Moving from Darkness to Light
Reflections from the President
Welcome to the New Year! Perhaps you will join All Souls friends for a warm and nourishing gathering around pancakes and games on New Year’s Day. Many thanks to Kathy Squires as we return to this happy tradition as we contemplate all that is possible in the coming year.
I am writing this during the day of the Winter Solstice. The sun will set at 4:19 tonight and the day feels too short. It’s a dark time of year as I prepare luminaries to light the walkway to our Christmas Eve service. I am cheered by lights on houses and candles in windows. I realize that it may feel even darker for those who are struggling with personal or family illness or grieving loss. We can shine a light for one another with a hug, a meal, a caring message, a smile or taking up a task that the other can no longer do at this time.
I have been reminded that updates from the Board of All Souls are helpful to members of the congregation so I will recap some of our recent activities. First and foremost, we have welcomed Carla Fogg to the Board to fill a vacant position as a Member-at-Large for the remainder of this year. She joins myself, VP Jamie Gibson, Treasurer Ron Niswander, Clerk Catie Berg and Members-at-Large, Elizabeth Lewis and Barbara Woods, our Parish Council facilitator.
The Board addresses policy issues, monitors budgets and approves contracts and expenditures. We have once again contracted with Travis Bristol for winter plowing and with Justin Gouin to shovel our walkways. We approved switching our propane deliveries to Dead River and anticipate a change in our trash pickup. Both of these changes should provide cost savings. We had previously approved expenditures for audio and video equipment for hybrid services. A new MacBook and compact portable mixer were purchased and we anticipate a camera purchase in 2023. We have been monitoring the donations to cover driveway paving. Ron and I have also been the points of contact for Sara Ozawa, who is preparing final landscape designs which we will receive in late January.
We approved a rental rate for the upcoming calendar year rental contract with Theatre Adventure and authorized Rev. Telos to continue conversations with the Spring of Hope Church of God in Christ which has inquired about an ongoing Saturday rental. We intend to look at our rental rates which may need adjustment and we approved adding our Declaration of Inclusion as an addendum to our long-term contracts.
The congregation approved a deficit budget so we are monitoring income and expense closely. Winter brings larger expenses due to heating and plowing. We are pleased that the Holiday Bazaar was so successful. Pledges and gifts continue to be the core of budget.
We plan to hold a Board Retreat in early February for deeper discussion about committee development and renewal and next steps for landscape design and implementation We are grateful to the ASC community. With the return of more sunlight we have much to consider as we enter 2023.