The parish Annual Meeting functions like a check-up with a doctor or dentist. It might be uncomfortable but it’s necessary for long term health. It is also required by diocesan canon that an “annual meeting of a parish shall be held in each calendar year no later than the third week of February….” In an attempt to avoid the long-weekend of Islander Day our meeting will be on February 8, following the combined Eucharist service at 10:00 a.m.
We tend to roll our eyes at the mere thought of yet another check-up. (You know, when some dentist warns us that if we don’t floss our teeth more we won’t have any teeth to floss.) This year, I hope and pray that we will look at it more like a party, like a birthday party, a time we can boldly claim that after another year – we are still here! The Parish of Charlotte was established in the 1770’s and yes folks – we are still here!
Inevitably, we will look at our finances and budgets. We will count-the-beans. And it is worthwhile to celebrate that for the fourth year in a row we have paid all of our financial obligations. But finances are only one indicator of a parish’s viability.
We often speak of time, talent and treasure as the three ways by which people can make offering to the ministry of the church. The “treasure” part is the easiest bean to count. The current financial wellbeing of St. Paul’s may be the direct result of people making substantial contributions of their time and talent too. I think that people are more willing to give of their treasure when they see that there’s opportunity for people to give time and talent.
The Annual Report will contain all the financial bean counting you can imagine but the bulk of the report will be about your gifts of time and talent. Let’s make that the reason for celebration and let’s make it feel less like a check-up and more like a party, after all, we are still here!