Today I have a message for your from our treasurer Lee Morris, and some other news and updates. Also, the service sheet for tomorrow is attached:
Here is the note from Lee:
As your treasurer, I continue to be amazed at the steadfast generosity of the St. Dunstan’s parishioners, especially during the pandemic that keeps us from meeting together in person. Throughout the first eight months of this calendar year, we have been continually ahead of the year-to-date budgeted plate and pledge income. And in addition, we gave $30,000 and added $25,000 in outreach endowment funds to retire $6.4 million in medical debt for 4,000 Atlanta household. We have also contributed to the medical needs of the Msalata Theological School in Tanzania, community pantries, parishioner relief funds, and other special needs, in the total amount of about another $40,000. On top of that many of you continue to make financial donations to the food pantry, in addition to donating a carload of food each week.
We have continued to pay our nursery attendants Dolores and Lindsey; Jesse Gray, who cleans for us; Leon Smith who does grounds work, and, of course, our three salaried staff. Otherwise, because we have not been meeting in the building, our expenses have been lower than “normal.” So we are financially healthy. But it still takes about $420,000 per year to operate, without considering special needs and projects. Our collective continued sharing of our resources will be important to the sustained viability of this parish that we love.
On behalf of all of us, “thank you” for your past and continuing generosity.
You may have seen the story in the AJC yesterday about the Diocese of Atlanta loosening some of the restrictions on gathering. In a Zoom meeting with clergy on Wednesday, Bishop Wright announced that we can now have gatherings outside of no more than 50 people for no longer than an hour. Indoor restrictions remain the same.
There are restrictions on these outdoor gatherings — social distancing must be observed, masks must be worn, and we must keep a record of everyone in attendance in case of possible future needs of contact tracing.
We are thinking about the best ways to take advantage of this (with the knowledge that the loosenings could be rescinded at any time if there is an increase in Covid cases). The need to be able to live-stream Sunday morning services make an outdoor option impractical. But I am thinking that we may be able to do a Blessing of the Animals on a Sunday afternoon in a few weeks. When we have worked out all the details I will let you know.
And now for some pastoral concerns. This morning we buried longtime parishioner Nancy Young, sister of our parishioner Pat Berman, who died Easter weekend. It was a simple service in the Beech Grove for Nancy’s immediate family and a few longtime friends. Nancy’s illness had kept her from attending church in recent years, but for many, many years she was a mainstay, quietly serving in many ways behind the scenes. Caring for Nancy also has limited Pat’s involvement in recent years. The love and care that Pat has for her sister has been a true example of Christian love and service. Please continue to keep Pat in your prayers,
I also have an update on Joni House, for whom we pray regularly. Joni has lymphoma and in recent years has gone through chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and stem cell therapy. Sadly, the lymphoma has returned and there are no further treatments available. Joni is at home and feeling well. She asks for your continued prayers for her, and for her long-time partner, Alan Toney. She does not need food, but welcomes cards and emails.