By Clare Andreasson
Fall is a season of paradox. We gather in the harvest of a season of beauty and bounty. We look back in gratitude for all that we have been given. And we let go. Leaves change from green to gold. They fall from the trees. The plants that have provided flowers and food for us whither and appear to be dying. The landscape looks barren. We enter a season where we must trust in the life hidden in the seed, hidden in the roots which are nourished and continue to grow beyond sight deep within the soil. We move towards Advent, the season of waiting in faith and hope and love for the life that is to come.
It is in the midst of this season that the vestry enters its work of preparing a budget for the year ahead. We will meet on the morning of Saturday, December 9. We will look back in gratitude for God’s provision. We are deeply grateful for all the ways you have given to the work to which we have been called here at Grace and for your stewardship and generosity which have provided for our financial needs as a parish.
In addition, we will spend some time looking at the ministries at Grace which would benefit from greater communication with the vestry. We hope to revive the connections which vestry liaisons, meeting regularly to understand and support the work of our ministries, could provide.
We will also prayerfully re-evaluate our needs as a parish; we will consider our current employment structures and our spending in light of those needs. We will work to create a balanced budget. This is a process which involves both gathering in and letting go. We ask for your prayers as we do this work. One week after our vestry meeting, on Sunday, December 17 after the 10 am service, we will invite you to a parish meeting to give you a budget update.
If you are planning to pledge, but have not yet done so, it would help us tremendously if you could give us your pledge card. We will need to make decisions based on an understanding of what we may anticipate receiving in the year ahead.
The rhythms of the seasons remind me that what has come before nourishes and gives life to what lies ahead. As a vestry, we enter this season of our work trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide us in gratitude and to give us wisdom as we prepare to receive the new life that is to come.