sparks from Kate Kelley

I went to church last Sunday, after helping shovel the snow from our 40 steps.I worried how many people would be able to struggle through the snowstorm to church. As the Annual Parish Meeting would be right after the service, I was worried about attendance. Would we even have a quorum (25 people)?

I shouldn't have worried. Nearly 60 people attended the meeting, with at least a dozen children and teens in the Lichtenberger Room.For me, the day felt like a reawakening and a recommitment to St Paul's.

As most people know, the vestry has had to make difficult decisions in light of the fall in value of our endowment, like nearly everyone's savings. That fact has forced some significant changes on us at St Paul's, which you can read about in the parish report on the website.

But I feel like we have hit our nadir and are now on our way up:

  • A brunch was advertised for the meeting; instead we were treated to a great lunch of chili, cornbread, salad, plus dessert, in true St Paul's tradition!
  • Several people stood up and testified about how important St Paul's is to them and invited us to commit ourselves more to Christ and St Paul's mission and community at this time of transition.
  • The Search Committee reported that there is a shortlist of excellent candidates (13). How often do you have a shortlist in the teens for a job?
  • Andy Clarkson, our music director, is already planning some exciting musical possibilities stretching throughout 2009.
  • The three-year Capital Campaign, planning to reach its goal by the end of 2010, has already received almost half of the donations by the end of 2008, the first year.
  • The fall in value of our endowment happened before we had started the reconstruction projects so fiscally responsible building plan reductions could be made.
  • The rectory will still be upgraded and turned into two apartments, and necessary improvements will still be made to the Sunday school areas, parish hall, and kitchen.

So I choose to look at our situation as more than making lemonade out of lemons, but rather, creating our own version of the miracle of the loaves and fishes.

Come join us to make it happen!

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