Meeting conducted on-site in the Clanalpine Meeting room.
Present: Mike Lum, Chris Chandler, Lee Beeston, David Mayes, Chris Stretton, Darrel Causbrook, Amanda Haywood, Naomi Reichardt, Rev. Bruce Stanley (chair)
Apologies: Yvonne Hall, TseRuey Low, Harry Tjondro
Next Parish Council meeting: Tuesday, December 13th at 8pm
2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 is a call to pray for the message of the gospel to spread rapidly. What a great prayer! It also reminds us that this will happen with the Lord's strength and that there will always be opposition to this from the evil one. We must pray, and we must have confidence in the One who overcomes. "May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance." (verse 5). Pray that we, as a church, will follow God's plans, in God's strength, prayerfully and with confidence as we head into 2023.
2023 is to be a year of evangelism! (We could argue that every year should be!) But next year, we will focus on gaining that love for sharing the gospel in every area of church life. This must be guarded by prayer and shaped by God's will. Please pray that as a church, we will take up the work of evangelism in every aspect of church life.
At our last Parish Council update, we were excited to announce that we were able to raise all funds needed for the stage 1 completion at St Phil's. Giving continues to come in to pay off the internal loan for the Ermington Rectory. Thanks Giving 2022 raised over half of our funds for forward planning and missions. God has been very generous to us in providing our needs across the Parish.
Next year we will be seeking to raise our giving target, as usual, to meet the increasing needs and opportunities. This increase generally comes in three ways:
First, from increased membership - people join our church and give for gospel work.
Second, general giving increases from some who may receive pay or other income increases each year.
Third, from increased generosity. Praise God when we have an opportunity to increase our generosity even when our incomes may not increase.
Each year we are blessed to have members give sacrificially through offertory and through special funding needs such as buildings, staffing or missions. In 2023, we will be seeking to increase our weekly offertories by 12%.
New Youth Minister Position (P/T)
Alongside this increase, we are seeking pledges toward establishing the new position of youth minister (part-time). There are three reasons for seeking to establish this position in 2023:
1. This youth generation has faced some of the greatest challenges over these past 3 years. A specialised youth minister will allow us to give more attention to their pastoral needs, as well as assist parents and families of youth.
2. A youth position will allow our children's minister, Jason, to resume his role as a full-time Children's worker, which is work that now extends across St Phil's and St Mark's, with 6 public schools and 3 Sunday school programs.
3. Next year, we have limited needs to raise funds for building work. This year, over $200,000 was given towards building work alone. There will be a significant rest from building fundraising in 2023, requiring only small amounts for upgrades and maintenance. This is a good time to invest well in another area of ministry, now that our building needs are lower.
To give an idea of the cost, if just 16 people pledge $50 a week more, that would fully fund our part-time youth minister. Of course, not everyone is able to give that amount, and some may be able to do more, so we encourage you to consider how you may be able to:
1. Pray for these financial needs, with thanksgiving to God.
2. Increase your regular weekly giving to account for inflation as well as an increase in generosity where God allows you that opportunity.
3. Prayerfully consider if you may be able to be a key contributor to fund our youth position for 2023.
Over the next weeks, pledge forms will be available on Sundays for each of us to prayerfully consider our giving for next year, and in particular this special pledge program for youth ministry. This will greatly help us in our budgeting. We appreciate your prayers for this.
- Ermington: The playground construction is well underway and looking great! It is expected to be finished in November. A second-hand kitchen has been obtained for installation at Ermington to replace the aging kitchen in the main meeting area.
- Eastwood: Small repairs to old sewage pipes are about to be undertaken. Stage 1 completion includes the carpark sealing and detention tank construction. Site surveys have been done and we are in the process of preparing tender documents.
- Bells: Approval from the Diocese has been given to proceed. In the midst of other busy-ness, this has been somewhat delayed, but we do hope to resume the work soon, with the process of approaching Ryde Council for DA approval
Our current giving is at 99.0% - great news!
As we plan for increased costs ahead, please pray that we can maintain reaching our 2022 budget in preparation for next year. Please do take time to review your giving for the year ahead - prayerfully and cheerfully!
Details for online banking can be found on our website here: Giving page
- Income required:
Year to date: $695,081
- Current offertory:
Year to date: $688,162
- Shortfall: $6,920
The current offertory is 99.0% of the budget.
Financial reporting assistance
We continue to consider options for obtaining external assistance with accounts. As our church grows, these demands are much more than several years ago. We are looking into options for outsourcing some accounts work and also considering the possibility of a bookkeeper to assist with the management of weekly payments (which takes around 6 hours a week). Please pray that God will lead us to a helpful solution.
The meeting finished in prayer at 10:15 pm. Then we went outside and watched the end of the lunar eclipse!