17 November, 2017
To the Parishioners of Saint Andrew’s
Some of you may know of the troubles Saint Andrews is currently facing. For those who aren’t aware, Saint Andrews is facing a very real and serious financial crisis. To be blunt, our bank account is near empty, as close to empty as we can be to make this announcement. This financial crisis is the final act in a drama that has been unfolding within our church for years. I think we have all hoped and prayed that we could turn it around, but it, so far, has eluded our abilities.
The greatest casualty of this crisis is our dear Rector, The Rev. Bonnie Brandon. Her last official day as our Rector was November 15, 2017. Bonnie+ will celebrate with us, however, on the 19th and 26th of November. We are sorry for not being able to provide a better warning, but we are thankful to Bonnie+ for her years of service, coming to us in a great need and supporting this parish.
This all being said, on Sunday, November 26th, the day that we usually celebrate Saint Andrew, we will instead be celebrating Bonnie’s+ sixth and final year of ministry with us. We hope you’ll join us for the last 10:00am worship service and stay for the potluck feast after. If you’ve attended at all during her time here, please bring your family and friends and take this opportunity to say goodbye, and let her know how very much loved and appreciated she is in our parish.
Moving forward, any parish concerns previously handled by Bonnie+ (i.e. pastoral care and emergencies) now fall on the shoulders of myself and the Vestry. Our phone numbers and email addresses are listed each Sunday in the bulletins, please reach out to one of us with any questions, concerns, or needs. We are all here to help one another through this arduous and sensitive time.
Beginning on Sunday, December 3rd, we will combine both morning services into one 9:00am service. The cost to continue to provide two services is too great and the Vestry agreed that the best compromise was a move to one earlier service. The parish website and Facebook page will be updated with this information, as well as reminders every Sunday until the change. We hope to still see your smiling faces, we will need them in the coming months.
Starting at the beginning of December and for the two months following, we plan to have a “supply” priest for our Sunday service. This means we will have a rotating supply of priests for the service, however there will be no clergy in the office during the week. Marianna will continue her regular duties however, should any need arise. This is why any parish concerns must be directed toward myself and the Vestry. During these two months. The Vestry and I will also meet with various people within the diocese, such as other priests and financial consultants, so we can start to map out a plan to rebuild our parish. Put simply, without a lot of hands-on work and real change, we will not be able to continue on.
On Sunday, January 14th, two Sundays before our annual meeting, the Vestry invites all in our parish to a special coffee hour, at which we will discuss at length what’s been going on, how each of us are handling the new situation, solicit new ideas of what we can do to rebuild-basically a pre-annual meeting, without an agenda or formality. We hope you choose to attend, this will be the best opportunity for us to gauge how to move forward.
The annual meeting will still be held Sunday, January 28th, 2018, according to schedule. I hope that all who hope to continue in this parish will attend, as we cannot conduct business without a quorum. We must come together if we want to save this place so many of us have come to know as home. What we’ve been doing clearly isn’t working. Something must change or we will have to say goodbye.
I end this letter to you with my favorite verse:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
We have a hope, we have a future.
With great love and faith,
[ signed ]
Senior Warden and The Vestry of Saint Andrew’s