Finally the doldrums of late summer have left, folks are home from their many and varied vacations and the church is humming with activity. Your Vestry continued its work during the summer, but there is more of a sense of energy and momentum when our meetings are full.
All three committees remain hard at work, pursuing the Vestry goals that are their purview. Probably the most conversation has been around changes in Vestry selection. After intense communication efforts to educate the parish, the process is underway. The openly selected, and mostly self nominated, Nominating committee is well into interviews of those who have self nominated. They will have the hard task of aligning great candidates with talent and experience needs for the next vestry class. Once the selection is completed and approval of the slate (and elections for Diocesan Convention delegates) is concluded, the next process will be formalizing a path to leadership. Obviously this won’t be the same for everyone, as some future leaders will come with many years of experience and parish exposure to committees and ministries. But for those new to this, this will be a wonderful way to become integrated into the work of guiding the parish and hopefully to serving on the vestry at some point. Of course, this is all a work in progress and one thing I am certain, is that changes to the process will be made.
The budget committee is already looking at a proposed budget for 2018. Finalizing this will have to wait on results from stewardship campaign. Our hope is that the value of pledging came across during the last month, especially from all our great presenters. We budget on a zero sum basis- meaning we use pledges as the revenue amount we have to spend for 2018, then try to make the expenses all fit into this number. To keep everything as it is this year, with no staff raises and no hiring and no reduction in programs or maintenance, we will need around 1.8 million in pledges. The last two years, pledge revenue and loose plate offerings have been right at 1.7 million.
Financially we are Ok, but not as good as we would like to be at this point. Expenses (thanks to our great staff) are right on target, but pledge revenue is running about 20,000 below expected numbers for this time of year. Fr Casey has asked the staff to hold on any non essential spending for the remainder of the year, pending out next month or so of revenue. If money starts to come in, then staff will be able to do more. We hope that those in the parish who have pledged, and maybe gotten a little behind, will catch up so we can end the year in the black. And of course, we really hope that pledging for 2018 will come through so staffing and programs can remain untouched.
- PES parents are very happy with the new signage and walkways into the school. It has certainly spruced up the front.
- The Glennon Doyle events were hugely successful with 125 city leaders attending a luncheon about leadership and compassion, and 700 people in attendance at her evening lecture at FUMC Dallas.
- The Way class has 32 new wayfinders- a clear indication that as a church we are doing the work we promised at our Baptism.
- Formation classes have the highest numbers enrolled, both kids and adults.
- Participation in Gulf Coast recovery efforts is growing , with more signing up for the November and Deccember trips.
- As always, parishioners are always welcome to attend a vestry meeting. All vestry members are happy to answer any questions.
-Liz Kerner, Senior Warden