At our Annual Meeting of the Parish on March 3, we decided to meet again on Sunday, December 8, and begin a new schedule for when we gather as a parish family to reflect, conduct important business, and prepare for the future. On this day, the Second Sunday of Advent, we will gather from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. to hear clergy, ministry, and administrative reports, including a high-level, categorical draft of the 2014 parish budget. The Vestry meeting on December 17 will include the review of a detailed budget draft and deliberations before approval. The timing of the annual meeting before the year-end Vestry meeting is one of many reasons that we have adopted a new approach. Because the Church New Year begins with Advent, we are optimistic that the alignment of administrative and other ministry matters on the same schedule will serve us well.
I am grateful that both Advent and 2014 will present new opportunities including more specific ways to implement our vision to become a community of bold followers of Jesus, a crowd that effects good change for the world, a place known for radical love and welcome, and a beacon of hope in Center City Charlotte. Our relationships with outreach and social justice ministry partners will become stronger and new ones will be created. Sunday night will take on a life of its own when in January we begin offering a weekly 6:00 pm Holy Eucharist enhanced by a broad range of service music and instruments. Collective energy is high to engage matters of race and reconciliation following our recent viewing of “Traces of the Trade” and subsequent related offerings. Newly formed advisory committees for children, young people, and adult formation are collaborating with staff to plan offerings to nurture faith journeys in new and creative ways.
All of this and more are in our future. I look forward to sharing the dream and ministry of God with you as the new years are entered and our prayers are unceasing. In peace and thanksgiving.
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector