AS WE DECIDED TOGETHER
On Sunday, March 21, at noon, in a combination of Zoom and limited, distanced in-person, our congregation came together for our Annual Meeting (At last!!). We elected Council members, approved annual reports, discussed church building Covid protocols, reviewed the proposed 2021 budget, and worked our way through some difficult discussion about "What's next?" for St. Mark.
Here we are at the first step of working toward our future! It's time to send in your commitment to our beloved church, so that we may then make the adjustments to the budget that we will be presenting to the Bishop when our time comes to meet.
It will show us what options we have for a future Pastor, which in turn will give us the ability to open our doors once again with the Synod's guidance. It will take each one of us pulling together as a Family of Faith to make this work. With our God's guidance and love, I hope that each and every one of you can help with this. We can't do it without you!
Please remember, even if you are already doing our Simply Giving program, or made a commitment late last year, we need you fill the pledge form out again please! We need a true understanding of where our church stands now - both from a commitment perspective and a financial perspective - to know where our church will stand in the future. I have faith in us, St. Mark! We have stood tall for a year now. Let's continue onward with building ourselves back up!
During the Annual Meeting, Council came away with two immediate action items:
1. Re-do the Stewardship Commitment process and collect new/revised pledges. (This is the first step toward creating a revised budget prior to meeting with the Bishop about our options.)
2. Communicate the current synod guidelines regarding reopening our church building and returning to in-person worship.
These next articles address those two areas.
Sarah J. Palmer
Renewed Pledge of Commitment and Financial Support
Together we agreed that we need to renew our pledge of commitment to our church.
We ask that everyone, even those who pledged during the Fall Stewardship campaign, participate in this renewal effort. We want to go through this together. If you cannot give financially, you can indicate that on your form; regardless, please let us know you commit your prayerful support of St. Mark.
Completing the form should take less than five minutes.
All commitment forms need to be completed by Sunday, April 11 (the Sunday after Easter) so that we can prepare a revised budget for 2021 prior to meeting with the Bishop. Council's next meeting is Tuesday, April 13.
Although we will be sending reminders, please do it now or soon, so it is done.
Click the button, fill out the commitment card and submit. The details of your pledge will go only to the Financial Secretary; Council will only receive consolidated, summary-level totals. When you submit your form, the system will generate a copy for your records and send it to you via email. This "receipt" also contains a link for correcting your form, if necessary.
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Coronavirus Best Practices for Congregations
"Remember that love of neighbor
"Meanwhile, as we draw close to Holy Week and Easter, I want to urge all of us to have patience, to continue observing the wise practices that have helped keep infection numbers low, and to remember that love of neighbor is one of marks of our faith.
To that end, recognizing that all of us are very tired of these limits and boundaries, I also want to offer the following guidelines from the Synod Office as a model for best practices in the congregation. I recognize also that congregational leadership may not be of one mind regarding the best way to proceed, and that members may need to make decisions on the basis of their own personal health issues or the needs of those in their household. I ask that conversations about finding a way forward be grounded in love and respect, accepting that there is no one answer that will be correct for every situation or member."
Grace and peace,
Excerpt from Bishop Kreiss' Lenten Message
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