Last Sunday's Annual Meeting was a great success. We must thank the vestry who worked hard to organize the breakfast reception. I hope that the people of St. Mark's felt like the guests of honor - that all of you know how much you are valued.
Nanette Judd, Keane Akao, and Tim Valadez were each elected to a three-year term on the vestry, and John Schamber was re-elected as junior warden. Keane Akao, Sandy Leialoha, Jeanne DeCosta, and Michel Reavis will be our diocesan convention delegates, and Susie Graeb will be the alternate. I re-appointed Sandra Leialoha as senior warden for another year. Nancy Minuth was thanked for her service to the vestry as she ended her term and had decided not to run again. She continues to volunteer in the office for which I am grateful.
Michael Ida did one of his splendid budget presentations as the treasurer of the parish. The word he gave us for this year is "stretch." He gently reminded us that we must not remain static, but rather we must keep challenging ourselves. He warned us that standing still is actually moving backwards. Our income for 2015 has increased nicely all around, but we are also reminded that ministry needs always grow exponentially. Be sure to see Michael if you would like to see the financials of the parish at any time.
I announced at the meeting that the new house has been completely renovated, and now it is rented. We gave thanks for the new website and Evangel Newsletter format, and we acknowledged our new musicians who are doing a fine job. Our talented choir continues to shine, and Sam Lam inspires us each week through the organ.
Finally, Wayne Yoshigai and I both announced what the congregation has discerned for a capital campaign. The parish will work to pay down the mortgage on the new house, we will work to upgrade our worship space, and we will renovate the kitchen. Other smaller projects may also be included, but these three areas will compose the main thrust of future fundraising and development work.
As for the future, please mark your calendars for Candlemas. On Monday, February 2, at 6:15 pm we will have a proper solemn high mass with the choir for this feast. Candles will be blessed, and we will celebrate the story of Jesus being presented to Simeon and Anna in the temple as told by St. Luke. As for this coming Sunday, January 25, join us for a potluck and rector's forum after the high mass at 11:30 am. Friends from the Life Foundation will be with us to present their work of HIV/AIDS support and education.
God continues to bless St. Mark's. Mahalo to each of you for being a part of that blessing.
Father Paul Lillie+