June 18, 2020
Francisco-fact: What is the Vestry doing for the church during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing?
The role of the Vestry has not changed much since we initiated Zoom Worship, and its work may actually have increased as the church has moved to Zoom Meetings, Bible Studies, and Christian Formation.
It might be helpful to review our Vestry line-up with you. The Senior Warden is Jeff Wootton. He has been advising the Rector, is assigned to and working on planning for re-gathering when it is practicable and is working on a project concerned with upgrading our social media presence.
Denny Sisson, Junior Warden, is always working on building issues and those issues do not stop even as we gather electronically. Because our presence at the church is reduced, Denny, Molly Reynolds (more on Molly in the next paragraph), and Lynn Fallon got an ADT security system installed to protect the buildings. He is also fighting the problems of illegal dumping on church grounds, mail theft from our Georgetown Pike mailbox, and reducing our exposure to mischief and vandalism. Regrettably, these are all issues of contemporary Great Falls.
The finance issues of the church have not been reduced either. We still have bills to pay, employees to compensate, and budgeting to do. Molly Reynolds, Treasurer, has been working with a very fine group of parishioners on the Finance Committee to plan and implement financial reporting, arranging to provide liquidity to our church operations through a PPP loan, and continuing to monitor our revenues in order to keep the Vestry informed on our financial condition.
Jennifer Murphy, Register, has been keeping us up to date on Vestry action items and getting intra-Vestry communications out when needed. On the side, she is working with the Invite*Welcome*Connect working group, facilitated by Wendy Pan, as they identify newcomers and long-time members needing connection and pastoral care.
The non-Executive Committee members are also deeply involved in the life of the parish, assisting committees, working groups, and tending to the church through their ministry passions. Those members are Betty Boutros, Dwight Chewning, Brice Eldridge, Gary Pan, and Karen Shindhelm. A special note of recognition goes to Brice Eldridge for working so closely with Patrick Killoran and Lynn Fallon to upgrade our technical capabilities in order to continue worshipping as we moved from the sanctuary into our socially distanced spaces for Sunday gatherings. It took planning and a large number of hours to get there.
The move from in-person worship to Zoom Meetings has kept the clergy, staff, and volunteers of the church moving, learning, and working. The move back to in-person worship will involve at least as much work and commitment. Thank these folks when you see them. Look for their names in our meetings. They are busy and attentive to the needs of the church!