by Danny Schweers, Vestry Member
When you assemble, let each one have a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
— 1 Corinthians 14:26
Our last vestry meeting was one of unending song, teachings, and of many revelations. Did some speak in tongues? If I could not make out what some said, it was because the audio broke up, because I am hard of hearing, and because others were genuinely inspired and their tongues could not keep up with their lightning thoughts.
Let me interpret what I did hear and, hopefully, edify you.
Annual Meeting, Sunday, June 14, 11:00 a.m.
At this last vestry meeting, several vestry members sang psalms about the upcoming annual meeting. This year we will gather by video conference call on Sunday, June 14, at 11:00 a.m. using the Zoom.us connection. Don’t have video? Use your phone! If you want to speak in tongues, please get someone to interpret.
At the annual meeting there will be revelations from our rector, senior warden, treasurer, and others. We will sing praises about those vestry members who are retiring — Jenna Christy, Norwood Coleman, Nana Soto, and Linda Whitehead.
Before the annual meeting, there will be an election of four new vestry members. Ballots will go out soon. Six nominees are willing to serve for the next three years: John Goodill, Pat Hampton, Sharon Leyhow, Mary Meese, Michelle Smith, and Wanda Smith. Their photos and bios will be shared by June 4 and voting will begin then.
All members in good standing will be able to vote over the Internet or, if you prefer to vote by mail, click here to ask for a ballot. After you get the ballot, mail it back. And, unlike voting over the Internet, votes by mail will be anonymous. We could not make the Internet ballot strictly private, but we can assure you that voting information will be kept confidential for the Internet vote. Ballots by email and by regular mail will be distributed soon.
Homecoming: The Church Re-Opened
On Monday, May 18, Governor Carney revealed a plan to allow churches to re-open in small ways. The vestry will be taking that and many other guidelines into account before we open the building for services. In particular, we will be reaching out to the many medical professionals who are members of SsAM for their advice and, of course, we welcome your advice. What actions might SsAM consider to make you feel safe and secure enough to attend church again? Let us know! While we would like to have one, big, happy, festival homecoming to celebrate the pandemic’s passing, a more realistic scenario is that the contagion will linger and that church gatherings will start with small groups practicing social distancing as we continue to have video conference calls and continue to offer on-line worship services.
Have you seen those on-line videos of Sunday services? They are now on YouTube as well as on Facebook. If you have a smart TV, perhaps you can watch YouTube (not the YouTubeTV Television Network) in the comfort of your living room like my wife and I did last Sunday.
David Christopher has become SsAM’s video production department. Using a tiny laptop, he has been putting video segments together into a coherent worship service. Some segments are of him playing organ or piano, sometimes with one solo singer. Other segments are of Father David behind the altar celebrating the eucharist and of readers at the lectern. In making these videos, there are usually only two or three people present at a time in the church. Thanks to God and an anonymous donor, the church will soon have a high-powered computer for video production, replacing the dinky laptop David Christopher has been using.
These worship videos are surprisingly effective. Please tune in this Sunday and see for yourself!
Connecting to Membership
SsAM’s Membership Development Committee has re-formed. In addition to updating its development plan of 2014, it will be reaching out to everyone in an effort to more closely connect members to the church. Do you remember our “Invite-Welcome-Connect” efforts over the past two years? This is part of the “Connect” effort.
New Bookkeeping Service, Money Management, Recent Income
SsAM is hiring a bookkeeping service for the short-term and, if they please us and the price is right, for the long-term. One bit of edification came from Junior Warden Peggy Shane. We were discussing the wisdom of having more than one person review the contract for bookkeeping. Peggy shared with us the Big Truck wisdom: you never know when a big truck is going to run you over, so make sure there is someone who knows what you know, so people are not left in the lurch if the Big Truck runs you over. (With this in mind, my wife and I are updating our wills. If you would like information about recognizing SsAM in your will, click here to send us an email.)
The new bookkeeping service is one part of an improved money-management plan for SsAM, not only to keep track of our money from week to week, but to make more timely decisions. For example, the vestry is now getting weekly reports on deposits to the bank, down 21% over the eight weeks from March 15 through May 14 compared to last year.
There are many ways to interpret this downturn: that people are not as able to give, that they are able to give but find it difficult without Sunday services, that they are giving their donations to charities that need it more, or one of a dozen other reasons. Whatever the reasons, this downturn is somewhat as expected. We thank God that, unlike so many businesses and non-profits, we have not yet dipped into our savings to cover operating expenses, most of which are salaries. We thank God so many of you are able to honor your pledges and pray you are not having to dip into your savings, and, more importantly, that you and yours continue to trust in God in all circumstances. Please pray for us on the vestry as well.
Hope to see you at the Annual Meeting!
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