Vestry Corner Jan 2021

Vestry Meeting 1-11-21

Ben Capps opened the meeting with his reflection on the baptism of Jesus in the gospel of Mark and Paul’s related message to the citizens of Ephesus from Acts 19. Quoting from Mary Oliver’s poem Sometimes he encouraged us with these words “Instructions for living life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”

Fr. Richard officially announced that Rev. Ben Capps has been offered and has accepted the position of Priest in Charge at St. Andrew’s Church, Glenmoore. He will begin his work there on February 1 and he will continue serving as our Day School Chaplain until the end of the school year. All those at the meeting, vestry, staff and clergy, congratulated Ben for this calling and expressed gratitude for his years of service and his many creative and leading roles while at Good Samaritan. Fr. Richard has already begun his process to search for, identify and hire a new associate rector and will utilize qualified resources and support to find the best person for the position.

Following the order of the meeting agenda, the Vestry heard the report of the Finance Warden, Andy Balsan. In his report for the year 2020, Andy stated the challenges and complications to the church as well as to us all resulting from the Covid pandemic. The income of the church from pledges and other giving was 5.6% below budget projection but expenses were also reduced due to Covid restrictions on activities by 6.8% yielding a surplus for the year. In addition, the church received a PPP loan which has been “forgiven” putting church finances in a good, stable position to deal with expected challenges in the immediate future, especially disruptions in the Day School program. The Vestry recognizes with gratitude the continuing faithfulness of the congregation supporting the church during this difficult time. As Fr. Whitnah said, “Even if we can’t GO to church, we are called to BE the church.”

Andy also presented a preliminary budget for 2021 which attempts to project income and expenses assuming pandemic restrictions continue. 2021 is projected to be very similar to 2020 which allows the church to provide a slight increase in Mission Committee budget for discerned ministries, Diocesan support equal to 2020, equivalent compensation for employees, and sufficient income for administration and facility operation and maintenance.

Thanks to the management and creativity of staff, ministry programs have been remarkably adapted to pandemic restrictions. Jon Hobbs reported on the success of youth and family ministries with online engagements. To equip the team with the best qualified leadership, the Vestry approved a motion for the church to enter into a three year agreement with the Center for Youth Ministry Training ( to provide one youth staff person. The interns from CYMT are dedicated, motivated, post-graduates majoring in youth ministries.

Vestry approval of a budget for 2021 will be on the February 9 meeting agenda.

Fr. John Whitnah reported on the efforts of clergy, staff and volunteers to keep in touch with members of the parish, especially those who are alone or susceptible to the depressing conditions confronting our community and the world. Thank you to all those who are being Christ-like in their service to our neighbors in need. John encouraged the members of the vestry and other members of the church to reach out!

Ted Klenske alerted the vestry that a new Alpha series is beginning on January 12 in collaboration with the Church of the Savior. This is a great opportunity to invite our friends and others who may or may not be believers or seekers to learn about being in relationship with Jesus Christ! Visit the church website or ask Ted ( how to join.

The Vestry and Fr. Richard want to recognize and thank those who have given special effort to provide meaningful worship experience during this challenging time: Tom Connett, Scott Hoffman, Craig Russ for tireless technical support and Gary Gress and Thomas Morgan for their time, skills and creative energy.

Respectfully submitted,

Rusty Smith