Rev. Dr. Anita Farber-Robertson
Behind the Parish House is the Memorial Garden. It is been there quite a while. It started with an inspired design and healthy plants. Over the years it has been tended but of late wasn’t flourishing. Lack of good soil, fertilizer and sufficient hands to care for it took their toll. Still, it is incredibly important to the congregation and we all feel a strong responsibility toward it. The hard work of a dedicated group is bringing it back.
The church itself is like that garden. A long, laudable history; tremendously meaningful to the congregation; loved by all. But for the last several years it has not flourished either. Perhaps we lost our purpose: the soil that gives strength and nourishment. Maybe we had the wrong fertilizer formula for our tender plantings. We had high hopes and great ideas but felt our energy flagging.
Then last year we discovered Miracle-Gro for congregations. This potent potion was concocted by Rev. Anita Farber-Robertson. Through her wise counsel, her energy and her loving affirmation of us as a healthy, committed congregation, we received all the nutrients we needed to recharge, recommit and embrace the future.
Some of the highlights of this year:
An inclusive, energizing process was used to form the Ministerial Search Committee.
The All-Church Council was initiated to bring together all constituencies to discuss matters pertaining to the life of the church.
Church school attendance has increased. Happy children make our coffee hours a time of joy.
A challenge grant offered to the fundraising campaign to paint the Meeting House helped us exceed our goal.
An additional anonymous gift will enable us to recarpet the Meeting House.
Our application for CPC funding to restore the Meeting House windows was approved by the committee and awaits Town Meeting approval.
Circle Ministry continues to be a core element of our community.
The Outreach program of giving 50% of the non-pledge plate offering has confirmed our commitment to serving the larger community.
A by-law review has been initiated and will be brought to the congregation in the fall.
Responding to feedback from parishioners, there have been more opportunities to socialize: potlucks, family activities, pumpkin carving with the Carriage House Nursery School, etc.
The Spring Fling continues to be a high point in our social calendar.
Each of these items required time and talent from members and committees. The productivity was remarkable. We are a small church but we act big!
Beyond these specific events and accomplishments, the change in atmosphere must be acknowledged and celebrated. As we approach this Annual Meeting, there is an air of excitement and anticipation, of course. Our Search Committee has used all its wisdom, experience and heart to bring us our new settled minister, Rev. Jill Cowie. But there is also a great sense of pride and accomplishment beyond that. Look what we did! Look where we are! Look how we care for each other, for our programs and our buildings.
On behalf of the Parish Committee I want to report that the state of our congregational union is strong. We have many challenges ahead but they are really opportunities. Now that we have learned the formula for proper nurturing and fertilization of our garden, it will sustain us and help us grow. It is a great honor to serve as your Parish Chair.
Jane O. Goedecke
Chair, Parish Committee