From Zac Van Note, Senior Warden
It has been a while since I’ve written a column for the weekly Cathedral News, and as a vestry, we’re aiming to communicate more regularly and directly in 2022. The plan is that we’ll have alternating members of the lay leadership team taking turns writing articles, including the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and members of the Vestry. Each month we meet (sometimes multiple times a month) and share information about budgets, projects, ministries, and other business of the church—and much of that information never gets out to the congregation at large.
We don’t want to bore you with the month-to-month details of running the church, but there are so many important things going on that you may not even know about – and we want to do a better job of sharing some of those joys and challenges with you.
This week it’s my turn, and I’d like to share some highlights from 2021 and some of the things I’m looking forward to in 2022:
- First and foremost, the return to in-person worship happened gradually over this past summer after just over a year of virtual-only services. The clergy, staff and vestry, in partnership with diocesan leadership, worked diligently to find ways to stay connected and look for the right time to get back to in-person worship. Palm Sunday and Easter were challenging, but wonderful, outdoor services. Since then, we started to move back into the nave. It has been such a joy re-connecting with everyone, even if some of the usual ways we’d join in fellowship and formation are currently looking different than they have in the past.
- The Christmas Eve services, Lessons and Carols the evening before, and the Children’s Messiah were all great indicators of how vibrant our ministries are within our usual congregation, but also across the wider community. I saw so many familiar faces, and dozens of new faces at these services and events. Young, old, and everything in between. It gives me great hope that our community will continue to grow and thrive.
- The stewardship campaign has resulted in a strong showing of pledges, giving us a solid footing as we enter the new year and finalize our 2022 budget. Thank you to everyone who has pledged so far, and those of you who will do so in the coming days and weeks. Your pledges are what allows all of our ministries to continue. We’re aiming to draw $0 from our endowment this year, and that’s only possible with the generous gifts of your time, talent and treasure.
- Kathleen Steichen, our long-time bookkeeper has resigned, but has continued to work for a few more weeks with our new bookkeeper, Collette Watson, to fully transition her duties. With year-end duties, including preparation for the annual audit, this extra time and help is greatly appreciated. I hope you will all join me in thanking Kathleen for her many years of dedicated service.
- As another year is coming to a close, so are the vestry terms of four members of the vestry. Please join me in thanking our faithful members who are rolling off in January; Dave Tuttle, Elizabeth Williams, Sandy Beery and Nate Roberts. Their work over the last few years has been vital to building up the church and finding our way through a very challenging period. Thank you Dave, Elizabeth, Sandy and Nate!
- If you have ideas of who else may be interested in joining the vestry, please let myself and Dean Kristi know. We’re still looking for candidates before the annual meeting later this month.
- Our virtual services have evolved and improved to be some of the best, and most consistent offerings across our diocese and beyond. We continue to have hundreds of views every week, with a loyal following for the many daily and weekly opportunities to pray and worship together. We fully intend to continue virtual offerings to expand our reach well beyond the walls of the Cathedral building.
- The staff of the Diocese of the Rio Grande has moved into the Cathedral, and the Bosque Center has been sold. Renovations of the upstairs area are well under way and will be complete soon. We will continue to find ways to share costs and work together in shared ministry. At the same time, it is important to note that even though we share many things, and are joined in a common purpose, we also will continue to operate autonomously with the same practices and governance we’ve always had.
- I am very excited about the energy, ideas and follow-through that our current clergy and staff bring to our church. 2022 promises to be an exciting year with revived and re-invigorated Christian formation opportunities, bilingual services, strong musical programs, and many new outreach opportunities throughout the greater community.
- There is so much good happening in this place! Please look for opportunities to participate and volunteer. You are the church, and we need your time and talent to make it all happen!
Zac Van Note, Senior Warden