Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bigger Basics

338 Academy St.

Our vestry is being renewed by the inclusion of two new members - Dene Huff and Joyce Morehouse.  We are actively pursuing a third to fill the vacancies made as Kate Booker, Dan Jubelt, and Ginger Kroeber fulfilled their three year rotations.   Thanks be to God for their faithful service to this parish.  

Part of realizing this renewal is for the vestry to go into retreat and take time to consider its work from a larger perspective than the one our monthly meetings encourages.  Thanks to Elizabeth Branch we were able to take most of Saturday, January 21 and comfortably broaden our view, our interests and our imaginations.  

We took on the theme of "Getting Back to Basics."  We focused on how best to structure leadership roles back toward the more customary Senior/Junior Wardens.  We talked about embracing the responsibility for budget oversight much of which had been left to Tom Sherwood and the Finance Committee.  We looked at our year-long calendar paying particular attention to how we make room for each other outside of Sunday morning worship.  We even looked at Christmas 2017 events and talked about how best to use our customary 5pm and 11pm services December 24th, which is a Sunday.  

Lots of basics and because of that lots of big pictures, too.  We talked about the bigger picture of historic preservation and not just the patio.  We talked about the bigger picture of funding for more than ministry since we more and more understand the demands of using an antique property.  We talked about the bigger picture  of parish growth and property development.  We talked about hosting events off our property -- like the Palm Sunday procession -- and how to invite the community.  

Our big picture went carefully into the past and with some courage into the future.  That's what getting back to the basics will do.  It always happens this way, sometimes because I can't keep a secret but other times because we share so much in our love of this parish and each other, historic preservation and the enlarging demand of it is all the more on the mind of several parishioners.

The picture above shows the parish house BEFORE we purchased and renovated it.  Hardly looks like the same place. That things are so different in appearance now is nothing but good news for us.  Granted some liberties were taken in removing the Victorian gingerbread and cupola.  The bigger picture then was to get as close as possible to a colonial period appearance.  Because of that vision we have a property that coalesces well and evokes the earliest days.  

Thanks be to God for the bigger picture that restored Episcopal worship to Morgan County. Thanks be to God for the bigger picture that brought us to this property and to these historic buildings.   Thanks be to God that in getting back to our basics we are finding our own bigger pictures.  

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