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 August, the following progress has taken place:
Pillar One (Building Our Organization to Support Growth)
- Tara Marlovits, formerly the Chief External Officer at Uncommon Schools, was announced as the new Chief Operating Officer of St. Bart’s and begins work on Monday, October 24.
- Accounting firm Citrin Cooperman has continued their review of our financial systems and has successfully overseen several staff transitions within the finance department.
Pillar Two (Achieving Financial Stability & Increased Giving)
- The 2023 Pledge Campaign, Bold in Asking, Joyful in Sharing, was launched on Sunday, October 16th and comprehensive literature about the campaign was mailed to the parish.
- Clergy, staff, and members of the Vestry and Development Committee completed a stewardship training with The Reverend Nathan Kirkpatrick of Saison Consulting LLC.
- Staff and lay leaders are exploring opportunities for grant funding.
Pillar Three (Growing & Diversifying Membership)
- Bailey Regan was announced as Associate for Newcomer Welcome & Engagement.
- Monthly summer receptions on the terrace and weekly happy hours for 20s/30s connected newcomers to existing members.
- Key volunteers participated in a Welcome Summit on Saturday, September 10, and a new Welcome Team has begun its work.
- In October and November, the EXPLORE class and Welcome Sunday will take place in person for the first time since 2019.
- The Imagine Worship NYC gathering in early October brought close to 300 people to St. Bart’s, including dozens of young people of color.
Pillar Four (Boosting Parish Engagement)
- Veronica Shea was announced as Associate for Parish Life.
- A successful Volunteer Recruitment Month was held in August and bolstered the ranks of many of our ministries.
- A revitalized St. Bart’s Fair launched the 2022-2023 program year with over 200 people in attendance. A parish engagement phone drive helped ensure high attendance for the event.
- Participation in the St. Bart’s Connects small group initiative doubled, with over 80 new participants registering.
- The Reverend Meredith Ward has established a new grief group to enhance our approach to pastoral care.
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, which will anticipate building needs for the next 6 years, will be made available to the parish once it is complete. 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 now has over 900 followers on TikTok, 8,200 followers on Facebook, 1,800 followers on Instagram, and 2,200 subscribers on YouTube.
- YouTube views in September 2022 (15,847) outpaced YouTube views in September 2021 (11,817) by 34%.
- Improvements to livestream audio have been implemented.