Annual Meeting Sunday January 17, 2021 11:30 am
Annual Meeting link:
Megan Castellan is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Annual Meeting
Time: Jan 17, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Committee Chairs- please note that if the office has not received your report, you will be asked to provide one orally during the meeting
210 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
Annual Parish Meeting
Reports for 2020
January 17, 2021
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ithaca, NY
2021 Annual Meeting Agenda
- Opening Prayer: Rev. Megan L. Castellan
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with we who take counsel for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Appointment of Clerk, Recording of Quorum, Approval of 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes
- Nominations for the Vestry:
- Matthew Sanaker - Senior Warden 1 year term
- Cora Yao - Junior Warden 1 year term 2020, Senior Warden 2021
- Margaret Johnson - 3 year term
- Gary Anderson - 3 year term
- Beverly Way - 3 year term
- Florianna Blanton - 1 year term
- Nominations from the Floor
- Presentation of Financial Report and 2021 Budget: Mary Arlin
- Rector’s Report: Rev. Megan L. Castellan
- Reports from other ministries
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation. Let the whole world see and know that the things which had been cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things are made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
- Acknowledgements and Thanksgivings
Table of Contents:
Agenda: Page 2
2020 Annual Meeting Minutes: Pages 4, 5
Description of Canons pertaining to voting: Page 5
Vestry Nominee Bios: Pages 6, 7
Rector's Report: oral
Senior Warden's Report: oral
Junior Warden's Report: oral
Music Program Report: Page 7
Hospitality Report: Page 8
Building & Grounds Report: Page 8
Liturgy: Page 8
Services @ Kendal: Page 9
Education for Ministry: oral
Laundry Love: Page 9
Open Doors: Page 9
Episcopal Peace Fellowship: Page 9, 10
Altar Guild: Page 10
Stewardship: Page 10, 11
Giving Tree: 11
Financial Committee Report: Page 11
Financial Report from the Treasurer oral
2021 Budget oral
Loaves & Fishes Report oral
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Ithaca, NY
REPORTS FOR 2019
January 19, 2020
St. John’s Episcopal Church – Ithaca, NY
The meeting was called to order at 9:30am with an opening prayer.
The Annual parish report for 2019 was distributed including the meeting’s agenda, biographies of candidates for vacant offices, reports of the rector, senior warden and junior warden, music program, hospitality, buildings and ground committee, liturgy committee, services at Kendal, education for ministry, laundry love/pantry, open doors, episcopal peace fellowship, altar guild ministry, columbarium, communications/IT, stewardship, finance committee, and Loaves and Fishes.
The 2019 annual parish meeting minutes were voted unanimously approved. Jasmine Wagner was appointed clerk for the 2020 meeting.
Candidates for vacant vestry positions were presented. Openings were for three 3-year vestry terms, one 1-year vestry term (filling out Wes Baum’s position), senior warden, and junior warden. Nominations from the floor were requested. There being no nominations from the floor, the consenting nominations were elected unanimously as a slate.
Sara Van Looy – Senior Warden 2020
Matthew Sanakar – Junior Warden 2020, Senior Warden 2021
Gwen Freeman – 3 year term
Cynthia Gration – 3 year term
Jerome Fung – 3 year term
Brett Oakes – 1 year term
Presentation of Financial Report and 2020 Budget
The financial report and 2020 budget were presented by Mary Arlin. The last year ended with a negative $34,000 difference between actual and budget unrestricted income. This is a worrisome trend that the church will need to do some serious thinking about. She noted that the net gain shown in the financial report was deceptive due to the fact that funds from the holy land trip were included in that number. The 2020 budget is a deficit budget. A congregation member suggested that it might be time to consider another capital campaign.
Rev. Megan Castellan presented her report for the year. She said that the church has actually been running a deficit budget for a long time, but didn’t realize it because it was drawing down the endowment to make up the difference. She expressed confidence in the financial committee as they work to fix this. She pointed out that more congregation members are pledging, but the difficulty is that it takes more younger pledges to replace the larger donations that are lost when an older member dies. Mother Megan expressed excitement about all of the new ministries and changes that have happened over the last year: Laundry Love, hygiene pantry, Open Doors, and air conditioning. She thanked the retiring vestry members for their service.
Loaves and Fishes report
The status of Loaves and Fishes was presented by Rev. Christina Culver. She expressed joy at the incredible year of expanded shared ministry. Loaves & Fishes has been in operation for 37 years now. The addition of Laundry Love and the hygiene pantry, plus the installation of air conditioning, have been great improvements. Loaves and Fishes is well located to serve during a crisis. It is the only community kitchen to provide a meal Monday through Friday. She expressed gratitude for the many volunteers. She proposed that the first Monday of each month at lunch and the first Tuesday of each month at dinner be earmarked as ones during which Loaves and Fishes would particularly welcome St. Johns congregation members. The Loaves and Fishes Facebook site has plenty of information for those who are interested. She gave thanks to the church for their support.
Acknowledgements and other business
It was suggested that the congregation refer to the meeting report pamphlet for reports from the other ministries.
Mother Megan thanked AnnMarie, Chuck, Karen, and all those who help at the church.
A congregation member requested that Mother Megan let the congregation know if help is needed in efforts for Christian education for children.
The meeting adjourned at 10:05pm.
Respectfully submitted by Jasmine Wagner, Clerk of the Vestry.
Diocesan Canons regarding the definition of a qualified voter
CNY Canon V, Section 1 (i)
The qualified voters at any election or special meeting of a parish shall be those persons of full age belonging to the parish, who have been baptized and are regular attendants at worship and contributors to its support for at least twelve months prior.
CNY Canon V, Section 1 (j) V
The wardens and vestry persons shall be elected by ballot from qualified voters at the meeting, and no person shall be eligible for election as a warden unless he or she is also a confirmed communicant in the Episcopal Church, or be eligible for election as a vestry person unless he or she shall have been baptized.
CNY Canon V, Section 1 (k)
…At each annual election…one warden shall be elected to hold office for two years, and one-third of the total number of vestry persons of the parish shall be elected to hold office for three years. Each warden and vestry person shall hold office after the expiration of his or her term until his or her successor shall be chosen.
Junior and Senior Warden Nominees Biographies
Matthew Sanaker Nominated for SeniorWarden I have been attending St. John’s since 2013. I attended “non-denominational” Christian Churches in my youth. As an adult I have studied and practiced a number of traditions with the aim of learning how God speaks to us in different cultures and how he speaks to me personally. I worked for environmental and social justice in my 20’s and 30’s. I’m still interested in working for peace and justice and continuing interfaith dialog. I co-mentor our Education For Ministry (EfM) group with Lloyd Hall on Tuesday evenings and I serve as a LEM, mostly at 8:00. I live in Brooktondale, work as a computer programmer in Lansing and attend the 8:00 and 10:30 services with my wife Christi and children Otto and Ruby.
Vestry Nominee Biographies
Margaret Johnson Nominated for a 3 year term
Margaret Johnson is a long-time member of St. John’s, having engaged as a choir member, acolyte director, LEM, hospitality committee member and more recently, as a volunteer at Loaves and Fishes. Her degrees and professional experience are in policy analysis and program evaluation. She is married to Michael Roman. They have two young adult offspring who grew up at St. John’s, Nathan and Roman Aelish.
Gary Anderson Nominated for a 3 year term
I am currently an attorney doing court appointed criminal defense work for indigent defendants and sometimes representing children in custody cases (Attorney for the Child). I grew up in a small town outside of Indianapolis. My family's religious roots were fundamentalist/Methodist, but in high school I was introduced to the local Episcopal Chirch. During my first year in college I was received into the Episcopal Church on St. John's Day,1968.
Before going to law school and becoming an attorney, I worked in state government in Indiana and Illinois. Eventually I became a regional personnel director for the State of Illinois in Chicago. While in Chicago, I was an active congregant at the Cathedral of St. James as a lay reader, acolyte-server and member of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission through which I participated in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese. I enrolled in the evening division of Chicago Kent College of Law while working for the State of Illinois. After completing my legal studies a) I married my lovely wife and the mother of our son and b) we moved to Baltimore where I worked for a short time as an Assistant States Attorney. In Baltimore, I was a vestry member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church. In 2001, we moved to Ithaca, my wife's home town, where I became a congregant at St. John's. I served a term on the vestry during the conclusion of Fr. Snyder's tenure and at the beginning of Fr. Rich's rectorship.
I believe I have acquired valuable experience in resolving issues which might affect the ministries of our parish. It is my desire to the best of my ability to be open to the concerns of my fellow parishioners and to seek what the Holy Spirit wishes for the Church and those around me.
Beverly Way Nominated for a 3 year term
Hi Everyone! My name is Beverly Way. My husband Chris and I moved to Ithaca from California in 1997. I am a cradle Roman Catholic and was previously a member of St. Catherine of Siena parish. My family and I have been members of St. John’s since 2018. In two short years I have had a great time participating in St. John’s ministries and getting to know the wonderful people of the parish. Before the shutdown I served as a greeter and pitched in at coffee hours because welcoming and hospitality are ministries that are dear to my heart. Adult Ed served as a welcoming group to me right from the beginning. When the pandemic is over, I look forward to resuming work with Laundry Love and the Learning Communities Initiative because I want to know and be of service to the greater community. Until then, I appreciate the support of the Cyber Choir as they show me the ropes. In EfM I enjoy the camaraderie other folks who choose to read, reflect on, and discuss scripture, theology, life, and everything. I find St. John’s to be a remarkably vibrant parish that offers parishioners many ways to engage and grow. Whether you lead with head, heart, or hands there’s a way to give form to your faith at St. John’s. When I’m not doing church things, I teach at UCNS, a half-day cooperative nursery school. My children’s time there introduced me to the fascinating world of child development and piqued my interest in social and emotional learning. While I stayed in preschool, my children moved on. Lauren is in her third year of college in Minnesota while Nate graduates from Ithaca High School in June.
Florianna Blanton Nominated for a 1 year term
RECTOR'S REPORT 2020
Senior Warden's Report 2020
Junior Warden Report 2020
MUSIC PROGRAM in 2020 - Karen A. Hindenlang, Director of Music
In early 2020, our pipe organ received a complete cleaning and re-tuning. The long-planned maintenance / repair project was finished on time and under budget by Parsons Organ Co. Their results exceeded our expectations, revitalizing previously unusable pipes and establishing new clarity and improved tone color — while removing an almost unbelievable quantity of dead bugs. Soon after completion of this massive project on February 27, our services moved online. Though our physical proximity was suspended on March 22, the music program continued to serve St. John’s in worship throughout the remainder of 2020. Initially, the director of music provided music and tech assistance to the rector as she sang livestream hymns from home. After offering some recorded music for our Easter Vigil with Cornell, I began working remotely with a choral scholar to provide music for our first St. John’s video service on the Feast of Pentecost. That lead to the development of our experimental cyber choirs, which started in June and offered hymns through the summer. Then, in September, Cyber Choir began zooming together weekly and began providing anthems, service settings and 60+ hymns for our online worship. Singers new to our program, new to Ithaca, and new to choral music (!) joined long-time choir members and occasional guests in the steep learning curve of this labor-intensive new venture. Nearly 30 participants bravely recorded themselves singing at home with organ accompaniments that I created, edited, and distributed — often with practice files, recorded sing-a-long buddies, or conducted videos to help each singer. Weekly, I collected, reviewed and edited each singer’s individual contribution and mixed their voices together by section and as an ensemble. The audio files then had to be joined with images to create videos for live-stream or video worship. All this was done with my own personal, unsophisticated tech equipment and no prior experience. Our program also provided 4 cyber hymns for November’s Diocesan Convention service, gave the parish a full service of Advent Lessons & Carols, and was chosen for inclusion in the Bishop’s Christmas Eve service. Trumpeter Charlotte Hoekenga played with me remotely in several services, and I recorded many pre- and postludes showcasing our newly refurbished organ. We’ve been fortunate to obtain permission to use professionally recorded music in some online services. In this way, our worship has been enriched by the performances of substitute organist George Damp on various organs, and choral compositions by assisting conductor Crawford R. Thoburn, sung by a variety of ensembles. We also received permission from St. James Music Press to use their recordings of music by Mark Schweizer and others. I am very grateful for the help, support and encouragement of our congregation, cyber singers, vestry and rector. It has been a privilege and joy to ensure that even while separated, St. John’s still offers the sound of voices joined in song, raised together in worship, prayer, and praise.
Submitted by Karen Hindenlang, Director of Music
As we all know, 2020 was a very different year.
We began on a high note, with the 2020 Parish Meeting on the same day as the January Parish breakfast. The February parish breakfast was a success, and in March we were planning for a presentation on the Holy Land trip from those who had made the journey, with representative foods from our trip and a presentation of pictures and experiences.
That coffee hour was cancelled, and shortly afterwards Bishop DeDe instructed all the churches in the Diocese of Central New York to cease in-person services.
We have hosted a recurring Coffee Hour Zoom after our streaming services on Sundays, with a regular cadre of attendees.
Over the summer, the Bishop’s Covenant for Regathering allowed us to begin having distanced, outdoor services, and we had informal greeters at our Sunday Eucharists to explain the setup and help ensure distancing.
We hosted one funeral during this time, and our greeters were available to assist the family by directing guests to the COVID building visitor log and explaining how the distancing rules worked within the building.
Our “How To” guides for Coffee Hour and Greeters are being revised in light of COVID-19, though we do not know when we’ll be able to share food and drink in company again. Even after we regather for coffee hours, we expect there will be some differences in how we conduct those activities for some time.
Buildings And Grounds Committee Report 2020:
The following projects were begun and/or completed during 2020:
- A leak in the roof of the sanctuary was repaired and re-plastering portions of the ceiling affected by the leak are planned;
- Work on an upgrade to the building’s electrical system was initiated;
- New appliances were installed in the Laundry Love ministry with a grant from the Triad Foundation;
- The audio/visual system in the sanctuary was replaced with upgraded systems and equipment to improve the transmission of virtual worship services.
The pandemic delayed progress on the installation of a wheelchair ramp leading through the garth and up to the corridor connecting the sanctuary and the Parish Hall, as well as other projects.
Submitted by Brett Oakes
Liturgy Committee Report 2020
The Liturgy Committee has been remarkably busy throughout this year. The LEMs and Lectors learned new skills, such as pre-recording their readings and using Streamyard. They participated in a number of services, including special services on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve as well as a Pageant that was pre-recorded and is on YouTube. The committee continues to be grateful for all of the volunteers and especially for the flexibility as we have learned a new system. We continue to hopefully plan on doing some training for LEMs/Lectors as soon as we can safely do the training. If you are interested in being a LEM or a Lector please let either the office or Pam Talbott know. Pamela Talbott
Services at Kendal, the retirement community
A small group of residents at Kendal continue to meet twice monthly with our Rector in an Episcopal prayer service. During 2020 these services have occured via telephone since residents no longer could have in person meetings due to the Covid-19 disease affecting the country. Mtr. Megan has our appreciation!
Submitted by Bettie Lee Yerka
Education For Ministry: oral
Laundry Love and Dignity Pantry –
The laundry and the pantry closed in March 2020 due to Covid – 19 and the changes in how Loaves and Fishes served their clients. In the fall we received, through a generous donation, three new washers and dryers. We had hoped to reopen the laundry this fall but with the rise in case numbers, the decision was made to reimagine how we can provide the laundry service. Currently, with a group of dedicated volunteers, we are planning on opening the laundry service and doing the laundry for the clients. This way we can provide the service, the clients can have clean clothes and we all are safe. Hopefully, as we go forward, we can reopen the laundry.
The pantry has been open throughout this year, providing needed supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap, deodorant and socks. In May we received a generous donation of 3,000 pairs of socks from Bombas. We continue, with the help and support of the Loaves and Fishes volunteers, to offer needed supplies. Thank you to everyone who had donated to the pantry.
If you are interested in donating items to the pantry or volunteering to help in the laundry, please contact either the church office or Pam Talbott. Pamela Talbott
Open Doors 2020
Unfortunately we were not able to have our Open Doors service this year. We hope to be able to continue this service during this upcoming year. Look for more information as the year progresses. Pamela Talbott
Episcopal Peace Fellowship Report for 2020
Ithaca Area Chapter of Episcopal Peace Fellowship Organized an Important Endorsement for “Back from the Brink: The Call to Prevent Nuclear War” in 2020
The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, meeting in annual convention on Zoom, endorsed “Back from the Brink” at a Saturday, Nov. 14 legislative session. In a vote of 137 to 21, the Diocese joins local endorsers, including the Common Council of Ithaca and Town Council of Lansing, as well as two local Episcopal parishes (St. John's, Ithaca and St. Thomas', Slaterville Springs). The City Council of Syracuse has also endorsed.
The call for the diocese's endorsement of “Back from the Brink” was presented in a Resolution sponsored by the Ithaca Area Episcopal Peace Fellowship. The Fellowship has worked closely in recent years with the Nuclear Disarmament Group at Cornell to sponsor local educational events on the unthinkable dangers of nuclear war and nuclear winter, featuring presentations by Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). As the Doomsday Clock is reset each year in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists – the 2020 clock is set at 100 seconds to midnight – PSR and the Union of Concerned Scientists have launched “Back from the Brink” to mobilize citizens in a grassroots effort to pressure our government for changes in U.S. nuclear policy that will help prevent nuclear war.
Endorsing “Back from the Brink” supports adoption of five common-sense policies by our government:
** Renounce the option of using nuclear weapons first
** End the sole unchecked authority of any U.S. president to launch a nuclear attack
** Take U.S. weapons off high-trigger alert to avoid the danger of an accidental launch
** Cancel the 1.7 trillion dollar plan to replace the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal with enhanced
** Pursue a verifiable agreement among nuclear armed nations to eliminate their arsenals as
established in the Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons: the most important step.
The endorsement by the Diocese of Central New York occurs as the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), goes into full force on January 22, 2021, two days after the U.S. presidential inauguration. The Treaty was adopted in 2017 by 122 non-nuclear nations and received formal ratification by the 50th nation on Oct. 23. On Jan. 22, it will become illegal under international law to “develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear devices.” Nuclear weapons will join biological and chemical weapons, land minds and cluster bombs as prohibited under international law.
The U.S. and the eight other nuclear nations are not signatories of the TPNW. It is up to citizens to bring pressure on lawmakers and governments to move toward verifiable agreements. Citizens must join our voices – municipalities, civic organizations, human rights groups, veterans and student groups, synagogues and churches. Endorsement is a simple action for individuals and groups. The Peace Fellowship urges you to use this link to act today: https://preventnuclearwar.org/organizations-municipalities-endorsement-form/
The Altar Guild Ministry Report 2020
During 2020 has continued to prepare the altars and the sanctuary hangings for worship. The work of the Altar Guild is done quietly, but with love and devotion.
Because onsite worship in the sanctuary was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic, altar guild preparations were very different thereafter from years past.
When we were able to conduct in-person worship services outside during part of the summer and autumn, members of the Altar Guild brought the Eucharistic elements and vessels to the various worship sites.
We offer our thanks to St. John’s wonderful sexton, Chuck Merrill, who helped with the limited greening and other decoration of the sanctuary for Advent.
We also offer our thanks to St. John’s wonderful parish administrator, AnnMarie Hautaniemi, who promptly informed the Altar Guild about changes in worship schedules and locations necessitated by changes in state rules about gatherings and inside worship.
Our ministry is open to all – individuals, couples, family groups, young, old, students, men and women. Members are welcome to volunteer at times and for services that are convenient with their individual schedules. We welcome new members and will help you learn.
Submitted by Susie Backstrom
Communications/IT Committee Report 2020: oral
The Stewardship Committee thanks everyone for their continued support of the parish during these unprecedented times.
Despite the challenges of the present, there is much to be thankful for. Since March, many members of the parish have successfully switched to using the online platform tithe.ly for their giving or have continued to mail checks to the parish office. Members of the Stewardship Committee recorded short stewardship reflection videos throughout the spring, and we conducted our annual fall stewardship campaign entirely remotely. (The committee is particularly grateful to Lloyd Hall, Bev Way, and Amber Massa for their reflections.)
We continue, however, to need your support. While the Finance Committee and Vestry recognize that pledges are still coming in, the draft budget for 2021 approved by the Vestry contains a significant deficit that we need your support to help fill. As of the beginning of January, we have only received 31 pledges for 2021 totaling $77,870. This is significantly lower than last year, when we had 51 pledges totaling $125,652. If you have not yet had a chance to return your pledge card, it’s not too late! Please contact the parish office If you did not receive a card or need another one.
Respectfully submitted, Jerome Fung
It is with a full heart that I write to update you about the success of our Giving Tree. Amazingly, this happens every year. And I cannot be more thankful to our community.
GIAC has sent me a heartfelt email thanking us for our support and acknowledging our contributions throughout the years. This time, they also produced a video recording their Christmas celebration.
Among the children and adults that appear here are the ones that belong to the many families that we have reached. I recognized the bags and boxes that came from us. I hope everyone has a chance to watch it! That we are able to witness the joy that we contributed to is such a gift! Our very own AnnMarie appears on a picture with a very well deserved thank you note from GIAC. AnnMarie always helps a lot with the process and this year, even more so as I had to quarantine that last week and wasn’t able to take care of business as I would have usually done. THANKS ANNMARIE!
With Margaret’s help we were able to offer a SignUp Genius page listing the different families and the gift cards needed for each. Cards came from Walmart and Target in amounts ranging from $25-100. Although there was a bit of confusion as to where the cards were and where they needed to go, I was able to follow up with all those who signed up to help and made sure that their contribution was collected and assigned to the corresponding family.
I purchased a box of treats for each family, a family game, and between 1-3 books for each of the children. I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t just be picking up an envelope with the gift cards, but some small gifts selected especially for each of them. They were wrapped in festive bags and boxes, and picked up by GIAC on Thursday December 17th. Each family received all the cards we asked for through the Giving Tree, although a couple of them received a little more -thanks to the generosity of our parishioners.
Sending everyone love and wishing you all a 2021 with enough of all good things to fill up your hearts!
Finance Committee Report
The Finance Committee (Mary Arlin, KC Ryan, Susie Backstrom, and Brett Oakes) advises the
Vestry on financial matters; it meets monthly to monitor the monthly operating expenses and
income. During the fall, the committee drafted a budget for 2021 that was approved by the
Vestry during their December 2020 meeting. The 2021 budget, not unlike the 2020 budget, is a
deficit budget. The Finance Committee is confident that by carefully monitoring expenses, we
can end 2021 in the black. If you have any questions or suggestions for the Finance Committee,
please do no hesitate to approach me.
Submitted by Mary I. Arlin, chair
Loaves & Fishes oral