We have been receiving generous gifts and increased pledges to help us align our budget with our vitality and vision. Thank you! With three weeks until our Annual Meeting on March 11, we are only $11,000 away from meeting our budget goals for this year! The four stories below describe the new budget initiatives for 2018 that are close to our hearts. Please read them and discover how your giving is nourishing our growth this year.
New Configuration of Our Music Program: We have a fantastic new Director of Music, Bill Peek. He would like to continue with us, however, he also plans to stay on as the summer music director at Union Chapel. Bill would like an additional Sunday off each month to maintain his musical connections and performance opportunities in NYC. We have asked Molly Conole to be Assistant Director of Music, leading our music program during the summer and on the Sundays when Bill is off. We also wish to honor the fine work of Hope O’Brien and our wonderful bell choir by including a new line item in the budget which will help support some of their expenses. In order to support this new configuration of our music programs, we are adding $12,500 to the budget.
Minister's Compensation: Our church cherishes the gifts of our minister. Cathlin has been with us nearly 10 years, and in that time has empowered our church leaders to turn our church around. She has brought to us engaging guest preachers and program leaders. We are a growing and thriving church, a rare thing in this day and age. Our church seeks to compensate Cathlin for her gifts on a level that is comparable to her peers in the Massachusetts United Church of Christ. This will take time. In order to make progress on this goal in 2018, we are adding $5,000 to the budget.
Church School Teacher’s Aide: We cherish the presence of children and families in our church. In order to support our families we seek to maintain our commitment to safe church policies by always having two adults present for church school classes and any church events involving children. We would like to hire a paid adult teacher’s aide rather than ask parents to volunteer in Church School and have them miss worship. In order to follow safe church practices and secure an adult teacher's aide, we are adding $2,080 for salary ($40/Sunday) to the budget.
Care Team Coordinator: Our minister is spread thin by the vitality of our church and wears many hats. In addition to supporting long-standing members of the church, she plays a critical role in welcoming new folks and helping them to become engaged in the life of the church. Cathlin is also active in the wider Island community, so that our church is at many critical meeting tables – hospital chaplains, affordable housing, community food programs, etc. Our church has tried to establish a Congregational Care Team to support Cathlin in responding to the pastoral care needs of our congregation, but it is not yet operational. In order to offer quality pastoral care to our congregation so that no one falls through the cracks of our busy church, we are adding $3,600 to the budget to pay a Care Team Coordinator ($30/hr/10 hours per month.)
To read Rev. Cathlin's sermon about our thriving church, click here.