In the fall of 2021, the Vestry of St. Bart’s approved a strategic plan to guide the work of the parish from 2022 to 2025. The plan aims to further the parish’s mission of Transforming Lives, Transforming the Church and Transforming the World by ensuring stewardship of our building and financial resources and by creatively investing in the growth and development of our vibrant faith community.
This work comes at a crucial time for St. Bart's and the wider Church as we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person Sunday attendance is down around 40% from pre-COVID levels, but total Sunday attendance, with virtual worshippers included, is up as much as 50% over pre-COVID levels. As to revenue, mission supporting activities like rentals and the restaurant are still contributing at 20% below pre-COVID levels. The strategic plan is intended to position St. Bart's well for the new future that is on the horizon.
Since the last strategic plan update to the parish in May, the following progress has taken place:
Pillar One (Building Our Organization to Support Growth)
- Over 70 candidates applied for the Chief Operating Officer position. A search committee met with 6 finalists and are hopeful that a successful outcome will be achieved soon.
- The accounting firm Citrin Cooperman has assumed interim responsibility for the financial administration of St. Bart’s and is also undertaking a review of our current systems.
Pillar Two (Achieving Financial Stability & Increased Giving)
- January-June 2022 giving ($784,903) was ahead of January-June 2021 giving ($665,860). However, the vast majority of Stewardship giving typically arrives in the final 3 months of the year. Your continued support is critical to our achieving the overall campaign goal of $3.3 million.
- Duane Jackson has been hired as Development Manager to assist Jama Toung in Stewardship and Development.
- A stewardship training for clergy, staff, and members of the Vestry and Development Committee has been planned for the fall.
Pillar Three (Growing & Diversifying Membership)
- An Associate for Newcomer Welcome & Engagement has been hired with an announcement coming next week.
- Monthly summer receptions on the terrace and weekly happy hours for 20s/30s have helped to connect newcomers to existing members.
- A Welcome Summit is planned for key volunteers on Saturday, September 10.
Pillar Four (Boosting Parish Engagement)
- An Associate for Parish Life has been identified internally with an announcement coming next week.
- August has been designated Volunteer Recruitment Month, during which each parishioner will be challenged to take on one new volunteer commitment.
- Planning for an enhanced St. Bart’s Fair on Sunday, September 18th is well underway. Parish engagement volunteers aim to contact all current parishioners to encourage attendance.
Pillar Five (Fully Leveraging Building & Mission Supporting Activities)
- The firm VVA is close to completion of a long-term building maintenance and improvement plan for St. Bart’s. This plan will be made available to the parish once it is complete and will include both infrastructure and building enhancement needs. Parish leaders will use the completed report to develop a long term financing plan for the building and other operations.
- The installation of a new HVAC system has allowed us to re-open the gym for athletic rentals. This much-needed development will significantly improve our revenue potential.
- Thanks to TV and film production activities, non-athletic rentals have picked up the pace and are now ahead of year-to-date budget projections.
Pillar Six (Capitalizing on Digital Trends)
- Our communications department is still recruiting for a Digital Media Producer to enhance our approach to creating digital content.
- St. Bart’s joined TikTok in June and has already amassed close to 700 followers and over 35,000 views.
- Attendance of livestream services is generally equal to or above 2021 levels, even though in-person attendance is now higher than it was in 2021.