Annual Report 2019

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Welcome
Warning
Annual Meeting 2018 Minutes
Special Meeting Minutes, June 3, 2018
Pastor
Clerk
Treasurer
Floral Ministry
Board of Deacons
Board of Outreach
Board of Business Administration
Board of Finance
Board of Christian Education

Trustees

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Seventeen Funerals

It was a year ago yesterday, Valentine’s day of all days when this massacre happened at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida. Ironically, the school is named for Ms. Douglas, a civil rights pioneer at the turn of the 20th century, and someone who today, no doubt, would speak with the eloquence of many of her students about the scourge of guns in our country. Be forewarned: this is not an easy read. It is good. It is important.

Seventeen Funerals by Richard Blanco

Seventeen suns rising in seventeen bedroom windows. Thirty-four eyes blooming open with the light of one more morning. Seventeen reflections in the bathroom mirror. Seventeen backpacks or briefcases stuffed with textbooks or lesson plans. Seventeen good mornings at kitchen breakfasts and seventeen goodbyes at front doors. Seventeen drives through palm-lined streets and miles of crammed highways to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at 5901 Pine Island Road. The first bell ringing-in one last school day on February fourteenth, 2018. Seventeen echoes of footsteps down hallways for five class periods: algebra, poetry, biology, art, history. Seventeen hands writing on whiteboards or taking notes at their desks until the first gunshot at 2:21pm. One AR-15 rifle in the hands of a nineteen year old mind turning hate for himself into hate for others, into one-hundred fifty bullets fired in six minutes through building number twelve. Seventeen dead carried down hallways they walked, past cases of trophies they won, flyers for clubs they belonged to, lockers they won’t open again. Seventeen Valentine’s Day dates broken and cards unopened. Seventeen bodies to identify, dozens of photo albums to page through and remember their lives. Seventeen caskets and burial garments to choose for them. Seventeen funerals to attend in twelve days. Seventeen graves dug and headstones placed—all marked with the same date of death. Seventeen names: Alyssa. Helena. Scott. Martin—seventeen absentees forever—Nicholas. Aaron. Jamie. Luke—seventeen closets to clear out—Christopher. Cara. Gina. Joaquin—seventeen empty beds—Alaina. Meadow. Alex. Carmen. Peter—seventeen reasons to rebel with the hope these will be the last seventeen to be taken by one of three-hundred-ninety-three-million guns in America.

Annual Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 11:14 AM on January 27, 2019.
I. Presentation, discussion, and action on the minutes of the January 28, 2018 annual meeting and the June 3, 2018 Special Meeting.
The minutes of the January 28, 2018 annual meeting as well as the June 3, 2018 Special Meeting were accepted as written.


II. Presentation, discussion, and action on the reports of the officers, boards, and organizations for 2018 (excepting the 2019 budget).
It was moved, seconded, and noted to accept the reports.

III. Presentation, discussion, and action on the the FY 2019 budget proposal.
It was moved, seconded and approved to accept the 2019 budget as proposed.
C. Grenier rose to say that the board of finance supported this budget, even
carrying the $8,000 + deficit as said deficit was caused by counting on gifts that didn’t materialize. The board saw no reason for that deficit to interfere with proposed expenditures, including a 2% raise for salaries. He did note that fund raising efforts will have to remain strong. But he gave big kudos to all the members for how they support the church, in funding and in active service.

IV. To decide whether the church will approve an expenditure from the Firm Foundation Fund of up to $9,000 for building upgrades.
It was moved and seconded to approve expenditure from the Firm Foundation of up to $9,000 for building upgrades and church improvements. Discussion focused on specifics involved such as work on the remaining spires and equipping the church with a defibrillator. J. Loewer wondered if there might be grants available to purchase such equipment. C. Lawrence noted that the price will include a
“church” discount. J. Loewer volunteered to go looking for such a grant.

The deacons are planning a CPR class in February which could include training for a defibrillator. There was concern that our insurance might not currently cover incidents if the equipment were used incorrectly by a church member, but it was felt that we would be protected by the
“Good Samaritan” law.

J. Loewer made a motion to amend the original motion to read that it is approved to spend up to $9,000 from the Firm Foundation for building upgrades and church improvements, but to first investigate possible grants for the defibrillator portion. The amendment passed. The motion was then passed as amended.

V. Presentation, discussion, and action on the Nominating Committee’s report and slate of officers and board members for the year 2019
It was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved to accept the Nominating Committee’s report and slate of officers for 2019.
It should be noted, however, that Ned Davis stepped down as Nominator, leaving the Nominating Committee with no members.

V. Presentation, discussion, and action on the Trustees recommendation to distribute any investment gain in 2018.
D. King moved that the gains (losses), realized and unrealized, earned on the Trustees Funds be allocated in proportion to the respective fund balances. The motion was seconded and passed.

V. Other Business
1) The deacons have been discussing safety issues in the church, such as the presence of an active shooter. There is particular concern about the young women and children in the downstairs nursery while church is in session. The side door will be locked during this time and all access to the church should be through the front door. If someone is in need of elevator service, this would be taken care of by a deacon at the front door.


They would also like to provide ALICE training to the church, which includes procedures that should be taken during an active shooter confrontation. The council is strongly encouraging such a training.

2) P. Plagge thanked P. Sabin for all she does to really run the office and N. Davis for all he does for the church. He also wanted to add his thanks to C. Grenier’s for the congregation’s unfailing support.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:36 AM.
Respectfully submitted,
Jill Chase, Clerk

Pie for Breakfast

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The Waterbury Rotary Club is celebrating pie again!

On February 9th, 2019, from 8 am to 11 am, at the American Legion (16 Stowe Street) you can have all the pie you want for breakfast — for only $5! And it’s good, guilty fun!

Year-End Giving Statements

Dean King, our financial secretary, plans on sending out, via email, your year-end contribution statement sometime late next week. If you would like your statement mailed to you, (printed and posted) please let us know soon, and we can do that for you.

If you need a statement before then, you can always go online and get it yourself. Here are the steps to do that:

  1. Point your browser to https://wcc.breezechms.com to login. (NB: it’s wcc, not www!)
  2. Once logged in click on the star icon which says “My Profile” beneath it.
  3. Click on “Giving” in the left-hand menu.
  4. Adjust start and end dates in the appropriate boxes.
  5. Click on the down arrow in the box labeled “Download Excel” and select “Print Statement.”
  6. Click the green button “Print Statements.”
  7. Viola!

As usual, if you have any troubles, let us know. We’d be glad to help.

Trustees Report

World markets began January 2018 where they left off in 2017. The US bull market then approaching a 10-year run was also beginning to influence world markets too. However, national and world events such as the Chinese economy, Brexit uncertainty, world oil prices, and US political turmoil led to uncertainty in investor’s minds that resulted in February stock market downturns. As volatility remained ever present during 2018, including up and down swings of 10% or more that included a record Dow Jones high in September, the markets could not, as analysts are fond of saying, ‘gain traction’. Despite that hopeful September high water mark, a brutal 4th quarter left the year with an annual loss of about 6%.

Although the church’s investments are tied to the world and domestic markets we have been fortunate in that our 2018 ‘losses’ (5.5%) were slightly less than the major index averages. However, we experienced losses just the same. Due to this fact, allocations to the 4 major categories all reflect a negative growth for the year (totaling -$54,547.18). Downturns are a normal occurrence in the stock market, occurring on average every 3-4 years. Given a long-term historical perspective of steady positive growth and our continued guidance from Edward Jones, the trustees have an optimistic outlook for 2019 and beyond.

CPR Class

The Board of Deacons is offering a CPR class for any interested persons. The class will be at the church on Tuesday, February 5th at 6pm and take about an hour and a half. We have eight more spaces remaining. The cost for the class is $35. If you’d like to participate, speak to Diane Leavitt, or email her at dbleavitt@gmail.com. The deadline for signing up is January 29.

We also will be getting some training on using an Automated External Defibrillator, which we hope to purchase following approval at the annual meeting.

Board of Christian Education

On behalf of the Christian Education board, please accept this year’s annual recap for the Education Program. It was another good year for participation by the youth and their families, and much of that was due to the programming developed by the CE Board.

The first half of the calendar year — or the second half of our school year — pretty much picked up where we left off in the previous fall, with the story of Moses and the Exodus. We tailored our schedule in such a way that the rhythms of the year took into account participation — winter attendance slacks off a bit due to winter sports! We used the Progressive Christianity curriculum some weeks, and we continued to develop themes that we used in the spring.

Spring found us returning to developing a puppet show to coincide with Children’s Sunday. The development of this was quite interesting, in that we chose to work with one continuous theme all year long, and when Barbara Paulson from No Strings Marionette Co. joined us, we were able to jump right in and develop the show. She came a couple of times before the spring to teach us how to make some of the special puppets (Flies!) with the kids. We were so happy to work with Barbara again, and the use of puppets to teach the stories of the Exodus was so successful.

This fall, our home cooked curriculum was based on the stewardship of the earth. We took mental pictures of the nature we could see from the classroom window, and we talked about what we couldn’t see, including the “wood wide web”, or how the trees were able to communicate with each other using the underground mushroom network. Truly powerful information and an appreciation of the extent of how complex the earth is. We composted leaves and we started a worm farm, and we hope to use the compost in the spring to create new life.

Our advent art centered around advent wreathes, and our Christmas celebration was an adaptation of a play Peter wrote 20 years ago!

I would also like to thank our board — Harriet Grenier, Kristin Wolf DeJong and Ben DeJong, and Dave MacGowan, who provided me with excellent support throughout the year. Special thanks to Dave, who FINALLY  retired from the CE board — he’s served a couple of terms. And thanks to Peter for his insight and ideas for our programming — his guidance was invaluable — and to the Council for fully supporting our goals and programs.

Finally, thank you to the parents, grandparents and caregivers for the children who attend our Sunday School. I enjoy seeing them week in and week out, and thoroughly enjoy planning programs that will interest your children and keep them involved. 

Respectfully submitted, 

Tom Stevens

Annual Meeting Potluck

Following the business portion of our Annual Meeting, you are invited to the dinning room for a little lunch together before we go our separate ways. To do this, just bring a dish that we can quickly warm after worship, or that can be warm (or cold).

No need to bring plates and silverware — just bring something to pass. And if you can’t do that, there’s always enough, so stick around anyway. It’s informal and enjoyable.

Board of Finance

The Board of Finance is proposing a 2019 budget with a deficit of $8,095 which includes giving our five key employees cost of living increases in support of their continued good ministries among us.  The budget does not include the completion of the spire construction project to be done in the summer.  That project will, upon approval, be paid for from the Firm Foundation (an amount, coincidentally, that was not used in last year’s heating plant project).

This past year, pledging to the church was consistent, finishing between $136,000 to $139,000, almost $6,000 less than what we’d projected in our budget.  We are proposing a pledge amount for 2019 of $140,000, which hopefully is realistic.  We have had a yearly anonymous donation of $5,000 from someone who is no longer living in the area.  It is not carried in the 2019 budget.  Each year our income is projected from results of our pledge drive in the fall.  Thank you to all who participated.  It makes our job easier to do and the results more accurate.  All of this is to say that the Board of Finance could not do their job without you being committed financially to this church. Thank you.

The church held four fundraisers in 2018, which included a new silent auction, the Strawberry Supper, the Tag Sale, and the Apple Pie sales in Williston.  Our income from those fundraisers met our budgeted goal of $9,000.  We feel that part of job is to schedule fundraisers that are good for the community, bring us some additional income, but do not burn us out.    This year we are organizing a silent auction/strawberry supper combination on June 28th, the tag sale and the Pie sale.  We have budgeted $9,000 gross as the goal for these fundraisers.

All offerings from the church Christmas Services were donated to the Good Neighbor Fund (approximately $2,000) which is another way the church impacts our community.

Thank you for your continued support to this church

Respectfully Submitted,

Charles Grenier