As the People’s Warden of St. Paul’s Cathedral, I am on the Cathedral’s Chapter (Board of Directors, if you will) which primarily oversees the finances as well as the buildings and grounds of the Cathedral. I serve on the Endowment and Finance Committees. Yet as the People’s Warden, I envision myself primarily as representing the interests of the people of our congregations and as such I will continue to keep you up to date on what the Chapter is doing.
Canon Chris Harris reported our Stewardship Campaign is ahead of last year’s pace. And at our Annual Meeting, we learned we have surpassed our goal by $64,000. In addition, there have been a significant number of new pledges as well as a 9.5% increase in the average pledge with many from the Hispanic Misa service now pledging as well. All of this good news, Chris told us, is especially remarkable both this year and last year – two years when we have been in transition. St. Paul’s congregations are so caring and giving!
Kendall Squires, member of the Nutmeg & Olive LLC, reported that escrow for the sale of the Cathedral’s Nutmeg property is expected to close on February 20th. Proceeds from this sale will retire the development loan and pay for various development expenses. Ken Tranbarger, who is the President of the Nutmeg & Olive LLC, summarized the history and status of the Cathedral Master Plan at our Annual Meeting; additional monies received from the Nutmeg sale will be discussed in the near future. Stay tuned!
The Very Rev. Rebecca McClain, our wonderful Interim Dean, announced the new Dean, The Very Rev. Penelope Bridges, will be with us toward the end of February. Members of the Search Committee were commended for their dedicated effort and they include Laura Gunn (Chair), Jeff Bates, Helena Chan, Margaret Hernandez, Guin Kerstetter, Brad Lovelace, Paula Peeling, Bart Smoot and John Walsh. Meanwhile our current Dean is in the process of concluding her ministry with St. Paul’s.. She also acknowledged Mark Lester for his outstanding performance as the Dean’s Warden; she has appointed Don Pellioni as Mark’s successor. The Dean also reported that Brooks Mason has been ordained to the permanent diaconate; Colin and Laurel Mathewson have been ordained to the priesthood and are now serving at the Cathedral. It was noted that Andrew Brooks, Guin Kerstetter, Bob Reed and Bart Smoot have agreed to continue in their respective roles as Chancellor, Treasurer, Clerk and Finance Committee Chair.
Dr. Bart Smoot presented financial reports for the fourth quarter of 2013 along with a budget for 2014; the budget was approved by Chapter. At the Annual Meeting Dr. Smoot detailed some of the items in the new budget which include a “Compensation Support” item to facilitate staff salary increases, transition expenses for the new Dean, and Clergy housing allowances.
Bookkeeping and accounting staff changes occurred in 2013 and Erin Saco Pineda was contracted to support enhancing the Cathedral financial processes. Dr. Smoot acknowledged the great efforts of Erin, a Certified Public Accountant, who has been working meticulously toward that goal.
Christine Spaulding reported on Buildings and Grounds. As many of you know, the Cathedral chapel was renovated thanks to a donation by The Rev. Canon Barnabas Hunt and The Rev. Canon Andrew Rank. The chapel was recently rededicated after Evensong with a reception, a congratulatory acknowledgment to The Very Rev. James E. Carroll on the anniversary of his priesthood, and a blessing of the Chapel ending with a beautiful concert by a small group of boys and men choristers.. The pews were removed to be replaced with comfortable chairs which will allow for more flexibility in that space. It is also now wheel-chair accessible.
An Endowment Committee Report was presented by Stew Dadmun who stated the return on endowment investments for 2013 was 12.6 %. Stew, outgoing chairman of the Endowment Committee, was acknowledged and praised at the Annual Meeting for his service in this capacity. Chairing this committee is no small job and Stew’s expertise and devotion are much appreciated. Helena Chan and George Kuhrts were nominated to serve on this committee. Betsey Monsell will be the new chair.
Retiring from Chapter this year (2013) are Erin Saco Pineda, David Behling and Mark Lester. New Chapter members acknowledged and approved at the Annual Meeting were Elizabeth Hardy Carey, Mark Patzman, George Kuhrts and Don Pellioni. Judy Moore was also approved to continue another year as the People’s Warden. Oh, that’s me! And while I’m at it, please don’t ever hesitate to talk to me before or after the 10:30 p.m. service or by email firstname.lastname@example.org), or even by phone (858-587-1971) with any and all thoughts or concerns.
Blessings and joy to each of you. Have a wonderful, happy, healthy and safe 2014!