Our hopes and positive energy as we move forward are tempered by our knowledge of the challenges we face. We are keenly aware of the need to address each of these issues in the months and years ahead:
Our large campus and aging buildings have suffered from years of deferred maintenance, especially during the Anglican covenant period (2007-14). Roofing, plumbing, wiring and heating issues must be addressed. We also have a very large amount of landscaping which requires constant attention. Because we do not have an endowment fund, we may soon need to begin a capital campaign to pay for these things.
Our music program needs to be improved. We have no choir and are served by volunteer part-time organist, age 86, and a part-time pianist. We must look for new ways to build a more vibrant music program going forward.
We are very dependent on key volunteers. Our treasurer also serves as our volunteer administrator, and another volunteer spends hours preparing the Sunday bulletin each week. We are approaching the time when we may need to have a paid office manager, at least part-time.
We are very dependent on a relatively small number of “big” pledgers; our “top five” represent more than 40 percent of our 2018 budget, and the next seven represent another 30 percent. We must continue to seek a broader base of pledgers.
Our aspiration to raise our visibility as a radically welcoming, inclusive church is a challenge because the faith “environment” in our relatively small community is “crowded” with almost 50 other churches. This can make it difficult for us to “rise above” and be seen by those looking for a church.
Being on island is both a blessing and challenge for us. Our setting is physically beautiful and population density here is low, but skill sets and resources we need to maintain our campus and grow parish can often be scarce. Also, although we are blessed with younger families and many retired people in our community, there are fewer people in their 40s and 50s, because our island job market has very limited “upward mobility.” This can limit the number of people we have in prime “volunteer” years, once small children are grown.