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A Look Ahead to the Annual Meeting

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Download the 2012 Annual Report

by Fr. John Reeves

Our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, November 18 following the Divine Liturgy. Holy Trinity’s approach to this yearly event is simple. Reports are sent in ahead of time. Resolutions to be voted on are submitted to Council in writing, prior. Comments are kept on topic and within the competence of the assembly. We vote on a budget. Officers are selected. Then we go home. It usually takes 45 minutes, though we have done it in less time. Rarely do we need more.

Of course, this is the easy part. That is, it is easy to attend a meeting, receive reports, authorize expenditures and then adjourn. The real work of parish life goes on continuously. Council meets monthly, and ministries function year around. Hardly a day goes by where a ministry, a service, a meeting is not going on, either at the building or in the parish at large. This constant working together, day by day, by so many people reminds us that the Church truly is not an organization, as much as an organism. Bulgakov, the Russian theologian, made this observation in the last century.

An organism functions, and if healthy, it functions rather naturally. One action complements the other. The Church mutually edifies itself in love. (cf. Ephesians 4). It is not without guidance, but it functions rather harmoniously and above all, it grows. Only when an organism takes on decay, begins to rot, or lacks direction is growth impeded. Its natural function, its mutual edification, can cease altogether. In the case of parishes, if this happens, they can become more like worldly institutions seeking to justify their own existence, and focusing merely on themselves.

Above all, I think this is why our meetings are the way they are. They are not contentious. They reflect the mutual edification and harmony of parish life. And they look to the future, not to the past, because growth always leads us somewhere new. The Church organism constantly takes us forward. Christ guides and leads us onward. Our life together is one of organic movement forward in the Kingdom.

This year, we will be asked to look ahead financially to a budget increase, reflecting our continued growth. It is reasonable and one well within our means to attain (about 7%). The majority of the expense is because of our need to pay our first deacon an adequate salary for his full time work. Until now, we have not provided him retirement or health benefits. The proposed budget addresses this: a five percent raise to Deacon Alex’s base pay, plus allowances for his pension and health insurance. This will put our commitment to him in conformity with the OCA’s Clergy Salary Guidelines. The Budget and Pastoral Care Committees are to be commended for their work and their due diligence this year, making sure that we spend wisely on ministry and meet the moral obligations we have to full time clergy on our staff.

I look forward to your participation at the Annual Meeting. More importantly, I look forward to your participation in parish life beyond the meeting. Passing a budget is only one step. Supporting the budget with tithes and offerings makes that budget a real indicator of where our hearts are in our parish. It is further proof that we are truly an organism, not an organization. For, we seek to build up one another in love, so that Christ is the center of life together at Holy Trinity, in deed and not merely in word.

As with any other call for increased stewardship, my pledge will be raised first. Please pray and consider your commitment as well, as I pray for you to follow my lead.

2012 Annual Meeting Information

Holy Trinity will hold its Annual Meeting on Sunday, November 18 at noon following the Divine Liturgy. Nominations are open for Council President, Vice President—Grounds, and Assistant Treasurer. Resolutions must be submitted in writing to the Parish Council for review by November 7. Nothing will be considered from the floor.

Parishioners in good standing who were registered with the parish as members at the end of the previous calendar year and who have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Communion may and should attend.

Agenda

  1. Opening Prayer: “O Heavenly King…”
  2. Minutes of the 2011 Meeting
  3. Priest’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Review and Approval of 2013 Budget
  6. Election of Officers vii. Closing Prayer: “It is truly meet…”

2013 Proposed Budget

Holy Trinity Income

Category

2012
 YTD*

2012
Budget

2013
  Budget

%
Chg.

Stewardship Offerings

$135,454

$182,064

$191,682

5.3%

Deacon Support

3,755

5,000

5,000

0.0%

Parking

2,642

2,000

3,500

75.0%

Missions Appeal

1,260

2,000

3,000

50.0%

Candles/Flowers

2,429

2,600

2,600

0.0%

OCF Funding Appeal

1,200

2,000

2,000

0.0%

Choir Internship

2,000

Discretionary Fund

500

500

0.0%

Interest

320

500

361

-27.8%

Other

198

700

-100.0%

Total Income

$147,258

$197,364

$210,643

6.7%

Holy Trinity Expenses

Category

2012
 YTD*

2012
Budget

2013
  Budget

%
Chg.

Personnel

$91,264

$120,004

$129,720

8.1%

Archdiocese

12,859

17,891

20,856

16.6%

Mortgage

15,116

19,444

17,315

-10.9%

Outreach & Fellowship

6,012

7,250

8,250

13.8%

Liturgical

3,924

4,675

6,675

42.8%

Utilities

4,947

6,485

6,535

0.8%

Physical Plant

2,509

4,050

4,050

0.0%

Office Administration

2,871

3,350

3,850

14.9%

Christian Education

1,914

3,900

3,200

-17.9%

Missionary/Seminaries

2,250

3,000

3,000

0.0%

Coffee Hour

1,502

2,000

2,000

0.0%

Insurance

1,611

1,815

1,692

-6.8%

Discretionary Fund

2,147

1,500

1,500

0.0%

All-American Council

1,000

1,000

1,000

0.0%

Refurnishings

891

750

750

0.0%

Miscellaneous

568

250

250

0.0%

Total Expenses

$151,385

$197,364

$210,643

6.7%

Chapel of the Holy Spirit Income

Category

2012
  YTD*

2012
Budget

2013
  Budget

%
Chg.

Total Income

$25,173

$28,200

$32,510

15.3%

Chapel of the Holy Spirit Expenses

Category

2012
 YTD*

2012
Budget

2013
  Budget

%
Chg.

Personnel

$11,424

$15,700

$15,400

-1.9%

Outreach & Fellowship

782

1,325

1,625

22.6%

Property

484

580

820

41.4%

Office Administration

55

345

295

-14.5%

Liturgical

906

240

280

16.7%

Refurnishings

510

250

-51.9%

Christian Education

114

200

200

0.0%

Utilities

100

100

14.9%

(Transfer to Savings)

9,200

13,540

47.1%

Total Expenses

$13,765

$28,200

$32,510

15.3%

* as of September 30, 2012

Annual Meeting Scheduled

The Parish Annual Meeting will occur on Sunday, November 13. The later date better accommodates our delegation to the 16th All-American Council: Fr. John, Fr. Basil, Dn. Alex, and Michael Stickles. The triennal sobor begins October 31 in Seattle.

All-Parish Meeting Scheduled for July 31

There will be a special called meeting of the entire parish of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church on Sunday, July 31 following the Divine Liturgy to discuss and approve the purchase of a 0.55-acre parcel of land in Beavertown, Snyder County, Pennsylvania, provided all conditions of the contract have been met and sufficient funds have been raised or pledged.

1. A majority of registered parish members, age 18 and over, is required for quorum. Voters must have fulfilled their Lenten obligations of Confession and Holy Communion to participate.

2. Two-thirds (2/3) of those attending and voting must vote in the affirmative to approve this purchase.

3. Should a quorum not be present, the meeting shall be adjourned until Sunday, August 7, at which time those members present and voting shall constitute a quorum, a two-thirds vote in the affirmative being required to purchase.

4. Title will be held in trust for the Archdiocese of Western Pennsylvania, by Holy Trinity Parish Corporation. “Chapel of the Holy Spirit” is a legal alias of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.

— Fr. John Reeves, Rector, and the Holy Trinity Parish Council

Council Begins Five-Year Strategic Planning

To ensure Holy Trinity has a “roadmap” in place to guide its mission and ministry to 2016 and beyond, the Parish Council held a special planning session last month. The four-hour meeting opened with a thorough review of the current mission statement. After evaluating its effectiveness and proposing modifications, each participant had an opportunity to share his insights of what the parish would be like in five years if God’s Will was truly accomplished.

Among the six common themes identified was the need to remove all obstacles that could curb our current rate of growth and a clear vision to expand Holy Trinity’s visibility in our community through the broadening and increasing of its social outreach and evangelical ministries. After completing the group exercises, the positive and progress oriented assembly ended with an overwhelming vote of support to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit faithful to proceed with their plans to purchase property in Beavertown. The Council will continue its analysis and the planning process at its June 8 meeting.