Dear Holy Trinity,
A blessed Feast of the Epiphany to you! I wanted to write to fill you in on some important updates including how to plan for this coming Sunday's service.
Sunday and Snow
We are expecting significant snow fall and very cold temperatures across our region over the weekend. I know. I know. What we call inclement weather down here is relative for some of you from colder climes. Because the NC Botanical Garden is supported by services from UNC-CH, it is subject to the closing and cancellation policy of the University. If the University closes, the Garden will be closed and we will not be meeting for worship. We will keep you posted. You can check the Facebook page and the church website for updates.
If we meet, use your best judgment, be safe, and stay home if you feel it's best.
If we cancel, we'll send out a liturgy and some Scripture readings we can all use at home, so that even though apart we will be united by the Spirit in our worship of God - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Moving into 2017, I am excited about where we are as a church, particularly in regards to several staffing updates.
Ryan Grove - Curate: Holy Trinity has been granted funds by the diocese to host a three-year curacy program. This grant is partial but it is enough to enable us to extend a curacy to a worthy individual. A curacy is a traditional position in the Anglican Church where a young clergy person is hired to be mentored and trained for future ministry within the context of a local parish. We offered our curacy to Deacon Ryan Grove and he has accepted. As our Curate, Ryan is now a full-time staff member and will serve the church in a variety of important ways. We anticipate he will be ordained a priest in the coming months. While he will continue to lead our youth ministry, he will also take on the leadership of other ministry initiatives in the parish. We have been immensely blessed by Ryan and Averill's ministry among us already and I'm excited for the next three years.
Greg Beaupied - Assisting Minister: After many years of service as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (PCA), Greg Beaupied has transitioned his calling to ordained ministry to the Anglican Church. He was ordained a Deacon in October and will be ordained a Priest at the Bishop's discretion in 2017. Greg will serve as an Assisting Minister at Holy Trinity, which means he will assist in worship services, pastoral care, and other ministries. Greg and his wife Susan bring immense wisdom and experience, leadership and passion to Holy Trinity. I can't put into words what a blessing from God it is to have the Beaupieds here at Holy Trinity.
Nancy Robinson - Leave of Absence: As most of you know, Nancy has taken a leave of absence from her vital role at Holy Trinity to care for her son Mark as he battles cancer. This is a major loss for the church and for me personally as we have greatly depended on Nancy for years. However, I am so thankful she can take this time with Mark and that the Vestry has generously agreed to continue to support Nancy financially during her leave. What's more, the entire Robinson family has been deeply moved by your care for them during this challenging season. Keep up the good work, Holy Trinity. We look forward to Nancy's return later this year and most importantly to Mark's recovery!
Lisa McCowen - Interim Children's Catechist: Your children are very important to Holy Trinity. I hope you know that. In light of Nancy's leave, we have hired Lisa McCowen to serve as our Interim Children's Catechist to provide spiritual oversight and leadership to our children's ministries. If you have spent any time with Lisa, you know she is bright, capable, and has deep faith in and love of the Lord. We are excited to have her at the table with us to continue to develop our ministry to children and families.
Ashley Bonner - Nursery Director: Ashley Bonner has volunteered to oversee our Sunday morning Nursery ministry. She will assist Lisa in hiring and training staff, recruiting and vetting volunteers, and monitoring the Nursery for safety and needs. Ashley has already jumped right into her role in an amazing way. I am so grateful for her. When you see her, please thank her for her work with our smallest members.
It was a wonderful Christmastide at Holy Trinity. Our services were beautiful and very well attended. For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, more than 200 souls attended our celebrations for the Incarnation of our Lord. Thanks to the many people who helped decorate, played music, made decorations, and assisted in the services.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I think about how we ended 2016 financially. Flash back to twelve months ago. We started the year in such a challenging place. We had just weathered a facility crisis and were in the throes of dealing with what it would mean to serve a broader community by moving our worship services to Chapel Hill. We had, understandably, lost some momentum and some families and our giving was down. When we approved the 2016 budget with its 21% faith gap we did so with a great deal of fear and trembling. As you know, it was touch and go for a few months. Well, the numbers for 2016 are in. When Mia, our Treasurer, totaled up congregational giving for the year, we met the budget AND the faith gap with $7 to spare! 7, as you may know, is a symbol in Holy Scripture for fulfillment and perfect completion. Do you think the Lord is trying to tell us something? Thank you for your faithful giving to God's work at this church. We will be sending out year-end giving statements in the next couple of weeks. And the Lord be praised for his full, perfect, and complete provision for our needs!
This past week the Vestry met and approved the budget for 2017. The numbers for last year and for the coming year are outlined below. You will notice we have budgeted a slight (less than 10%) increase in the 2017 budget which depends on a very modest (7.5%) increase in giving. We prayerfully anticipate more significant financial growth than the budget reflects. The reason for our conservatism is we hope to end this year with a reserve. It is considered a "best practice" among churches to have a three month reserve to allow for fluctuations in monthly giving and to account for unexpected, non-budgeted expenses. This new budget, we pray, will help us create that reserve. It is also our desire to set aside funds now for when we need to move into our own facility in the coming years. If you have any questions, please direct them to Mia, our Treasurer, or any Vestry member.
2016 End of Year Financials
2016 Budget — $206,334
2016 expenses — $211,442
2016 giving — $209,840
2017 Budget Details
2017 Budget- $249,524
9.3% increase in budget from 2016
7.5% increase in giving from 2016
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for news about Sunday's service. And may God use Holy Trinity for the glory of Jesus Christ in the year to come!
Yours in Him,