Annual Meeting Report 1-25-15 George Yandell



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Annual Meeting Report 1-25-15 George Yandell

In my annual reports over the past four years, I have said these words, and want to say them again: This is your parish. I serve God and you, guided by the Spirit of Jesus. I want to tell what I perceive God has done, is doing, and will do with us together.

Globally, Christianity is in transition. Phyllis Tickle wrote of this phenomenon in The Great Emergence: “About every 500 years the Church feels compelled to hold a giant rummage sale. The empowered structures of institutionalized Christianity become an intolerable carapace that must be shattered in order that renewal and growth may occur. A new more vital form of Christianity does indeed emerge.” [The Great Emergence: Why Christianity is Changing and Why, pp. 16-17] We’ve just passed a great 500 year tsunami and are now in the ebb tide after those changes. Whether implicitly or explicitly, all branches of Christendom are asking: What do we do now?

I want to bring down the Emergence effects to the local level, how they’re acted out in Holy Family.

1) Ask: “How many of your were here at Holy Family in the early days from 1986 - 1990 when worship was at New Lebanon Presbyterian, at the Assembly of God and at Chapman (now Roper) Funeral home? Please stand if you were part of Holy Family in those days.”

“How many of you were here to see the Conference Building put in place?” @ 1990 – 1995 Stand.

“Which of you were here when the new building was planned, built and consecrated? 1996- 2002

“When Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center was created about 12 years ago and the parish adjusted to having a larger campus and new worship space? @ 2002 - 2010

When I came to serve here in 2010 to the present? 2010 - 2015

How many of you have been at Holy Family for 1 year or less? If you’re a visitor today, you fall into that group. Now look around you- see the whole congregation standing- this is the Body of Christ that is Holy Family today.

We are in our 29th year as a parish- the founding parents are fewer in number each year, and newer members are finding Holy Family and becoming part of the ministering body.

At of the end of 2014 we had 306 active adult baptized members- 4 people left Holy Family in 2014 and 17 joined the Church- a net increase of 13. Combined with all the members under 16 years of age and people who are active here but not members, we have 443 people who make up the parish. Our average combined Sunday attendance was 171last year. Our budget in 2013 was the 22nd largest parish budget in the Diocese of Atlanta- out of 110 congregations. Holy Family is the 22nd largest parish in income. Does that startle you when you think of the very large parishes in this diocese?

2) The way some Churches determine their vision and mission has changed- instead of the vestry determining the direction the Church might take, the whole body of the faithful is engaged in deciding “What is most important for the parish to be doing?” The diocese is doing a similar seeking as we speak. The Holy Spirit is sought and guides the discussion, empahsizing that the whole body needs to seek the Spirit. Our vision and mission were distilled from small group input sessions held in 2011- over 95 of us participated. The Long Range Plan was developed from the most frequent comments you made. The Campus Master Plan was developed and presented in 2013 after 93 of you participated in more small group sessions.

Those small group input sessions gave us a roadmap from the bottom up- the vestry has been accountable for seeing LRP components put in place- in the annual meeting in a bit, Sr. Warden Steve Sarratt will bring us up to date on those components already in place, and those not yet accomplished.

A major hallmark of the emerging Church is that it is mission-driven- Holy Family since its inception has had passion for offering healing and hope to the wider community. That is still central to our mission.

Another hallmark is strong Christian Education for adults- Holy Family offers wide-ranging series that are based on suggestions participants have made in their end-of-course evaluations.

A deep-set need for mystical connection with God is drawing more people into small group offerings that emphasize practice over belief- that is, instead of long-used methods of “believe- behave-belong”, many congregations are instead bent on “belong- behave-believe”. Offering many paths for mystical connection with the Holy aids belonging. [ibid, p. 159]

So how are we doing in accomplishing the mission you raised up in your comments? Creating Christian Community: Engaging people in vibrant ministry- you can read about all the ministries’ accomplishments in the annual meeting report.

As I mention a Ministry or Committee, please stand if you participate in any way in them.

Worship –chaired by Joyce Dewey.

Parish Development- Roger Schultz including Greeters, and those working on the campus master plan.

Buildings- Bob Wheeler

Christian Education for young people and adults:

Finance Ministry- Lamar Swindull chair

Grounds- Pete Cook and team

Hospitality: Jack DeCammillis and Peggy Simmons, co-chairs, who are rotating out after two years, and new co-chairs Melinda Edwards and Patricia Stimmel.

Outreach: Andy Edwards

Pastoral Care: Winship Durrett (including prayer Shawls)

Ushers: Phil Anderson

You all are advancing the mission of Holy Family- and more of us can be included in these ministries if you will fill out the Sign-up sheet for volunteering to serve.

I want to sketch out what’s happened and been accomplished in the past year and recognize leaders of each ministry and committee.

A Grief Workshop on February 22 with Dr. Bob Neimeyer was sponsored by the Pastoral Care Ministry- There were 57 attendees- many from larger community.

John Carter organized and started the Taize services in February on 1st Mon. of each month.

Steve Kraftchick from Candler Theological Seminary was the Lenten speaker in March.

In March, Leamarie True presented highlights of her mission trip to Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

On May 3 Holy Family won CARES Pastor’s Pot again- 4th year in a row for most contributions and we won best larger church tasting award. (Crystal Beaver at Trinity won for smaller churches and said she’s gunning for us this year.)

In May, the Outreach Committee began volunteering and providing assistance for the Matthew Project at Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center.

In June Bp. Whitmore visited and confirmed 5 young people who had completed the confirmation classes.

In late June and early July, thanks to Roger Schultz’ dogged persistence, the forestry service did vista clearing as the campus master plan called for- amazing work in 2 ½ days with a massive machine, and they didn’t charge us anything- they said we had qualified for funding under special grant.

In late July, the vestry petitioned the parish for 13th month pledges to bridge an income gap and many of you responded.

In September John Carter, Suzy and Bill Pattillo started the 3rd Sunday Concert/Evensong series.

In October we launched the new website.

In October Jean Gray started recycling cans, plastics and other items from the parish hall and kitchen.

On November 16 we held Consecration Sunday with Bill Harkins as guest leader and preacher.

On December 6, Dr. Beth-Sarah Wright held a workshop on Depression (sponsored by Pastoral Care) - 43 attended- some from the larger community.

We held 9 burials/memorial services, had 1 Reaffirmation of marriage vows, 2 Blessing ceremonies, 7 baptisms and 5 confirmations.

We are blessed as a congregation to have 3 clergy who are devoted to God and Holy Family and serve here without stipend- please stand up, Katharine, Byron and Ted. I can’t tell you what it means for me that you share in the leadership of this parish. You are God’s gift to me and all of us.

3) Where are we going together? Holy Family will continue to fulfill God’s intent for us. As we move toward middle-adulthood as a parish, I believe we will attract many people from differing religious backgrounds because they see that we are carrying out a viable mission with passion.



We today are the Church Militant- those who’ve gone before us into God’s nearer presence are the Church Triumphant- we together are engaged in the good fight to deliver God’s justice and peace more fully into God’s world in our local communities and beyond. May God bless all our founding parents, those of us who have joined along and way and all those who will become part of Holy Family. May the Holy Spirit inspire our mutual passion for our mission.

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