Grace Episcopal Church held its 155th Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. The meeting was highlighted by reports from our clergy and lay leadership, election of new Vestry members and the approval of our first balanced budget in more than 12 years.

Lay Leadership

Grace Senior Warden Shari Bonham expressed her gratitude to the clergy, the staff and everyone in the parish for their hard work, generosity and commitment to our ongoing mission.

The parish re-elected Shari to serve on the Vestry for another three-year term, along with Becky Coulter and Joe Heggie. They join fellow members John Adams, Liz Allen, Lyn Ballard, Kurt Feigley, Pam Fitzgerald, Mary Merriweather and Doris Schaefer on our lay leadership team. The parish thanked Dick Entenmann, Richard Eschenroeder and Leah Giessing for their service as Vestry members for the past three years.

At a special Vestry meeting later that same day, Fr. Todd  appointed Shari Bonham as Senior Warden and the Vestry selected Phil Morrow as Junior Warden. This is the second year for each to serve in those positions. The Vestry also reappointed Tim Engelbrecht as Treasurer and Sue Nixon as Secretary.

The parish also elected Vince Nicosia to serve another term as a Diocesan Convention Delegate. Vince has attended six Diocesan Conventions and was recently appointed to serve a two-year term as Metro III’s Vice President. Vince continues his service as a Grace delegate along with Becky Coulter, Pat O’Brien, Michele Nicosia and (alternate) Roy Pennington.

Financial Reports

Dick Entenmann reported on the conclusion of our successful three-year Renew and Reclaim Capital Campaign. This effort brought in more than $1 million, which has been used to make major infrastructure improvements and to pay off our debt. (That payoff saves our parish $23,000 a year.)

John Adams reported on the results of our annual pledge commitment campaign. We have 190 financial pledges for the year ahead, totaling $475,514. John and Dick both thanked everyone in the parish for supporting our church’s vision.

Treasurer Tim Engelbrecht discussed details of our 2014 parish budget, which is balanced for the first time in more than a decade. Those details are published in our 2014 Annual Meeting Report, available in the church office.

Planned Giving & Gifts Report

The annual meeting also provided a chance to spotlight the work of our Planned Giving and Gifts committee. Ron Ryan and Larry Reimelt discussed how the Grace Legacy Fund greatly benefits our parish each year. They also introduced “Perpetual Grace,” a program to recognize everyone who has named Grace Church in their estate plans.

Rector’s Report

The Rev. Todd McDowell presented his annual report as the homily at both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. worship services. Fr. Todd celebrated our merger with St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, the conclusion of our capital campaign, and our new balanced budget. He also highlighted our call to continue the mission and ministry of our church and invited us to consider how that work will shape our parish’s future.

Additional Reports

Reports from our Associate Rector and other ministry leaders at Grace, along with St. Matthew’s annual reports are all published in a booklet, which is available in the church office. We encourage everyone to read through the reports to learn more about the status of our parish as we move in to this new year.


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