Vestry Discussions; Funding

After discussion between rector, wardens, and Peter, decision was made to outline the entire scope of the project for the vestry, the legal ruling entity of the church. Peter did an excellent job of breaking down the various components of the project. Each component included a range of estimates and order of completion.

Information on the proposed renovation was first presented to the vestry in the spring (2018) The initial briefing was an informational briefing only, allowing everyone to consider the entirety of the project, cost, and impact on the church. No vestry decision was required at this stage. Two major recommendations came from the vestry discussions. One recommendation was that the work on the nave be done with minimal impact/disruption of services. After consideration of this factor, the consensus was that work in the nave be done after Christmas 2018 and be completed before Palm Sunday 2019. The other recommendation was that fund raising be done so that all parishioners be included and invited to participate. This recommendation was born of experience in the 1990s when Codman Hall was razed and the new annex constructed. Many generous, large donors helped pay for much of the work, but their contributions, critical though they were, were processed quietly and before it was open to the general population. This caused some bruised feelings – something to be avoided this time around. A subsequent meeting of vestry approved the project, as presented, and approved initiation of a fund raising effort.

The rector and wardens began discussing aspects of fund raising and the need for a fund raising committee. A factor in the planning was the upcoming “stewardship season.” A fund raising committee, consisting of the rector, two co-chairs (Pat Ryan and Lucy Leitzell) and eight others, was indeed formed. One of the first issues to grapple was timing because of the pending “stewardship season” and whether project fund raising should “go dark” in October/November when stewardship was the primary concern. They decided that fund raising for the project and the annual stewardship should be conducted at the same time because a hiatus could cause loss of momentum. The hope was that funding for both could be obtained by having faith and energy of one effort helping the other. Even so, if a parishioner could only support one effort, stewardship and funding the annual operating budget took precedence. (More details on funding efforts are found elsewhere in this blog.)

The rector began work in preparing the parish for this work. “Seasons of Renewal” was created. She formed a working group to help plan for the conduct of three “normal” services in Great Hall while the nave was closed.