At our retreat in January, your vestry set goals for 2018. One of the priorities we identified we call “listening to the body;” by which we mean listening to the body of the church, listening to the congregation, listening to you. We are focusing on this priority by devoting specific time during each vestry meeting to discuss comments or questions that have come to us as vestry members. We have also set up a “vestry table” in Sydnor Hall after the Sunday morning services. While we always welcome your comments and questions on any subject, we have selected specific topics that we hope you will explore with us.
During the month of February our selected topic was accessibility and barriers at St. George’s. Thanks to all of you who responded, both at the table and by engaging in conversation about the topic with vestry members where ever you encountered them. You provided us with a wealth of information! The list of responses was posted behind the vestry table during February and they are now being shared with the staff.
Some concrete issues, such as improving signage, can be addressed almost immediately. Other barriers, such as architectural changes, will take outside expertise, time, and money. This is an excellent time to identify those barriers, because we will be considering how to mitigate them as we move forward with plans for our capital campaign in 2019.
Some of the intangibles listed, especially in the area of worship and the area of leadership, provide us with topics for deep thought and discussion. The first step was bringing these topics to the table. The next step will be to provide a forum for listening to each other and discerning how to address these stumbling blocks. I look forward to our taking this next step together.
In March the topic of conversation at the Vestry Table will be buildings and grounds. What solutions do you imagine to some of those physical barriers you identified in February? What would you like to see us doing with our buildings and grounds? What dreams do you have for our physical space? The sky’s the limit. Talk with us about buildings and grounds.
—Ethel Hellman, Senior Warden