Saturday, January 29, 2011

Annual Report Part 5

As I mentioned in my last post, “Annual Report Part 4,” the senior warden’s report will be distributed at tomorrow’s annual meeting. John Adams’ report is remarkably devoid of usable insight. According to Adams, St. Paul’s is an “amazing church” with a parish secretary with a “radiant smile,” a rector who “has moved our new Vision and Mission for St. Paul’s from a goal to reality,” an assistant rector whose ministries “have invigorated parishioners, young and old,” and on and on. In other words, all’s for the best in this best of all possible worlds that is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. This Panglossian view can be read below.

Senior Warden’s Annual Report

After many years of worshiping and currently serving on the Vestry and as the Senior Warden, I have come to appreciate that St. Paul’s an amazing church for all its blessings. This became more apparent to me when recently during our stewardship campaign a parish family informed me that they were going to increase their pledge because St. Paul’s for many years has been there for them and during these difficult times they want to be there for St. Paul’s. I thought to myself this is just one example of the many blessings we experience daily at St. Paul’s.

The moment you enter the church office you are greeted by the radiant smile of Dorothy Conway, our Parish Secretary. What would we do without her? We could not be blessed with a more dedicated clergy staff that spans many generations and fills our hearts and minds with the love of Christ.

It has been a privilege to work with our rector Lou Hays. Lou has moved our new Vision and Mission for St. Paul’s from a goal to a reality. Kris Opat’s ministries from Cornerstone to Blessing of the Pets have invigorated parishioners, young and old. His launch of the new Sunday evening service Refuge at St. Paul’s has introduced us to a new multi-sensory worship experience, inviting to all.

Mable Fanguy, Assistant Rector for Pastoral Care, provides spiritual care to parishioners in times of need. She and Lisa Brown have started a new ministry to support families who have children with special needs. Deacon Sandy Ritchie travels to hospitals, healthcare facilities and homes to visit the ill and elderly. Sandy is responsible for developing our dedicated team of Stephen Ministers.

Father John Thomas is always there for you when you need him and to provide “food for the journey.” We have been blessed for many years with the ministry of Canon Richard Davies. God Bless Richard in his retirement.

We are blessed with the tireless dedication of Steven Hill, Lisa Brown, Rini and Dave Choura, the Sunday School teachers, the Confirmation teachers, and the mission trip chaperones who teach our children and youth Christian values and Episcopal traditions. Thank you Lisa for getting the word out on all the happenings.

At the direction of Doug Starr, our worship services come alive with the sights and sounds of beautiful music of the Chancel Choir and instrumentalists. Music for all tastes from guitars and drums at the 8:45 liturgy to traditional hymns and organ music at the 10:30 liturgy fills the Sanctuary. Praise be to God, the Canterbury Children’s Choir is back, thanks to our new Music Assistant, Bryan Sable.

Following worship services parishioners transitioning to the Parish Hall are greeted with a welcoming table filled with donuts, bagels, cookies and endless cups of coffee served with grace by Karen Viggiano, Pat McKeone, and Pat Rapp. Coffee Hour at St. Paul’s is a time for greeting friends and making new ones.

The spirit of fellowship is the heart of St. Paul’s. We are blessed with parishioners who spend many hours preparing meals and planning programs. The Episcopal Church Women, Altar Guild, Cotillion, and all the women’s groups continue the traditions of service and ministry that we love.
Our Outreach ministry stretches from just outside our doorstep in Mt. Lebanon to across the ocean in Africa, reaching out to those in need. New ministries have started with the formation of small group ministries, Education for Ministry (EFM), and adult formations.

All the above blessings are shepherded by the leadership of our clergy team and staff, not to say the least by the Vestry and the Vestry Executive Committee of Carl Kylander, Pat Egon Stafford, and Bob Johnston. Bob Johnston, treasurer, and Valerie DeMarco, Financial Administrator, have done a masterful job in developing our mission budget. Bob and Valerie have worked long and hard to maintain the Church’s financial structure during these difficult times. The physical structure of the Church is strong due to the diverse skills and ingenuity of our sexton Vlad, Junior Warden Carl Kylander, and Junior Warden in “reserve” Jim Frantz.

I am extremely proud of the contributions made by my fellow Vestry members to the many ministries of St. Paul’s. They have worked hard and prayerfully in making some difficult decisions this past year. You are a blessed group, and thank you.

How many ways can we count our blessings at St. Paul’s? Just take a moment and reflect on what St. Paul’s means to you. It means a lot to me, and I am thankful for it and for all those who make it an amazing place.

God Bless,
John M. Adams

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