There is a lot involved in ordering our life together as Church!
Annual Meeting of the Convention
This Saturday, clergy, delegates and others will gather online for the Annual Meeting of the Convention of Episcopal Church in Western Oregon. Our form of church government in The Episcopal Church is representative and deliberative. Members of the laity are elected to represent their parish or mission congregation, serving alongside priests and deacons to take their part in the councils of the church. At Annual Meeting, we will consider a proposed 2024 budget for approval, elect nominees to diocesan boards and governing bodies, and debate and vote on resolutions pertaining to a wide range of ministry, social, and ethical concerns. You can read more about the resolutions and other business before the Convention here: https://ecwo.org/annual-meeting/.
This will, of course, be my first Annual Meeting here in Oregon, and I am looking forward to participating and learning more about our diocese. St. Michael’s lay delegates to the Convention this year are: Cheryl Braginsky, Gillian Butler, Barb Mason, and Karen Oglesby, with Lynda Moses serving as an alternate delegate. Please pray for our delegates, clergy, and all who participate in the Annual Meeting: especially that God will lead us to walk in the way of love and grant us wise and discerning hearts as we engage our work together.
Team L.I.F.E. Campaign & Budgeting
St. Michael’s 2024 pledge campaign, “Rooted and Grounded in Love,” is now in full swing. Officially, it began on October 15 and continues until November 12. We engage this effort with great hope for St. Michael’s future, and faith that God will inspire the gifts we need to support the full scope of life and ministry our parish enjoys.
Parallel to this campaign, Treasurer Dave Reilly, the Finance Committee, and I are already working on a first draft budget for next year to begin discussing with the Vestry. We have set up new processes to invite input from ministry leaders throughout the Parish. We seek to create a budget that is grounded in our current financial realities and lifted by our dreams for the growth and renewal of this community. Needless to say, robust participation in the pledge campaign, by anyone and everyone who calls St. Michael’s their home church, is so very vital to this work.
To emphasize the importance of each and every pledge at any level, I note that we lost one delegate to Annual Meeting this year because our number of 2023 pledges dropped below 200 for the first time in many years. (Last year we had 5 delegates; this year we have 4.). Our goal of 210 pledges for 2024 is partly motivated by the importance of returning to a more accurate representation of the size and health of the parish of St. Michael & All Angels in Diocesan governance.
A Third Forum Sunday
Thank you for the wonderful encouragement and expressions of gratitude for our recent Forums with the Rector, facilitated by the Transition Committee and friends. This Sunday will be our final in the series of these three forums. The topics will relate to finances and leadership in the parish, and I am really looking forward to the opportunity to talk about these important matters with you.
Finally, we must acknowledge the news of a mass shooting in the area of Lewiston, Maine last night, with many lives lost and many bodies injured. Currently, the direct perpetrator of that violence is still at large, and people living throughout that region are afraid. Let us hold them up in our prayers, and also we ask God how we can continue to work for a world that is peaceful and safe for all.
I share with you this brief prayer offered by the Diocese of Maine, as the violent tragedy continues to unfold there.
“God, be with the people of Lewiston. Keep them safe. Comfort those who have lost someone, the injured, those in fear. Strengthen all working to stop further loss of life. Amen.”
The Rev. R. Scott Painter, Rector