Our Vestry met on Wednesday, January 18th for its monthly meeting. The minutes for the meeting will be filed and available for your review. We received the Treasurer’s reports which included the status of finances for 2016. Pending final closing numbers, I’m happy to report that we ended the year with a positive net income. Our pledge collection rate for 2016 was 102%. Thanks be to God and to all of you for your dedication to Trinity last year!
Now- on to 2017. Those of you who were at the congregational meeting on January 22 heard that we have not yet reached our goal of full participation of all members in 2017 pledges. While we certainly understand that not everybody can make the regional average annual pledge of approximately $3,000, it is the belief and prayer of Vestry that every Trinity member will make a pledge of whatever amount you can. If it is your practice to put your contribution in the plate each Sunday, please consider estimating what that will be over the year and make that your pledge. As I have said before, Vestry can only make plans for the year based on the pledges of support that you all give. And of course, for the many of you who have already pledged, thank you!
Vestry approved the 2017 budget. It, too, was presented at our Congregational update on the 22nd. Carol’s presentation was outstanding- she is clearly a Power Point guru. If you were there, you saw (after the 2016 budget flew away- you had to be there!) that the 2017 budget is balanced. However, I’ll point out that it’s a bit of creative math that allows us to present a balanced budget. The finance committee does an excellent job working the numbers, but I want you all to know that the usual expense line that takes a hit when we increase spending is the group that makes up the Buildings and Grounds expenses. The result is that some needed repairs may get delayed or cancelled pending unexpected adjustments to income such as special gifts. So here I go again... Vestry needs your support- your Presence, your Participation and your Pledge. Please speak to any of us if there is something we should be doing that we are not now or if you just have some ideas that you want to discuss.
Vestry spent a good deal of time at the meeting discussing our goals and priorities for Trinity in 2017. Rob led us in a review of the Vestry Resource Guide particularly focusing on discernment of our mission and ministries and how we can develop them this year. As I described briefly at the congregational meeting on January 22, we are focusing on four primary areas- Stewardship, Christian Education, Outreach and Congregational Growth. And as Rob summarized, our overarching goal for the year is to identify and develop new leadership that will help support our current and future life and ministries at Trinity Upperville. You will be hearing and seeing more about this in the coming months.
Our Buildings and Grounds committee reported on recent accomplishments and future recommendations. Of note, in case you have not noticed, the outdoor lights on Cox Hall, Peard House and the Sanctuary are now on timers. The lights are set to come on at 5:30 PM and turn off at 10PM. Minor repairs to the Sanctuary thermostat were completed that will hopefully allow us to keep the building a bit warmer. The Cottage and the Gulick house have both been leased for the year. The Gutters have been cleaned and various improvements have been made to our IT infrastructure that will help all of our church programs.
We heard from the Stable Tour committee which continues to move forward with their planning. They have approved the design for this year’s poster and they have a growing list of farms that we will offer to our participants. We hope that you will join us for this year’s Tour as a Steward, a volunteer, an observer or all of the above! This is an important undertaking in the life of Trinity that will require as many of us who are able to pitch in to help make is a success.
Finally, when I wrote this note last year, we had just experienced Snowmageddon 2016... 34” at our house! Yes, winter is not over and maybe I just jinxed us, but my how things have gone differently this year. Isn’t it wonderful how God’s creation and beauty can been seen every day no matter what type of weather He brings our way? I hope and pray you all have a great February- we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.