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As I sit down to write my first Annual Report since joining the vestry, I reflect on what the last year has brought to our St. Andrew’s family. One year ago, we were operating under a reduced capacity with no singing or gathering outside the sanctuary and I was tasked with the role of Stewardship chair whose job is to care for the health and wellbeing of the church. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure where to begin. My approach was to try and see the church through all your eyes and make sure St. Andrew’s was there for you in ways that have always been present and in ways that were unique to the current situation. As tricky as it appeared given the limitations we faced, I quickly found that the vestry was staffed by a very dedicated group of people who were also passionate about seeing the church, not just survive, but thrive and we immediately went about the work of planning events and approaches to worship to keep the St. Andrew’s family together and continuing to celebrate Christ’s love together.

One of the ways we implemented new approaches included outdoor worship when the weather cooperated. For those of you who attended some of these services, it was fun to show up to the back lawn with camping chairs and find a nice spot in the shade while negotiating the modified routine of worship. As great as it was to find a way to gather safely, there was always a feeling that our beautiful church sat empty and there was a longing to get back to “normal”. Personally, I was elated when we were able to gather indoors again without limiting attendance, when we were able to bring music back, and when we restarted Sunday School for the children. Things were definitely feeling better, and it was apparent that we all got a boost of encouragement as these changes took place.

It was about that time when we felt it was time to plan for a big event, and thus the Chicken Barbeque idea was hatched. For me, that day stands out as a real turning point for our church as I watched old friends step up to help make the event successful and new faces stop in for a quick prayer and dinner. That’s when I knew we were back and better than before and understood what I had to do to be a steward of the church and immediately began to plan for events and opportunities to bring us together with a common spirit like the family we are. The year was capped off with a successful pledge season where we saw the excitement and generosity displayed through your promises to support the church. To that end, we have a lot planned for this year! The St. Andrew’s calendar will be filled with new and familiar events that are geared towards family fun and community fellowship.

As we move into 2022, I am happy to see our vibrant church on solid ground with a clear direction for our future. I look forward to building on the successes from last year and to introduce ideas and programs brought to us by you through surveys and the town hall meetings. Stewardship is the caretaking of the church which is a responsibility for all of us. I can’t think of a more fulfilling and rewarding endeavor!

Thank you and God Bless,

Jeff Herrera

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