From Mother Pippa 2.18.2024

We are now in Lent! That time of growing closer to God, to grow and lengthen with the longer days. We mimic the flowers that sprout and share their gifts with the world. I hope you will join us for Soup and Substance on Wednesday evenings as we learn our own gifts and work to share them with the world.

Our Lenten Project this year is underway – we are raising funds for the Summit Police Department. Specifically, we are helping them buy two pet chip readers and two new AED devices. We will mark our progress on the two trackers in the Narthex. Please be generous!

We have added ten parishioners in the last year, so please consider wearing your name badge. They can be found on the wall by the bathrooms in the Narthex. Can’t find your name badge? Please let me know and we will print you a new one.

Finally, I want to let you know about a major change that will be coming up at St. Mary’s. As you know, we approved a budget with a $53,000 deficit. Your Vestry has submitted grant proposals, thought of creative fundraising, and is going line by line through the budget. We also reached out the Diocese for help and advice. They let us know that our biggest problem is that staffing was taking up too much of our budget. Ideally staff should be 45-60% of the budget, and we were at 78%.
After prayerful consideration and difficult discussion, the Vestry concurred with the Diocesan recommendation and are reducing Lynn’s hours from 35 hours a week to 19 hours a week, beginning May 1. Lynn has been incredibly gracious, and at her request we kept her at 35 hours a week for two additional months so that she can start receiving Social Security before her hours are reduced. This was a tremendously hard decision, we love Lynn, she is at the heart of our parish and knows us inside and out. However, we want to be good stewards of our resources and go into the 2025 budgeting process without a large deficit. With this change, as well as the Vestry fundraising ideas, we are currently under a $10,000 deficit for 2024. The budget remains a work in progress and the Vestry is still working to bridge the deficit.
Thank you for your commitment and support at St. Mary’s, I believe we will continue to see God at work in the congregation and in the world.

Prayers and Blessings,
Mother Pippa

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