Even though the church isn’t open right now, your Vestry has been discussing how we would like St. Dunstan’s to move forward in the next year. During our Vestry retreat in February, we discussed the concepts of Invite, Welcome and Connect as ways to encourage new people to visit St. Dunstan’s, make them feel welcome and discern the gifts that they bring to our congregation. We continue to plan along these lines even though Covid-19 has put a hamper on how we approach reaching out to people and welcoming them. One of the first things we did is discuss our accomplishments over the past year.
The successful Capital Campaign: Capital projects that have been completed (storage shed, sacristy and sanctuary remodel), are in process (new doors and locks, new chairs for the sanctuary, updated lighting and sound, the new organ) and things still to be done (resurfacing the parking lots and the cold storage room).
The ongoing feeding program, with increased participation of community partners for sources of funding, foods and materials, lively holiday meals, our new “farmers market” and having the King County Mobile Medical Clinic stop by to provide services for those who need them.
Our Sunday school program has enthusiastic support and participation, and the children’s chime choir and youth service have received rave reviews.
Our music has continued to thrive, with the choir, hand bell choir, the participation of a very wide variety of musical talents from the congregation and the excellent work by our musical director Susanna Valleau, who has managed to maintain the highest of musical standards despite not having a) a choir, b) a congregation, or c) an organ.
We have been able to maintain the size of our congregation despite all the current hardships.
We have initiated and expanded our online worship, special thanks to Tom Wear, and are reaching over 130 people each Sunday. As well, we are having online Morning Prayer and Compline services.
We continue to offer adult education classes (now online) that reflect timely topics and are relevant to the society we live in.
We also discussed ways we can adapt the Invite, Welcome and Connect concepts to the reality of the Covid-19 era. These include:
- Greater use of social media to make our presence known
- Better signage outside and inside the church
- Continuing to update our building to make it more welcoming, such as new furniture in the Parish Hall
- Preparing for an eventual return to a new “normal” that will include events such as dinners for eight, game nights, cookouts and more.
Finally, the Vestry came up with 4 goals for the coming year –
- Increase the size of our congregation by 5%
- Update our video and audio capacity so that we can enhance our electronic ministry
- Have two diversity events during the year
- Update the Parish Hall to make the physical space inviting and welcoming
Even with all the uncertainties of the coming year, the Vestry is continuing to make plans to make St. Dunstan’s Church a vibrant place that people want to be part of, pandemic or no pandemic!