What a year it has been for Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church! Two significant events shaped our life this year. First, we celebrated the 150th anniversary of this historic congregation. The 150th celebration included many events and activities throughout 2017 beginning with the installation of the carillon in the bell tower through the beautiful luncheon in December, and concluding with the inspiring service celebrated by Bishop Doyle. Some of the activities in-between included: a birthday party for the church during First Friday in October, an exhibit at the public library, an organ concert, and many other things as well. There are so many people to thank who made the all these things possible. I am grateful for the work of the Sesquicentennial Committee. In addition I thank the Downtown Committe and the Hospitality Committee for supporting the 150th anniversary effort. Thank you also to Alison Sawyer and Dr. Strong for their work. The whole celebration was a tremendous success.

The second significant event was that we welcomed the Stones into our lives. This is an historic event in Saint Andrew’s life because as far as I know Saint Andrew’s has never had a second full-time clergy person on its staff. The vestry identified having a curate placed with us as a goal in 2015.  I am very grateful that the parish and the vestry courageously stepped out in faith and made this possible. Working with Matt has been a great pleasure to me. I thank the congregation for its support of Matt and the ministry he exercises among us.                

Looking at last year more generally we ended the year with improved Sunday attendance over 2016. In 2016 our average Sunday attendance was 171 and in 2017 it was 175. The congregation is also financially sound. Through our annual pledge campaign we received a total of 89 pledges for $427,871. Nine of those were new pledges.  In the 2018 budget we made further investments in the staff.  The congregation and I are supported by a staff that works well together. We could not accomplish all that we do without them

Looking ahead to 2018, the building committee has been going about the process of choosing an architect to recommend to the vestry to implement the master plan. A decision should be made sometime this spring, and the congregation will be involved in the master planning process once an architect is selected.

Two goals of the Building the Beloved Community plan are being one in Christ and growing into the full stature of Christ. To help fulfill these goals in our ministry with children and youth, I hope to hire a Director of Faith Formation for Children and Youth who will begin work this spring. This combines the youth minister and the Christian education director into one 28 hour a week position.

In closing, my thanks go to the staff for their constant work on behalf of the congregation. I also thank the vestry for their dedication and leadership.

Lastly, we all play a part in making Saint Andrew’s all that it is. So many people contribute their time, energy, talents, and money to sustain it and help our parish thrive. Thank you to everyone for contributing to the well-being of the people of God who call themselves Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church.

Daryl T. Hay+