Greetings from the Leadership Team (LT)! We’d like you to know what we’ve been working on, and as always, we invite you to share your ideas, concerns, or questions with us. All are welcome to attend the monthly LT meetings — the dates are listed in the church calendar.
Thanks to the very hard work of our Treasurer and the Budget Working Group, the church voted recently to approve the 2019 budget. This was the end of a process that had taken more than six months. The Leadership Team realized last year that a more deliberate process was needed in preparing the budget, so it helped the Treasurer to constitute the Working Group. This body included representatives from many of the key parts of the church and began meeting last summer to take an in-depth look at the budget and to examine ways to increase revenue and lower costs. The group’s input was incorporated by the Financial Resources Ministry as it planned the 2018 pledge drive. This comprehensive approach led to improvements in the budget planning process. The LT plans to build on this past year’s work to build an even more robust budget process next year.
Do you know that our magnificent steeple is in need of significant repair? Some members of the congregation knew this, and we were delighted to learn that they were willing to spearhead a group — the Steeple Task Force — to explore the many elements that need to be evaluated, such as lighting, the clocks (which are owned by the town), and the condition of the steeple itself. The Task Force will make recommendations to the LT about how best to improve and protect our steeple going forward.
The Steeple Task Force is not the only group that has been formed recently to address specific FCCW needs. We also have short-term committees in place to look at parking, safe church policies, emergency procedures, and planned giving. We are blessed that so many people are willing to share their skills, time, and effort on behalf of our church community.
Since the Leadership Team is responsible for strategic oversight of the church, the group is beginning to frame an approach for an abbreviated strategic planning process. We’ve started this dialogue in our meetings and are creating a framework that will include the congregation in an effective and efficient manner. As you know, our community did a lot of planning work several years ago which resulted in a new church structure and set the stage for some exciting new initiatives, like the re-envisioning of Ripley Chapel. Now, we’d like to take stock of where we are and plan for the next stage of our future. There is a strong sense of momentum and energy in our church — we would like to try to harness that spirit in our ongoing effort to live into our purpose statement: we are a Christ-centered, nurturing community, growing in faith, serving in love and welcoming all with joy.