Cathedral News, January 22, 2017

 
 
 

Our Annual Meeting was held yesterday afternoon, my tenth as Dean of St. John’s. We began, as we always do, with prayer, the Cathedral Choir leading us in Choral Evensong, a gem of our Anglican heritage. It is, after all, God who calls us into relationship with him, and it is God who blesses, strengthens and sustains us as we seek to share his love with those around us.

While the results of the elections to Vestry and for Diocesan Convention Delegates are unknown at this writing, the slate of nominees for each was strong. Those running for Vestry were Shannon Baldwin, Katy Braziel, Mary Erwin, Carol Trelease, and Paul Wilson-Scott. Those standing for election as Convention delegates were Marshall Binns, Michael Coburn, Dick Forbes, and Leslie Mortimer. I’ll be able to announce the results of the elections this morning.

We heard reports from the Senior Warden and Junior Warden. Mary Erwin, who has served as Senior Warden for the past year and a half, has been a blessing to me. She has been a calm and reliable sounding board for ideas as well as a good friend and sympathetic listener as we’ve addressed the sometimes complicated life of a Cathedral. She brings many gifts to her ministry, not least of which are her deep spiritual life and abiding faith in the goodness and love of God. I am thankful that she has agreed to serve another year as my Senior Warden.

David Martinez has served for three years as the Cathedral’s Junior Warden. During that time, he has been indefatigable in his work for St. John’s. Whether working with Albuquerque Heading Home to renovate the Cathedral Annex and lease the entire space, overseeing the development of the Cathedral Gift Shop and Saint John’s Bible Room, meeting regularly with the Sextons, keeping on top of urgent maintenance issues, negotiating contracts with local businesses, or keeping the Vestry well informed of his work, David has served faithfully and energetically. He has been a trusted partner in leading the Vestry in its work, and I will miss his presence at our meetings. Thank you, David.

The Cathedral Treasurer, Kirk Bigger, also gave his report to the Annual Meeting. That report can be summarized: the Cathedral faced a challenging year in 2016 and met the challenge. The Vestry made the important decision early in 2016 to set the draw from the investment funds at $140,000. To meet this goal, key budget reductions had to be made. In addition, the Stewardship Team initiated “Mind the Gap,” our effort to increase income for the year through one-time gifts or increases in pledges. Over $95,000 was pledged to “Mind the Gap,” a wonderful testimony to the faithfulness of Cathedral members. At the end of 2016, expenses were almost exactly within budget, and pledge receipts were up significantly from the budgeted amount. With all of these factors contributing, the Vestry ended the year below the budgeted investment fund draw for operating expenses by nearly $4000. The news for 2017 is very positive. The pledge campaign for this year set its goal at $657,000, and that has been met: again, a sign of the faithfulness of Cathedral members. With the extension of budget savings from 2016, along with income from the full lease of the Annex and from the lease with Christ Church on Sunday evenings, the Vestry has set the investment draw for this year at $80,000, a very achievable goal and well on the way to a zero draw by 2020.

Cathedral ministries will continue apace in 2017. Christian education, youth activities, outreach, cooperative missions, pastoral care and music will all be part of fulfilling the mission of St. John’s: “Building up the Body of Christ for the work of the Gospel.” I look forward to our ministry together in the coming months. Thanks be to God.

Read the rest of the announcements.