St. Francis Episcopal Church
2009 Annual Congregational Meeting
and Presentation of
Annual Report for 2008
January 25, 2009
ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
January 25, 2009
10:30 A. M.
I. Call to Order and Opening Prayer
II. Vestry Ballot
III. Appointment of Secretary
IV. Adoption of minutes for 2008 meeting
V. Rector’s Remarks
VI. Outgoing Senior Warden’s Remarks
VII. Assistant Rector’s Remarks
VIII. Treasurer’s remarks and presentation of 2009 budget
IX. Questions from the Floor
X. The Franciscan Cross
XI. Closing Prayer and adjournment
New Vestry: Please meet at the altar rail at the close of the meeting for a 5 minute orientation and election
A LITANY OF THANKSGIVING FOR
ST. FRANCIS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Let us thank God whom we worship here in the beauty of holiness.
Eternal God, The heaven of heavens cannot contain you, much less the walls of temples made with hands.
Graciously receive our thanks for this place, and accept the work of our hands, offered to your honor and
For the Church Universal, of which these visible buildings are a symbol,
People: We thank you, Lord.
For your presence whenever two or three have gathered together in your name,
People: We thank you Lord.
For making us your children through adoption and grace through baptism and for refreshing us week by
week with the sacramental body and blood of your Son.
People: We thank you, Lord.
For the knowledge of your will and the grace to perform it,
People: We thank you, Lord.
For the fulfilling of our desires and petitions as you see best for us,
People: We thank you, Lord.
For the forgiveness of our sins and for restoring us to the company of the faithful,
People: We thank you, Lord.
For the blessing of our vows and for the crowning of our years with goodness,
People: We thank you, Lord.
For the faith of those who have gone before us and for our encouragement by their perseverance,
People: We thank you, Lord.
Rector: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty;
People: For everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
Rector: Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom;
People: And you are exalted as head over all. AMEN.
This policy was adopted by the St. Francis vestry effective January 12, 2009.
St. Francis ByLaw– Vestry
1. St. Francis policy regarding election and eligibility of Vestry members is subject to applicable
diocesan and national Canons.
2. The Vestry of St. Francis shall consist of 12 elected lay members. As provided by the Canons, the
Rector presides over Vestry meetings (with seat, voice, and vote). Any salaried assisting clergy has
“seat and voice”, but no vote. Each lay member shall serve a normal term of 3 years, with 1/3rd of
the 12 positions being elected each year so that the entire Vestry is elected on a rotating basis over 3
years. Election of new Vestry members will occur each year at the Annual Parish meeting as
3. Officers shall be the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Register, and are elected by the
Vestry following the annual parish meeting. Wardens must be elected Vestry members; the Treasurer
and Register may be Vestry members but are not required to be. All officers serve one-year terms and
may serve multiple terms. In the event of officer not being a member of the Vestry, he/she may be
allowed to attend Vestry meetings at the discretion of the Vestry, but shall have no vote and may be
excused from portions of the meeting for certain discussions as decided by the Vestry. The duties
and responsibilities of Officers and Vestry are described in Canons, especially in Virginia Canon 12.
4. The Executive Committee of the Vestry consists of the officers and Rector. The Executive
Committee meets at its discretion to set the agenda for Vestry meetings, to act on sensitive issues
such as personnel, to take any other action authorized, or to act on behalf of the Vestry in the event of
an urgent matter that requires action before a Vestry meeting can be called. No minutes are kept of
executive committee meetings.
5. Election of Vestry:
a. Nominations: The Vestry will appoint a nominating committee made up of Vestry members
who are not eligible to serve again in the upcoming election. This committee will work with
clergy and Vestry to solicit well-qualified Vestry candidates, and may serve as election
judges. Candidates for Vestry may be nominated by the Nominating Committee, or by any
parishioner eligible to vote, including themselves. Candidates may also be nominated from
the floor of the annual meeting by any parishioner eligible to vote.
b. Eligibility: any adult confirmed lay member in good standing as defined in Virginia Canon
11:4 and General Convention Canon I.17.3, and who in addition has made a pledge to the
parish operating fund for the current year, is eligible to serve on the Vestry except for paid
staff of the church. No Vestry member can serve 2 consecutive 3-year terms; however if the
member will have served on the Vestry for less than 3 years at the time of election, he/she
may run for another partial or full 3-year term. Any member who has served for 3 or more
years must stand down from Vestry service for 1 year before becoming eligible to run again.
c. Elections: will take place at the annual parish meeting by secret ballot of parish members.
Per Canon, no election shall be valid unless the participating qualified votes number at least
10% of the active communicants qualified to vote. Proxy voting is prohibited, but any
member wishing to vote who cannot attend the annual parish meeting may submit a ballot in
person at the parish office during the week before the annual meeting. Unless provided by the
meeting, a majority of the votes cast shall be necessary to a choice.
d. Open positions will be filled by election at each annual meeting. Open positions will be the 4
full 3-year positions and any other vacancies created by the resignation in the past year of a
member not completing his/her full 3-year term, as described below.
6. Resignations: in the event of a resignation of a Vestry member before the completion of his/her 3-
year term, the Vestry will fill the vacancy in one of the following ways: (1) It may appoint an
eligible parishioner to serve until the Annual Meeting, or (2) it may leave the position vacant until the
next Annual Meeting. At the Annual Meeting, a new member will be elected to serve the remaining
term for the position. At the Annual Meeting, parishioners will vote for and elect new Vestry
members without regard to which vacancy they are filling. The determination of which term the
newly elected members will fill is determined by the number of parish votes received for each; the
longest term will be served by the highest vote-getter, and so on, until the shortest term is filled by
the lowest vote-getter elected.
7. Conflict of Interest and Ethical Behavior: All Vestry members, clergy, and staff are expected to
execute their responsibilities ethically and in the best interests of the Church. Examples of unethical
behavior would include receiving an inducement to award business, or causing the parish to act in a
manner not consistent with its best interests. Any behavior, action or circumstance not consistent
with this philosophy may be brought before the Executive Committee or Vestry, for consideration
and the determination of whether any remedy is required. When there is an accusation of a breach of
this policy, the Executive Committee will review and recommend a finding to the Vestry, for its final
decision on whether there is a breach and what the appropriate remedy should be. To avoid the
appearance or reality of conflict of interest, no paid staff member can serve on the Vestry or as
Treasurer. An immediate family member of paid staff (spouse, sibling, child or parent) may serve on
the Vestry, but this family member may not serve as Vestry liaison or officer for the area in which the
paid staff member works, and must recuse him/herself from any discussion or decision relating to the
staff member or where the subject may lead to a conflict of interest in the judgment of the Wardens
after consultation with the Rector.
SAINT FRANCIS EPISCOPAL CHURCH
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING MINUTES
JANUARY 21, 2008
The Rector called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.
The Rector offered a prayer of Thanksgiving to start the annual parish meeting. She explained that the
first order of business would be for the parish to vote on candidates to fill in vacancies and expiring terms on the
Vestry and Endowment Committee. Each Vestry and Endowment Committee candidate was introduced to the parish
and a call for additional nominations from the floor was made. No additional nominations were received and the slates
were closed for voting. Voting ballots were distributed. Past Vestry members were thanked for their service. Election
results were that Don Ruschaupt, Valerie Goddard, Marthe McGrath, and Paul Mutino were elected to three year terms
and Douglas Dear was elected to fill an unexpired, one year term. Mike Shuler was elected to the Endowment
Val Goddard was designated as Secretary to prepare the minutes of the meeting.
The minutes of the 2007 Annual Parish Meeting were accepted as offered.
RECTOR'S REPORT: Penelope Bridges
The Rector thanked Ray Murphy for spearheading the parking lot paving project and other leadership and Carolyn
Brown for her heroic work with facilities and preparing a Facilities Handbook. Jeff Parker is here competently
working to fill Joy's position. Melissa Coombs and Lynn Fallon are such a blessing to our parish. Melissa has been
encouraging solos and raising up our children in song and mentoring. Virginia leads our choir with endless energy and
enthusiasm. Christie Clark, Rita Arteaga, Rosalie Ferrufino and Janet Gralley (who has been here the longest and now
has folk memory) help us to function. Allen is a wonderful colleague and has already been here five months. There
are signs of a healthy church: we have many people committed to this parish who show their dedication through the
Altar Guild, Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Stephen Ministry etc. We have 140 kids in Sunday School and 50 plus
singers in our three choirs. In addition, our average Sunday attendance is increasing. We still hope to meet the 200
number for pledging families. This year $16,000 was given to the St. Francis School in Juba ($9,000 collected over
the Advent/Christmas season). Other signs of parish health are that people are asking questions on how to follow
Christ through Bible study, the Adult Forum, involvement in mission trips and the youth trip this summer. Franciscans
are also involved in the wider church such as the Scott family supporting the reconstituting parish of St. Stephen's,
Nachman and her work with the Ecumenical Women's Council of the Diocese, and the Rector is serving as Dean of
Region V and on the Ecclesiastical Trial Court. Our choir has sung at the Diocesan Council Eucharist and at the
consecration of Bishop Johnston last May. Jane Ruppe continues as the Director of the St. Francis Crèche, giving a
warm welcome to families in the community.
Highlights coming up in 2008 are that we have Ash Wednesday on February 6th, the Tuesday Pot Luck Lenten
Suppers which will focus on the Lord's Prayer and Stations of the Cross. We have Holy Week leading up to Easter
observances on March 23rd ; the Gala is March 29th led by Sally Everett Corley and Candy Burt. Please support them
in helping raise outreach funds for the St. Francis School in Juba and Alternative House. There is the Confirmation
May 3rd (Diocesan Service) at Shrine Mont, our
Women's Retreat the first weekend in May, Noye's Fludde over May 16, 17 and 18; and Bishop Johnston comes on
May 18th to the 9:00 a.m. Service. On May 22nd Holly Davis graduates from VTS, and the first weekend after
Memorial Day , June 8th we go to Shrine Mont as a parish. Finally the Rector will be on sabbatical from June 22nd to
November 2nd, the theme of which is “Singing the Lord's song in communities of faith.” She will be spending time in
other churches to bring back ideas. We have our Assistant Rector Allen Pruitt and the Rev. Bill Myers to “steer the
As our parish vision evolves (see our mission statement) we will move forward developing as friends of God and each
other. We have focused activities beyond Great Falls in our music, mission and pastoral care.
Please pray for the Watts family as Charlie is home from the hospital and is with Vivian now.
SENIOR WARDEN'S REPORT: Ray Murphy
We have had a successful year with the vestry. First, we have to applaud Trevor Shafran for his great job on
laying the paving bricks under our church bell. The Personnel Committee was kept busy this year and delivered Allen
Pruitt and Jeffrey Parker to us. We have to thank former vestries for having the foresight to put money aside for our
new roof. Carolyn did an outstanding job with facilities and has completed a Facilities Handbook. The Stewardship
Committee helped to raise $560,000 and brought in 161 pledges. Our target is still 200 pledging families. The vestry
will be placing calls to help that process along. We are thankful to the Rector for landing a Lilly Foundation Grant (to
carry out her plans for sabbatical leave). Under Ann Blocksom's leadership we looked at our current facility usage.
We have lots of dreams to purchase a lot next door if it becomes available possibly for a school and a chapel. We need
classroom space for our YAC group and storage space for the Crèche and our Parish Hall. Harris Hall will be
renovated with a movable wall down the middle, the kitchen will be unified and condensed and the “stage” storage
area will hold the Quilters’ frame. Additional organizational storage is still needed at the back of Harris Hall. The
choir room needs cubbies for the Joyful Noyz; storage cabinets above the coat rack area will be installed; and the
Parish Hall will be renamed “Millen Hall.” In Millen Hall, a modular hutch will hold our china and glassware. The
Crèche will finally have a secure closet and the nursery closet will be reorganized. As part of the Millen Hall
fundraiser our church sign will be redesigned. It was recently demolished for the third time (in recent history). We are
relocating the sign to the berm in front near the street.
ASSISTANT RECTOR'S REPORT Allen Pruitt
“I have been here for five months already and I've got seven more months to make it a year; I'm still learning.
I'm excited about our J2A class which is gearing up for their 2009 pilgrimage and that speaks well of their intention of
seeking God's place for them. The highlight this year will be the summer mission trip (anyone in 8th grade now or
older can attend). We will be going to Dungannon in southwest Virginia, in the poorest county in the state. I also
want to say thank you for welcoming me. It has been a fantastic journey so far.”
TREASURER'S REPORT: Priscilla Myerson
“We finished last year in the black. We had to push the panic button back in November but people were so generous
that we have to say thank you. We have put the money back in our organ fund and long term facilities fund. We also
would like to thank the Stewardship Committee for their efforts to get more pledges so that a small surplus can be
carried over to 2008. I still want to emphasize that pledging is so important because it helps us plan for the upcoming
year. We recently upgraded Janet Gralley's computer which was so old it could not take an updated version of
Quickbooks! Janet will do a Financial Handbook so that we have this information in writing. We have added a line
item in the budget for a Rectory Fund. In the event we should hire a rector who finds the cost of Great Falls real estate
too high, then we will have some money available for a down payment on his/her home. This should not have to
happen any time in the near future but it is good planning.
“We have an outstanding balance on our mortgage of $542,848.35. We are looking to borrow a line of credit as the
cost per year is modest and interest rates are good. This year the vestry approved $46,000
for the Diocesan pledge as a fixed amount from the overall budget, rather than a percentage. We are currently in
negotiation over a cleaning contract which could be $23,000 yearly. For our music ministry, we would like a second
piano. We donated $5,000 to outreach for an Emergency Fund. Franciscans have always been generous in time of
need. For further budget information see attachment.”
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
One family wanted to immediately contribute $100 for attendance at a music festival. Ms. Myerson
recommended that donations be given by checks.
A question was asked about the adjacent property for sale ($12 million for 9 acres). In the context of
refinancing this could not be done without a congregational vote. Another person suggested that if that is what we
want, we should start talking with our neighbors, and the Rector stated that she has phoned them. There is a Diocesan
rule that if a church borrows more than two times its annual income, it has to have
Standing Committee approval. Another parishioner observed that we still remember the last battle we had with the
neighbors when we expanded our building and formed the Crèche.
Finally, someone else observed that we should first think about paying off our mortgage because there is no
advantage in carrying it and it takes 10% of our annual budget right now in interest expenses.
Ray Murphy stated that this kind of fundraising can be worked in with our Millen Hall fundraising. Frankly, we have
a bare-bones budget if you compare us with St. Anne's in Reston. They are a similar parish in numbers but have $1
million a year budget. If we had more money we could pay the mortgage off.
A parishioner wanted to see the plan for our new sign. Another wanted to discuss burial sites on St. Francis'
ground. The Rector stated that ashes can be interred here if they are in a biodegradable container.
We have plans for planting trees as part of the parking lot paving project and that has not been forgotten. Bill
Parsons and Andrew Howard are planning for that in the future.
The Rector stated there are people who join ministries, some who play well with others, people who have a
positive outlook and a smile, some who give extra time, some who are thoughtful leaders and some who are all of the
above. This year we have someone who is all of the above, as well as a cheerful giver of her time and talent, who
lives in an interfaith household and is a Diocesan leader: Sharon Nachman (who serves as Diocesan Altar Guild
Chair). She has been awarded the Franciscan Cross. Congratulations to Sharon.
The meeting was concluded with a prayer at 11:35 a.m.
Submitted by Penelope Bridges
My experience of 2008 falls into three unequal portions: the first half of the year, when we were moving
ahead with several projects including the Millen Hall fundraiser and the “Noyes Fludde” production; the four
months when I was away on sabbatical; and the last two months of the year after I returned, when the
national economical woes started to cast a pall over our corporate life. I cannot say much about the period
from late June to the end of October, but the Assistant Rector’s and wardens’ reports will fill in some gaps
for that period. As for the economy, I can only hope that the recession will be of short duration and that the
church’s finances (and by extension our ministry offerings) will rapidly return to their former level.
In our worship life we continued in 2008 to celebrate the major and minor feasts of the church calendar. The
feast of the Epiphany fell on the first Sunday of the year, and we able to mark that major festival in suitable
style, ending the morning by burning the greens with the help of Bob MacKichan and Troop 55. Lent came
extremely early this year. On Tuesday evenings, before the potluck suppers, we offered the Stations of the
Cross. We marked the progress of the season with the Great Litany on the first Sunday, the teens’ Passion
Mime on Palm Sunday, a well-attended ecumenical Good Friday observance, and a glorious Easter
celebration which included the commissioning of our two missionaries, Janet Gralley and Charlie Jackson,
for their long-awaited and much-delayed trip to Juba, Sudan. I celebrated a significant birthday on the 4th
Sunday of Easter, and the choir celebrated with me by offering a special Choral Evensong followed by a
grand party. A highlight of the Easter season was the first visit of Bishop Shannon S. Johnston to St. Francis.
He delighted the teens by preaching with a basketball, and was then delighted in his turn by our production,
jointly with Great Falls United Methodist Church and St. John’s, McLean, of Benjamin Britten’s children’s
opera “Noyes Fludde”. In June we marked Youth Sunday and at the end of the month we lit a candle that
would burn in the sanctuary throughout my sabbatical leave, June 23-November 1. It is perhaps purely
coincidental that attendance at Sunday services took a marked dive during the 18 Sundays of my absence,
dropping from an average in the first half of the year of 221 to an average during the sabbatical period of
157; or maybe the congregation also took a sabbatical! Allen Pruitt provided able liturgical leadership in my
absence and was assisted in preaching by the Rev. Bill Myers and Dr. Charlie Jackson, who had been
licensed by the Bishop as a lay preacher.
On my return to St. Francis, on All Saints Sunday, the wardens offered a “State of the parish” report in place
of a traditional sermon; this was extremely helpful in bringing me up to date and putting us all on the same
page as we returned to “business as usual”. The choir offered a sublimely beautiful Choral Evensong for the
Season of Saints, accompanied by our now-traditional slide show of pictures of saints, known and less-
known. This year we did not offer a service on Thanksgiving Day, opting instead to support the ecumenical
service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, at which I preached. However, only two members of St. Francis
attended, so clearly this wasn’t an attractive alternative and we will return to our Thanksgiving Day
observance in 2009. In Advent we welcomed the Rev. Lauren Stanley, diocesan missionary to Sudan, as a
guest preacher, and the year ended with a very well-attended Sunday School pageant on the Sunday before
Christmas and a lovely, but much less crowded, service of Lessons and Carols on the Sunday after. Our four
Christmas Eve services were well-attended: the 3:30 service for young children has proved popular,
especially with our Creche families, and the 5:00 service with the junior choir continues to be the major
event. At the 8:00 and 11:00 services the adult choir offered special music with brass accompaniment.
Throughout the year daily Morning Prayer was offered in the church, Monday to Friday, and we offered a
midweek Eucharist with healing prayers each Wednesday September through May. During the school year
the Creche had chapel services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Vacation Bible School held daily services
during its week in early August.
Because Lent was so early this year, our annual Gala fundraiser was delayed until late March, after Easter.
Sally Everett Corley and Candy Burt put on a fantastic evening with a Hollywood flavor, and significant
sums were raised to benefit Alternative House and the St. Francis Basic School in Sudan, as well as our
general fund. Our women’s ministry group held a weekend retreat at Shrine Mont at the beginning of May.
About fifteen women attended, and I encourage all women of the parish to consider attending the retreat in
2009. This is a precious opportunity to spend “quality time” together and to encourage and support each
other in our ministries and our personal lives. New friendships are made and old ones strengthened at these
annual events. Shrine Mont also saw our annual joint parish weekend with St. John’s, an event chaired this
year by Nancy and John Nocito. As always, a good time was had by all ages. In the fall, Valerie and Bruce
Goddard chaired our annual Country Fair, which by all accounts was a great success in spite of the growing
anxiety about the economy.
In June, Bob MacKichan announced his retirement after ten extraordinary years of leadership as scoutmaster
of Troop 55. This is one of the largest troops in the region and it has a remarkable number of Eagle scouts
among its alumni. Bob served with great distinction and has left a lasting imprint on hundreds of young men
in our community. Amos Lu succeeds Bob as scoutmaster, and Roland Blocksom serves as the church’s
liaison to the troop.
In the pastoral arena we welcomed eight new Christians into our parish family through baptism, all of them
young children; two adults were received into the Episcopal Church; we (mostly under Allen’s leadership)
celebrated five weddings; and we commended to God the souls of departed parishioners Charlie Watts,
Karim Kawmy, Bob Wiemann, and Amelia Cox, as well as offering memorial services for Ned Tolmach and
Marjorie Lucas. I officiated at one house blessing, and Allen, the Lay Eucharistic Visitors and I took
communion to those at home and in hospital 32 times. We enjoyed several dinners for newcomers and I
made several visits to newcomers’ homes. I especially value one-on-one time with parishioners and would
welcome suggestions of lunch dates or home visits with any parish family. Our Stephen Ministry group
continues to expand and develop, and we currently have 11 active Stephen Ministers under the strong
leadership of Kathy Anderson, AnnMarie DeArment, and Val Goddard. If money permits there are plans to
send another Stephen Minister for leadership training in 2009.
A program initiative of great significance in 2008 was the institution of a weekly Farmers’ Market in the
church parking lot in May. Robb Watters put a tremendous amount of work into getting this off the ground
and recruited a number of outstanding vendors. The market got off to a very good start and was welcomed
ecstatically by the Great Falls community. However, as the weeks progressed, the volunteer needs grew
while the attendance shrank, and the decision was made in late June to move the market to the village center,
where it would gain more visibility, and to turn over responsibility for the market to Great Falls businesses. I
am very proud of the way St. Francis rose to the challenge of making the market happen, and we have gained
lasting goodwill in the community, as the market seems set to become a permanent feature of Great Falls.
We have enjoyed an exceptional year of teamwork amongst the staff of St. Francis, which was made evident
during my absence, when everything ran (mostly) like clockwork. Allen Pruitt settled in as assistant rector,
completing his first year with us in the middle of my sabbatical. Allen has grown into his priestly role with
joy and commitment; the youth and their families have grown devoted to him; and he provides an important
younger adult perspective to the rest of the staff. Jeff Parker joined us as parish administrator on January 2
and quickly became indispensable. Jeff has brought his financial and business experience and his technical
skills to the service of the church, and handles bulletin production, membership records, facility
maintenance, and online communications with equal grace. He is a cheerful and dedicated presence in our
“front office”. Lynn Fallon completed her first full year as part-time Director of Christian Education and
provides a reliable resource and support for our Sunday school teachers and young families. Virginia Sircy
and Melissa Coombs form a dynamic music team, sparking ideas and energy off each other while inspiring
both our choirs to ever greater heights. Our adult choristers are game for any musical challenge and are now
well-known in the region as a church choir that can pick up and sing almost anything and that is a delightful
group of people to sing with. The junior choir, now known as “the Joyful Noyz”, comprises over 20 young
singers who send a strong message of our inclusion of young people in the liturgy. Almost every week we
hear a young soloist at the 9:00 service, demonstrating the value of this kind of formational experience. The
“Grace Notes” choir of very young children has taken a break, due to the impossibility of scheduling a
rehearsal time that attracts a critical mass of families. We have several other very part-time and less visible
staff members whose contributions are much appreciated: Rosalie Ferrufino is our sexton on Sunday
mornings and for special events; Christi Clark and Rita Arteaga oversee the nursery on Sunday mornings;
and Janet Gralley continues to provide valuable service as our book-keeper. It is a joy to serve with all these
good people who offer their gifts and time to the church.
Speaking of good people who offer their gifts and time to the church, I continue to be deeply grateful for the
committed and faithful individuals who serve on our vestry. Each year’s class brings new talent into the
leadership of the church, and I very much appreciate the work we do together. In 2008 Carolyn Brown
served with distinction as senior warden, willingly shouldering the burden of my absence for a third of the
year. Phil Pifer took on the mantle of junior warden and brought his energy and creativity to bear on the
challenges facing our facility and our communications needs. Don Ruschaupt drew the short straw in the new
vestry class and spent innumerable hours at the church overseeing facilities repairs and enhancements.
Priscilla Myerson completed her service as treasurer, going above and beyond with a commute from
Haymarket. Ann Blocksom led our Millen Hall fundraiser and storage enhancement effort, topping it off
with a wonderful dedication and party in early January 2009. Every vestry member has something unique to
offer, and I give thanks to God for a diverse but healthy leadership team that is united in our dedication to St.
Francis. In connection with the Millen Hall project I want to offer special thanks for the generosity of
parishioner Clint Heine, who shared the considerable resources of his general contracting firm with us to
bring the cost of the renovations down to an otherwise impossibly low level.
Under “other activities”, I continue to serve as Dean of Region Five, calling monthly meetings of the clergy
of our eight churches, attending meetings with the Bishops, attending and sometimes chairing meetings of
the regional council. I am on the ecclesiastical trial court, which unfortunately was called into service at the
end of 2008 to consider an accusation of misconduct brought against a fellow priest. I am active in the Great
Falls Ecumenical Council, and St. Francis hosts the Good Friday service and the Lift Every Voice choir
festival. I serve as liaison for the council to the Great Falls Citizens Association and I have been paying close
attention to the possibility of the development of housing for senior citizens in Great Falls. Before my
sabbatical I attended the regular luncheons of the Great Falls Business Women, and I hope to resume those in
2009. I belong to a colleague group of women clergy who lead parishes, and we meet monthly with an
executive coach. I offered a Lenten program at Grace Church, Alexandria, attended three ordinations, one
celebration of new ministry, and three Tables for Ten dinners. I supervised our seminarian Holly Davis
through her graduation in May and continue to offer informal mentoring to Holly as well as several other
church professionals, lay and ordained.
Finally, I cannot adequately express my appreciation for the unqualified support I received from the parish
for my sabbatical leave in 2008. Many clergy have to fight for a sabbatical and suffer for it after they have
taken it. I was blessed to have a Lilly Foundation grant which covered my expenses as well as the additional
expenses incurred by the church due to my absence, but more importantly I felt encouraged by the prayers
and good wishes that sent me off in June and the warm welcome that greeted my return in November. It was
a valuable four months of rest, travel and prayer. I look forward to the final chapter of the sabbatical, as we
look towards a project in late 2009 that will bring the many church choirs of Georgetown Pike together to
sing Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace”. I hope that many Franciscans will be able to
participate in this community effort.
SENIOR WARDEN’S REPORT
Submitted by Carolyn C. Brown
The year of 2008 was a very eventful one at St Francis that included the sabbatical of our Rector from the
end of June through early November. We faired pretty well in Penny’s absence (although church attendance
was down), with the added pulpit support of Bill Myers and Charlie Jackson and the capable leadership of
our Assistant Rector.
We had many of our traditional events that were successful (the Gala, the Country Fair, etc) and we had
some new ones. First was the launch of the St Francis Farmers’ Market in early May. It started with a huge
crowd (500+) in the front field purchasing produce and goods from over 11 vendors. By July the crowds had
dwindled, parking problems had arisen and the vendors were searching for a more “in-town” venue. Working
with the local community/business leaders, the venue was moved to the center of Great Falls and then run by
the community. St Francis can feel very proud of getting this community project initiated. Our second large
community activity was the very successful production of Noyes Fludde, a children’s opera, at St Francis in
mid May. Over 143 folks participated (62 children (28 from St Francis); 34 orchestra members (14 from St
Francis)). The production was financially successful in bringing over $4000 in net proceeds for our music
We beautified our property in the late spring with an extensive and impressive landscaping project on our
front berm. Led by Andrew Howard and Bill Parsons, many parishioners contributed their time and talents to
planting, mulching and watering this lovely garden. The project came in slightly over budget, primarily
using reserves designated for the parking lot fund.
Our primary vestry goal was to complete the Millen Campaign and Facility upgrades. It was a large project
led by Ann Blocksom and Phil Pifer. The campaign brought in over $46,000 in donations that helped to fund
the renovation of Harris Hall, storage cabinetry for the church complex and street signage. The project would
not have been financially doable without the support of Clint Heine who provided the construction labor and
oversight. We also got professional support from Jonathan Hodge and Dennis Findley. Harris Hall
renovation was expanded to include a new HVAC and new gutters to help with moisture issues. Cabinetry
was installed in the choir room and a lovely serving station in Millen Hall. Much time and effort was spent in
“cleaning out” storage areas to improve the clean look of the parish and to ensure we can continue to have
space for storage in the complex. A temporary sign was installed, rather than a permanent one, due to a
shortage of funds and site survey documentation issues. The Parish Hall was dedicated to John Millen, the
first Rector of St Francis, and renamed Millen Hall on Jan 4 ’09.
The Vestry made an attempt in the fall to contact every active parishioner to get feedback and ideas
surrounding the church. We continue to look for ways to grow our church (attendance was down 10% in
2008 which could be related to the rector’s sabbatical). We are hosting more Newcomers’ Events highlighted
this year with the Santa Claus party in December. We hosted a very successful Vacation Bible School at the
church this year with over 100 children attending.
In addition, the vestry is making efforts to reconstitute the Long Range Planning Committee to ensure we are
making good long-term decisions on the spiritual and physical foundations of our parish. We are also
continuing to encourage new creative ideas for our youth ministries and programs.
As a group, the vestry thanks you for the trust you have placed in us this year.
ASSISTANT RECTOR’S REPORT
Submitted by Allen Pruitt
2008 was quite a year from my perspective. I started my first full year of marriage, and my first full
year of ministry, both as a priest and here at St. Francis, not to mention the sabbatical. I have been grateful
for the opportunities afforded me in my work at here in this place. Chief among that is my work with the
youth. Working with them is a pleasure. I enjoy the fellowship, the funny looks, and the difficult questions
that I get from them on a weekly basis. They are smart, humorous, and full of life.
I am ever grateful for the work of our youth leaders who work so hard every week to put together
lessons and activities for the youth group. I do some of the work, but youth ministry could not happen
without the dedication and love that our 9 youth leaders put into their work. Our leaders make a two year
commitment to work with the teens in Sunday school and youth group, a time which draws to a close this
June. Perhaps some of them will re-up, but I will certainly be calling on the parish to find “new blood” to
refresh those who have worked to make this ministry a success. If you have an interest in working with our
young people on Sunday mornings (and at other times), please let me know. I’d love to talk about it with
you to see if it would be a good fit for you.
2008 was the year of the sabbatical, and my life was certainly part of that! I am honored and
humbled by the fact that you trusted me to be your pastor, preacher, and companion through the 4 months
(1/3 of a year!) of Penny’s sabbatical. It was a learning experience like no other I could’ve gotten. I
certainly learned a lot about this church and myself in the process of those months, and it was a lot of fun.
One highlight of that time was the 4th of July international picnic, held after church on July 6th. The
food was great and (as is always the case at St. Francis) the fellowship was excellent. This was followed
quickly by the plans for Vacation Bible School and the youth mission trip to Dungannon. You will hear
more about VBS from Lynn Fallon’s report, but needless to say it was a lively and energetic event! The
youth mission trip was July 26-August 1. We sent 6 teens and 3 chaperones to Dungannon, VA in the
southwest corner of the Commonwealth. This was done in conjunction with the other Episcopal Churches in
our region and so was a great chance to not only do mission but also to build relationships with other
Episcopalians in northern VA.
I was (gratefully) able to get away for a week of vacation in August, and was relieved by the
Reverend Bill Myers for the Sunday that I was away. The help that Bill was able to offer me, not only from
the pulpit, but also at the lunch table, offering advice, counsel, and good humor, was vital. I am grateful to
Charlie Jackson for the work that he put in from the pulpit as well. Charlie and all the Brotherhood of St.
Andrew (Wed. mornings 7:30 am!) were a great source of support during the sabbatical period.
The beginning of the program year brought a lot of excitement (some of it unwanted). On Saturday
September 6th Hurricane Hannah came to town. We also had a wedding here at St. Francis that day. The
basement was flooded, the power was out, and somehow we made it through. I am grateful to everyone who
was here that day who helped in every way imaginable. The beginning of September means that the Country
Fair is never far away! It was a lot of fun again this year, with Vivian Watts winning the quilt raffle for a
quilt made in Charlie’s honor. Our annual St. Francis Day celebration with blessing of animals and outdoor
worship was enjoyed by all and carried out with the technical assistance of Paul Ward and the instrumental
accompaniment of several Franciscans. The bluegrass Sunday was lively and enjoyable, but not as well
attended this year as in years past.
With the days flying by we began to prepare for and anticipate Penny’s return. Plans were made for a
party and a welcome reception. Finally the day arrived. The wardens told Penny about the “State of the
Parish” and I was relieved to be relieved!
Any summation of this year would be incomplete without thanking all of you again and again for the
opportunity to step into a different kind of leadership role here at St. Francis. I enjoyed the opportunity. I
must also give special thanks to Carolyn Brown and Phil Pifer and the entire vestry for their able leadership
and generous friendship during this time, and to Don Ruschaupt for keeping the facility running! We could
not have done it without them. I am thankful for the staff: Jeff Parker, Lynn Fallon, Melissa Coombs,
Virginia Sircy, and Rosalie Ferrufino for the camaraderie and collegiality that we enjoyed. Everyone pulled
together to help this to be a great experience for me and I hope for the parish.
2008 FINANCIAL REPORT
Submitted by Priscilla Myerson
The results for 2008 are not as good as you might suppose by the bottom line of the budget. We were unable
to fund or only partially fund several discretionary long term funds. On the revenue side the two major
shortfalls are in Pledge Revenue and Other Operating Funds. Although the budget shows $552,829 in
pledges, St. Francis actually received $571,425 in pledges for 2008. Total pledge receipts were $537,783.04
or $33,641.96 below the amount pledged. Of the shortfall we have received $8,896 in 2009. This leaves an
actual shortfall of $24,745.96. For Other Operating Funds, Christmas and Easter special offerings were
lower than budgeted and there was no Thanksgiving service. Helping the 2008 results was a $14,840.52
surplus carried over from 2007.
Total expenses were favorable to budget because we have not fully funded the Organ Refurbishment
($3,098.54) and the Rectory Fund ($5,000). We were able to make all Outreach contributions. The
favorable variance in Outreach of $957.84 results from St. Francis not participating in “Grate Patrol” this
year. Also helping our results, we replaced the copier this year and the monthly cost is both lower than the
old copier and maintenance is included in our contract. Offsetting these, we signed a new HVAC contract
which should reduce costs in the future but the full year needed to be paid in advance resulting in a $5,000
negative variance. Unscheduled maintenance was $6,880.59 unfavorable to budget. The 2009 budget
reflects the continuation of the trend toward higher maintenance costs as the church facility ages and use of
our facilities increases. In July we refinanced our mortgage with BB&T due to a balloon payment which was
due. The new mortgage for $488,000 is at 6.5%. Mortgage payments are favorable to budget since the
budget was based on our former mortgage payment. We had hoped to be able to continue making our former
level of mortgage payment which would permit us to pay off the mortgage in slightly over 10 years. Unless
financial conditions improve, we will not be in a position to do this. The new mortgage has a balloon in 10
We owe a large debt to Clint Heine for his generous donation to the improvement of Harris Hall and
improved storage throughout the church building. Although the Millen campaign did not raise sufficient
funds to install a new sign, we did achieve major improvements in our facilities.
Your Vestry has tried to be good stewards of the funds you have entrusted to us. The coming year may be a
difficult one financially and the Vestry will continue to monitor income and expense to ensure the financial
viability of St. Francis.
The report follows on pages 14-17.
2008 PARISH ADMINISTRATION
Submitted by Jeffrey Parker
This marks the beginning of my second year at St. Francis. A year ago I had the challenge of filling the able
shoes of Joy Barber, trying to make a seamless transition, and being sufficiently prepared to pitch in while
the Rector went on her four month sabbatical. I believe that the team of vestry, clergy, and staff, has been
successful through the year, and we have expanded our ability to minister to Franciscans and others.
In January, it became apparent that over the years, so many master keys had been issued that locking the
church was virtually meaningless. Working with the clergy and vestry, most notably Phil Pifer, we had
digital locks installed. A total of three in the main building and one in Harris Hall is in place. These are
programmed so that various groups have their own access code. The locks can also be programmed to open
or lock at a selected time and day. The software that programs the locks is maintained on the office
computer. This has been a good solution to building security and key control.
We began collecting paper from the offices and copier for recycling in 2008. We plan to add regular
recycling pick-up to our waste removal contract and expand this to include glass.
Early on, I assisted the Senior Warden with requesting proposals and contracting with a new cleaning firm.
This has led to an improvement in the condition and presentability of our facilities. During the summer, St.
Francis contracted for special in-depth cleaning. This meant that all the furnishings on the ground floor had
to be removed from the rooms and replaced afterwards. Later in the summer, the ground floor was flooded
by Hurricane Hannah. Once again all the furnishings had to be removed and restored once we dried out.
At the same time, the reconstruction of Harris Hall and Millen Hall improvements were underway. Many
people were involved with this effort, notably the two wardens and Don Ruschaupt. I was usually the point
of contact for deliveries and contractors, adding to the job of liaising with about a dozen vendors and safety
inspectors. Don Ruschaupt provided invaluable help and continues to do so in helping to deal with catch-up
of deferred maintenance of the entire facility.
One of my primary tasks is communication, both internal and external. Bulletins are created and printed for
every Sunday, the Christmas period, Easter and Holy Week, weddings, and funerals. The Franciscan
newsletter is printed monthly, as well as being transmitted online. These efforts were helped considerably by
the new copier the vestry authorized early in the year. Again, I conducted requests for proposal and assisted
in the evaluation and selection. In 2008, the church saved $5,300, almost half of the prior year copier
I provided office support for the clergy and vestry, for the Gala and Country Fair, Stewardship, and VBS.
Our information technology infrastructure also supports the Creche and the copier is used regularly by its
Together with the Rector, I maintain the church membership database on Church Windows. This year has
also seen the parish administrator picking up more of the workload from the Rector for maintaining the
Please refer to the Facilities Use and the Information Technology reports appearing later in this document.
Every day gives me the opportunity to do a good deed and make a contribution to others. It is my privilege to
serve God through St. Francis and its people.
SUNDAY SCHOOL REPORT FOR 2008
Submitted by Lynn Grevenow Fallon
Once again, St. Francis has over 140 students, from more than 70 families (a 15% increase in family
participation over last year), participating in our Sunday school program. We offer classes on Sundays from
10:15AM to 11:00AM, for children ages three to eighteen.
We have seven classes, each with at least two teachers per classroom, in compliance with Diocesan
guidelines. Our classes are located in all five of the classrooms on the lower level, as well as in the Millen
Hall Alcove and in Harris Hall. Our program is growing and adequate space for holding classes continues to
be an escalating issue. This season, because of space limitations, we chose to combine the 4th, 5th and 6th
graders into one class, which now has 29 registered students. With the creativity, lots of effort and patience
on the part of the dedicated teachers, this class is sufficiently supported; but the sanity of these teachers may
be at risk before long!
Many of our teachers have been integral to our program for years, and we appreciate their continued
commitment and dedication to our children at St. Francis.
Our classes and teachers for the 2007-2008 year included:
Preschool: Cindy Taylor, Jane Rachal, Michelle Bias and Blair Watters
K-1st: Christine Kerns , Claudia Escribano, Carla Seebald and Kim White
2nd-3rd: Priscilla Myerson, Jennifer Dear and Caroline Grossmann
4th-5th: Rob Mercker, Cathryn Lee and Chilo Obolensky
Rite 13 (6th-7th): Kathy Ditmore, Don Ruschaupt and Molly Marino
J2A (8th-9th): Rob Kerns, Pam Torok and Jennifer Beckwith
YAC (10th -12th): Charlie Jackson, Frank Jones, Sarah Schar and Robb Watters
Substitutes included Val Goddard, Wendy Pan, Carol Withers, Ginny Heine, Beth Nesbitt and Rich
Our classes and teachers for the present 2008-2009 year include:
Preschool: Cindy Taylor, Letty Parker, Mike Ray and Lois Willcox
K-1st: Christine Kerns, Claudia Escribano and Amelia Clark
2 -3 : Priscilla Myerson, Caroline Grossmann and Lisa Bertin
4th-6th: Rob Mercker, Cathryn Lee, Chilo Obolensky and Laurie & Jonathan
Rite 13 (7 -8 ): Kathy Ditmore, Don Ruschaupt and Molly Marino
J2A (9th-10th): Rob Kerns, Pam Torok and Jennifer Beckwith
YAC (11th-12th): Charlie Jackson, Dut Brown, Frank Jones and Sarah Schar
…with reliable substitutes: Michelle Bias, Val Goddard, Kathleen Harris, Linda Lorndale, Kristin & John
Rappe, Beth Nesbitt and Rich Needham.
St. Francis continues to use the “Seasons of the Spirit” curriculum (Cokesbury) for the children in preschool
through 6th grade. It offers lessons which are based on the Revised Common Lectionary used for Sunday
worship. Materials include lesson plans, instructional CDs and inspirational posters. Children learn through
a variety of media, including storytelling, puppets and artwork.
For the Youth, grades 7 through 12, we use the Journey to Adulthood (“J2A”) program, which is directed by
the Reverend Allen Pruitt.
Any teachers or leaders who regularly supervise children and youth outside of Sunday morning in church are
required to take the workshops for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the Prevention of Adult Sexual
Misconduct, provided by the Diocese. I would like to bring in another on-site workshop to St. Francis, as we
had done in April 2007, for the convenience of our teachers and others in the area.
Our Sunday school students participate in many parish-wide events, such as the Fall mini-walk to support the
Samaritan Ministry, the Christmas Pageant, the Lenten program and our great musical production of “Noye’s
Fludde”, by Benjamin Britten. Many St. Francis students and adults also participated in the Vacation Bible
School program, which was hosted by St. Francis at the end of July of 2008. (See the Vacation Bible School
Report for 2008 for more details.)
The children of St. Francis and their friends are welcomed to join the Sunday School at any time of the year.
Parents and parishioners are invited to help with classroom activities: storytelling, arts and crafts, music,
parties and special events. Please contact Lynn Fallon firstname.lastname@example.org / 703.757.0282 or
the Reverend Allen Pruitt email@example.com / 703.759.2082 for more information.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL REPORT FOR 2008
Submitted by Lynn Grevenow Fallon
We had a successful Vacation Bible School during the week of July 28th through August 1st, thanks to the
efforts and patience of many volunteers in our community! Adult and youth volunteers from St. Francis
Episcopal, Christ the King Lutheran and Dranesville Church of the Brethren churches helped to support the
2008 program, which was hosted by St. Francis. Special thanks go to the Reverend Allen Pruitt, Melissa
Coombs and Pastor Paul Gysan and Pastor Scott McAnally from Christ the King Lutheran Church, for their
multiple roles and contributions to this week for the children of our community. The 2009 Vacation Bible
School will be hosted, in turn, by Christ the King Lutheran Church, from August 3rd – 7th.
This year’s program was entitled “God’s Big Backyard” and the theme was “Serving Others”. Each day of
the week, there was a different emphasis or “Life Focus” on serving. We taught and learned about serving
family, friends, neighbors, community and Jesus. As Allen Pruitt pointed out early on in the program, by
serving others we are ultimately serving Jesus. The week’s activities and lessons helped each child to
answer the question: “How can I serve others (when I am only a child)?”
In addition to the entertaining daily skits presented by Pastor Gysan, Pastor McAnally and students Sydney
Kee and Tyler Lewris, the children enjoyed music, indoor and outdoor games, fun-filled snacks and arts &
crafts. Each child received an iron-on transfer and a music CD with all of the week’s songs in the beginning
of the week. The transfer was used on tee shirts which were ultimately worn in the entire group picture,
taken during the week and then distributed on Friday.
Daily speakers were recruited and organized by Kristin Rappe and Pastor Gysan and then introduced each
day by Pastor Gysan. They included speakers from:
Meals on Wheels,
Calvary Baptist Church (Camp Fraser),
Habitat for Humanity, and
St. Francis Episcopal Church (our very own Allen Pruitt!)
Our chosen mission was Camp Fraser, a youth camp located in Great Falls, supported by Calvary Baptist
Church of Washington, D.C. We raised enough in our daily offering to send at least six inner-city kids to
camp, for a full week at Camp Fraser. Ultimately, we received over $1,000 in donations which was
presented to Nancy Renfro, Director of the Camp Fraser Board, on site at Camp Fraser.
The week culminated on Friday with the highlight of a large group assembly to which all participating
families were invited. We saw a slide show of all of the children and activities that had taken place during
the week, courtesy of Pastor McAnally, followed by a little picnic for the families in our “Big Backyard”.
It appears that the children all had a great week. I witnessed many kind acts of giving, which leads me to
believe that the message of serving was received. One morning, a group of three children arrived for the
day, with a handful of dollar bills and some loose change. They informed me that they had held a lemonade
stand the day before and collected money to send a kid to camp. Another morning, a Mom told me of her
child writing reminders to herself, the night before, so that she would not forget to bring in her “Tooth Fairy
money” to give to send a kid to Camp Fraser. The youth helpers also had some fun while assisting the
children in their daily activities. Working with them was a great experience for me. I heard a lot of “What
can I do to help you, Mrs. Fallon?” followed by “What more can we do for you, Mrs. Fallon?” Yes, these
were words from the lips of teenagers, I kid you not. It was music to my ears! All of these great kids, from
ages 3 to 19, got into the spirit of serving and this is the basis of my conclusion that the week was a success!
Over 150 children, youth and adult volunteers were involved in this year’s Vacation Bible School. A special
thanks to ALL of the many volunteers, without whom this VBS would never have been able to occur, in the
smooth and satisfying manner that it did.
JOURNEY TO ADULTHOOD
Submitted by Allen Pruitt
We use the Journey to Adulthood curriculum as our Sunday school program for our teens. This year we
have three classes, all in their second year of a two year cycle.
Rite13: 7th and 8th grade
J2A: 9th and 10th grade
YAC: 11th and 12th grade
Each of these classes meets on Sunday mornings at 10:15 for Sunday school and at least once a month for an
afternoon activity. We have met for fellowship and fun, but also for service, raising money for Samaritan
ministry, performing the Passion Mime yet again, traveling to Dungannon for a summer mission trip, and
also making Christmas cards for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. We plan to expand the outreach
opportunities for the youth in the coming year. Sunday morning attendance averages 25 among the three
classes and afternoon participation ranges between 10 and 20.
Because the classes stay together for two consecutive years to build cohesion among the teens and
with the teachers/leaders, every other year the 6th graders get left out: even though they are in middle school
they aren’t really in a youth class. I have tried to ease that burden a bit this year by inviting 6th graders to our
“all group” activities in which every class participates together. They have been some of our best attendees
and I look forward to working with them more closely next year!
I mentioned in my Assistant Rector’s report that I could not have made it through the sabbatical
without the assistance of a great many people, among whom were the youth teachers/leaders. I need to
reinforce the fact that I couldn’t make it through any year without them. They are faithful, smart, and full of
life, qualities necessary to anyone who wants to work effectively with youth. I know that they are a blessing
to the youth and that the youth are a blessing to them.
Submitted by Laura Howard & Kathryn Peyton-Brown
The Adult Education Committee continued to provide the parish with the opportunity to have meaningful
conversations about news and current events and/or social, ethical and spiritual issues in 2008. Our primary
teaching resource was The Thoughtful Christian, a web based curriculum designed for the laity to lead parish
adult education. The topics presented during the Adult Forum on Sunday mornings include, "Is God in the
Workplace?", "New Orleans: Why Should We Still Care?", "The Books Between the Testaments - What
Christians Should Know About the Apocrypha", "Biblical Accounts of the Crucifixion", "Four Accounts of
the Resurrection", " When and Why the Bible was Written", 'Prayers in the Bible", "The History of
Religion and Politics in America", and "What do Episcopalians Believe?". The forums consistently averaged
25 - 40 attendees and the feedback on the format of small group table conversations leading to a larger
sharing was positive. All the forum facilitators did a wonderful job, and their command of the material was
impressive. Many thanks to the facilitators, Kathryn Peyton Brown, Andrew Howard, Linda Lorndale, Laura
Howard, Penny Bridges and Allen Pruitt .
Additional Adult Education opportunities for small group conversations pursued in 2008 included a monthly
Franciscan Book Club, a quarterly Movie Night, the weekly morning Brotherhood of Saint Andrew, and
lastly, the Men's Fellowship Group - A History Roundtable.
The Adult Education Committee also provided the leadership for the Tuesday evening Lenten Supper series.
We took an in-depth look at the Lord's Prayer, discovering how to pray this prayer with our minds as well as
with our emotions, giving these familiar words an enlarged meaning and significance in our journey with
THE ST. FRANCIS CRECHE PRESCHOOL REPORT
Submitted by Jane Ruppe
St. Francis Creche opened in September 2008 with two classes of three year-olds, three classes of four year-
olds and one 2½ year-old class. Hilda Pungello and Kathy Walker joined Hope Reynolds, Larna Lackner,
Cindy Cofer, Suzanne Emery, Barbara Pringle, Gail Benkert, Valerie Morgan, Patty York, Nancy Glasgow,
and Susan Kelly to complete our staff. As of December 2008, seventy-three students were enrolled in the
school making the Creche fully enrolled.
The Creche offers music and movement classes taught by Nancy Glasgow and Valerie Morgan. Our clergy
conduct weekly chapel services on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The director, Jane Ruppe and teachers have designed and implemented a program that provides for the
development of the whole child with emphasis on teaching values of the Christian faith in the Episcopal
Highlights of the last twelve months are:
• The annual Christmas Pageant was performed by all Creche students. Mrs. Megan Salas conducted
this special program. Approximately 200 people attended and stayed for the Christmas party in the
• The Creche sponsored its seventh Book Fair in November. The Book Fair generated nearly $1600 in
book profit. The Creche was able to purchase books for Sunday school, the Samaritan Ministry
Christmas party, the transitional housing project, and the Creche Library.
• Creche students and parents generously supported St. Francis Church with contributions to the Basic
School in the Sudan, the Gala, and the Country Fair.
• Creche Sunday - January 13, 2008.
• The Bar-C-Ranch petting zoo visited. Creche children were able to pet and feed a camel, goats,
sheep, lamas, a tortoise, a donkey, and other animals.
• Staff training led by Dr. Moshe Stuhl, an early childhood Clinical Psychologist for over 20 years.
The Creche is governed by a Board of Directors, chaired by Beth Nesbitt. Janet Gralley serves as the Creche
bookkeeper managing the school’s finances. Parishioner, Bill Parsons is the Creche Treasurer. Bill prepares
the budget and signs checks. The Creche is financially self-supporting. The tuition supports the cost of
personnel, equipment, materials, and operating expenses. The Creche donates $12,400 per year to St.
Francis Church and another $7000.00 towards cleaning and additionally to a few maintenance and capital
improvement projects. In addition, in 2008, the Creche donated $10,000 to the Millen Fund.
St. Francis Creche has grown to capacity and has established itself in the community as an accomplished
preschool with a dedicated staff. A huge amount of work and dedication of time and talent on the part of
every teacher and board member as well as many other parishioners and our Clergy have made that possible.
NEWCOMERS COMMITTEE REPORT
Submitted by Mary Gillespie
The newcomers committee exists to assist our clergy and vestry in encouraging new families to come to St.
Francis, making newcomers welcome when they visit St. Francis, and in incorporating new families into the
mainstream activities of the church. Activities in 2008 included two newcomer dinners, hosted at the
Rectory; a fabulous brunch on Easter Day, which was coordinated by the newcomers committee but involved
contributions from many Franciscan families; and (in cooperation with the fellowship committee) a
“Breakfast with Santa” event in December, when we welcomed over 70 children and invited families to
make gift donations to Samaritan Ministry.
Plans for 2009 include 2-3 newcomer dinners at the Rectory or at parishioners’ homes. If you are relatively
new to St. Francis and have not been invited to a newcomer dinner, please contact Mary Gillespie, who will
be happy to add you to the guest list for the next event. We also like to include “EFLMs” (Experienced, Fun-
Loving Members) in these events to share their experience with the newcomers, so please let Mary know if
you’d like to be invited as an EFLM.
Committee Members: Mary Gillespie – Chair Jane Shuler Jennifer Murphy
Ginny Heine Chilo Obolensky
Marthe McGrath (vestry liaison) Jane Rachal
STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE REPORT
Submitted by Glenn Tofil
The Stewardship Committee entered this year realizing we were battling a tough economic headwind but
optimistic that we could find ways to energize our donor base. We worked closely with the Vestry and set
goals for our campaign that were aggressive yet we thought attainable.
This year’s campaign benefited from the dedicated work of seven committee members as well as the
involvement of the entire Vestry. The Committee’s goal was to clearly communicate the objectives of the
campaign and provide parishioners with timely updates on our progress. Notable activities undertaken
• A pre-campaign mailing which provided a preliminary budget for 2009 outlined the objectives for the 2009
• A calling effort to address questions related to the preliminary budget and to solicit input from parishioners on
the budget and the campaign itself.
• A very well attended (and well provisioned) Stewardship Social which allowed Franciscans to exchange views
on the importance of Stewardship activities to the long term vitality of the church.
• Weekly updates during Sunday Services as well as a mid-campaign mailing to provide parishioners with real-
time updates on our progress.
As of January 16th we were in receipt of 151 pledges totaling $519,203. Although we are well short of our goal of
$604,000, we have meaningfully expanded our donor base. Of the 151 pledges received thus far, 22 are from donors
that did not pledge in 2008.
Although the results of the 2009 Campaign will challenge us to more with less, the Stewardship Committee believes
we have built a solid foundation for future (more prosperous) years.
I appreciate your support.
OUTREACH COMMITTEE REPORT FOR 2008
Submitted by Paul Hudecek
The mission of the Outreach Committee is to identify needs in our community, our city, and the world where
our financial commitment and hands-on involvement aid in alleviating human suffering, empower those in
need to become self sufficient and strengthen the love of Christ in areas we touch and within ourselves.
Outreach activities are supported through a number of channels – the Diocesan Pledge, St Francis Programs,
Designated Programs, and Special Events (including contributed labor).
Diocesan Pledge – In 2008 St Francis contributed $45, 996 to the Diocese directed by the Bishop for
outreach programs in the Diocese and throughout the world.
St Francis Outreach Programs – St Francis continued to support a number of worthy programs in 2008.
Cash contributions were made to community organizations in need. The allocation of these resources is
determined by a committee made up of your fellow Franciscans. This past year we supported the following
organizations and individuals:
Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington
Transitional Housing Corporation
Habitat for Humanity
Our Little Roses Orphanage
Covington Boys’ Home
Jackson Feild Home for Girls
Salvation Army Grate Patrol
Northwest Pregnancy Center
Nomadic Kenyan Children’s Education Fund
St Francis Creche
Mary’s House of Hope
The Rev. David Bako
Designated Programs – These are programs where funds have been donated for a specific purpose or the
vestry has designated funds for a particular purpose. This year, for example, a portion of the winter Gala was
designated for Alternative House. In addition, St Francis continued its support for the St Francis Basic
School in Juba, Sudan and the Bako family in the Sudan with designated funds.
Special Events – Many, many Franciscans contributed their time, clothing, furniture, food and toys
throughout the year to a variety of Outreach programs. Early in the year, the Gala helped support Alternative
House. In the spring, we collected donations at the Farmers’ Market. A spring diaper drive was held for the
Embry Rucker shelter. The Help the Homeless mini-walk was hosted by St Francis for the benefit of
Samaritan Ministry. Franciscans donated food for 25 families at Thanksgiving; again we helped to furnish
apartments though Transitional Housing, Inc. Numerous volunteers helped with the ringing of the Salvation
Army bell and the annual Samaritan Ministry Christmas book, sock and toy drive events.
2008 Parishioner Donations to Outreach (Designated Funds off Budget)
$821 Bishop’s Discretionary Fund
$1010 Rev. Lauren Stanley
$2100 Rev. David Bako, Headmaster Aruna -Sudan School
$26,589 Sudan School
$12838 Alternative House
$400 Episcopal Relief & Development
$1015 Camp Fraser (from VBS)
$451 Shrine Mont
$100 Roslyn Chapel
$585 Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington
$500 Transitional Housing, Inc.
Furniture, apt. goods Transitional Housing, Inc. (value $3,000+)
Toys Samaritan Ministry Christmas Party
Gift Cards Thanksgiving Food Drive & Samaritan Ministry Party (value $250)
Socks Salvation Army, Samaritan Ministry, etc
unknown Help the Homeless Walkathon (checks written directly to charity)
RECTOR’S DISCRETIONARY FUND REPORT
By Penelope Bridges
$1800 from the operating budget
$7080 from parishioner gifts, including gifts for weddings and funerals. $4800 of this came from one parish
Total in: $8880
$7139 to individuals (non-parishioners) who were referred by Samaritan Ministry or who called or stopped
by to ask for one-time assistance with rent, utilities, auto repairs, or food, and in one case summer camp for
children in a difficult home situation.
Donations to institutions:
$100 to Jackson-Feild Home for Girls
$400 to food banks
$250 to the Episcopal Church of Sudan to help provide communications among clergy
$100 to the Society for the Increase of the Ministry, a scholarship fund for seminarians
$100 to Good Shepherd Alliance, a homeless shelter in Loudoun County
$200 to Washington Middle School for Girls
Total out: $8289.
MISSION TRIP TO SUDAN
Submitted by Janet Gralley
In late March of 2008 two St Francis parishioners, Dr. Charlie Jackson and Janet Gralley, finally made the
long journey to Juba, Sudan. This long awaited trip was taken to cement our longstanding relationship with
the St Francis Basic School in Juba. Charlie and Janet were welcomed warmly and shown great hospitality
by everyone they met. The Rev. David Bako, volunteer coordinator of the school, and the Rev. Clement
Eresto were their guides and a busy program ensued including meetings with the Most Rev. Daniel Deng
Bul, the Episcopal Archbishop of Sudan, the minister of education of Southern Sudan, leaders of the
Episcopal Diocese in Juba, Wilson Kamani of SUDRA, and of course the headmasters, teachers, PTA
members and students of the St Francis School.
The school relies almost entirely on the financial contributions by St Francis parishioners and it was
extraordinary to witness nearly 700 students from preschool age through grade 8 being offered an education
especially in a country that has the lowest school attendance rate in the world. Everyone there was very
grateful and wished to thank St Francis for making Christian education a reality.
STEPHEN MINISTRY REPORT
Submitted by AnnMarie DeArment, Kathy Anderson, and Val Goddard
St. Francis sponsored three Stephen Ministers in a joint training program with St. Timothy’s Episcopal and
United Methodist church, both in Herndon. The 50 hour training class will finish with a one-day retreat to be
held on Saturday, January 31, 2009. They will be commissioned in February.
We have ten active Stephen Ministers; six have care receivers. The minimum time commitment for Stephen
Ministers is 2 years.
Two new Stephen Leaders were trained in 2008, Allen Pruitt and Val Goddard. Both of our clergy are
trained leaders, plus three lay people. We will lose two leaders in 2009 and hope to have funds to train one
new leader this year. With turnover it is necessary to train at least one new leader each year.
We currently have no definite plans for a training class; however, now that we are working jointly with three
other churches, the possibly is very great that we could schedule a class in September, 2009.
In addition to the training for new Stephen Ministers, St. Francis active Stephen Ministers participate in
ongoing continuing education each month. These programs includes such topics as: Alzheimer’s disease,
long term care facilities, speaking with individuals who have experience with deep overwhelming grief and
how they managed, dealing with elderly parents/individuals and their losses, difficult pregnancies, divorce,
and many other important topics. We continue to recruit by including monthly articles in the Franciscan.
Submitted by Pam Cooper
The Helping Hands network is made up of a group of wonderful, caring St. Francis parishioners that step in to assist
individuals and families with a hospitality or homemaking need. Thirty Franciscan families are on the Helping
Hands roster. The group provides assistance in good times and bad and is often called upon at a moment's notice.
For example, during the past year, HH provided meals to a family welcoming the blessing of a new baby before out of
town family could arrive, and to parishioners that had anticipated and unanticipated hospital stays. The group also
assisted in providing hospitality and meals for both home-based and church-based receptions, to families that
experienced the loss of a loved one. On occasion, the HH network has provided assistance with household chores and
ride support to and from medical treatments. Finally, the HH group initiated the new St. Francis practice of delivering
altar flowers to shut-in and nursing home St. Francis residents. Together with the St. Francis Lay Eucharistic
Ministers who deliver communion to these same individuals, we ensure that these parishioners remain a vital part of
our St. Francis community. If you have any interest in becoming a member of the Helping Hands Network, please
contact Pam Cooper at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-450-0321.
Submitted by Cathryn Lee
There are currently 32 acolytes on the roster, ranging from 3rd graders to Seniors in High School. Virginia
Lee and Will Gralley are our two Acolyte Captains, providing leadership for the younger children and
assisting with training. Four acolytes “retired”, but we gained 4 new acolytes. Two training sessions were
held during the year. 2 new robes were purchased. We continue to have some difficulty filling all three spots
for every service, particularly during the holidays. Recruitment is ongoing, for both children and adult
volunteers. We would like to begin reaching out to the younger children (perhaps visiting Sunday School
classrooms), teaching them about what acolytes do and their importance to the worship service with the hope
that they will be more interested in volunteering when they reach 3-4th grade.
ALTAR GUILD REPORT
Submitted by Leslie Siegmund and Kris Young
After several years of dedicated service as chair of the Altar Guild, Sharon Nachman retired from that
position in April. Noting that it took two people to replace Sharon, Kris Young and Leslie Siegmund
assumed the leadership role.
The 16 members of the St. Francis Altar Guild are responsible for preparing the altar and church for Sunday
and special worship services. During 2008, Altar Guild members set up for and cleaned up after
approximately 148 Sunday and special worship services, assisted at 5 weddings and 4 funerals, set out more
than 10,000 communion wafers and 23 liters of communion wine, replaced 52 sanctuary candles, laundered
numerous altar linens, and performed other sundry duties, such as ironing wax off the church carpet and
overseeing the greening of the church at Christmas.
In an effort to relieve the church operating budget of any expense for church flowers and to provide church
members with the opportunity to remember loved ones or commemorate a special occasion, the Altar Guild
began a flower sponsorship program in June. Through this program, church members sign up to sponsor
flowers for a particular Sunday and donate money to cover the cost of the flowers. Altar Guild members take
care of purchasing the flowers and, in some cases, arranging them. The program has been successful so far in
covering the cost of flowers, and the 2009 church operating budget will reflect no expenses for flowers. The
Altar Guild also collects funds for Easter and Christmas flowers, using the money for both flowers and for
the greening of the church at Christmas.
In 2009, the St. Francis Altar Guild will provide altar guild services for the Diocesan Convention in Reston
in January. Kris and Leslie hope to document the month-by-month duties of the Altar Guild and to move
forward with the flower sponsorship program. The Altar Guild is also planning to put together an album of
photos from St. Francis weddings to help future brides plan their services. In addition, members will hold
several fellowship events throughout the year.
The Altar Guild welcomes new members to join us in this quiet ministry.
Submitted by Virginia Sircy
The Adult Choir of St. Francis, a group varying from 12 to 25 singers of high-school age and above,
enjoyed another busy year during 2008. In addition to music provided for Sunday morning services, the
choir provided music for the following events:
Two Evensongs April 13, celebrating the birthday of the rector Penny Bridges
November 16, our All Saints' observance. Otice Sircy provided cello obbligato
for this service.
Lift Every Voice The choir was one of the participating (and host) groups for the annual Lift
Every Voice and Sing concert in March.
Holy Week Maundy Thursday, Great Vigil, two services on Easter Sunday morning.
Members of the choir provided brass music for Easter Sunday morning.
Melissa Coombs, Jane Bloodworth and guest musician Terry Johns provided
music for the Good Friday service held at St. Francis.
Noye's Fludde Paul Ward, Jane Bloodworth, Pat Ward, Barbara Hattwick, Cindy Elkin, Carol
Withers, Emma Withers were all cast members in the production of
Noye's Fludde May 15-18. Ray Murphy was the producer and Jennifer
Murphy was assistant producer for this massive event. Virginia Sircy was
music director and conductor. We'd also like to claim our rector, Penny
Bridges, and Joe Reynolds, our "Gods" for the production, in our list of
Funerals Members of the choir provided music for two funerals during the past year.
St. Francis Day Members of the choir plus Cary Bloodworth and friend provided brass music
for the 9 am service on St. Francis Sunday.
Christmas The Adult Choir sang for the 8pm and 11 pm services on Christmas Eve, also
providing pre-service music for both services. Brass players Mike Hattwick,
(who we'd also like to claim as a choir member), Paul Ward, Ray Murphy,
Roland Blocksom, Cary Bloodworth and Kelly Smith-Moore made these
Several choir members provided solos throughout the year, not only at special events, but at the 11 am
service when the choir was singing at the 9 am service. This practice is continuing during 2009.
I’d like to add something about the section leader position for the choir. For the past five years St. Francis
has enlisted the aid of a professional section leader to assist the very able personnel in the choir as they
present fine music for church services and special occasions. The church has been most generous in their
praise of the efforts of the choir to provide to the congregation, the Great Falls community and other lovers
of fine music. St. Francis is very lucky to have a very talented and experienced group of singers in the Adult
Choir. Volunteer choirs do not always, however, have absolutely every voice needed in every section.
Many churches have paid section leaders for each section (soprano, alto, tenor and bass). Thanks to the
talents available at St. Francis, the church has been able to manage well with only one paid section leader,
currently serving in the demanding and exposed soprano range. I do believe that, with the help of this one
paid position, we have been able to expand our musical offerings to the church and community. And, thanks
to the hard work of the choir, St. Francis music groups are being invited on a regular basis to participate with
other choirs in very fine and demanding musical endeavors.
In a perfect world, or even near-perfect world, all volunteer choirs would have exactly the personnel needed
for all projects, with no need for "outside" help. I do feel, at this time, however, that the choir and, hence,
the congregation greatly benefit from this one paid position. I would be happy to answer any further
questions you have about this subject.
In conclusion, the Adult Choir has prepared and performed an impressive body of music during the past year,
cheerfully accepting extra rehearsals and concerts, rehearsing with great good humor, welcoming new choir
members, and providing a most joyful and meaningful addition to worship at St. Francis, and, of course, to
myself. I commend them to you and know you join with me in thanking them for all their efforts.
JUNIOR CHOIR: THE JOYFUL NOYZ
Submitted by Melissa Coombs
In looking back over past years’ reports, it is wonderful to see how the Joyful Noyz has evolved from a
handful of singers that depended on one or two strong voices into a good-sized ensemble of strong, confident
young musicians. The children have progressed from singing only in unison to regularly singing in parts. We
are beginning to work on more complex harmonies. As their music reading skills are developing, we
are able spend more rehearsal time working musical details such as phrasing and dynamics and less time
The majority of the Noyz participated in last Spring’s production of “Noye’s Fludde”. It was a massive
undertaking but an extremely rewarding experience for all involved. There have been many questions about
“What next?” “Next” is going to be a production of “Godspell JR” in March. This is a scaled down version
of the real Broadway production tailored specifically for middle and high school age children. It is my hope
that it will draw out some of the older kids in the church. That said, the program is structured so that
everyone who wishes to will be able to participate (as long as they are under age 18).
It is with regret that we are going to let go of the “Voice for Life” curriculum. While it is an excellent
program, it is only as successful as the level of interest of the participants. After a year of effort, it is clear
that there is insufficient interest to justify the expense. Another point of regret is the hiatus of the Grace
Notes choir for the younger children. We tried to incorporate the Grace Notes into the Sunday School
program last year and found that the schedule was confusing and the amount of contact time was too limited
to be of much value. If there is interest, I am more than happy to work with parents to find a schedule that is
doable for all parties. Grace Notes is a valuable program that directly impacts the worship and musical life of
the parish. It would be a shame to see the current hiatus become long term.
As always, I take this opportunity to thank all of the parents that make the Noyz successful whether it be by
defying the odds and getting the kids where they need to be or by setting out bulletins on Sunday mornings
and helping the kids get robed. A special thanks also to everybody who worked on the robe cubbies in the
music office. They have made a world of difference to the kids! And a special thanks to Chilo Obolensky
for being such a help during Sunday practices.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Virginia Sircy for being such an outstanding musician, collaborator and patient boss.
Being her assistant is a joy and a privilege.
CHILDREN’S CHAPEL REPORT
Submitted by Nancy W. Nocito
Children’s Chapel is a special part of the 9:00 am worship service geared toward our young parishioners,
ages three through seven. On most Sundays we serve about 15 children in our Children’s Chapel service.
The children follow the cross out of the church after the Gospel reading, and convene around the Children’s
Chapel altar in the Parish Hall. The children’s service includes lighting the altar candles, singing, prayers of
the people and a story, all geared to a level that the children can participate in and learn from. Our music is
shared in common with the songs practiced in Sunday school, which increases the children’s singing
confidence and helps to integrate their worship and learning experiences at the church. Each child is
furnished with their own mat for seating on the floor, and is provided with a name tag to help the leaders and
children identify each other by name. After the sermon is over in the nave, the children rejoin their families
during the Peace. Children’s Chapel currently has about ten regular volunteers, and more are always
welcome both as part of our regular schedule and on a drop-in basis any Sunday that the Children’s Chapel is
Submitted by Rich Needham
This past year saw the departure of Mike Strang and his family for a tour overseas. Many thanks to Mike for
his leadership coordinating & scheduling Ushers for each service.
The Ushers rolls consist of over 20 dedicated parishioners who serve at each of the three services throughout
the primary calendar year. Ushers are also called upon to help the clergy during special services and
functions throughout the year.
We continue to seek new parishioners looking to join our ministry especially for the 11:00 am service.
Hands-on training is provided for all new members.
Submitted by Phil Pifer and Don Ruschaupt
We are happy to report that our Facility is in good shape, and improved in many important respects. Our
primary concern is to maintain the facility, ensure its serviceability, and perform the maintenance required to
protect our investment for the future. During 2008, we pursued several proactive initiatives, and overcame
some unexpected challenges. Some highlights:
Maintenance deferred in prior years resulted in some more expensive repair expense in 2008. We had
failures in HVAC systems, electrical systems, and appliances as well as minor structural problems
requiring repair. We have been frugal while ensuring that we do perform work that is required. For the
first time in several years our internal and external lighting systems are operational. The rear of the
church was painted for protection against siding rot and deterioration – more painting will be required in
2009. Harris Hall gutters and roof flashings were repaired and replaced to reduce water intrusion and
foundation damage. We have increased our Facilities budget carefully in 2009 to ensure we do not defer
current maintenance needed to avoid more expensive future repair.
The Millen Project significantly improved the usability of our existing facility. Choir room
modifications, internal storage space, and a serving station in “Millen Hall” were installed. Harris Hall
was completely revamped and is now pleasant and serviceable as a general-purpose area, with air
conditioning added for temperature and humidity control.
The main building downstairs was flooded during Hurricane Hanna partly as a result of a backed-up
outside drain. This led to the implementation of a routine maintenance schedule, which now has
quarterly cleaning of exterior drains as one component.
As we negotiate contracts with service providers, we aggressively looked to improve service and reduce
cost. For example, we replaced our long-time HVAC contractor and expect to save $3-4K annually on
HVAC expense. We also looked to balance cost vs. impact to save money against our unanticipated
expenses – one example was to reduce the frequency of meadow mowing which saved us over $1,000.
We renegotiated our handyman expense which will lead to further cost savings in 2009.
The “Sexton’s Guild” has been created. We seek parishioners who are willing to do occasional light
repair including light bulb replacement and minor fix-it work. If you might be willing to help out with an
occasional hour or two, please contact Don Ruschaupt.
FACILITIES USE REPORT
Submitted by Jeffrey Parker
St. Francis has a program of permitting use of its facilities with the Rector’s approval. Sometimes these are
connected to parishioners’ activities and sometimes to outside entities. There is an application and approval
process that is one of the vestry policies. The church then enters into an agreement with the user. The policy
includes a schedule of donations and fees to be made to St. Francis. The Rector may waive or reduce these
charges based on her judgment of the purpose and support needed from the church. For 2008, St Francis
received about $11,000 for use of its facilities.
The parish administrator manages the application process, scheduling and coordination of these events. St.
Francis hosts both recurring use and one-time use. Recurring uses include dog training on the grounds, yoga
in Harris Hall, AA, Boy Scout Troop 55, Junior Cotillion, Amadeus, and Difficult Run Jazz Band. Other uses
included celebrations of high school graduation and a 50th wedding anniversary and a fundraiser costume
dance for cancer research in Millen Hall.
Progress has been significant over the year at getting users, who were accustomed to working informally,
based on past undocumented practice, to enter into written agreement. For reasons of liability avoidance as
well as solid definition of user plans, and to avoid scheduling conflicts, this policy is important. At year-end,
there are only two remaining recurrent users who are not in conformance, excluding those who are exempt
from paperwork (i.e. AA groups and Troop 55).
The refurbishment of Harris Hall and the upgrade and dedication of Millen Hall lead to even more potential
for revenue from these facilities.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY REPORT
Submitted by Jeffrey Parker
Currently our parish resources for IT are Phil Pifer, Randy Spruill, and Sue Hazen, who is the webmaster for
the St. Francis website. The parish administrator provides onsite support and can remedy many of the basic
problems that formerly required calling for outside help. Since St. Francis does not have strong network
expertise and the network has grown more complex, the vestry decided that a network specialist was needed.
Jeff Ferrio of MSMI was engaged for this support. He has been able to address the more complex problems
that occur. With his guidance, we have migrated our email host to gmail, moved our website host from
Gate.com to Network Solutions, and added additional workstations and printers to the network. The Creche
is included in our network too. Our backup for the network and its workstations has been vastly improved.
Basically, all workstations back up to the server daily, and the server backs up automatically to an external
hard drive. We have two such drives that are swapped out weekly, with the spare stored off-premises.
The website has expanded this year too. Sue Hazen continues to manage the Amazon link. The administrator
updates the website content at least weekly. The online calendar is kept current and has become the “official”
calendar of St. Francis. New pages have been added, most significantly new functionality for photographs of
parish events through a third-party provider, SmugMug. More sermons and newsletters have been posted
online. We used the website to track the Rector’s sabbatical with narrative and pictures.
Wireless coverage has expanded so that is now throughout the facility. Many thanks go to Phil Pifer and
Randy Spruill for this.
The software used for membership and pledge databases, Church Windows, has been upgraded to the 2008
We continue to produce “This week at St. Francis” on a weekly basis and publish it via email to the
Franciscan family. We also publish a weekly “Prayers and Lessons” for the Lay Eucharistic Ministers. We
moved all our distribution lists to a third-party, iContact. This allows us to manage all email publications so
as to reduce non-delivery (bounce) and to have common distribution separate from individual email address
ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE REPORT
Submitted by Paul Ward
The Endowment Committee is responsible for the management of the St. Francis endowment funds
and for educating parishioners and others to focus on arranging their estates and making endowment gifts to
St. Francis. The management function is simplified having the Trustees of the Funds of the Diocese of
Virginia manage the parish’s endowment, which totaled just under $62,000 as of September 30, 2008. In
support of educational function, the Committee has completed a comprehensive planning and resource guide,
Planning for the Second Half of Life, which will be introduced to the parish early this year. The Committee
has also prepared articles of the Franciscan dealing with the importance of estate and gift planning, and is
working on an Endowment Committee presence on the St. Francis web site. To insure accurate and timely
gift advice, the Committee has developed a relationship with the Episcopal Church Foundation, an
independent national organization which provides gift planning services for Episcopal organizations.
Prayer Attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.