January 29, 2021

Dear St. Margaret’s Friends:

Your Vestry spent much of its time in December and January in a discernment mode, reviewing a budget proposal that targets new opportunities to promote growth and finalizing a first-ever policy on placing bequests into a multi-tiered endowment fund. After much prayer and discussion, we concluded our January meeting with success on both fronts.

Our new endowment fund policy will be shared in the coming months with the entire parish. A special work group chaired by David Boling with assistance from Ana-Mita Betancourt, Cathy Connelly, Chris Kimmel and Michael Armstrong developed a draft policy which included reviewing best practices as offered by the Episcopal Church Foundation. This new policy will be folded into the parish’s portfolio of generosity opportunities.

The budget for this fiscal year, which corresponds with the calendar year, calls for raising and spending roughly $560,000 to address ongoing support needs and new initiatives. This amount is supported by the generosity of pledges from the recent stewardship campaign; it is anticipated that with an attrition factor of 3%, actual dollars from pledges should exceed $480,000. This new budget anticipates:

  • a new part-time Assistant Rector at 10 hours weekly;
  • new support for video editing and website design/maintenance;
  • resumption of nursery support in the fourth quarter;
  • an increase in the music budget compared to our post-pandemic budget;
  • support for strategic consultants to address planning for Charlie’s Place, outreach, and stewardship;
  • a realistic estimate for ongoing property repairs and maintenance; and,
  • a cost of living increase for all staff.

For the first time in many years, the parish is positioned to direct some of its expenditures in a proactive manner and to get ahead of chronic deficit spending to address aging infrastructure.

The parish finished the year in a strong financial position due to parishioner generosity supplemented by diocesan grants and the federal PPP loan that is expected to be forgiven in the near term. Treasurer Cathy Connelly worked tirelessly with our Rector and staff to bring the draft proposals to the Vestry table.

Junior Warden Jenny Carson also kept the Vestry abreast of the work of the Regathering Committee, referencing early creative conversations on how to best utilize our worship spaces in a manner that promotes safety and experiments with new concepts. The work of the committee is expected to come into focus in the coming months.

We start the year with new optimism, a sense of excitement regarding new opportunities, and grateful hearts for the working of the Spirit and the ongoing support of the Parish.

With thanks to all,

Mike Armstrong
Senior Warden

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