From the Vestry Room
By Liz Kerner-Wyse, Senior Warden
As we don’t have too many visitors to our Vestry meetings- although you are always invited- you might not know we start our meetings with a prayer, of course, and then 20-30 min of Formation. It is uncanny how often our Bible study directly relates to our discussions for the month.
This month we finished the short book of Jonah. Jonah is so much like all of us I think: determined that God will punish those he thinks should be punished and generally acting like a petulant child when things don’t go his way. But God reminds him that He cares for all – even those that don’t know their left hand from their right. As a Vestry, it is easy to get caught up in all the details and feel like we must be in charge- or responsible- for everything happening in our church. We forget to take a step back and let God be in control and look for the joy that surrounds us. We don’t know God’s plan for us individually or as a church. (Although, I for one would not mind making some recommendations to Him on how I would like life to go!) We just have to trust that we will be nudged when we get off the path God has set out for us.
So I would like to share all the wonderful ways I see our church living into its mission.
- The Way has 32 seeking explorers of Christianity.
- New Baptism and Confirmation classes are up and running- this means new Christians are being nurtured.
- About a dozen children participated in their first informed communion, and as Mtr Erin commented in her sermon, watching their faces was seeing the face of Jesus.
- Sunday formation classes, children and adult, are thriving.
- We donated time, money and food to feed over 400 people at Austin Street Center and to provide turkeys and monetary donations for Voice of Hope.
- 250 angels were adopted off the Angel tree and our food pantry angels were all snapped up as well.
- We have 46 new pledges for stewardship and 187 folks increased their pledge amounts.
We aren’t quite to the stewardship totals we hope for, but overall the news is still good and signs point to the good health of our parish.
We do pray that everyone who pledged for 2107 will fulfill their pledge so we don’t end with a deficit. We wait in joyful expectation that those who have fallen behind will be able to contribute. And if they cannot due to changes in life, we pray heartily for strength and forbearance for them.
Lastly, serving with the amazing parishioners who constitute our Vestry, as well as our clerk, treasurer and chancellor, has been a gift. This talented group gives generously of their time and many talents to keep the secular side of our church, and our huge plant, running smoothly. They care deeply for The Fig and all our members. When you see a Vestry member at church, take a moment to thank them for their service.
George Bienfang retired from Vestry service due to worsening hearing issues. His counsel and experience will be sorely missed and we thank him for his work and dedication this year. His remaining two year term will be filled by Bart Stockton, who came in on a high note by sharing his evangelism efforts this past month.