Wednesday, June 24 2020
Our Resuming In-Person Ministries Task Group will meet again this week to review our recommendations regarding in-person ministries. Since we first met, it has become clear that Phase 4 of the Safe Start plan, which we had originally been waiting for to resume in-person ministries, will not come for some time. As a result, I suspect we will be making plans to resume in-person ministries in Phase 3, with all the additional requirements that phase requires, both from the State, and from the Bishop’s Office. When we have those plans in place, we will inform the parish through all of our available communication channels.
This week we also held an online forum with many of our “8 o’clockers,” getting input on their hopes for resuming in-person worship. It was incredibly helpful, and will definitely guide the work of both the task group and the staff as we develop our plans for re-opening. It was truly a joy to see so many of our folks at once, many of whom I hadn’t seen since March. I am eager to see you all again, even though at the beginning it will be through face masks.
For those who are anxious about returning to church for any reason at this time, we are making major improvements in our streaming capability for the liturgy, and we’re pleased to tell you that all of our liturgies will be available for streaming online once we resume live worship in our building. Last week, the Vestry decided on a plan for streaming our services, and we are now just waiting for the equipment to arrive at the church, so we can install and test it before in-person liturgies resume. You’ll be able to watch the services on our homepage, just as you have since the end of Lent, and the liturgy will actually be live (or, technically, on a two-minute delay, but you won’t really notice from home).
This has been a major challenge for each of us. Worshipping from home, doing fellowship remotely, figuring out how we will meet the challenges that face us in the coming months—none of it was on any of our radar in December, and now it’s all becoming second nature. So much has changed in the last months, and everyone at St. John’s | San Juan has risen to the challenge, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it, and for each of you. In the midst of an incredibly challenging time, our community has responded with grace and resiliency. I wouldn’t be prouder of our faith community, or more excited to see where the Holy Spirit is leading us, both in this season, and in the next.
Tuesday, June 23 2020
...Not long after, I discovered a potted plant atop the Columbarium, left in memory of a loved one, no doubt. It reminded me of our common experience of loss, and how someday we'll all be someone else's loss. Given our finite time here, how is it that we don't pay more attention to the world around us, savoring it while we can? Yet I find myself rushing through the day, driven by tasks, oblivious to the beauty around me. Perhaps someone is trying to tell me something.
It turns out we don't always have to look up to make discoveries. Recently I did some power washing, cleaning off the sidewalk on 19th Avenue from Washington Street to Capitol Way. When the moss and dirt were washed away it revealed the words "Main Street" on the concrete that abuts Capitol Way. (Main Street was the original name of the street according to the City website. The concrete on 19th must be pretty old.)
Later I found a mess outside far worse than any I'd encountered in the past--an unpleasant surprise. I grumbled as I cleaned it up, forgetting what I'd written last month in The Chronicle about not taking such things personally. After the work was done I reflected on what I'd said. Did I really mean it when I honored forgiveness and compassion, or was I just "talking the talk without walking the walk?" Ah, well, sometimes it takes a little jolt to remind me of my commitments.
Still the surprises kept coming. As you know, there have been demonstrations downtown lately. One Saturday morning I was included in a group text about our sign having been tagged the night before. A discussion followed about what to do but no immediate plan was devised. Mysteriously, the sign was cleaned off by Saturday afternoon, the cleaner unknown--a double-barreled surprise! Since then a neatly stenciled BLM has appeared on the sidewalk along Capitol Way.
Surely I had used up my allotment of surprises for a while, I thought, but recently the begonia has been blooming in the Atrium (see photo above), and last night I discovered a glorious crop of Rose Campion showing their colors on the corner of 20th and Washington, reminding me that good things follow when I keep my eyes and heart open.
Tuesday, June 23 2020
Part I Building Permit Application Submitted
Last week KMB Architects completed a “permit set” of Part I Construction Documents for submittal to the City of Olympia as early as June 19. We expect the city’s plan review process to take between 4-6 weeks, perhaps longer, depending on any clarifications or changes they might request. Our January pre-submittal review with the city was clean, so we don’t expect any surprises. Still, you never know!
Hazardous Materials Abatement
KMB Architects has finalized the drawings for hazardous materials abatement work related to Part I. The next step will be to ask abatement contractors for price quotes based on these drawings.
In consultation with our owner representative, Clint Pehrson, we advised KMB in April to plan for only minimal abatement work in Part I, with no related repair work, such as to water-damaged walls, done until Part II. This means new structural elements, like steel angle plates, will be left exposed at the end of Phase I. One exception is to make the concrete floors flush where any footing or foundation work was done - we do not want to live with holes in the floor. This decision was driven by the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic’s ongoing impact on the national economy, and consequently, our parish’s capacity to raise sufficient funds during the fall capital campaign for anything beyond the Part I scope.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Tuesday, June 23 2020
...I've addressed those changes we've all been forced to make in previous letters to you so I'll not revisit those needed adjustments. I would, however, like to point out the projects that your Vestry has undertaken to meet the needs caused by the pandemic.
Fr. R.C. has been the driving force to assure worship services continue through the use of the latest technology. He has literally built a system from the ground up that addresses our virtual worship needs now with the ability to expand in the future. I know I, as well as the remainder of the Vestry, thank him for all his work on this and would ask you do the same. I hope you had a chance to read his notes on the additional technologies St. John's | San Juan will be using to further enhance our virtual worship opportunities in the June 21, 2020 edition of "The Messenger." He provides a detailed description of the projects. If you missed it, click here to read it. It's very exciting to think about the possibilities these additions will bring to help keep our church family connected!
Fr. R.C. has gone to a tremendous amount of work to research the technology that is required to provide these virtual opportunities. He provided the Vestry with the necessary information and options that helped us make an informed decision when making an investment of this sort. Thanks Fr.!
As usual Treasurer Bob LeRoy provided the latest reports on our financial situation. To review the current accounting of funds, please click here to review his report.
Your Vestry decided to call members of our church family again to see how they are doing during the pandemic. If you didn't receive a call at the beginning of the health crisis, please let the church office know or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It may be that we have an incorrect number, your name may have not been added to the directory or another reason. We'll see that your name and contact information is corrected or added.
Please remember you can still celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or any other special event on Sunday's by letting Fr. R.C. know. You can contact him by email with either a written or a video celebration.
As we look forward to the day when we again can gather in person, I am reminded of the passing of Dame Vera Lynn, the British singer who made the song, "We'll Meet Again" famous during World War II and the song's lyrics. She sings of meeting again and not knowing where or when, but it being a sunny day when the meeting takes place. Dame Vera was 103. I look forward to that sunny day, as I know we all do!
In the attempt,
Tuesday, June 23 2020
St. John’s Episcopal Church
The regular monthly meeting of the Finance Committee was held on June 11. Joining me were members R.C., Gerry Apple, Mark Hampton, Ric Weatherman, Cynthia Knapp and Christian MacMillan. The Committee reviewed our current financial condition and offers two recommendations detailed below regarding acceptance of a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the treatment of interest on the restricted gifts from the Estate of Elinor Vadman.
Our Current Financial Condition
Bank Balances as of 6/9/2020:
The most recent Statements of Activity and Financial Position accompany have been posted to the parish website. Click on this link and scroll to the bottom of the page. As of May 31, our year-to-date operating deficit was -$25,523.09, but with the application of the remaining PPP funds in June, we will be very close to being on target for the year-to-date.
Following a significant increase in April, pledge payments were above budget again in May, reducing our year-to-date shortfall to budget to -$10,727.99 (9%).
A payment to bring us current on our Diocesan Assessment for 2020 was made last week.
We will exhaust the remaining PPP funds ($20,364.33) this month. In keeping with guidelines for the program, we have used the funds to pay salaries, benefits, and utilities.
We have been approved for a $150,000.00 loan from SBA through the EIDL program. The loan can run for a maximum of 30 years at 2.75% interest. Payments do not begin until 12 months after the loan is funded, and there are no prepayment penalties. The loan is not secured by real property, but the SBA does require a security interest in “tangible and intangible personal property (e.g. equipment, deposit accounts). We’ve asked the Diocese to review and approve our acceptance of the loan and hope to have their guidance within a few days. With Diocesan approval, the Finance Committee recommends we accept the loan. The proceeds can be applied to a wide range of operating—but not capital—expenses and would provide us with a valuable reserve as we move through a continuing and likely protracted period of economic uncertainty.
With Diocesan approval, the Vestry approved acceptance of the $150,000.00 loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
Estate of Elinor Vadman
To-date, $120,000 has been disbursed from the Estate of Elinor Vadman. These funds are restricted and directed to the Diocese for deposit into a new separate account in the names of Elinor and Warren Vadman included in our Master Account with the Diocese of Olympia Master Trust (DIF). We are not entitled to the principal in the account, but we do have discretion over the use of the interest. It can be withdrawn periodically or reinvested. After reviewing the matter, the Finance Committee recommends reinvesting the interest until such time as we may need it for approved expenses.
The Vestry approved reinvestment of the interest from the Elinor and Warren Vadman Account with the Diocese of Olympia Master Trust until such time as we may need it for approved expenses.
We have received the draft of a contract from Jerry Campbell, our consultant. The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF), for whom Jerry formerly worked, no longer offers consultative services for congregational campaigns. We would be hiring Jerry as an independent contractor. Since Jerry doesn’t have the overhead of ECF, the fee for his services is reduced considerably. Jerry believes we can also save by using a local vendor (rather than ECF’s preferred source) for design, printing, and mailing of our campaign collateral material. He estimates that the total cost for the solicitation phase of the campaign, including his fees and expenses and those of the vendor would be in the range of $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 (Note: Our original estimate for “campaign support” through ECF was $44,950).
The Vestry approved contracting with Jerry Campbell to provide consultant services for the solicitation phase of the upcoming Capital Campaign.
…Bob Le Roy, Treasurer