SENIOR WARDEN ANNUAL REPORT
In my fall report I commented on the challenges and opportunities we face for the coming year. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail, but first I would like to reflect on all we have accomplished this past year.
All that we have accomplished could not have been done without the generous contribution of time and talent by St. Aidan’s parishioners. I won’t try to name all of you, but will highlight contributions that, while sometimes overlooked, are key to our community. Planning and organization of potlucks such as today’s, office volunteers, spring and fall clean-ups, the fall fair, Christian formation, our music program, ministry fair, outreach to the homeless, and Seton
Youth Shelters support are a few of the many contributions. Finally, all who worked hard to make the Preserving our Heritage initiative come to fruition and all those who have pledged their support leave me excited about our future. I am very grateful for all you have done.
This past year I was especially proud of the EYC members who went to West Virginia to help those in need. I am sure there were other activities they could have done in lieu of volunteering, but to give their time and effort to those in need leaves me with a renewed confidence in our younger generation and all they offer our community. Of course, none of this could have been accomplished without their adult sponsors also generously contributing time and effort and support from the parish.
I now turn to challenges and opportunities. As previously reported, we began the year with a deficit budget, in hopes that we could make up the difference as the year went by. This decision was based on the important objectives and programs of the parish, many I have just noted. However, despite closely adhering to the budget and good stewardship by staff and vestry, we have not been able to make up this deficit. I am asking that those who can please consider contributing to this deficit reduction.
Our budget situation also reflects a larger trend in St. Aidan’s finances. For example, in 2010 our pledges were nearly $250,000; this past year pledges were $221,000. If this trend continues we face major challenges with respect to our mission, ministry, and even viability. I recommend reconstituting the Mission and Vision Committee with the charge of updating and rethinking the original report completed in 2012. St. Aidan’s position as a neighborhood church, coupled with what we know about the extent to which citizens in our area are “unchurched” and the declining membership in mainstream churches need to be addressed if we hope to sustain the vitality of our parish. I am hoping this can be completed by June.
The importance of our mission and ministry and the success of the Preserving our Heritage campaign gives me confidence that we can work together to address these challenges.