St. Paul’s Annual General Meeting

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Annual General Meeting Jan. 24, 2016

COMMITTEE NEWS

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild of St. Paul’s continues to work behind the scenes to have the service of our parish be all it needs to be. This church provides fine space in which to find spiritual fulfillment. Our highlight for 2015 would be the fine work done on the grant to the New York Altar Guild to get the new carpet in time for Bishop Shin’s visit in June. Preparing for the liturgy (“public works” in Latin) is a serious yet joyful joint venture of the ladies of the Altar Guild who work hard each week to fulfill their obligations to the guild, and our priest in concert with those who serve at the altar with Father Tyler. We—all of us, including the congregation—are in this together. Please listen to what the spirit might be speaking to you about where your ‘fit’ might be. It might be on St. Paul’s Altar Guild.

–Rose Marie Proctor, Matron

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

Last year the Buildings and Grounds Committee accomplished a lot.  We painted the whole hallway of the school building, the outside entryway to the school building and the outside door to the undercroft.  All this in addition to maintaining the yard. This year, we will continue to improve the areas around our beautiful new kitchen and undercroft. A lot of cleaning and painting will be necessary. There is always plenty of laughter & music to fuel our energy when we’re doing an assignment!

–Maria Bell, Chairperson

EVANGELISM

The Evangelism Committee is tasked with helping to bring the “good news” to those within the Parish Community as well as those beyond the immediate St. Paul’s community. While this covers a great many areas, two of the more visible areas this committee works with are the Messenger and the website. Our website has a new, more up to date version and the committee recently had a training workshop to bring committee member as well as committee chairs of other committees “up to speed” on using the new website.

For 2016 the Committee is looking to make the website completely functional as well as making it a more dynamic presence. With the renovation of our Parish Hall space, we hope to return to St. Paul’s well known reputation for hospitality.

–Pete Bedrossian, Chairperson

FINANCE

Financial Year in Review

We struggled in 2015 to meet our operating budget obligations. We only received $64,453.21 of the projected $72,000.00 in pledge payments.  We had to take a $20,000.00 loan from our investment portfolio but still had 3 outstanding payments for the Congregational Support Plan remaining at the end of the year.

Actual thru December 2015

Actual operating numbers recorded thru December 31st, 2015 is $206,017.71 in expenses and $188,040.08 in income. This represents expenses for: Office = $9,957.13; Worship = $3,087.83; Music = $2,157.65; Christian education = $918.18; Personnel = $32,446.12; Facilities = $80,514.38; Outreach = $18,578.72; General = $4,967.84 and Congregational Support Plan = $49,535.52. Majority of the income was from pledge payment of $64,453.21; plate offering of $1,372.55; rental of $62,508.29; Fundraising of $3,100.00 and Small Blessings of 5,573.58.

2016 Budget

Total operating budget for 2016 is $202,295.89 which is an increase of $1,352.88 over 2015.  This budget represents expenses for: Office = $9,848.85; Worship = $3,409.13; Music = $1,500.00; Christian education = $860.00; Personnel = $35,020.06; Facilities = $66,853.00; Outreach = $19,559.23 and General = $8,487.14.  Our largest operating expense is still for Congregational Support Plan @ $56,658.48.  Majority of the budgeted income is expected to be from pledge payments of $73,347.00, CTC space rental of $57,699.96 and Parish Hall Rental of $25,200.00.

–Dewy Clarke, Treasurer

FORMATION

The Formation Committee was formerly known as the education committee. The goal is to provide lifelong opportunities parishioners to advance in their faith. This includes activities for children, the newly confirmed, young adults and adults. This has been a re-forming year, and as we look to 2016 we want to create programs and activities that address each of these groups. For adults, we are considering faith building workshops and book discussions. We need your input: How do you want to grow? What will you do to accomplish that growth? How can we create those opportunities?

–Pete Bedrossian, Chairperson

OUTREACH

Food Pantry

Our mission to help our neighbors in need continues, and the need has not diminished. 2016 will be the 15th year St. Paul’s has offered emergency food supplies. In 2015, we provided 7,841 children and adults with more than 70,500 meals. Volunteers faithfully kept the Pantry open 12 hours a week. Our busiest day was June 23, when 43 people came for help and went home with food for everyone in their households.

In keeping with our purpose as a Food Pantry, we changed our Christmas holiday basket offering to include food only. Instead of organizing the annual Christmas party with gifts for children, which in the past had been on a first-come, first-served basis for the first 20 families, this year we offered all our clients the choice of a turkey or ham dinner with everything that goes with the meal, including soup mix put together and donated by Marjorie Marks’ Girl Scout troup and special treats such as a bottle of sparkling cider and chocolates. We had a busy distribution day on the Saturday before Christmas when we gave out 52 turkey meals and 69 ham dinners for a total of 121 families served.

To keep the Pantry operating in 2016, we will need $28,200 in cash – this in addition to the donations of food we receive from Christ Church and First Evangelical Lutheran Church as well as our own parishioners and others. We anticipate grants from Episcopal Charities, the Mid-Hudson Region of the Diocese of New York, Wakefern Foundation (Shop Rite), United Way of Dutchess-Ulster, Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, our own Small Blessings Thrift Shop, and cash donations from parishioners and others. Once again we are fortunate to have pick-up and delivery of the majority of our food supplies provided by the Community Transition Center’s clients, who need to fulfill community service sentencing requirements. As you may have noticed, the CTC recently purchased a very large, new, dark gray van primarily for the purpose of transporting our food.

As we head into our 15th year, we are grateful to our parishioners and other volunteers who do not attend our church who keep the Pantry open and operating. Last summer we had a grand time at a potluck at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club for the many folks who help in the Pantry and the Shop. We‘ll do it again this summer. We can always use more help. Become a volunteer and you’ll be there, too!

–Molly Jones, for the Food Pantry

Thrift shop

Small Blessings took in almost $6,000 in 2015. This is possible because of our dedicated volunteers — some from St. Paul’s, some not. We are open 12 hours a week but much time is spent behind the scene, sorting, tagging, disposal, seasonal change, dusting and cleaning, outside vending, yard sales, etc. Most items sold cost between 25 cents and $5.00. Some are given to those in dire straits, some for re-entry to job programs, some are vended offsite, such as broken gold and antiques. Proceeds go to help purchase food for the pantry.

Dollars and numbers are needed for evaluation and future planning but we Christians like parables and stories, too. In early December, a new patron came into the food pantry and while waiting for her order to be filled, looked around the shop. She had a “box and a tube” attached to her person. I asked if it was oxygen and she said no, it was a drain tube for abdominal surgery two weeks ago. She then just opened up. Her son and daughter-in-law had recently died in a car accident downstate. She inherited four grandchildren, was on disability, and was trying to cope. Of course she was given groceries, and we offered to have her pick out clothing for the children and to fill out a request for a Christmas food basket. Now she had several bags to get home and, being post-op, was given a ride. She returned recently for groceries and said how much she appreciated the food basket and how nice everyone had been to her. She asked for one more tiny favor:  her teen granddaughter was being a “teenager” and complaining about having so few “cute things” to wear to school. We all remember “high school angst” but just imagine losing your parents, moving away from your friends, and now basically being poor. Grandma picked out two “cute tops” and said she’d return them if they weren’t just right and would also bring back outgrown items to us. If you go to where our driveway meets Mansion Street and do a 360-degree turn, looking as far as your sight can see, you will have seen her home. Some churches have missions far away, on other continents, perhaps. St. Paul’s mission is in our front hard. That’s important!

–Jeanne Henderson, Chairperson

PARISH AID

St. Paul’s Parish Aid organization hosted eight monthly meeting in 2015 including presentations on topics of interest to senior citizens. Parish Aid gathers at 1 pm on the second Tuesday in the months of March-June and September-December. Notable 2015 topics were diabetes and shingles. Occasional talks are given by the popular Ozie Williams of the Dutchess County Health Department. The meetings are either potluck or hosted lunches. In 2015 the group prepared cards for the 120 Christmas food baskets that were distributed to St. Paul’s food pantry families. In 2016 Parish Aid will invite more speakers on topics of interest to senior citizens.

–Daphne Barrett, Chairperson

PASTORAL CARE

We seek to share Jesus love for us with those who are in need.

Throughout the year the committee has made visitations to parishioners who are homebound, sick or absent from church.  Periodic visits are made to nursing homes and hospitals. ‘Get well’ and ‘missing you’ cards are sent out weekly. Christmas bags were prepared for parishioners homebound or in need. Rides to church were provided as needed. Pastoral Care also joins with The Seekers Group which meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at PM.  The Day By Day booklet is used. These activities are ongoing.  The Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 6PM.

–Cynthia Benjamin, Chairperson

STEWARDSHIP

We introduced a new pledge campaign for 2016 called New Consecration Sunday. The main theme was to pledge what God is calling to you give to St. Paul’s.   It involved 3 mailings, 3 different speakers, a guest speaker and a celebration catered luncheon.   All of this was to help the congregation be informed and involved. As of this date we have 67 pledges for $73, 347.   Of those 67 people, 32 increased their pledge, 27 remained the same, 6 decreased and we have 2 new pledges.   We still haven’t heard from 7 people who pledged last year and attend regularly.

Last year (for 2015) we ended the year with 76 pledges for $73,000.   As you will read in Dewy’s financial report, the total pledge income collected for the year was $64,453.   You can see there is a large discrepancy.   We know that pledges aren’t ‘cast in stone’, but we do budget for that income.   Pledge statements are sent quarterly and always include a pledge balance.   That way you can see if you are current, behind or even ahead on your pledge.   If you have questions about your statements, please speak with either Charlie Benjamin or Bobbie Gordon. We’re happy to try to help you figure it out.

Our main fundraising event for 2015 was the Christmas Bazaar held the first Saturday in December.   This was a big success and we hope to make it an annual event.   Speaking of Fund Raising – now that the Parish Hall is completed we will resume our community dinners.   Planning with the Hospitality Committee will begin this month.   Stay posted for ways you can become involved. The Stewardship Committee meets the first Monday of the month at 5:00 in the parlor.

 –Bobbie Gordon, Chairperson

WORSHIP

The Worship Committee serves as the forum for the congregation to voice its thoughts and ideas about how we worship at St. Paul’s. We meet every fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m., where we review the upcoming worship schedule, hymn selections, and the Altar Guild program. In 2015 the Worship Committee explored ways to better engage the congregation at our Sunday Services. This included testing a ‘call-and-response’ form for the Prayers of the People and adding two additional hymns to the 10 a.m. service. We also helped organize successful Christmas and Easter services, and a visitation by our Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Shin, in June. For 2016, we will continue to explore ways to ensure that our worship services meet the spiritual needs and expectations of the congregation. This will include introducing different forms of the Prayers of the People, reviewing our music program, and on March 26th, hosting the Easter Vigil for our partner churches (which will include a visitation by Rt. Rev. Shin). We will also work closely with the Formation Committee to promote additional spiritual events such as our Lenten Supper Series.

–Mark Debald, Chairperson

YOUTH

In the fall of 2015 the St. Paul’s Youth Group started volunteering monthly at the Lunch Box on the last Sunday of each month. This activity was then followed each time by a meeting of Connect, a collection of the youth groups at St. Paul’s Poughkeepsie and Pleasant Valley and Grace Church in Millbrook. Bishop Dietsche attended the September meeting and blessed the formation of the group. In 2016 we will continue our monthly volunteering at the Lunch Box and our Connect meetings. Among other possible activities the Connect group plans to do an August mission trip to Appalachia to help build houses.

–Shawn Prater-Lee, Chairperson