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Annual Report Trinity Episcopal Church 1734 Huntington Turnpike Trumbull, CT 06611 February 5, 2017
Mission Statement: Our mission is to proclaim by word and deed, the good news of Jesus Christ reaching out to all in His name. Our desire is that others may come to faith in Him, drawn by the example of our lives.
Annual Parish Meeting Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:30am – Parish Hall AGENDA I.
Presentation and Adoption of Voting Members
Certification of a Quorum
Adoption of the Minutes of the January 17, 2016 Annual Parish Meeting
Report of the Interim Rector
Report of the Treasurer and Presentation of 2017 Budget for Adoption
VII. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l.
Other Reports (appended) Altar Guild Caring Connections Christian Education Facilities Hospitality Men’s Group Worship Music Community Partnerships Sacramental Report Transition Warden’s
Trinity Episcopal Church 1734 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull, Connecticut 06611 Telephone: (203) 375-1503 Fax: (203) 377-8202 e-mail: [email protected] The Reverend Paul J. Carling Ph.D. Interim Priest
Trinity Episcopal Church 2017 Parish Voting List Trinity’s By-Laws Canon I, Section 6. Of the members of the Parish only those shall be entitled to vote at any Parish Meeting, who shall be adult communicants (16 years and older) and who for at least six months prior to that meeting shall have been faithful attendants at the services of the Church in the Parish, unless for good cause prevented, faithful contributors to its support, and faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God; these facts to be determined in each case by the Vestry, in accordance with the provisions of Section 8 of this Canon.
Alexander & Phyllis Aiello Michael & Susan Alcock Nancy Baker Russ & Sara Battista Wallace Berg Joe & Sharon Buzzeo Louise Caterson Tim & Caroline Cepetelli Eleanor Clark Fran Cronk Nicole & Joe Culotta Bill & Carolyn DeFranco Angela Doyle Dave & Georgeann Erhardt Anna Fisher Edward Fisher Jr. Sarah Galan Martha & Richard Garrow Joseph & Pamela Gill David & Amy Ginter Lurena Hoinacki
Simon Howes Judith Ingerman Sylvia Jones Patricia Kay Bond Koteas Fred & Elizabeth Langhammer Colleen Linane George Malishchack Christian & Sylvia Medina Christian Medina Kathleen Miranti Lesley & Francisco Moises Laurie & Duke Morano Daniel & Alessandra Musso Nancy & Peter Myer Candice & Megan Myers Gary Ostrowski Lou Payne Claire Pinciaro Robert Pitzschler Shirley Roehrich
Dave & Debra Robison Patricia Robson Joan Root Craig & Jocelyn Russell Jane Sampson Manuel & Gayle Silva Arlene Stalvey Mike & Brenda Stapleton Ron & Cindy Stevenson Sam & Donna Sutter Zachary & Barbara Taylor Brittany Thornton Kathy Viola Alison Walsh Thelma Whiteside Lynn Wilson Nancy Wilson Richard Worth
TRINITY EPISCOPAL CHURCH NICHOLS, CONNECTICUT ANNUAL PARISH MEETING January 17, 2016 The meeting came to order at 10:50 AM with a reading from and reflections on Ephesians 2, Verse 10, by the Rev. Ellen Kennedy, Vicar. The Parish Clerk, Robert Pitzschler, certified that a quorum was reached with 40% of the voting members present. (15% minimum required) Beth Langhammer, moved to adopt the 2015 Trinity Parish Voting List as listed in the 2015-2016 Annual Report. The motion was seconded by Martha Fernald. The motion was approved by unanimous vote. Richard Garrow moved to accept the minutes of the January 25, 2015 Annual Parish Meeting as published. The motion was seconded by Christian Medina. The motion was approved by unanimous vote. The nominating committee submitted the following slate of Officers, Vestry Members and Delegates for consideration: Wardens: Senior: Simon Howes and Junior: Gary Ostrowski Treasurer: Sam Sutter Associate Treasurers: Michael Alcock and Dick Worth Clerk: Robert Pitzschler Vestry Members: Candice Myers (2yr term) Richard Garrow (3yr term) David Ginter (3yr term) Diocesan Delegate: Robert Pitzschler Alternate Delegate: no nominee Bridgeport Deanery Delegate: Robert Pitzschler Trumbull Interfaith Council: no nominee Council of Churches delegate: no nominee There being no further nominations from the floor. A motion was made by Martha Fernald and seconded by Wally Berg to have the Vestry Clerk cast one vote to accept the nomination slate of Officers, Vestry Members, and Delegates. The motion was approved unanimously. The Vestry Clerk cast one vote in favor of the recommended slate and announced the slate as submitted approved. A motion was made by Candice Myers and seconded by Wally Berg, to approve the Trinity By -Laws, dated January 17, 2016, as amended. The motion was approved unanimously.
Sacramental Report: During 2015, there were: 2 Baptisms (Reagyn Gill & Madison Mullady) 3 Confirmations (Madeleine Buzzeo, Christian Medina, & Zachary Stapleton) No one received No one reaffirmed 4 Deaths (Naomi Bonnell, Millie Cocozza, Andrew Reiger, & Robert Roehrich)) 3 Weddings (Diane and Fabian Charles, Simon and Regina Howes, & Joe and Krystle Stokely) The following comments were made during the meeting that are in addition to the submitted reports which are included as received in the 2015-2016 Annual Report. Vicar’s Report: Rev Ellen added that while she is upset about leaving Trinity, she is not leaving the Church, simply retiring after 10 years at Trinity. She also reassured everyone that until an interim rector is in place, most services will still be covered by Supply Priests. She also reviewed the process of transition. Warden’s Report: Simon and Gary reminded everyone that it is the Parishioners that are the church and that it is most important that everyone stick together during the time of transition so that Trinity will become an even stronger parish. Hospitality Report: Lurena reminded everyone that “Trinity eats well”! Facilities Report: The handicap accessible restroom is on track to begin construction on or about February 1st .
Christian Education Report: There is still a need for more volunteers. There is a desire to maintain the Wednesday Bible Study group during the period of transition. Altar Guild Report: Clean up help is needed, especially after the 10am service so that all is ready for the Korean Presbyterian Church service. The white altar linens are in need of replacement. Treasurer’s Report: We are in good shape financially with no deficit, several donations have been made during the year and the pledge income is greater than expected. Construction on the handicap lavatory is about to begin and we have the money to cover the expense. The projected 2015 income is $268,567 vs a budgeted expectation of $199,852. The projected 2015 expenses are $225,107 vs a budgeted expectation of $233,155. This results in a projected excess of $43,460 vs a budgeted deficit of $28,303. The 2016 budget forecasts an income of $227,818 and expenditures of $228,481 with a projected deficit of $663. It was noted that any deficits are covered by a combination of donations and bequests and a withdrawal from investment funds if needed. A motion was made by Alison Walsh and seconded by Fred Langhammer to accept the Treasurer’s report, subject to audit, and the proposed 2016 budget. The motion was approved unanimously. Old Business: The Verizon cellular antenna project is still on hold.
The handicap accessible restroom project is underway and we will then look at the possibility of continuing with the kitchen remodeling.
New Business: By general consensus of those present, a rousing “Thanksgiving” was expressed for Rev. Ellen’s service and dedication to Trinity since August 2006. There being no further business, Christian Medina moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Lurena Hoinacki. The motion passed unanimously The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 AM with a closing prayer by Rev. Ellen.
Respectfully submitted, Robert Pitzschler Vestry Clerk
Interim Rector’s Report Arrival and Settling In:
In late spring, after an interview with the Canon for Mission Leadership, the Rev. Lee Ann Tolzmann, and then your Senior Warden, I met with a large gathering of parishioners at Simon’s house, and was captivated by this welcoming, down to earth parish, with a great sense of humor. I was called to serve as your Interim Rector effective June 1. Having served in a cathedral parish and two small town parishes in Vermont, then in the largest parish in CT (St. Luke’s in Darien) and a similar parish in Fairfield (St. Paul’s), I was absolutely delighted to come to Trinity and share your unique journey through this transition. I found you extravagantly welcoming, flexible and open to change, financially stable, and committed to vibrant worship and fellowship. Rather than an Administrator or a CEO, it was clear from the beginning that what you really wanted during this transition was a priest, and that parishioners yearned to become more involved in leadership and ministry at every level. An Interim Rector is some combination of spiritual leader through a time of change, along with a “fixer upper,” a cheerleader and challenger, someone who “makes straight the path” for your new rector. It is a role in which I take great delight, getting to know each of you, seeing how God is working in your lives and in the life of the parish, and what God is waiting for you to discover in the community all around you. At its best, it is a role that is full of learning, life, love, laughter, and leadership that can really make a difference. Administration:
I started with an examination of administrative systems here. With Sharon’s leadership, we are creating job descriptions for all staff, regularizing benefits, and clarifying supervision. With Bob’s leadership, we are literally going through every important public parish document from the Vestry Handbook to the Parish Wedding Guide, and updating them, some of which are at least twenty years old. Bob has also led a major overhaul of the website, which will undergo even more reconstruction through the Discernment Committee. The Wardens Meeting has been re-named the Executive Committee (the four elected officers of the parish), and meets monthly with the Interim Rector (Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Clerk). This group is now routinely consulted on all matters of policy, finance -6-
and the change process during the transition. It also prepares the agenda for the Vestry meetings and brings recommendations to the Vestry for various policies and actions, making the whole process of governance more efficient and timely. Another innovation in the coming year will be re-instituting an Annual Vestry Retreat, in which we will prayerfully review our progress as a worshipping community and partner in God’s mission, and plan how to be an even more faithful and responsive community in the coming year. In addition, the Vestry, following elections at Annual Meeting, will be identifying each Vestry member as a Commission Liaison to each major ministry at Trinity, thus providing routine reports from each ministry to the monthly Vestry meetings, assuring that ministries have what they need to flourish, and sharing innovations across ministry areas. In the spring, we are planning a Parish Clean Up Day, to empty out all of our closets, so that we can protect valuable resources like our Bell Choir equipment, create more secure archives for parish documents, and general provide more space for the various ministries here. Restructuring Ministries:
Our Welcoming Ministry is becoming more focused with the introduction of name tags, and with several community – wide worship events. We are also moving to a full – service bulletin and developing a communications strategy that makes the multiple communities we serve more aware of our services, programs and initiatives. Our Pastoral Care Ministry has been expanded and renamed as the Caring Connections Ministry Team. The mission is now broader – to provide friendly visits and support to those unable to attend services; to notice when parishioners are not present at worship for any length of time and to reach out to them; to bring communion to homes, nursing homes and hospitals. This is now essentially a lay ministry which calls on the priest when and if he is needed. Our Acolyte Ministry has been revived through training all interested children and youth and recruiting adults who we draw on when youth are unable to serve. In 2017, we will begin reinventing our Outreach Ministry and begin by renaming it Community Partnerships to reflect a new mission focus on mutual learning, relational service and developing ministry networks in the larger community. Redefining Our “Community”:
Healthy churches are ones in which the community inside the church mirrors the community outside. Bob’s recent excellent work on our parish characteristics versus the characteristics of the multiple neighboring communities we serve has some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we are a vibrant parish that draws members from as far as Southport and Beacons Falls and every community in between. The bad news is that our “immediate neighborhood” (the three mile radius around our church) looks nothing like the community inside our church. That “neighborhood” is 41% people of color, while our parish is nearly all white. We do have a diversity of economic and social class, but one major challenge and opportunity during the transition is to understand this racial, ethnic and cultural imbalance and begin correcting it.
Worship and Welcome:
Trinity has always been a welcoming parish, but we took the extra step this year of encouraging everyone to wear name tags (thanks Bob for printing them up!), and found, of course, that many folks who had been worshipping across from each other for years didn’t actually know each other’s names! This is crucial for new visitors as well to feel welcomed. Many of those who visit a church for the first time are confused by our worship – having to juggle a Prayer Book, two different hymnals, AND a bulletin with multiple inserts. You may have noticed how many liturgical mistakes I made in the first few months, being used to a bulletin which contains the entire service in one place. As a result, we experimented with this kind of “full service bulletin” for several of our special services (Mass on the Grass, St. Francis Day, All Saints Day, Christmas). They were met with enthusiasm by visitors and long standing parishioners as well. Early in 2017, we will routinely begin using full service bulletins, a staple in churches that seek to attract new members. Another innovation, especially helpful during the transition period, was to continue the summer pattern of one service only during the year at 9:00am, followed by a time of fellowship. In spite of concerns, attendance has been very strong, and enthusiasm about sharing worship and fellowship with the whole community has been high. Parents with younger children have had the greatest challenge in adjusting to the switch from 10am to 9:00am, and Brenda and I continue to reach out to them. As mentioned in the Worship report, we have also trained children and youth in various liturgical roles, brought on a seminarian, thus re-establishing Trinity as a “teaching parish,” and we’ve organized a variety of community-wide liturgies – Mass on the Grass, which will be instituted monthly in the warmer months, St. Francis Day, and All Saints Day. Children, Youth and Adult Formation:
We have also restructured the Church School into a “Village Model” in which teens and older children serve as mentors to the younger ones, allowing Brenda and Jocelyn and other volunteers to work easily between two adjoining classrooms. This was most evident in the All Ages Pageant at our 5:30pm Christmas Eve service in which we took a new intergenerational approach, having members of all ages bring up various nativity figures as youth told the story of Jesus’ birth. For adults, we held several forums, including the introduction of your new Interim Rector; an all – parish conversation on “joys and concerns,” sharing what we found most rewarding and most challenging about parish life; an all – parish conversation about merging the 8:00am and 10:00am services into a single worship service; a viewing of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s convention sermon, and a discussion about its implications for our parish moving forward; and transition planning and feedback sessions, first for the Vestry, and then for the whole parish, soliciting input into the parish discernment process. Trinity hosted a day of Safe Church Training for ECCT, a great opportunity for many of our folks to be trained. Finally, we organized a Preaching Feedback group for our seminarian following each time she preached, in which about a dozen parishioners share their reactions and how the sermon and scripture that week affects their own lives. A number of our parishioners travelled to Hartford in November to hear Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach at Convention. We then showed a video of that sermon in the Parish Hall, attended by most of the parish and had a wonderful discussion afterwards of discovering what God is up to in the larger community, a major focus of the Discernment Committee. -8-
We re-instituted the weekly Bible Study group and an eager gathering of about 10 has been delving deeply into Acts of the Apostles, studying the scripture, and helping each other apply it to our own lives. No knowledge or background is necessary, just an inquiring mind, and everyone is welcome! Conclusion:
In 2017, we will continue examining the policies and practices at Trinity and our efforts to move more deeply into God’s mission outside the walls of our church, all in preparation for finding a vibrant new leader for this absolute gem of a congregation. And I assure you; God has, and will continue to bless our labor, our love and our laughter in the process. Rev. Paul+
Treasurer’s Report The enclosed documents include the year end Income and Expense statement, the year end Balance Sheet, the 2016 actual versus budgeted breakdown by account, and the 2017 budget as approved by the Vestry. We finished 2016 with a (deficit) in the amount of ($12,489), which was primarily the result of the completion cost of the handicapped bathroom. In 2015, we had received a substantial amount of contributions to be used toward this project; as a result of this capital inflow, we realized a 2015 surplus of $43,460. The bathroom project was completed in the early part of 2016, so the expenditure of $25,831, which would have been entirely offset in 2015 had the project been completed by 2015 year end, dropped to our bottom line in 2016. Even though we finished with a 2016 (deficit) of ($12,489), I am encouraged by the fact that had we not received an increase in the amount of pledged/non-pledged income, the deficit would have much worse. To this point, of the 41 pledging units, 19 gave in excess of their pledged amount (increase of $7,673), 12 gave exactly the amount pledged, and only 10 gave less than the pledged amount (decrease of $3,548). In addition, 30 non-pledging units gave $7,341 which was not part of our budgeted amount. As we move forward into 2017, I thank each and every one our parishioners’ for their generous nature in the giving of time, treasure, and talent, and I believe that God will continue to bless Trinity in the coming year. Sincerely, Sam Sutter, Treasurer
Income and Expense Statement (UNAUDITED) Consolidated – December 2016 Current Period
Year to Date
INCOME Loose Offerings Coffee & Redeemables dona Christmas Easter/Lent Special Offerings Initial Offering Thanksgiving offering Pledge Pay - Current Yr non cash donations fund Pledge Pay- Next Yr
INTEREST AND DIVIDENDS dividends/interest land fund monthly income OTHER RECEIPTS Facilities Contributions Expenses-Craft Fair St. Nick fair income Discretionary Income Capital Improvements Rectory Rent Rectory security deposit Rectory Rental Expense Barn Rent Receipts for Specific Exp Book of Remembrance Subtotal Other Receipts Subtotal Interest And Dividends
Subtotal Diocesan Assess & Outreac
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STAFF SALARIES & BENEFITS Wages-Sexton Salaries-Organist Wages-Administrative Wages-Christian Ed Bookkeeping Services Supply Priest Fees-Supply Organist Med Tax SS Tax
PROGRAM Background check Office Supplies Bank Charges Seminars /Classes Computer Internet Access Website expense
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Payroll Service Accounting Services inserts/offer envel Tract Literature & Pub Christian Ed Supplies Telephone and internet Window replacement Altar Supplies Easter/Christmas Flowers PMPH-non office supplies non cash donations Advertising St. Luke/St. Paul food Funeral services
INVESTMENTS Cockerton Fund # 04575 Dennis Fund #04579 Powell Fund #17259 Book Rememb Fund #04576 Memor Garden Fund# 04673 Land Sale Fund# 90030 Govt Sec-Aiello 220-03248 CD-Almquist-118-8001905 CD- Britton-012-8018328 S & S cards retransmit SR cards retransmit
Loose Offerings Coffee & Redeemables Donation Christmas Easter/Lent Special Offerings Initial Offering Thanksgiving Offering Pledge Pay - Current Yr Non Cash Donations Fund Pledge Pay- Next Yr Dividends/Interest Land Fund Monthly Income Facilities Contributions St. Nick Fair Income Sept Fundraiser Sept Fundraiser Food & Beverage Sept Fundraiser Bake Sale Discretionary Income Capital Improvements Stop & Shop 5% Income Shop Rite 5% Income Rectory Rent
Property & Liability Insurance Workers Comp Ins/DIOC Repairs-Property & Equip Handicap Restroom Lower Level Windows Kitchen Remodeling Service Contracts-Church Service Calls-Boiler Service Contract-rectory Fire Alarm Monitoring Fire Alarm Annual Testing Fire Alarm Service Calls Maintenance-Church Maintenance-Rectory Rectory Rental Expense Sewer Usage Property Tax-Rectory Snow Removal Lawn Care Trash Removal Background check Office Supplies Bank Charges Computer Supplies Seminars/Classes Computer Internet Access Website Expense Payroll Service Accounting Services Inserts/Offering Envelopes Postage Tract Literature & Publications Christian Ed Supplies Telephone & Internet
SAVINGS AND INVESTMENT VALUES AS OF 12/31/16 SAVINGS (PEOPLES BANK)
Capital Improvements and Designated Savings
Dennis Scholarship Savings Britton CD Almquist CD
$38,208 Scholarships for clergy children/church employees/parishioner children
$4,906 $16,426 $1,981
Camp Washington scholarships
TOTAL SAVINGS SECURITIES (PEOPLES SECURITIES) Aiello/Rudman Endowment
INVESTMENT FUNDS (D & B)
Land Sale Cockerton Fund Book of Remembrance Memorial Garden Dennis Scholarship
Support for Clergy salary & benefits and as needed for capital improvements/operating budget
$895,530 $31,960 $22,018 $10,173
To be used for capital improvements
Restricted fund; monthly interest transferred to the Dennis Scholarship Savings account
TOTAL ASSET VALUE AS OF 12/31/16
Altar Guild The Altar Guild is a dedicated group of men and women that prepare the chapel and the main sanctuary for Sunday services of Holy Eucharist, and special services such as: Morning Prayer, holy days, baptisms, confirmations, funerals, and weddings. The Altar Guild does their work quietly; “behind the scenes” to insure that all the items needed for worship are present. Its members are responsible for caring for vestments, linens, altar coverings and sacred communion vessels. The Altar Guild also clears the church after worship services. Currently, the Altar Guild has five (5) members that share the duties of preparing the church for services. The current members of the Altar Guild are: Martha Fernald, director, Sharon Buzzeo, Patti Kay, Susan Alcock and Jane Sampson. Special thanks to the following members that stepped down this year; Lou Payne and Angela Doyle and Russ and Sara Battista. Both couples served on the Altar Guild for many years and were a real asset to the group. - 16 -
This year we are thankful for the talents of Robert Pitzschler and Lurena Hoinacki who helped arrange plants, and decorated the church for all to enjoy at Easter and Christmas. In 2016 the Altar Guild supported: 5 baptisms, 0 weddings and 6 funerals. This year the Altar Guild purchased blue and pink oil candles for the advent wreath. The Altar Guild is seeking financial donations in 2017 to cover the cost of a new white Altar Covering set that will be used on the holy holidays of Christmas & Easter, baptisms, weddings, confirmations and funerals. The set used for these occasions is very old and in very, very, poor condition and cannot be repaired. The Altar guild is looking for four to five additional members that are available to help with setting up for services on Friday or Saturday and cleaning up after the 10:00 service on Sunday. We also need two people that are available during the week to set up for funerals. We still are in need of someone to launder and press linens. If you are interested in assisting in this important ministry – men, women or teens, please contact Martha Fernald or Sharon Buzzeo. Martha Fernald
Caring Connections Pastoral Care now called Caring Connections has several church members willing to visit or call our church members who are unable to attend mass or are ill. If you know of a parishioner in need of a visit due to illness, or just “unable to get out,” please let Georgeann Erhardt know and she will coordinate a visit from one of our Caring Connections “Caregivers”. One of our church members spent 2 hrs with a parishioner Lois that is well into her 90's now and enjoyed having the company. She is very alert and interesting our church member said. Brenda's husband Mike was nice enough to take Wallace Berg to lunch over the summer. Nice of Mike to not only call but also take him for a lunch visit. Louise Caterson was offered visitor's from two church members but declined. On Christmas Eve I approached the family of City Line Florist to ask if their mother would like to have visitors but her daughter said her mom has family plans and declined my offer. In 2017 we will continue to spend time with those who need a visit or call, bringing Communion as needed, and also ”noticing” when parishioners are absent from services for a time, and reaching out to them. Georgeann Erhardt
Christian Education Report It’s been a year full of growth and opportunities for our Church School! In March, the children made Irish Soda Bread and shared it with the congregation for St. Patrick’s Day. During Lent, toiletry items were collected from the congregation and the older children assembled blessing bags that were distributed to those who attend the community supper at St. John's, Bridgeport. Our annual Easter egg hunt was a huge success with baskets filled with delicious treats! In June, our end of year celebration was shared with Rev. Paul and immediately following was the parish picnic and ice cream social. In September, the upper and lower classrooms started worshipping together. It’s been a very rewarding way to learn and share the Gospel together - 17 -
as a church family. In October, the upper classroom was invited by Rev. Paul to attend a Youth Ministry Fair for the opportunity to learn how to serve as Crucifers, Torch Bearers, Chalice Bearers, Readers, Ushers and Church School Assistants. Since then, we have significantly increased children and youth participation in worship. The Christmas Eve Pageant was re-designed, and had participants of all ages sharing the true meaning of Christmas and was enjoyed by everyone who attended. Thank you to all the volunteers who offer their time and talent to the Church School. Please continue to keep all children and youth and our church school in your prayers. May the peace that passes all understanding be with you always! Brenda Stapleton
Facilities Report It has been a pretty busy year around Trinity. 1. I guess the big thing we accomplished around Trinity this year is the Handicapped Lavatory. It certainly looks great, and everyone I talked to seems to like it. A big thank you to Bob Pitzschler for overseeing the project and Joe Culotta for his architectural plans. 2. We replaced the badly warped kitchen door, and the two windows in the St. Francis Room and covered over one window as that is where the main electrical panel is located. 3. The Music Together Room was painted. 4. The rectory and church gutters were cleaned. 5. A section of rather heavy steam pipes in the St. Francis Room that pulled down from the ceiling were jacked up and re-secured by Peter Myer. A big thank you to Peter! 6. As always we did our own weeding and trimming of the property, but did have Peppers do the fall leaf cleanup. 7. The parking lot was re-stripped by the Town of Trumbull who maintains the parking lot as it is shared with the library. 8. The rectory continues to be rented, and the new tenant’s father power washed the rectory and painted the inside of the sun porch at no cost to the church. 9. The office has been upgraded to have a wireless connection for laptops. Items we could / should do for 2017. We do need to finish remodeling the kitchen in some way, based on our plans for its use in the long term. We could continue window replacement as funds permit. The large window over the front door is in serious need of re-glazing and painting, and new windows in the bathrooms could only help since the heat in the bathrooms is not optimal. There is a small circuit breaker box in the boiler room that should be replaced as we had a problem with one of the breakers. The breaker was given a temporary fix since it could not be replaced as the breakers are no longer made. - 18 -
One of our office printers has died, and the other is near that point. Nancy Wilson and Sharon Buzzeo are exploring a more cost-effective long range solution to our printing needs. Your Wardens Simon and Gary
Hospitality Report With the help of many people, 2016 was a very busy year, for both joyous and solemn occasions. We hosted many receptions in the Parish Hall ranging from welcoming the Interim Rector, weddings, funerals and intergenerational celebrations, as well as Parish Conversations related to the transition. We would like to thank all of our excellent “cooks and caterers” who help make each event a culinary success. We continually give thanks for all the people of this church who bake and cook and share their talents in this way. Thank you all so much and God Bless you all.
Men’s Group Report The men’s group continues to meet the last Saturday of each month for a time of fellowship. We start around 7:30am with a delicious breakfast (men cook on a rotational basis). After eating we start our discussion, usually around 8am. For those of you not familiar with Trinity’s men’s group, we are a fellowship group that meets monthly to discuss various faith based topics. All older youth and men of the parish are welcome! Joe Buzzeo
Worship Worship has been an increasingly vibrant experience at Trinity this year, with more parishioners, young and older, engaged and participating. Following Rev. Ellen’s retirement, the Wardens and Administrator worked tirelessly to arrange supply clergy, even though there is a diminishing pool of clergy available. When clergy were not available, they organized Morning Prayer. In June, I was called to serve as Interim Rector, and found the Sunday morning worship experience an absolute delight. Immediately I could see that Trinity was one of the most welcoming, genuine and comfortable worshipping parishes I had ever seen. Following a period of vibrant worship through the summer, when we combine the 8:00am and 10:00am services, the Executive Committee and I proposed that we continue the pattern of meeting together as one community, at least through the transition. We held an all – parish meeting to share concerns and suggestions and the parish was overwhelmingly in favor of this change, a real testament to both the flexibility of our parish family, our willingness to look beyond our individual needs to those of the entire parish, and the sheer joy that we experience in being together for worship and fellowship. At the end of the summer, Simon Howes suggested we experiment with a “Mass on the Grass,” in which we invited the Trumbull community at large, including the other Episcopal parishes, to worship with us outdoors. We handed out flyers at the Farmer’s Market, and - 19 -
placed them in all of our neighbor’s mailboxes. The response was overwhelming with over 100 people attending, bringing loads of food for our food ministry, and gathering afterwards for a community breakfast, which was standing room only. We had a baptism during the service and as soon as we finished the water rite, the skies opened and the rain came down, so we all rushed into the church and had the rest of the service there. We committed to doing this perhaps monthly next year in the warmer months (e.g. perhaps May through September). Another innovation was to hold a St. Francis Day service in which we also invited Trumbull friends and neighbors, and that too was a success with animals galore foiling our pews, including Erin Flinn (our seminarian’s) dog Zoey who was the tallest member of the congregation that day. In September, we recruited a seminarian from Berkeley Divinity School, who has become a welcome member of the community, along with her husband Joe. Erin is in the discernment process for ordination, and has been learning all the details of liturgy and preaching, along with managing a parish in transition, and loving every minute of it. She has been a real gift to Trinity, and as usual, we welcomed her with open arms. We also formed a Preaching Feedback Group, in which about 10 parishioners meet with Erin each time she preaches and explores the scripture, her “breaking open” the word, and how this applies to everyone’s lives. Later in the Fall, we convened a Children and Youth Ministry Fair, in which we trained all interested youth in the various liturgical roles (Crucifer, Torches, Acolytes / Lay Servers, Lectors and Chalice Bearers). Maddie Buzzeo, Christian Medina and Zach Stapleton helped lead the training. As a result, we have reinstated the use of youth torch bearers at as many of our services as they are available. In 2107, we will be recruiting additional adults to serve in these roles, and it is just wonderful to see so many youth involved. Another innovation for 2017 will be the introduction of a Youth Preaching Series, in which older youth will preach once each during the months of February, March and April. I will conduct a preaching class for youth in early February, and then review their sermon drafts before they preach. Thus, in addition to the great opportunity for us to hear their voices in the pulpit, they will gain valuable skills in public speaking and sharing their faith. Finally, in 2017, we will be looking for a variety of opportunities to share worship with the larger Trumbull community and beyond, such as a Beatles tribute band, and other formats and venues. Rev. Paul
Music Notes Thank you for letting me play the organ here for another year! Trinity Church is my home now and I am happy with how everyone has been singing more. Thank you to all of the people who helped out with our Christmas music! I was especially pleased to have Katie and Ashley playing their instruments, as well as Tony Legg and his guitar, and Maddie and Amy were awesome! Third Sunday choir is coming along. Does anybody want to join us? I always welcome suggestions and input from any of you. Please, if I can do something, just ask me! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your church family!
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Community Partnerships The new name for Outreach is Community Partnerships. Our Mass on the Grass food collection was donated to San Lucas y San Pablo (St. Luke’s/St. Paul’s) food pantry in Bridgeport, and we collected in excess of 300 cans of green beans which were given to St John’s food pantry, also in Bridgeport. Towards the end of 2016, we began working with the Senior/Social Services Center at Priscilla Place, which among other things houses the Trumbull food bank. We contributed one of our fall food collections to the food bank, and found out that there are in excess of 200 Trumbull families being served at this facility. We will continue to support St. John’s Bridgeport and St. Luke’s/St Paul’s Bridgeport, but will concentrate our efforts in developing a relationship with the Trumbull Center. We are also exploring several fundraising activities for 2017, including a Beatles tribute concert, a Rock-A-Thon for the youth of the community, and the potential of having community suppers taking place at Trinity Church. Through this planning, we are beginning a relationship with the NIA (Nichols Improvement Association) and intend to include other local churches in our planning. We will keep you posted on these and any other activities that may develop. I encourage all parishioners to put on their “thinking caps” and bring to our attention any ideas for fundraising/community outreach that come to mind. Finally, I would like to thank all of our congregants who have so faithfully supported our outreach ministry with food donations as well as their time, talent, and treasure. Sam Sutter
Sacramental Report for 2016 Baptisms:
Theodore Cepetelli Chloe Culotta Mila Martinez Sarah Moises Elmalyz Ramos
Alice Anderson Georgetta Bridge Kathy Galloway John Klinko Madeline Smerglnolo Donald Smith
Transition Report The process of moving Trinity from the leadership of Rev. Ellen to a new Rector has been making steady progress. In early March, the Vestry met with Rev. Lee Ann Tolzmann who is the Canon for Mission Leadership for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT). She explained the new procedures for a Rector search and revealed that there was a prospective Interim Priest: Rev. Paul Carling. Later that month, a Parish Committee met with him and - 21 -
recommended his approval for the position by the Vestry. The Vestry was unanimous in its approval and Rev. Carling began his service as Interim Priest on June 5th. In July, our consultant, Bob Osborne, was assigned and he met with the Vestry on August 19th to further explain the process. On October 1st, an all-day Vestry Discernment session was conducted by the consultant to help determine the future direction of the Parish and to begin to develop the required Transition Teams: Discernment, Hospitality, Prayer, and Recruitment. The Discernment Team (Carolyn DeFranco, Martha Fernald, Patti Kay, Gayle Silva, Sam Sutter, Bob Pitzschler, and Dick Worth) began meeting with Bob Osborne on Monday evenings at the end of November. These weekly meetings will continue until the Team has completed the Parish Profile and the Office for Transition Ministry and Transition Ministry Conference portfolios. The information necessary to complete these documents comes from the Parish Discernment Sessions and various parish documents. Additionally, the Team has the task of insuring that the Parish Website is current and relevant. Once these tasks are complete, and Bishop Douglass has approved them, requests for applications from interested candidates will be distributed within the ECCT and the Episcopal Church. The Hospitality Team will be made up of four or five parishioners and will meet as needed to identify and support events where hospitality is needed. Currently the Prayer Team consists of the entire congregation as they offer their prayers of encouragement and support through the process. A smaller Team will be chosen during the process to serve as a resource for developing prayers and liturgies at different stages of the Transition. The Recruitment Team will be developed as the Discernment Team completes its mission. It is this Team that will design a protocol for vetting the candidates, develop the interview questions and the interview protocol, conduct the initial interviews, and recommend a slate of candidates to the Vestry for their consideration. Simon Howes and Bob Pitzschler
Warden’s Report A happy and healthy 2017 to one and all. I guess I'll begin this report where I ended off last year. It's people who make up a church not the bricks and mortar. As we move forward to find a new priest; be they man or woman, young or older, we will be looking for your patience and understanding, but above all your input. (remember, YOU are the church). We finally reached a point where the Discernment Committee has formed and held its first meeting. I do urge all to participate fully in the process. Other than this I'm sure you all heard that Verizon is a “dead” issue and is behind us. They decided not to build an antenna in this area. This has positive and negative implications. We move on. We had a successful Mass on the Grass albeit a bit wet, but something we never did before, and I'm sure there will be other things we will try in an effort to connect with the community. This is how we hope to grow, and this is why your participation and suggestions are so important. Well I guess this year I'll close with a quote from Porky Pig “IBIDE IBIDE IBIDE THA THA THA All Folks” - 22 -
Simon and Gary
Elections Nominating Committee Report February 5, 2017 The following slate of Officers, Vestry Members and Delegates is presented for election as indicated: For a one year term: Warden: Simon Howes Warden: Nancy Wilson Treasurer: Sam Sutter Associate Treasurer: Dick Worth Clerk: Robert Pitzschler Vestry Members: David Ginter - 2019 Lurena Hoinacki – 2018 Peter Myer – 2018 Candice Myers – 2019 Nominations for a 3yr Vestry Term (2020) William DeFranco Judy Ingerman Patti Kay Colleen Linane ECCT Delegates – 1yr Term Simon Howes Robert Pitzschler ECCT Alternate Delegates – 1yr Term Position Open Position Open Greater Bridgeport Ministry Network – 1yr Term Robert Pitzschler Trumbull Interfaith Council Delegate – 1yr Term Martha Fernald