SENIOR WARDEN'S REPORT (VESTRY)
Senior Warden's Report
Almighty and everlasting Father, you have given the Holy
Spirit to abide with us forever: Bless, we pray, with his grace
and presence, the bishops and other clergy and the laity
here (or now, or soon to be) assembled in your Name, that
your Church, being preserved in true faith and godly
discipline, may fulfill all the mind of him who loved it and
gave himself for it, your Son Jesus Christ our Savior; who
lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and forever.
I cannot think of a more perfect collect. I know I don’t have to tell you this but the past 20 months have probably been the most difficult time in all of our lives. Three years ago, I would have never believed you if you had told me that the world would be thrust into a pandemic and that the majority of my tenure on the Vestry would be dealing with this public health threat. If I’m being honest here, which I have to be because I am in church, I would much rather have dealt with the typical “church” issues such as reviewing the church’s finances, discussing building and grounds issues, etc. But the one thing that I can be certain of and thankful for is that Trinity Church has been preserved through the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit.
I recall 20 months ago, Scott and the Vestry asked the questions: How can we continue our mission of exploring faith, embracing community, and making a difference without the use of this amazing space? What do we do now that we cannot gather together in corporate worship? We quickly learned that Trinity Church is more than this amazing space, but a community of believers that cannot be separated by a coronavirus. While 2020, on the Vestry, was filled with walking an unknown and often dark trail; the 2021 Vestry was not only able to build upon the answers to these questions, but also build from what we learned in 2020. This year we posed the questions: What will worship look like in 2021? How can we continue to grow together, as a church family, without killing the clergy and church staff in the process? To attempt to answer these questions, your vestry divided into three workgroups: 1) The Re-entry workgroup 2) the Enhancing Community Workgroup, and 3) the Staff Support Workgroup. Out of this work came some of the most amazing opportunities for fellowship: Trekking in the 828 led by Steve and Mary Bruce Woody; a “sit and stitch” knitting group led by Hope Byrd and Francis Smyth; a “flower decorating” group led by Barbara Fotinos; a successful re-opening of our church; and a church staff that continues to be dedicated to the mission of Trinity Church. However, their sanity cannot be guaranteed.
Trinity Church also continued our mission of making a difference in not only our church community but also the community at-large. This year our parish has supported the Asheville Humane Society, Diocese of Haiti, Habitat for Humanity, the Haywood County Flooding Relief Fund, Trinity Place, and I am sure that I have forgotten many other charities. We have also provided scholarships to campers for Camps Henry and Kanuga. Lastly our Outreach Committee has continued their amazing work and by the end of this year will have distributed $85,400 in the forms of grants to community partners, including financial support of the Church of the Advocate.
I would also be remiss to mention all of the building and grounds projects that the Vestry tackled this year. As you know, this beautiful building is old and requires significant upkeep. We have installed Halo systems in most of the HVAC units of the facility. The Halo system is an in-duct air purification system that has been shown to be effective against COVID-19, the influenza virus, as well as many bacteria that cause illness. The only space not covered is the staff office spaces on the second floor. In those spaces, we purchased individual air purification systems. We have also had to have a new roof placed in the section of the church leading to Tuton Hall. This was due to water leaks found in the Oak Hallway and Working Sacristy. As you all have also seen, we have needed new lighting for the nave and sanctuary. Thankfully this system has been installed. Lastly, we have had to have a new HVAC system installed in the Children’s area of the building because the previous boiler system died.
On a more personal note, I would be remiss if I did not thank Scott for his unwavering leadership, as well as the staff of Trinity whose hard work and determination has kept this church family together and allowed us to continue our growth as children of God. I am deeply appreciative of the Vestry of Trinity Church, which has worked so hard to ensure that our parish stayed connected and informed during our isolation as well as to be able to re-open and worship and gather together safely. While we still do not know what is yet to come, I pray and am certain that, with God’s help, Trinity Church will continue to be a beacon of His love and joy amid the darkness of the world.
Brad Wilson, Senior Warden