St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church:
September 28, 2014
Reports to the Annual Meeting of 2014 will be posted in the order in which they are submitted, following the (unapproved) minutes from the previous year's annual meeting:
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
Minutes of Previous Year's Annual Meeting
St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church
22 September 2013
The Call to Order, Report of the Nominating Committee, and Call for Nominations from the Floor took place just before the start of the 10:00 a.m. service. Maureen Ghent, Senior Warden, read the slate of nominees. The meeting was re-convened at 11:30 a.m. in the parish hall when the elections took place. Forty adults and two children were in attendance. There was a break for lunch. At 12:00 p.m. the meeting continued. Prayer was offered and Father O’Flynn thanked the members of the Parish Life Commission who prepared the meal. Thunderous applause ensued.
Reporting on behalf of the Nominating Committee, Father O’Flynn read the slate of nominees. There was a motion to proceed with the election and the motion was seconded; the nominees were elected unanimously. The incoming vestry members will be Tom Brackett, Rick Geier, Kathy Jensen (for three-year terms), Jana Laxa (for a two-year unexpired term), and Anna-Marie Kuiper (for a one-year unexpired term). Continuing members will be Michael Clough, Maureen Fox, Nancy Heck, and Amy Jerome. Melissa Davies will serve as junior warden and Jerry Brown as senior warden. Nancy Schult continues as Treasurer and the Clerk continues as the Clerk.
There was a motion to dispense with the reading of the minutes; it was seconded. The minutes of the Annual Meeting on September 23, 2012 were approved as written.
Nancy Schult presented the Treasurer’s Report for 2013 (ytd) and the Balance Sheet comparing August 2012 with August 2013. She pointed out the significant aspects of each and was pleased to report that the parish is in good fiscal health.
Jerry Brown and Maureen Ghent had nothing to add to their written reports. In Maureen’s report she emphasized what a rewarding experience she had had as Senior Warden; she characterized the parish as “generous and productive” and she thanked everyone who had contributed to it during the past year. Jerry underscored his enthusiasm for the year ahead, concluding his written report with the statement “thank all of you for giving me the chance to be one of your wardens. I look forward to seeing where the Holy Spirit will lead us in the coming year.”
On behalf of the entire parish Father O’Flynn thanked Barbara Bartlett, Jane McKnight, Ed Sitts, and Lynn Staley (our outgoing vestry members) and Maureen Ghent (our outgoing senior warden) for their excellent service. Everyone applauded. He then highlighted various aspects of his extensive written report, mentioning, in particular, the new Donald L. Berry organ restoration fund. Noting how grateful the parish is for Wanda Warren Berry’s donation, which will fund phase 1 of the renovations, Father O’Flynn added that he is hoping that more renovation work can be undertaken in the future. Finally, he expressed his gratitude for the work that the Rev. Elizabeth Gillett has done in the parish over the past year. He announced that there would be a special prayer of blessing for her on September 29th in honor of her new status as interim pastor in Chittenango.
Budget & Finance: Jerry Brown (chair) reported that the parish’s investments and income have improved over the past year due, in part, to a healthier stock market. And also, he mentioned, the new diocesan fund managers are very good. He then commended the Audit Team (Ed Sitts, chair, with Karen Baase and Adger Williams) for their “wonderful presentation.” “The bottom line,” Jerry said, “is that we’re fine.” Other hard-working members of the Budget & Finance Commission are Liz Brackett, Maureen Ghent, Nancy Schult, Deede Van Der Mandele, and Ed Vantine.
Buildings & Grounds: Ed Page (chair) explained that he had submitted a lengthy report for the sake of completeness. “We have a lot of work ahead of us that needs to be done,” Ed commented. He then explained that the sexton’s current schedule (twelve hours/week, all that is allowed Kevin Roberson, given his work status) is proving insufficient to maintain the property. Consequently, Ed has been putting in many hours of work in the garden and on tasks related to our parish buildings. He commented that he appreciated the support that B & G has been given by the rector and vestry, and that a physical walk-around is coming up soon. Father O’Flynn added that Ed and Barbara Page have done an incredible amount of work already, and that he and the vestry have been listening attentively to their interim reports. Moreover, the vestry has approved the idea submitted by Ed and Barbara to start a parish Wish List that will be overseen by the members of the vestry. The Memorial Garden, thanks to many persons (and especially Lynn Staley) continues to flourish. Lastly, Ed thanked the many persons who have helped with B & G issues, great and small.
Music and Worship: Father O’Flynn announced that the Music and Worship commissions had combined their written reports this year. He and the others attending the Annual Meeting were thrilled at the “amazing series of musicians” that Dianne had brought into the services over the summer. Father O’Flynn offered thanks, once again, to Christian Clough for his willingness to play the organ on his visits to Hamilton. Father O’Flynn reviewed the many special worship services, together with the more predictable seasonal liturgies, that had occurred during the past twelve months. (All are described and discussed carefully by Dianne Adams McDowell in her thorough report.) He mentioned that incense has been added to some services. There was a round of applause for the Music and Worship Commissions and all who make liturgical events “happen,” whether on special occasions or during our normal weekly worship services.
Acolytes: Reporting on behalf of Debbie Barker, Father O’Flynn reviewed the significant aspects of Debbie’s update.
Altar Guild: Mea Martineau, our “eternal” Altar Guild Directress, was pleased to announce that the Guild has had two new recruits (the Eggingtons), in addition to Susan B. Truworthy. Barbara Page now shares linen maintenance with Bev McKay. The Altar Guild welcomes volunteers for the annual “polishing parties” just before Christmas and Easter. Those joining Mea are Judy Brown, Wynn and Everett Eggington, Marlene Houck, Bev McKay, Barbara Page, June Schaupp, Susan B. Truworthy.
Flower Guild: Deede Van Der Mandle noted that the members of the Flower Guild are continually busy and they are always interested in welcoming new members. Those to be thanked for their lovely work during the last year include our regulars (Deede and Jana Laxa (chair), Rose Novak, Jane McKnight, Liz Brackett, and Barbara Frost) who are assisted, on various occasions, by Jim and Joan Ford, Gina Sakal, Maureen Fox, Ed Page, and various family members of the Guild and their associates.
Parish Life: The parishioners again (wildly) applauded the amazing work carried out by Parish Life. Nan Schmitt (chair) stated that they had a particularly interesting time supporting the activities of the Anglican Hour, which scheduled some cooking classes for Colgate students. Other notable moments included the party to honor Dianne Adams McDowell and the reception following the requiem service for Donald L. Berry. As might be expected Parish Life requires a large group of supporters that includes Nan along with Barbara Bartlett, Millie Franklin, Janice Frutiger, Marlene Houck, Mea Martineau, and Gina Sakal, assisted on select occasions by Amy Jerome and Deb Radford.
Stewardship: Nancy Heck (chair) announced that Pledge Sunday will be November 17th. The number of pledge units remains stable, as does the income of the parish. The commission is pleased to include Marcia Sitts, Liz Brackett, John Novak, Nancy Schult, and Tom Brackett.
Youth Group: Father O’Flynn, reporting for Debbie Barker, was pleased with the “incredible” range of activities that had been planned for the Youth Group during the past year. He talked about the success of the group’s KIVA account and stated that he hoped that the young people might be encouraged to raise additional funds for that project.
Outreach: Judy Fischer (chair) reported that the group are supporting seven different groups this year. Father O’Flynn added that the local Interfaith Group has come together this year to generate even more energy for Outreach activities. He named last summer’s special picnic for migrant workers as an example of one such place where combined efforts had resulted in a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The commission is pleased to include Maureen Fox, Jana Laxa, Liz Brackett, and Fr. O’Flynn.
Action Items: There were no items to present.
Discussion Items: There were no items to present.
Necrology: Those at the meeting remembered Donald Berry and Richard Conant with prayer.
There was a motion to adjourn and it was seconded. The meeting ended at 12:35 p.m. and the room was filled immediately with animated chatter. Many lingered in the parish hall to talk more about the many blessings that the parish had enjoyed during the previous year and, of course, to begin making plans for the year to come.
Reports to the 2014 Meeting:
The Teen/Pre-teen Group met for three sessions in total. Debbie and Father O'Flynn taught in the fall, followed by Amy Jerome and Nancy Schult. Rick Geier and Father O'Flynn rounded out the year. Some of the curriculum was geared toward the preparation of confirmation for Kevin, Geordi and Kristen. However, due to an unplanned illness, the Bishop was unavailable for the planned confirmation date. The three teens were ready to be presented and one (Geordi Geier) was confirmed on May 29 at a District ceremony in Sherrill, while two others (Kevin Schult and Kristen Meadows) will be presented at St. Thomas' when the Bishop visits on All Saints' Sunday The other younger kids also participated with reasonably good attention.
Beginning in the Spring, Father O'Flynn started to think about re-introducing a curriculum into the younger grades of the Sunday School program. The gravitation of children towards the nursery led to this consideration. He heard about a program, Godly Play, that was going on at St. James, Clinton. Following some conversations with Deacon Nick and others, he felt that it would be a good program to bring to St. Thomas. During the Spring/Summer, Lara Scott was hired to begin leading the Godly Play classroom in September, and with much enthusiasm started planning the instruction.
Parish Life Commission 2014
The Parish Life Commission organizes, oversees and provides food and beverages for special events and coffee hours throughout the year including baptism and funeral receptions.
The following is a list of events we hosted this past year:
Annual Meeting Luncheon, Sunday, September 22, 2013, 11:30 AM, Parish House.
Served lasagna, eggplant parmesan, garlic knots and house salad (prepared by VJ’s Restaurant), cookies, and beverages.
All Saints’ Sunday and Baptism (Eden Gwen Hubbard), November 3, 2013, 11:30 AM, Parish House. Provided and served devilled eggs, taco salad, salami & cream cheese, cheeseball, cheese & crackers, and beverages. Cake & cupcakes prepared by Sharon Stevens.
12th Night Christmas/pre-Epiphany Brunch, Sunday, January 5, 2014, 11:30 AM, Parish House. Provided and served a large variety of food, including, quiche, French toast casserole, egg casserole, fruit & dip, cheese & crackers, beverages, and Sharon Stevens’ special King’s cake. Music & games were also part of the festive mix.
Bishop’s Visitation Luncheon, Sunday, March 30, 2014, 11:30 AM, Parish House. Provided and served sausage rolls, cheeseball, cheese & crackers, hot cheese dip & pumpernickel, taco dip, devilled eggs, fruit, veggies, little hotdogs in chili sauce, and beverages, including a punch. Unfortunately, the bishop was ill and couldn’t make it; but we ate well anyways!
Pentecost Sunday Luncheon, Sunday, May 18, 2014, 11:30 AM, Parish House. Provided and served taco salads (one with meat and one without), fruit tart, grape salsa & lime chips, sausage rolls, cheese & crackers, half-moon cookies and beverages.
Annual Parish Picnic, Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:30 AM, Parish House. Served Holy Smokes pulled pork & bbq chicken with sauce, rolls (Sherburne Big M), salads & desserts (provided by parishioners), and beverages. Parishioners also helped with set up and clean up.
Thank you to all our members and to those who just pitch in to help when needed. We are definitely not an exclusive group, so if any of you would like to join us, we would love to have you!
Nan Schmitt, Chair