Gratitude & Summer Happenings at All Souls – Reflections from the President
Wow – it’s July! Typically summer is a time to relax and slow down but as the State of Vermont opens up and All Souls Church prepares to offer more in-person opportunities, church life continues at an exciting but breathless place. I’d like to offer updates as well as thanks.
During this past year, the Re-Opening Task Force has met regularly to review the spread of Covid-19 in our area and has made recommendations to the Board about ways for us to safely conduct church activities. Much appreciation to Karen Tyler, Steve Squires, George Carvill, Peter Gibbons, Jamie Gibson and Rev. Telos for their thoughtful deliberations and guidance.
In our recent survey, two-thirds of respondents indicated that they would like the option to attend services either in-person or via Zoom or a recording. To this end we are putting together a Task Force to Consider Hybrid Options. My hope is that this group will meet during the summer and make recommendations to the Board. Thanks to Jamie Gibson, Daniel Kasnitz, Meg Baker, Janis Chaillou and Darlene Jenson for agreeing to be part of this group and to Steve Squires for helping during the initial transition from one task force to the next. This group will enlist the input of others, particularly those who are most involved with worship planning. It is good to know that twelve individuals indicated an interest in helping with or learning more about tech so they might consider assisting in this area.
Under the new leadership of Ron Niswander, the Capital Needs Committee has been meeting to look at critical needs of our building and has worked closely with our building consultant Robin Sweetapple They have recommended, and the Board has approved, that work be done this summer in the following areas:
- Painting of the entire exterior building trim, long overdue
- Repointing and flashing of chimney to prevent leaks
- Rear handicap ramp roof modification to fully cover the ramp and prevent snow buildup • Phase one of shingle siding replacement as shingles are degrading
These improvements, plus the addition of our new accessible bathroom, are critical as we prepare for a return to the building for our activities. The care of our church home is an important area of stewardship. We are grateful to have the funds available from recent bequests of members who have loved All Souls Church. The Capital Needs Committee is also recommending that our driveway be paved and the Board has given approval to the committee to do additional research for this project.
A final thank you to Marie Gorst who completed her term on the Board at the end of June. I have valued her questions and insights during our deliberations. She capably facilitated Parish Council during this past year and kept the conversation flowing and agenda items on track. She has told us she will now focus her attention on music and art endeavors at All Souls.
Thanks are due to those who contribute in so many other areas of church life – we have such a talented and giving congregation! I am glad we will soon be able give thanks in person. I look forward to our July 25th ice cream social and our August 7th picnic. It will be so good to gather with one another this summer.