May 6, 2018 ANNUAL MEETING
Report by Amy Ryder Wentz, Senior Warden
What a year. As Senior Warden, I knew I was in for a wild ride when a year ago I would introduce myself as the Cathedral’s senior warden to clergy, lay leaders, and communicants in other congregations – and, knowing we were in transition and searching for our next Dean – received responses such as “hfff,” or “oh dear, I’ll pray for you.”
But as you have heard and will continue to hear in more detailed reports today, we are in a good place.
We continue to have a thriving congregation. We have more than 1,000 baptized members (up fifteen members from the previous year) – more than 800 of whom are “communicants in good standing,” meaning they are faithful in their corporate worship, and work, pray and give for the spread of the Kingdom of God). And the size and vitality of this congregation is more extraordinary than usual with urban Cathedrals these days.
We have this beautiful space in which to come together every week to pray and worship; to celebrate and mourn; to conduct church and community business; and to congregate.
As Dale will share, we have numerous ministries that give each of us the opportunity to become involved in the congregation and serve those in our neighborhood and community. That includes helping with worship, visiting the sick, volunteering at Marion-Sterling, tending an urban farm, among many, many other opportunities.
And as much as we are all concerned about not draining our endowment, we are in fact blessed with a healthy endowment that supplements our own monetary gifts.
Have we had our challenges this year? You betcha. But God has gifted us wonderous opportunities with those challenges.
- The development of Mather Hall is not yet complete. We learned early last year that the Diocese disagreed with the recommendation of the existing task force to enter into a multi-decade lease so the building could be redeveloped into market rate housing. Although, it was a very, very difficult time for the Vestry and for leaders of the Cathedral and the Diocese – this process presented an amazing opportunity for the Cathedral and the Diocese to partner in a way that we have not done so in a very long time. Under the leadership of Bishop Hollingsworth, members of Vestry are participating in a Cathedral-Diocese task force that is negotiating with CSU to rehab Mather Hall to host the Pratt Center. For those who are unfamiliar with this program, the Pratt Center supports children who have aged out of the foster care system by helping them earn a degree at CSU, and it provides housing and other support services.
- The capital campaign? I won’t lie – raising money for capital projects has been a struggle for reasons we as a congregation could have never anticipated – reasons that our stewardship chairs will fill you in on momentarily. But our stewardship committee has found light in this obstacle – a renewed opportunity to give in a way that is meaningful and led by the Holy Spirit.
And we’ve had other challenges. But with each trial, God has lit a path for us to travel. Some days that light was a little dimmer than others – but it was always there and your vestry strives to follow it.
Vestry is starting a conversation this month about the vitality of the Cathedral, so we are prepared to discuss with the new Dean who we are as a Cathedral Church and what we have been doing to get ready for this next stage in the cathedral’s life.
Questions Marie Kittridge posed to Vestry in the context of this conversation are (1) what do we want to share with the new Dean about who we are; and (2) what can we do now to give a more rounded explanation about who Trinity is.
These are questions we should all consider and act on. We all have our own personal ways to articulate our pride in Trinity.
We are a congregation that strives for openness and inclusivity.
We are proud of our music ministry.
We are committed to social justice.
We serve our community – not just our church community, but the people who reside and work and go to school in our neighborhood.
All those things are true. But can we do more to have a fuller understanding about who Trinity is and what we want this Cathedral Church to become?
I would like to close my time with you today by issuing a challenge – to join a new ministry that will give you new experiences and a new perspective about who Trinity is. Or, if you are already at your max capacity for time commitments, to invite at least one person to join a ministry in which you already serve.
Pete and I have decided that, as a family, we would like to be more involved in serving others through Trinity’s hunger ministries. So we have committed as a family to work in the urban garden on Saturdays and volunteer at a Place at the Table.
[Congregants identified additional ministry opportunities.]
And do not forget one of the most direct ways to serve one another. If there is someone you have not seen at church in a while call them and invite them to church. If there is someone in your life who doesn’t have a church home, call them and invite them to church.
In closing, on behalf of Vestry, I want to thank you for your support and affording us the unique opportunity to serve God and this church community in this way.