Note: This page is a “news report” of the 2022 Annual Meeting. Please refer to the official parish meeting minutes for official information and details.
Rector’s Call to Order and Annual Report
This was the fourth annual meeting of the Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension. Again this year, due to the pandemic, the congregation could not meet together in person. Therefore, the meeting was held using Zoom teleconferencing technology over the internet. The meeting was called to order at 10:21 a.m. during the Prayer Service on Sunday, January 23, 2022 by The Reverend Renee L Fenner.
Rev. Renee’s annual meeting address was incorporated into her sermon. It included a recap of several challenges that the parish faced over the past year, it highlighted the many blessings bestowed upon us, and it listed some of the issues that we will face going forward. Click the following link to read the transcript of the sermon and annual address.
Along with various annual reports, the agenda outlined below was distributed to church members prior to the meeting:
In accordance with our bylaws, the number of Vestry members should be nine (9). There were five vacancies that needed to be filled for a three year term. These vacancies were created by the following retiring members (class of 2021): Stanley Johnson, Rickey Mabry, Michael Watson, Machelle West, and Bill Young.
There were six candidates for Vestry (Alexia Baker Dukes, Joyce Crittenden, Sanford Hamilton, Diana Oliver, Valerie Patton, and Tony Vick). Five of these candidates were elected electronically via Zoom. Those members who did not have internet access were provided ballots via US mail and were allowed to register their vote with our administrative assistant by telephone. Votes via Zoom and by telephone were tabulated and combined. The combined tabulation resulted in the following five members being elected to the Vestry. Their term of office will expire in January, 2025 (Class of 2025).
- Alexia Baker Dukes
- Joyce Crittenden
- Sanford Hamilton
- Valerie Patton
- Tony Vick
Two church members (Adrienne Dillon and Kia Williams) ran as candidates for the position of Alternate Delegate to the Convention. The following candidate was elected via Zoom and telephone as the Alternate:
- Kia Williams
NOTE: Go to our VESTRY web page to view a current list of all nine Vestry members, the lay delegate, and the alternate delegate to convention. You can also get details on the role of the Vestry and to view our parish bylaws.
Due to confidentiality concerns with posting financial reports on our public website, tabulated reports were distributed directly to registered members via email this year. Members that do not have access to email were sent the report via US postal service. During the meeting, highlights of the financial report was presented verbally by Rickey Mabry, Treasurer. A printed copy of the financial report is always available to any registered member by submitting a request to the parish administrative assistant.
The treasurer summarized his verbal report by stating that we suffered a cash flow deficit for year 2021, but we were able to transfer funds from our restricted account to cover the loss. He reviewed the budget for 2022 and stated that a deficit for 2022 is projected as well. Even though losses for 2022 will not be quite as bad as 2021, a plan to mitigate this trend needs to be a priority issue for the new Vestry.
It was announced that even though Rickey was one of the five retiring Vestry members, he had agreed to continue his role as Treasurer in 2022.
Senior Warden Report
Outgoing Senior Warden, Bill Young, was unable to provide a written report this year. But after welcoming everyone, he was able to share his thoughts in a verbal report during the Zoom meeting. He began by summarizing his 4-year tenure as Senior Warden. He started as Senior Warden in 2018 when we were “officially” transitioning with the merger of two churches. That year, we legally became the Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension on Junteenth (June 19th).
Since then we erected a new digital outdoors sign which tells who we are, service schedules, and other announcements and messages. Then, our former Priest in Charge, Father Dunnington, reached maditory retirement age and we were forced to search for an new priest. But we were blessed with Rev. Renee Fenner who answered the call and is now the rector of our church.
Bill reflected on yet another blessing during his leadership. Bill takes no credit for the selection of Bishop Deon Johnson to lead our diocese. But he wants us to know that we are VERY blessed that he has proven to be a great leader, and has taken interest in our church’s growth and sustainabilty.
In regards to the past year, Bill thanked the Vestry for their support to renovate the sanctionary (renovation phase 1). He personally thanked the renovation commitee for their hard work and dedication to bring the new sanctuary to fruition. The committee consisted of Rev. Renee Fenner, Nancy Hamilton, Stanley Johnson, Mike Watson, and Bill Young.
He also reflected on our blessings for having the ability to utilize new technology. He thanked Valerie Patton (Zoom worship), Sanford Hamilton (email communications), Stanley Johnson (sanctuary audio and live stream installation), and Alexia Dukes (Facebook and live stream broadcasting) for using modern technology so that we could share the Word within our parish and the community.
Mr. Young feels that there is now a new spirit in our church family. He has faith that he is leaving the Vestry in good hands and he is optimistic about our future.
Junior Warden Report
Outgoing Junior Warden, Stanley Johnson, provided a written report. that was included in the collection of annual reports provided to the congregation prior to the meeting. He briefly summarized what he had written.
Assistant Clergy Report
Rev. Jamal was asked to share some comments. He thanked Rev. Renee, the Vestry and all who have embraced him and his family. He said the spirit of the Lord is upon us. He also expressed his thanks to the many members who have been gracious hosts, and who now have become family. He said that he appreciated our hospitality, fellowship, and words of wisdom. Rev. Jamal is in the military and will be relocated to the Pentagon later this year.
Report From The Newly Appointed Senior Warden
It was announced that Betty Brown has been appointed by the Rector as our new Senior Warden for 2022. During the meeting, Betty accepted an invitation from Rev. Renee to address the congregation.
Betty asked that as she commits to this position, that everyone pray with her and for her. She prays that the Holy Spirit will guide us in ways to further our mission at All Saints and Ascension, and to the larger community. She also prays that God will empower us in ways to be the voice, the hands, and the feet of Jesus.
Open Discussion and Announcements
Our Administrative Assistant, Karen Mosley, thanked us for allowing her to work at All Saints and Ascension. She wanted to personally recognize those who faithfully count our contribution every week (tellers): Betty Brown, Deborah Dukes, Alexia Dukes, Dawn Johnson, and Michael Watson. She also thanked Margaret Williams for her due dilligence in managing payroll and making sure that it is processed punctually. And finally, she also expressed her thanks to Stanley Johnson for the VERY HARD on-sight work he put in. She stated “You all would not believe the amount of hours that he spent at the church during that renovation”. She added that he was also cleaning the building because we have been without a sexton.
Rev. Renee concluded by asking us to pray for the Vestry and for a new junior warden who will soon need to be elected by the Vestry. She wanted to extend thanks to Michael Griffin, Assistant Treasurer, for his faithful assistance that he gives to supporting Rickey Mabry with keeping our books in order. She finally gave kudos to Camryn, Camille, and Cayleigh (the “Three Cs”), to Will, to Alexia, and to all of the youth who have faithfully contributed to our church. She stated that our youth are not our future but our present!
Joyce Crittenden, Walter Fox and Margarett Williams were among several other parishioners that expressed their thanks, congratulations, and well wishes to those who have served and to those who will be serving.
Final Blessing and Dismissal
The annual meeting was declared closed by Rev. Renee with a final prayer blessing at approximately 12:14 p.m. Rev. Jamal ended the Prayer Service with the dismissal.