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As I sit here to write this month’s article, I am reflecting on the health of the church ahead of the summer season. We have had a lot of positive developments within our church over the last year that have taken us to a level of stability and potential growth that we have not seen in many years. The most significant addition has been our new rector and spiritual leader in Reverend Ben. Rev. Ben came to us during a very difficult time for all churches across the country, but also when St. Andrew’s was going through a particularly challenging time of transitioning spiritual direction and staff that we had come to know as family. Rev. Ben immediately found a way to talk with us and listen to our congregational concerns to form a pathway back to our shared goals and to navigate through the difficulties of the time. His patience, energy, and most importantly, shared vision for our church has brought us back to the path we walk together as described by the beautiful St. Andrew’s Prayer. In addition to Rev. Ben, we now welcome our new Director of Music in Audrey Drennen. Again, Audrey brings tremendous talent and great potential for growth in the program for years to come. The last great pillar of a complete staff of a well-functioning church is the children & youth education director. As you know we are actively looking to bring that position back to St. Andrew’s to serve the needs of our families with a dedicated leader who will share our vision and complete the mosaic of our leadership.

These are all great and exciting developments within our church. But we must not passively sit back and simply be thankful that St. Andrew’s has more to offer and is growing in leadership, but we must actively support this growth. Many of you listened to testimonies last fall during our Stewardship Campaign that spoke to giving back to the church that has been there for us and financially supporting the programs we have come to love and expect to see pop up on our calendars. After a successful campaign and witnessing positive reaction from the congregation, we were able to embark on these initiatives and provide for the needs brought up by the congregation. Unfortunately, that growth in support has leveled off a bit and has actually dipped as we go into the summer. Considering we are no longer receiving diocesan relief, we are looking for the financial support of all the congregation, particularly during these crucial summer months, to fill in the gaps and get us back on our path to meet our budgetary goals. Simply put, we need the financial backing to support our growth and to avoid having to make difficult decisions to stall our staffing plan and adjust the programs we are planning in the coming years.

I fully recognize that we are all living through difficult times with rising costs and financial uncertainty, but I would implore you to look in your hearts and think about the good that comes from pledging a few more dollars each week and supporting the faithful community we have so solidly built over the last year. Your generosity and support has gotten us this far and allowed us to be positioned to server our families for years to come, but we must maintain that support so that we can faithfully ask God to guide us to strengthen our ministries, empower us to welcome our neighbors and to shine His light into the world through prayer worship and service.

Thank You and God Bless,

Jeff Herrera

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