This past Sunday, January 27th, we held our 39th Annual Parish Meeting. An estimated 120 of you were in attendance. During the meeting we heard from our Junior and Senior Wardens about the past year’s activities and successes. We were also able to ratify our updated bylaws bringing us in line with Diocesan and National canons. We elected three new Vestry members: Sharon Moravits, Jerry Schaefer, and Bill Schernikau. Additionally, we had a positive financial report for the 2018 fiscal year as well as an encouraging outlook for 2019. (You can find the year-end and projected budgets in the February edition of the Messenger.)
I and others shared with you the results of our first year of the intentional evangelism initiative “Come and See”. Those results being that last year from February to December we had 81 visitors come through our doors (both individuals and families) and 44 of you have stuck around. That is an incredible statistic! Well done good and faithful servants! But, we have more work to do. You will be hearing from the Come and See Committee about more opportunities for ALL of us to be involved regarding evangelism at St. Theodore’s. As many of you have experienced, it IS as simple as saying, “Come and See” St. Theodore’s.
I also spoke about my intentions to further the opportunities for learning, worship, fellowship and growth. One of the ways we will do this is by hiring a part-time Family and Youth minister. Through a generous donation, we have been gifted $10,000.00 to help create this position. The vestry also made a commitment in our budget to support this position and fund the ministry. Those monies, along with the donation, will allow us to fund the position this year. It will be up to us to continue to support this vital ministry in our parish. Additionally, we have budgeted monies for Vacation Bible School to take place at St. Theodore’s this summer – something that hasn’t happened here for quite some time. I and your Vestry will be working in the coming months with families with children and youth to ensure that we hire someone who meets the needs of this community. It is my intention that by fall of this year we will be able to introduce this addition to our staff.
Other opportunities will include additional adult Christian formation opportunities on Sundays as well as weekday evenings. We will hold at least two “Newcomers” gatherings this year for all of those folks who have come to see and have come back. We will continue to explore ways to celebrate this place and its people. We will host some summer events that will offer worship, fellowship, and learning opportunities.
In all of these exciting opportunities what is needed is you. Without your leadership, without your support, without your attendance, we become less and the Body of Christ is incomplete. So, I hope these moments will offer you the chance to experience God’s love for us through his presence and in each other. These are all ways we can love our God and our neighbors.
Fr. Will +