NOTES FROM THE 23 JANUARY PARISH COUNCIL PLANNING MEETING
Present: Fr. Ted, Mary Kay, Greg Coons, Kerrie Wiese, Joanna Newton, Brian Garber, Ann McLarnan, Bill Turri
Unaudited End of the Year 2015 Financial Report
The financial totals were almost identical to the 2014 totals and trends. The assets include all funds including monies already earmarked/ designated for projects. So some of those monies are already committed and not available for general expenses (for example $49,730 are earmarked for anticipated capital improvement and maintenance; $14,615 is in the Icon Fund; and $10,250 is for the Memorial Garden). Council reviewed the financial picture from 2015 and talked about the 2016 Pledge Campaign – totals were very similar to the 2015 totals. Council discussed parish life including what is working well in terms of the parish needs and where we still need more volunteers or need to improve parish efforts. Council will be looking at whether the community feels more building space is needed to serve the needs of the community. We have had some good success getting volunteers to serve as greeters, helping count monetary donations, getting volunteers in the church school. In the course of 2016, we hope to increase active Care ministry by parishioners for parishioners in need. Parish Council discussed holding an Icon exhibit this year as was successfully done a few years ago. Redoing the lighting in the nave of the church will be discussed. Educational events for parishioners will be planned through the year to help enrich the parish members.
Notes from the 15 February Parish Council Meeting
Present: Fr. Ted, Mary Kay Smith, Kerrie Wiese, Joanna Newton, Ann McLarnan, Bill Turri, Brian Garber
The January Financial Report was not yet available. Council discussed the new parish policy regarding charity collections in the parish. The goal of the policy is to help coordinate charity appeals and to make sure all appeals have been approved by the priest and parish council. Council discussed the Parish Facebook page and that posts are being monitored – inappropriate posts will be removed.
Parish Council discussed a “photo release” policy for using parish photos on the parish webpage or on the Facebook page. The parish is not using photo release forms, but acknowledges that members may take photos of parish events which will get posted on the webpage – these photos are important for inquirers seeking an Orthodox parish to see parish life. All members are reminded that photos of parish events may appear on the webpage. If you have any concerns about photos used to show parish life, do visit the webpage from time to time and look at the photos posted. If you are in a photo posted and you don’t want it to be on the web page, you can ask Fr. Ted, any Parish Council member or the webmaster (currently Ann McLarnan) to remove the photo and it will be removed. In general no names will be listed with any photo posted.
As part of the parish work to support pro-life efforts, the Elizabeth New Life Center Mobile Unit will be visiting our parish on Sunday, April 17. We will be learning about the work of the ENLC and this mobile unit which has an ultra sound.
Parish Council discussed the Zumba class which met as a social event for parish members. The class will be permitted to meet on occasion as a parish social event, but will not be meeting on a routine basis. We lack the proper facilities for a regular meeting as well as we don’t have the personnel to take care of the facilities for weekly meetings.
Parish Spring Cleaning date is Saturday, April 23.
The Parish is in need of people with sewing skills to repair the Christmas costumes as well as to make dresses to be used for the Myrrhbearing Girls. We also need some willing volunteers to take home the Christmas costumes to clean them. Please see Kerrie Wiese or Mary Kay Smith if you are willing to volunteer on these projects.
A father-son campout on the parish grounds is being considered as a social event. The surveys to help Parish Council discuss and plan for the use of the parish facilities as well as whether building expansion is needed will be given out to all present on Sunday.
The Parish Feast Day/ Annual Picnic is being planned for Tuesday, June 28. A Parish Icon Festival, similar to one done 6 years ago, is being considered for October of this year.
Notes from the 21 March Parish Council Meeting
Present: Fr. Ted, Mary Kay Smith, Kerrie Wiese, Joann Newton, Greg Coons, Bill Turri, Ann McLarnan, Brian Garber
January Financial Report
Income $ 23,370.88
Expenses $ 20,574.74
Budgeted $ 21,665.25
Council began its meeting by discussing long term goals taking a “big picture” approach to the parish and our property. A] Joanna Newton reported on the space planning survey which was conducted a few weeks ago. The results show that while the membership generally would be willing to financially support any building or expansion projects the parish undertook, there was not a strong sense that we needed to undertake such expansion at this time. Parishioners seem to believe we have enough worship and fellowship space, and were about evenly split about whether we need more classroom space at this time. Several members did comment that the nave of the church could be made to accommodate more people simply by removing some pews and having more space for standing only. B] Les Homan has announced his intention to retire from the landscaping work he has been doing on the property for the last many years. His work has greatly contributed to the beauty and usefulness of the property itself, recognized by parish members as well as by our non-member neighbors. Council discussed the need to oversee the use and development of the property, especially in light of several projects members have expressed an interest in (the memorial garden, a permanent “fire pit” for cook outs and bon fires, a playground for children). We need to carefully consider each idea for the use of the property as to how they might impact future growth and expansion of the parish. C] Council will pursue ideas of a master plan for the property beginning with an official title search to see if the county or township have any easements or plans for use of any portion of our property.
Council discussed our children going off our property and playing in the wooded portion of our neighbor’s property. Parents and children are advised to remain on our property and stay out of our neighbor’s woods. Council will look into finding a way to clearly mark our parish boundary – our building is right on the border with our neighbor as is the patio. All the area immediately to the west of our building and patio belong to our neighbor. We need to be good neighbors by staying on our property.
As part of the long term planning, Council discussed issues it might want to discuss with our Bishop Paul when he visits the parish November 4-6. These include the council’s role in working with the bishop for getting a new priest, when that time comes. This discussion includes the parish defining what is it that makes St. Paul’s to be the community it is. Council members were asked to each compose a page about what they each find important or appealing about our parish, and what things they would hope we would continue or improve as we move into the future.
April 23 from 9am-Noon is the Spring cleaning workday for the parish. Greg Coons is overseeing this project.
The Elizabeth New Life Center mobile unit will be visiting our parish on Sunday, April 17 to discuss the work they do for women and for crisis pregnancies.
The Parish Feast Day is being planned for Tuesday evening, June 28. We will extend invitations to the other area Orthodox parishes to join us as we honor our Patron St. Paul.
A social outing to the Dragon’s baseball game is being planned for Saturday, July 16 at 7pm. Details will be announced to the parish, but tickets do need to be paid for in advance. A maximum of 70 tickets will be available.
An Icon Festival, similar to one we sponsored several year ago is now planned for October 14-16. Mark Stokoe will be helping plan this event. Volunteer opportunities will be announced during the course of the summer. This event will be open to the public.