The 2019 annual parish meeting actually began during the 10 am worship service, when the Rev. Karen Calafat folded her rector's report into the sermon. Read the report here. She invited everyone to join her in envisioning a drama, showing a Playbill proclaiming St. Luke's in the Meadow Proudly Presents 2019-Year in Review.
Inside, gratitude was expressed to our audience, "the Holy Trinity, our Loving, Liberating, Life-Giving God." She covered "worship by the numbers": Sixty-eight Eucharists, 12 Taize services, 10 funerals, three Quiet Days, two weddings, two baptisms, one bishop visitation and the 70th Anniversary observance.
The ASA (Average Sunday Attendance) was 50, a number that is almost meaningless when placed in the context of the huge impact this parish has on its East Side neighborhood and its city.
-The playbill included listings for the Cast, including the choir, acolytes, and readers. The Crew was the Altar Guild and its four teams, the ushers, the Flower Guild and the nursery staff. Technical Support included the vestry, treasurer, treasurer's apprentice, ministry fund manager, office assistants, office manager/bookkeeper, nursery care, sexton, ministry intern, organist/choir director, rector, and bishop. Like all great productions, a huge amount of work goes on in the background to make St. Luke's Sunday worship as seamlessly lovely as possible week after week.
Longtime Treasurer Jay Andrews was given a standing ovation in recognition of his decades of devoted service to the parish, guiding it through thick and sometimes very thin financial times.
After worship, the congregation gathered in the parish hall for a sumptuous lunch and cake. Every table had copies of the Playbill. The actual meeting began with a prayer. New vestry members Donnell Guyon and DAun Harner-Weeks were elected by acclamation, as were delegates to diocesan convention: (L-R in photo) Brenda Hathaway, Patti Callahan, Marsha McClean and William Ledbetter, with Elizabeth Edwards as alternate. See Vestry members here.
Ledbetter is the new senior warden.
Reports from the Senior and Junior Wardens, the financial, music, Altar Guild, Flower Guild, and acolyte reports were made available in printed copies placed on all the tables. Patti Callahan was recognized for her five years of service as senior warden, and the parish bid farewell to 40-plus-year-member Dave Dillingham, who is moving to Chicago to be with family. The creation of the Connie Wood Endowment was announced, the result of a generous bequest from the late Connie Wood, a member of St. Luke's for many years. Connie died in 2017.
Another event worthy of note was that, at the vestry meeting with Bishop Scott Mayer following the 70th Anniversary Celebration in October, the bishop recommended that Calafat be named rector after serving as priest in charge for nearly five years. It was a measure of the financially sound status of the parish, he said, the result of hard work and good leadership by clergy, wardens, and the vestry.
One measure of the changes in the parish is that when Calafat arrived, the building was being used on Sundays and part of one other day. Now something is going on the building every day of the week, from worship services of the Seventh Day Adventists to Cooking Matters put on by 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry and the Tarrant Area Food Bank to Living Room Conversations to meetings of a Girl Scout troop and the White Lake Hills Neighborhood Association. The congregation also was reminded that they offer office space to the bishop and the diocesan staff as well as well as providing meeting space for many diocesan committees and commissions.
Then came the stories of the $10 bills. On December 16, 2018, the Rev. Linda Taylor had preached. As part of her sermon, she handed out $10 bills to everyone in the church. The only rules were they had to be spent, hopefully in a way that helped advance God's love here on earth. And parishioners responded. They told of helping homeless people, of tipping a maid in a hotel, of helping the abandoned animals of the Humane Society, pooling funds to make a donation to the Autism Center, and putting it with other funds to buy a goat for a family in Africa through Gifts for Life. It was, in so many ways, a very typically wonderful St. Luke response.