2022 Rector’s Introduction
2022 was a quieter year considering the hectic years that preceded it. The decision to embark on the 1.2-million-dollar restoration of the church in 2019, and the active phase of a capital campaign in 2020-21 both took place against the background of pandemic disruption. Being the custodians of an historic church building however reminds me of John Donne’s words in his Hymn to God the Father: When thou hast done, thou hast not done, for [there is] more! And indeed in 2022, there was more work to be done, some of it foreseen and greatly welcomed, and some an unpleasant surprise.
In this year’s Annual Report, I would direct you to the various ministry reports giving you a sense that although a quieter year in some respects, 2022 was a year of solid achievements. I particularly draw your attention to the property committee’s report for an overview of the extent and scale of the work over the last year in improvements and upgrades in existing facilities and ongoing major building maintenance and repair. I also point you towards finance committee’s report which shows that despite the volatility of the stock market, and the sharp rise of inflationary pressures on the cost of living, we ended the year in a welcome, and for many of us, surprisingly strong financial state. 2022, was a year that saw new people arriving and staying – a much needed consolation and encouragement as we also have continued to say farewell to old and much lived members.
In 2022, we enjoyed a return to a normal Holy Week and Easter – with our live streaming capacity increasing the range of our reach. One of the gifts the summer program brings is an opportunity to be more experimental and informal in our Sunday worship. Although we were sorry to abandon our previous two summers of Church on the Street, because of the installation of air-conditioning we were able for the first-time, to worship in the Great Hall throughout the sticky months of July and August. Christmas signaled a full return to our Christmas program with Community Carol Sing, Blue Christmas, and two Christmas Eve services. Please note the music report.
2022 represents a year in which we’ve never more valued and relied upon the hard work of the staff. I know many of you share a sense of deep appreciation for the caliber and passionate commitment of the members of our staff team. A time when church volunteers ran most aspects of parish life is now a thing of the past – the result of an older generation phasing out as well as the mounting pressures of modern life on younger generations. Now, it is to the professional staff we look to keep the ship of church running smoothly.
2022 once more confirmed for me an encounter with the wellsprings of gratitude to God for the blessings of community. I am filled with thankfulness for the experience of God’s providence, i.e., the experience of God’s tender loving care towards us. Sometimes it feels like touch and go – yet someone always steps forward to save the day. The most concise nature of God’s providence is expressed when the experience of need and the call to service coincide to produce a gratifying outcome. The divine synchronicity in God’s providence has ensured that those meeting the challenges of the past year have been the right people, possessing the right skills, stepping forward at the right time.
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look
favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred
mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry
out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world
see and know that things which were being cast down are being
raised up, and things which had grown old are being made
new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection
by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus
Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Pg. 540 BCP)
Mark+, January 2023
Click here to read The Reverend Mark Sutherland’s Epistle from January 26, 2023, in which he discusses the Annual Meeting