A lot has happened since our last Warden report in November! We have spent countless hours together preparing and beautifying our new worship space in the Chapel, 716 S. Glebe Road, moving into it just in time for Advent. Our Bishop joined us in December to receive confirmands and to install Liz as our first Rector, making us a fully independent parish.
Whew! Then we celebrated Christmas together and launched a regular cadence of small groups in January and February, punctuated by two weddings. We transitioned our giving and finances to a new system. And no sooner had we said ‘hello!’ to Baby Cole, we said goodbye to our beloved Morgan as he and Ashley begin their adventure of planting a new church in the Franconia-Springfield area.
What has your Vestry been doing meanwhile? Read on for the facts! We met on 1/27, and again on 2/24. Each time, we shared a meal together then focused in prayer on one staff member: for January it was Morgan; for February, Josie.
After several months of careful line-by-line consideration, we approved the Bylaws which is our operational framework: how to handle leadership transitions, finances, conflicts of interest, and such. (Imagine our excitement as we all voted In Favor!). Members can log on and view the Bylaws here, as well as the Minutes from Vestry meetings, once they are approved. Another important document approved in February was the Staff Handbook. We tried to test these documents with various scenarios to make sure they will serve us well—but of course they can be amended if the need arises.
We’ve also begun discussing future changes- for example, given the size of our lovely chapel, when will we need to move to two services? The metric we arrived at is if our weekly attendance begins averaging 70 people, we will begin planning so that we have an executable plan by the time we reach 75. Realistically, this is unlikely to be before September, given that summer attendance is more sporadic. So, if you are strongly in favor of two services, we suggest you begin inviting all of your friends to church now!
And, we are officially looking for someone who can serve as a paid intern, to help fill part of the Morgan-sized gap, and also to give someone a chance to be a part of this church plant’s early stage. If you know somebody who would be a good complement to our current staff, perhaps someone who is interested in church planting themselves long-term or is a Seminarian, please put them in touch with Liz (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally and importantly, we continue to be blessed with a financial surplus- as a Vestry we are thankful for the generosity of our congregation and others who have helped us have such a great start. As stewards of that abundance, Incarnation purposes to tithe (at minimum) from our budget to local and global outreach. The Outreach Team, led by Amy, is developing some ideas on how we can do this in a strategic way- be looking for more from them soon as we prepare for our Easter offering.
We are deeply thankful for this church family and the privilege of serving as your Wardens. As we walk together through this Lenten season, please join us in praying that we would as a community lay aside anything that hinders us from our discipleship after Jesus.
Faithfully and joyfully,
Eric and Nancy, IAC Wardens