Pastors Report for 2019 at SunCoast MCC
November 11, 2019
Rev. Vickie Miller and Rev. Nancy Wilson
We, as your pastors, feel like this has been another year of change and transition. We have more Sundays over 100 in attendance, and in recent months, we have seen an influx of visitors. We experience God’s leading as we are becoming more outer facing that we were, more visible and involved in the wider community. Worship has improved, and we both have enjoyed fostering a deeper relationship with all of you. We appreciate your love and support in all things.
We committed to leading the church in theses strategic areas this year, and this is our report to you, our congregation:
- Lead the effort to raise our profile as a church that cares about our community and about justice. Train and empower leaders and teams of volunteers for special projects
- Participation started with Family Promise at UUA location, helping homeless families
- 2nd Annual Venice Pride – 1,000 participants, increased funding, sponsors, vendors, media coverage
- Participation and building relationships with ALSO, PFLAG, Equality Florida, Tidewell Hospice, CAN
- Continued to encourage support of CHAPS with their special needs
- Venice Interfaith (VICA) participation – in American Racism series, UUA class, Thanksgiving (Rev. Gene designing upcoming service)
- Bringing Rev. Mario, from The Circle MCC to General Conference and to SunCoast, participating in his ordination
- Much great media exposure – Thanks to our Media team – revising our Website, increasing our social media presence
- Took action to reach out to El Paso school after gun violence
- Creation centered preaching series, dealing with climate change
- Transgender support group, Trans Visibility and Awareness Sunday November 17
- Offering space for outside groups: 3 Twelve Step Groups, SunCoast Wind Ensemble, Gulf Front Theater Group,
- Pride Month celebrations, including Recovery Sunday
- New Church Sign helps us focus our message and reach out!
- continuing to find our way to be a hub for our community, to reach out beyond ourselves, our walls and property, to be more outer- focused
Fund Raising and Programming
- Work with our Fund Raising Team to meet and exceed fund raising targets
- Guide the Stewardship team as we break through the barriers to regular, faithful, generous weekly giving at SunCoast MCC, and balance our budget
- Fund Raising did an outstanding job, will reach goals for this year, involved outside groups, lots of folks passing through our doors.
- Stewardship – reset on Pillars, new brochure, should end up with a modest increase; Legacy brochure and work on 2020 effort; Stewardship program for 2019, and start on 2020 capital campaign
- Very successful “Raise the Roof” campaign, and campaign to pay off the Church Sign.
- Need to identify some larger and fewer fund raising events that bring higher proceeds
- Still need a lot more education about Pillars, the mortgage – need to focus on how to do that
- Need to get on top of mortgage funding in 2020
- Need to find the “sweet spot” for encouraging weekly giving to the General Fund, in a culture that supported many, many “special” giving programs, but struggles with regular giving.
- Need a successful capital campaign to shore up mortgage expenses and in anticipation of refinancing the mortgage in 2020
- Through our Worship and Music Team and staff, keep on making improvements to our weekly worship and music program, adding instrumentalists and participants, recruiting volunteers
- Creatively shape worship to appeal and grow beyond our current crowd
- Successful use of the Worship Design Studio materials for worship series throughout the year
- Worship Team working effectively
- Added Rodger Jenkins as volunteer music staff, playing piano
- Added more lectors and Eucharistic ministers and acolytes, some additional help with sound and slides on Sundays.
- Church attendance improvement – 4 Sundays over 100, including Easter at 132; All Saints service very well received, the day after Pride, at 105
- Improved music
- Collaboration with Church of the Trinity MCC on 2 concerts upcoming
- Special guests: Bob Chase, Anne Hope, Shawn Thomas, Marsha Stevens, Mario Bonifanti
- Live Streaming our services with consistent attendance
- Still need a worship/song leader – Rev. Nancy continues to fill this role with occasional help from others.
- Still need additional instrumentalists to complete our music team
Membership Campaign, Leadership and Spirituality
- Create a Membership Campaign, that invites people to discover or re-discover SunCoast MCC, and helps newer members and visitors to assimilate and get involve – increase membership and attendance
- Continue to nurture the leadership and spirituality of our members
- Took in 15 new members, finally winding down on purging roles from the last several years. Continue to revise and update class, materials.
- A dramatic increase in visitors recently, iincluding many who are repeat visitors, and are joining.
- Worked with Welcome Team to update visitor welcome materials and gift.
- Homecoming Weekend was very effective this year, with over 100 people at both events, and a real outreach – not only welcoming those who once attended, but asking people to come and consider making this our church home. . .
- Honored volunteers monthly
- “Lead Like Jesus” inspired our Team leaders and members
- Many educational offerings, by the Pastors, and others – Rene W, Deacons, Rev. Naomi King
- Prayer Surge continues to be a powerful experience, deacons assisting more now
- Deacons have re-grouped, are leading an Advent Retreat in December
- About 25 people from SunCoast attended General Conference – worship, business and workshops, many for the first time!
- Our Program Team tends to be overshadowed by our Pride Committee – but, they faithfully made sure we had social events on our calendar, include free or low cost ones, and worked with the pastors on the overall calendar. We will revisit this team and its mission in the new year
- Assimilating newcomers and visitors will be a challenge that we have not had to face – this is critical right now!
- Re-shaping Programming Team for the next phase
- Continuing to develop leadership skills in our congregation
- Getting enough volunteer support for routine needs like weekly hospitality, landscaping, cleaning, etc. Takes a lot of effort to renew the “workforce!”
- Since our volunteers tend to be older, coming to terms with what tasks need to be outsourced, particularly for landscaping
Administration and Facilities
- Excellent Board retreat, set goals for the year, board teams focused on tasks, monitoring income and expenses, building issues
- Communications and Media Team Upgraded bulletin, E-Clips, Website, Facebook, using new branding
- Administrative Staff initiated and updated Church Sign with excellence!
- Risk Management Team made more improvement to our facility and safety, reported to church at forum, continues to be very involved faithful, also recruiting more help
- Landscaping – the property looks better than it ever has!
- Church building painted!
- New roof with warrantee!
- Board and Office staff, volunteers constantly working on upgrading or monitoring systems: electrical, sewer, water, alarm system. Had to deal with repairing damage from leaks, saving the roof on the storage building (former Chapel). Many of these systems will be less vulnerable to problems once we can connect with city systems.
- Volunteer room updated and redecorated thanks to a team of volunteers.
- Counting team retrained and efficiently utilizing software to record financial gifts.
- Employee Manual revised with assistance from Board.
- Sold modular!
- Got rid of the boat!
- Creating a strategic plan for the use and development of our land – on the board’s agenda for 2020