INTERIORS/MEMORIALS COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2021
Due to Covid-19, the year 2021 proved to be another challenge for St. Luke. Despite not having in person worship for half of the year, the Interiors Committee continued working quietly and doing all the routine functions that we are responsible for on a regular basis, plus some special projects were completed. As always, the Memorial Garden was impeccably maintained. A sincere thank you to each of the dedicated members of the Committee which bring their unique gifts, talents and interests to the group. The committee members are Doreen Dahl, Mary Dietz, Brenda Reedinger (Chairperson), Debbie Von Hoene, Ludi Webber, and Suzy Weeks. Thank you to all of the St. Luke elves that pitched in and helped with the Advent/Christmas decorating. It was fun seeing Pastor Josh Menke on the tall ladder helping decorate the Chrismon Tree! We were able to do a complete decorating job this year.
The Interiors Committee’s responsibilities cover three areas, as well as interfacing with the Property Committee, Learning Ministry, Sharing Ministry and Worship and Music Ministry as needed. All of our ministries are intertwined at some point each year. The Committee is responsible for building interior projects which require a decorative touch, and we are known to take on a special cleaning of the narthex and sanctuary and other areas a few times during the year. The spiders, dust and pack rats never sleep!
We are responsible for the administrative aspects of the Memorial Garden, which include ordering of the memorial plaques and bookkeeping of expenditures for the Garden. There were three plaques ordered and installed in 2021for Earl Swandby, Ann Swandby and Jeanne Goforth. There were four interments in the Garden in 2021 – John Coffman, Luther Shealy, Earl Swandby and Jeanne Goforth.
Lastly, we are responsible for the accounting of the individual memorial accounts and the memorials bank account, acknowledgment of gifts and memorials and spending of memorial funds. Our joy is working with the memorial families. All of our note writing and balancing of accounts occurred on a regular basis despite COVID
BUILDING INTERIORS PROJECTS
Our annual task of decorating for Advent and Christmas was accomplished by the Committee with the caring hands of other helpers! Thank you to each and every one of you! This year we were able to host our lasagna dinner to show our appreciation for our helpers! It was delicious as always. It was a true joy to be able to display the Seibold Memorial Nativity for the first time. It was purchased in 2020, but not displayed due to Covid-19.
A new Memorial Garden Book was designed and ordered this year. The old book was full and there was no way to add additional pages. Thank you to Tammy Hammond for her help! Two new exterior Christmas wreaths were purchased in 2019 for the Sunday School wing, but not used in 2020. Thank you to Debbie Von Hoene for making the bows and Sim Austin for hanging the wreaths for 2021! A portrait of Pastor Josh Menke was obtained, framed and hung in the Pastor Gallery outside of the library. Narthex banners and parament continued to be changed throughout all of 2021 even though we did not have in person worship for half of the year.
Thank you to Doreen Dahl and Debbie Washburn for their continued leadership, dedication and hard work in the Memorial Garden. Thank you to others who pitched in and helped as well. They kept everything looking great and they added flowers and other vegetation as needed. Doreen purchased boxwoods to be placed outside of the fence at the main entrance to the garden. The services of Arborscape were used in the Fall for a soil injected fertilization of all of the plantings.
The most distressing occurrence in the Garden this year was the theft of a cement bench, cement cross and two cement urns. That was a well planned out theft to lift those items. Thank you to an anonymous gift given to St. Luke from a friend of Doreen’s to allow us to replace these items and more. Thank you to Doreen and Leif Dahl for making a trip to Harrisonburg, VA to purchase replacements. Thank you to Sim Austin for setting up a surveillance system on the garden following the theft!! A second anonymous gift was given to St. Luke by friends of Doreen to have the tree stump near the fence ground out and removed and for funds to purchase additional shrubbery at the correct planting time.
The Memorials function of the Interiors Committee was active again in 2021. With great sadness we lost the following members: Al Bishop, Jeanne Goforth, Joan Haithcock, Lambert Kerschbaumer, Marilyn Leander, Lesley Marcoux, Earl Swandby and Fred Yarbrough. Memorial Funds were established for Joan Haithcock, Lambert Kerschbaumer, Lesley Marcoux, Earl Swandby and Fred Yarbrough. Memorial Funds are held in their own checking account, which is separate from the general fund, and is administered by the Interiors Committee and audited by the Church Auditing Committee. It is important to realize that these funds are special funds strictly designated as memorials monies. The use of these funds is governed by a written policy and by the desires of the deceased’s families and the needs and wants of St. Luke. Sometimes funds are combined to purchase items due to cost. All memorial money goes through the general fund before coming to the memorial account for bookkeeping and auditing purposes. Thank you to Ludi Webber for keeping our books.
Memorial gifts purchased this year and dedicated on October 31, 2021, included:
Red Reformation Banner and Red Reformation Altar Superfrontal crafted, and custom made by Gaspard Company from the “A Mighty Fortress Series” given from the Betty and Fred Yarbrough Memorial Funds.
Red Reformation Book-style Burse and Veil crafted, and custom made by Gaspard Company from the “A Mighty Fortress Series” given from the Gregory Harrier Memorial Fund.
The Interiors Committee invites any St. Luke member to join us as a committee member or for a special project. If you have any interest in sewing, organizing, decorating, design, interiors type projects, furniture and furnishings, please contact me. We would love to have you share your time and your talents on our ministry team.
Brenda Reedinger, Interiors/Memorials Chairperson
MISSION ENDOWMENT FUND ANNUAL REPORT 2021
The Mission Endowment Fund (MEF) started the year with a balance of $ 137,038.89 and disbursed $14,000.00: $3,500 (25%) Virginia Synod Disaster Response Fund; $3,500 (25%) Feed More; $3,500 (25%) St. Luke capital improvements; and $3,500 (25%) Pastor Josh Menke’s seminary loans.
The balance as of November 30, 2021 was $134,692.77, with a net YTD decrease of $2345.62, after distributions. To date, there was a market increase of $7953.52. There may be additional changes in December. The end of year statement for the MEF will be available in February 2022.
Please remember that you can make donations to the Mission Endowment Fund whenever you want to. Also please consider this option in your estate planning.
The current members of the MEF are:
Ron Diamond 2nd term expires January 2022
Perry Remaklus 1st term expires January 2022
Tom Okerlund 1st term expires January 2023
Andrew Glass 2nd term expires January 2023
Kay Wason 2nd term expires January 2024
The two (2) member’s whose terms expire in January of 2022 are Ron Diamond – 2nd term expires; Perry Remaklus – 1st term expires. Perry has requested to be removed from the Committee due to health-related issues. Ashley Lathrop and Sim Austin have been nominated to replace them, pending congregation approval.
Andrew J. Glass
PROPERTY COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT 2021
During 2021 the Property Committee was focused on facility maintenance, installation of a security surveillance camera for the Memorial Garden, upgrades to the sanctuary worship service recording and sound system, and repairs to the sanctuary HVAC system.
Outside facility maintenance items this year included two clean-up days. Spring clean-up was cleverly scheduled for April Fools Day and Fall clean-up was on October 7th. A lot of energy was used to rake, trim shrubs and trees, blow leaves and clean-up debris all around the church property. Many thanks to the volunteers who were able to come and help on those days. A special thanks to John and Millie Olson for spending a better part of a separate day cutting down trees around the parking lot.
As part of the fall clean-up, we also contracted for a dumpster for three weeks to clean-out unwanted items from the church. Thanks to a lot of “really old” items from the boiler room basement, we ended up with 1.73 tons of trash that went to the landfill.
Additional outside contracted work included electrical repair/replacement of components of several parking lot lights and extensive tree trimming of dead branches and overgrown areas near the playground area, around the parking lot lights, near the Memorial Garden and chipping of multiple piles of wood and trees from the fall clean-up activity.
This past May we experienced a theft of a concrete bench, two planters and a cross from the Memorial Garden. As a result, a surveillance camera that monitors the Memorial Garden 24/7 was installed and signage warning of the monitoring was added to the fencing around the garden. We now get to see real-time any movements of people and cars in the parking lot and are able to record all the activity in the Memorial Garden.
Lastly, two new Trex benches were added to the courtyard to increase seating and start the replacement of our older wooden picnic tables and benches, plus a leaking hose bib was repaired that connected to the automatic watering system for the Memorial Garden.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we started recording the entire worship service, streaming it on Facebook and then posting it on YouTube. We have continued to work on improving our recording capability and the quality of our sound system. The church internet router was upgraded to give us the speed and bandwidth for wireless recording and two wireless microphone systems were upgraded from analog to digital which has resulted in significant improvements by eliminating sanctuary dead zones, decreasing static and interference, and providing much improved sound clarity.
We experienced a number of instances this year with excessive heat in the sanctuary from the HVAC system. After many contractor visits to troubleshoot the problem, we found that there need to be repairs made to both the inside sanctuary unit mixing valve and the outside sanctuary unit reversing valve. Parts are on order and the repairs will be made in 2022. Thank you, Vince Reedinger, for all the time spent at the church with the HVAC contractor.
St Luke continues as a polling site for the city of Richmond. Property worked with the city for the second year to ensure that safety procedures were adequate to allow for safe voting during the June primary and the November election voting.
Again, I want to thank all the volunteers who helped in the clean-up days activities and those who helped in the upkeep of the outside courtyard, flower beds, shrubs, trees, Memorial Garden and the systems related to the sanctuary and worship services. It is much appreciated and couldn’t be done without you.