are way behind!
•Neighborhood Security Meeting. There will be a meeting about security and criminal activity in our neighborhood, including our campus, on February 7. St. Luke’s wardens, on-campus ministries staff, members of our Property Committee, and The Park board leaders all plan to attend. If you see any suspicious, criminal activity, call 911. The Atlanta Police Department is trained and equipped to help us curb illegal activity on or near our campus.