October is a big month for the parish. October 4 will be the feast day of our patron saint, St. Francis, and our annual parish meeting. While many congregations hold their annual meetings in January, I asked the vestry to move ours to October last year, and we will continue the pattern this year. There will be a combined service at 10 a.m., immediately followed by the annual meeting.
I’ll be honest with you—when I was a child, the phrase annual parish meeting conjured up images of complete boredom. People droning on, reading reports out loud from multiple committees; the budget being read to me in line-by-line excruciating detail; and a sound system that didn’t really work (so I couldn’t really hear anything, much less understand it). And then there were the arguments over small budgetary line items. It was one of the things I looked forward to least in the course of the year.
Well, fear not. What I’m hoping for is that we will come to see the annual parish meeting as one of the things we look forward to most at St. Francis. Our patronal festival should be a time of celebration, of recognizing the best of who God calls us to be. I ask us to combine for worship (all three services) so that the whole parish family might be gathered together for worship and praise, at least once a year.
Following that, the annual meeting will be a time to celebrate the wonderful things we have done in the past year (or that the Holy Spirit has done in the past year in our near vicinity) and to look ahead to what we are called to do in the upcoming year. We will affirm new vestry members, recognize outgoing vestry and other transitions, celebrate key leaders and contributors in the last year, and eagerly anticipate what God has in store for us. We will move briskly, and will be done just in time for everyone to get to lunch (munchies and coffee will be served; fear not). Please join your parish family if you are at all able.