We had a fabulous annual meeting on Jan 12. For those of you that were there, thank you for all of your input. For those who could not be there, please read the comments and results (below) carefully. And, this was only the beginning of a longer discussion about who we are and what we want to do next and how to spend our money. Please plan to join in the conversation!
[creativ_alertbox icon=”warning-sign” colour=”light-gray” custom_colour=””]As part of the report on the budget, Gordon noted that our pledges are down. Please consider whether you can increase your monthly giving – even a small amount. And if you have not pledged, please consider making one. It is a year-long commitment to supporting SKK. If circumstances change, you can let Kuni know that your pledge has to be changed – it is not a big deal. However, in order to do the things we want to do, we need everyone’s support. You can call or write Kuni or Gordon to make a pledge. Thank you![/creativ_alertbox]NOTES from the Annual Meeting Discussion
After the Vicar’s Report (see below) and the Senior Warden’s Report, a report on JARF and JARF Housing, and a report on the building, we moved into our discussion. Mary Vargas had kept the big papers from the Appreciative Inquiry process that SKK had done 10 years ago, and so we hung those on the wall for everyone to see. The first question was: Looking at what we wanted to get done 10 years ago, what have we accomplished? The answer was: A lot! There were many things that we have gotten done. The second question was: What is up on the papers that we do not care about any more? Again, there were several things that we crossed off. For instance, we are not interested in having an 8:00 service (much to the relief of the vicar – which made everyone laugh). But there were other things too. For instance, one crossed-off item was a desire to not be dependent on the tenants. At this point, what we can see is that while we are dependent on the tenants for a significant part of our income, it is precisely that income which allows us to be independent in terms of the diocese. It helps that we have good tenants, and part of the vicar’s job responsibilities include maintaining good relationships with them.
Having answered those questions, we moved on to the question of what is important now. There were two main categories. One had to do with energy-saving improvements to the building, specifically double-paned windows, solar panels, and furnace ductwork. We are getting estimates on each of these things to see what is possible.
The other category we labeled “communication” although it covers more than simply communication. There was a desire to let people know we are here and to get people into the building. We talked about the need to have both events (like concerts and weddings) and programs (like we have had on Sunday after church), to first get people into the church physically and then to have something to offer to them. This led us to a final question of why? Why are we doing this? In other words, what is our mission statement? At this point, we decided we had worked hard enough, and went downstairs for bento and Carol’s soup. We will resume the question of the mission statement in further meetings.
- January 26, Park-Li/Hart Baptism – all are invited!
- February 1 (Sat), training event at Grace Cathedral – sign up online www.diocal.org/remix
- February 22 (Sat) Day of Remembrance, Kabuki Theater, 2-4pm
- March 8 (Sat) Curry Cookoff, CUPC (Presbyterians)
- March 15 (Sat) Deanery, St Cyprians
- April 13, Palm Sunday
- April 17, Maundy Thursday at CUPC (Seder Dinner)
- April 18, Good Friday at SKK (CUPC joins us)
- April 20, Easter
- August 24, Music Festival
To Mary Vargas, for all her help planning and leading the Annual Meeting discussion, to Carol Park-Li for the great New Year’s soup and obento!
THE LAST WORD
Heal the secret hurts within, those deepest memories we all carry, but rarely even mention, the very private pain that seems to be our inheritance, given to us even in childhood, or acquired over a lifetime, moments when we endured, but never forgot, keeping our vigil over a hidden past, wearing the unseen sadness for years. It is on these most tender places, for both you and I, that I pray God places a gentle hand, drawing out the sorrow, restoring lost innocence, healing us as an act of liberation, a gift of freedom from the secret hurts within. Bp Steven Charleston
Vicar’s Annual Report
I want to thank you for letting me be your priest, for letting me serve you. It is my understanding that this is the church of the people, not “my” church, and that ultimately, I have one underlying task. That task is to do whatever it takes to “bring people to God and God to the people.” So my job is really facilitating that for you and the community. How to do that is always the question, and so season by season, I come to you and ask you: what do you want? Of course there are things I want as well, but the first question is what do you want? We are in the season after the Epiphany at this point, which means that I need to ask you about Lent, our next season. I’ll come back to that.
Although it is a bit difficult to toot my own horn, I know that it is important to let you know the kinds of things that I have done for SKK. When I look back over the past year, I see that I was your representative at ACDC and JARF and Soko Bukai. I spoke for us at NJAHS, and represented us at the Consul General’s farewell dinner and Kokoro at On-lok. I was on the liturgy committee for the EAM Consultation, and put together the liturgy booklets. With the invaluable help of Kei, Yuki, Carol, Gordon, Jeff Matsuoka, you all, and the ministers of JARF, we organized the lecture of Dr Hinohara which was a huge success. For the Music Festival, I was the performer and stage manager, and things went very smoothly. I, along with the Cathedral staff, are deeply appreciative of such a capable group of people as you to work with on this project. I re-negotiated the new letter of agreement with the counseling center. I met with a clergy group once a month. I organized the refinishing of the flooring of the chapel, with special thanks to Carl, Gordon, Josh, Jeremy and Kevin, and new carpeting for the counseling center. I drew the plans for the new altar and found a carpenter to make it. The Bishop came to see us this year, and it went well. Thanks to everyone who showed up for that event. I went to the Wild Goose Festival for continuing education time, and plan to go again this year. I baptized Larry and Florence’s grandbaby, and Carl and Keiko’s grandbaby. I have met with any number of you individually. I have visited Frances regularly, almost every week after church. And, of course, I have preached and celebrated Eucharist almost every Sunday for you.
So what’s next? Over the past couple of years, I have not taken my full vacation time. This year, I have the opportunity for extended vacation time. In February, I will be going to Burma and Thailand with my mother, and in March, I will be going to Guatemala with Sue. I will be back for one week in-between those trips. If you were lucky, you were here when the Rev. Chris Webber was here to preach one week, and got to hear him and to meet his wife. They have recently moved here to be near their daughter. He worked in Tokyo, and she was born in Japan. He will be doing the services while I am gone. I hope you will make an extra effort to attend the services. He is a very good preacher!
The rest of what’s next will mostly be determined by you, and by our discussions about who we are, what we want to do next, and how we want to spend our money. I expect that JARF will want me to be President for one more year. I will continue to be very active with the Soko Bukai, and with ACDC. I have already contacted the performers for the Music Festival, and secured the date with the Cathedral. I am looking forward to the Park-Li baptism at the end of this month. Otherwise, I look forward to hearing what you want from me.
The final question is what do I want from you? I would like you to attend the congregational day February 1 at Grace Cathedral. A couple of weeks ago, Keiko could not be here, and so I drafted Angela’s father to come help me with serving the wine. He is a Eucharistic minister in Scotland, so I knew it would be easy for him. However, I would like Keiko, and me, to have some help. I would like a couple more folks to help with the altar guild. If we had two people for each week, it would be very easy to do, and then if one person could not make it, the other one could cover. Those are little things. What I really want is for us all to work together at looking at who we are, where we are going, and how we want to share the amazing bounty that we have been given. Oh, and what do you want for Lent?
[We had a small discussion about Lent. The decision was that we will go to other churches for Ash Wednesday, we will join the Presbyterians for Maundy Thursday, and they will join us for Good Friday. We will not try to have a Lenten program, but may do something with the Presbyterians after Easter.]
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