Annual Reports for the year 2020
also Diocesan Conventions 2021
SENIOR WARDEN’S REPORT
My brothers and sisters in Christ welcome to our annual parish meeting.
To all the officers elected to serve for 2021 positions I wish you health and strength and all the best in your future endeavor.
As we look back at the year 2020 this is one that will go down in the history book. Without warning we were told to stay at home to avoid catching the COVID-19 virus.
As we continue to live stream the service please join us as we give thanks to God for all his blessings.
Our regathering plan has been submitted and approved by the Diocese. We are following Diocese and Prince George's guidelines.
Thanks to Father Darko for being our priest-in-charge. We wish him all the best in his future endeavor.
Our supply priest Virginia Brown-Nolan has decided to be with us for a while especially if we do our homework. I kindly ask you to give her your support.
The senior and junior wardens will have a lot of work to do without having a priest or priest-in-charge.
As we move forward please continue to be a member of St. John's and give it your fullest support in time, talent and treasure. In order to keep St. John's in operation please give them your fullest support.
St. John's committees, organizations and groups give a lot of support to the church. By their commitment especially the outreach program the Diocese has recognize St. John's and give a grant to the church for it outreach program.
Mark your calendar the Bishop will visit St. John's June 20th, 2021. Hopefully we all could attend.
St. John's financial budget depends on the pledging contributions made by members of the congregation.
For those who already pledge thank you for those whom did not pledge yet please do so we need your help in order to keep St. John's alive and leave for the next generation.
To the administrative staff, supply priest, vestry, organist, choir director and congregation thanks for the time being your senior warden. I will always be a member of St. John's and continue to serve and assist.
May God continue to bless all of you.
Your Brother in Christ
JUNIOR WARDEN’S REPORT
It is that time again for our Annual Parish Meeting. A time to reflect and elect new candidates to replace outgoing members of the Vestry who have served faithfully during their term in office. I wish on your behalf to thank them for their services, and also welcome newly elected members to the Vestry. As we are all aware the year 2020 was met with adverse conditions from the pandemic on Covid 19 which has affected all of our lives including Churches, as have been experiencing with our own St. John’s Mount Rainier in particular. Since March 2020 Churches were ordered to shut down due to the spread of Covid 19.
Few Churches within the DMV have been cleared to partially re-open, but we still await clearance for us to regather which I hope will not be too long. The year under review has not been good economically, financially and health wise for most us. I however wish to thank God for his enduring mercies and blessing that have kept us alive to see this day as we elect our leaders that will forward the interest and
purposes of this Church through 2021. As a Church we have been able to stay focus and moved beyond all set back of 2020, which was due to all your support financially and otherwise, and to some of our good friends outside of the Church, for which we say a big thank you. We were able to go through such storm by the hard work of Vestry Members, and the support and cooperation of members of the different Organizations of the Church. We are very much thankful to God that the doors of the Church have not been permanently shut, and the lights are still on. We also thank God that through technology we are able to interact with each other through the streaming of services every Sunday and by Zoom and Conference calls for meetings etc, so as to enlivened our faith in the Lord, that with him all things are possible. In this year 2021 we are hoping for the best, as we await clearance from the Diocese, the State of Maryland and
Prince George county to regather fully and operate as normal.
Please note that, the work in the Church is plenty, but the laborers are few. This is the time I will plead to every member of the Church to put our shoulders to the wheel and give our unflinching support to the Church which is in dire needs for your Time, Talents and Treasure. Please consider making your pledges for 2021 and paying up regularly, and of course donations are also welcome, for which I thank you
On your behalf I wish to express our sincere thanks to the following people for all they have done and continue to do.
Mr David Creese- the outgoing Senior Warden for his leadership and hard work serving as Senior Warden for the past 6 years to best of his ability. We wish for you speed and all that you wish for yourself and thank you for serving.
Rev. Fr. Daniel Darko- Who retired at the end of September 2020 for serving this parish of St. John’s Mount Rainier faithfully for 12 years. Many thanks to you.
Rev. Deacon Sandra Bramble- We thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the growth of St. John’s Mount Rainier. For being our liaison between us and the Diocese during these difficult times we are facing. May God richly bless you.
Rev. Virginia and Mr Nat. Brown-Nolan- We thank you for your relentless services to us during this pandemic period. We are as a Church most grateful to you both in enhancing our worship services since you joined us in October 2020 to present. May you both be blessed.
To our Organist, Choir Director, Our Lead Tenor Voice and Other Choristers custom that give their services Sunday after Sunday keeping our richness in songs, singing, and our, we immensely thank you for giving your time and talent during this period of pandemic Covid 19.
To Mr. Brian Roman, Mr Shaun Oluwadimu and Wife, Mrs Carol Hazlewood, we thank you for all you do with the streaming every Sunday, and with Zoom for meetings when necessary and all other duties in the Church, we say thank you very much.
To All LEMS who have been serving in the church during this period, we say thank you for all you do.
To Mr Alfred During, Deanie and Sonia Anderson and our Clerk to the Vestry, Ms Theodosia Edwards- we express our sincere thanks to you for your services in moving St. John’s forward.
To other members of the Church who are involved in the planning and distribution of food to the community during every food drive that we have had, we say thank so much. To family members of the Church who lost their loved ones during this pandemic period, please accept our sincere sympathies, and may God continue to console you as you continue to mourn such loss and may their souls rest in perfect peace.
I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and prosperous 2021, as we look forward to our
regathering soon. Please continue to wear your masks, maintain social distancing, and stay safe.
REPORTS FROM COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Women of St. John’s
Report of Activities for the 2020 Year
The Women of St. John’s Episcopal Church Mt. Rainier (WOSJ) was formed to support the church by harnessing the strength and resilience of the Women of the Church. Unfortunately, the year 2020 did not allow us to do any fundraising activities because of the surge of COVID-19 19, Thanks to technology we were able to meet through conference calls and zoom not only to keep in touch but also meet and discuss other ways in which we can help the church financially.
I am pleased to report that in spite of the restrictions, we were able to meet and acquaint ourselves of challenges the church was facing and also the well-being of our members. As a result, the group was able to support the church by making a contribution to help reduce the church’s financial burden. We sent a check to help towards utility bills. It was also impossible for us to have our annual Thanksgiving service where we normally raise funds (thanks to our patrons and well-wishers) to contribute to the work of the church. We decided to have virtual envelops whereby members were asked to make donations like they normally do during our annual Thanksgiving services. These donations were collected, and the group issued a check to the church.
The WOSJ has also decided that when given the go ahead to resume in person church services, they would pay for the
sanitization of the church premises in joint partnership with the men’s group.
During the Festive Season, the group agreed to extend well wishes to all its members aged 60years and above and a small
Christmas purse in the form of gift cards were sent to all our senior members from our benevolent fund.
We continue to support our members through telephone calls and our WhatsApp platform during these tough times and would reach out to members in times of bereavement and illness. We are also grateful that we have been able to share in the joys of our members.
We look forward to the reopening of the Church so that we could continue our work of supporting each other and the church.
Annual Report 2020
This report is prepared for the 2021 Annual General Meeting on behalf of the Mother’s Union which covers activities for
The Mother’s Union is a Christian Organization that exhibits Christian care for families.
Mother’s Union Activities done in 2020.
Despite the effect of COVID 19 since March of 2020 to present, The Mother’s Union did not waiver in carrying out our
aims and objectives. Outlined below are activities undertaken for the past year under review.
Donation to Christ House – 1/18/20
Regular Monthly Meeting held – 2/2/20.
Donation to Christ House – 2/16/20
Donation of Wine and Wafer to the Church – 2/25/20
Regular Monthly Meeting – 3/4/20
Church was closed after 3/22/20. April 2020
A Call-to-Action prayer was put together by MU USA to pray for COVID 19 in which we all participated.
Thy Kingdom Come – organized by MU USA – via Conference Call – (10 Days) – 5/30/20 - 6/8/20.
Donation made to MU USA – To cover donation for Healthcare Workers at various health facilities – 7/10/20.
Resume our Regular Monthly Meeting via conference call – 8/2/20.
Visual Annual Thanksgiving Service – 8/16/20 – include in the 10am Service.
Fish Fry Event at the Church – 8/20/20
Regular Monthly Meeting via Conference Call – 9/6/20
Donation to Christ House resumed – 9/20/20.
Donation to St. Ann’s Center for Children Youth and Family – 9/26/20
Completion of Carpet for Church Paid in full – 9/30/20.
Regular Monthly Meeting via Conference Call – 10/4/20
Monetary Donation to St. John’s Episcopal Church – 10/7/20
Donation to Christ House – 10/18/20
Regular Monthly Meeting via Conference Call – 11/1/20
Donation to Christ House – 11/15/20
Prayer for 16 days against Gender Based Violence – organized by MU USA – 11/25/20 – 12/10/20.
Regular Monthly Meeting via Conference Call – 12/6/20
Christmas bags Donation to the kids of St. John (Ages 2-13) 12/19/20
Christ House Donation – 12/20/20
Donation to St. Ann’s Center for Children, Youth and Family – 12/20/20
I wish to thank all Members of The Mother’s Union for their support and participation in all that was done during those trying difficult times in 2020 and that we look forward for their cooperation in 2021 ahead with renewed Hope, Faith, Love and Energy. We pray for a swift regathering, to be able to continue God’s work in his vineyard.
Jennifer Thomas Elba
Asst. Branch Leader
Annual Report for FY 2019-20
Naomi Chapter, St. John’s Episcopal/Anglican Church
Daughters of the King Annual Report
We were eighteen (18) members of this parish whose duties and responsibilities as Daughters are to love God and our neighbors, we are now down to fifteen members with the death of our past President Pauline Edwards; but we strive to accomplish our goals as we have taken a life-long vow to pray regularly and unceasingly out of love for our King and fellowman. We are dedicated to spreading the Gospel and strengthening the spiritual life of our parish. We are women to whom parishioners can look for love and for help in time of need and/or loneliness. We are women who work to spread Christ’s Kingdom here on earth and must always remember that prayer is the foundation from which our service grows.
Because of the Covid-19 virus this pass year we didn’t accomplish may of the tasks we have set ourselves. We hope to do better in the coming year by reformatting our meetings to be virtual instead of in person.
We are still struggling, however, in the area of finances and as we are unable to hold fundraisers, we will have to institute other means of collecting month dues.
We continue to hold each other in our prayers and ask the church to pray for our Order.
For His Sake
St. John’s Episcopal/Anglican Church
Choir Annual Report For 2020
It’s hard to believe that my usual annual report every year since my directorship at St. John’s is all about celebrating our amazing musical achievements throughout the year. Yet here we are in the midst of a global pandemic which has stopped us meeting for a year going now and we are still not been able to come back. I can attest, it has been extremely tough for all of our choir members and their families, but I pray everyone are fit, well and safe.
Personally, I have really missed everything that our church choir means – making music with such a wonderful group of people, the challenges of learning new and interesting music and since March of last year when the Bishop call for us to lockdown we are still on lockdown, hoping that sooner or later we will hear word from the Bishop, and we will again come together to start our rehearsals and begin singing church and choral music.
We were lucky to come together in July to observe our choir festival and for Christmas, singing songs, lesson and carols that we uploaded on YouTube for the listen pleasure of our Parishioners, friends and relatives. We meet on Zoom every other Thursday so to keep members abreast of things we intent on doing and making sure we are able to see and talk to each other.
Finally, I am glad we haven’t lost anyone of our members as the pandemic is getting worse. I pray that all of us will stay safe, stay strong and be blessed.
Faithfully submitted. David E. Cole
St. John’s Episcopal/Anglican Church
Men of St. John’s Annual Report - 2020
We have indeed made it through a troublesome year due to the corona pandemic. But by his grace I am happy to report that we are all alive to see each other’s face. I do hope and pray that with the distribution of the vaccine we will all meet again very soon to do the work of God.
During the year in review, two of our members lost loved ones in their families, Bro. Christopher Johnson lost his son, and Bro Kojo Dixon lost his father, we pray that their souls rest in peace.Members all, let us continue to pray that this will pass over us and we meet again to his work in his vineyard.
TREASURER'S REPORT 2020
St. John’s Episcopal/Anglican Church
REPORT ON THE 2021 DIOCESAN CONVENTION
The 126th annual convention of the Diocese of Washington happened as planned on January 30th – but it was not the usual in-person gathering. So, no morning refreshments or boxed lunch together with fellow Episcopalians, but other than being held online, the proceedings were pretty, well – conventional.
One major exception was that there was no Eucharist. Instead, the meeting opened with a short liturgy and there was music, including prerecorded Zoom choir offerings.
We then proceeded to vote for individuals who had been nominated to serve on the Diocesan Standing Committee for two-year terms. The clergy members elected were the Rev. Dr. Maria Kane and the Rev. Dr. Sheila McJilton, and the lay persons selected were Ms. Erika Gilmore and Ms. Kay Pierson.
The Bishop’s Address followed. She emphasized that as Christians, we are a people called to hope, but hope is not a plan, but a grace. The Diocese has made progress on its strategic plan, and during the Covid crisis of 2020, most congregations have thrived, but some are struggling, and one has closed (Holy Trinity, Bowie). But as we at St. John’s know, the Diocese has been here for us during our transition.
The strategic plan has three major elements, and parish revitalization is the first. The Diocese has embarked on a program to engage all congregations with health assessments and revitalization strategies. This review will look at seven “signs of parish vitality”: A COMPELLING MISSION AND VISION, A CLEAR DISCIPLESHIP PATH, UPLIFTING AND INVITING WORSHIP, WELCOMING AND CONNECTING MINISTRIES, BLESSING OUR COMMUNITY, FAITHFUL FINANCIAL PRACTICES, and INSPIRING AND CAPABLE LEADERSHIP. This means for us that St. John’s will be called upon in the coming months to see how we measure up in each of these areas, and our continued existence as an independent Parish will depend on this kind of review. However, the Diocese has received grant funds for an initiative called “Tending Our Soil” to PROVIDE PARTICIPATING CONGREGATIONS WITH COACHES, WITH LEARNING SUMMITS, RESOURCES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO COLLABORATE WITH OTHER CONGREGATIONS TO WORK ON THE 7 VITAL SIGNS.
The second goal of the plan is to inspire our people and equip leaders. A School for Christian Faith and Leadership has been launched. I noticed that the school will offer online training sessions for Wardens, Vestry and Treasurers and will provide the links to our new Parish officers.
The third strategic goal is IN THE REALM OF EQUITY AND JUSTICE. HERE IS OUR OBJECTIVE FOR 2021. WE WILL BRAVERLY UNCOVER, UNDERSTAND, RECKON WITH AND ACT TO DISMANTLE RACISM WITHIN OURSELVES, OUR FAITH COMMUNITIES, THE DIOCESE AND OUR LOCALITIES.
On a Diocesan staffing note, this Convention was an opportunity to say farewell to The Rev. Paula Clark who had been the Canon to the Ordinary and who addressed us at St. John’s last fall; as you may have heard, she is the Bishop-elect to the Diocese of Chicago. The Rev. Andrew Walter is now assuming that position.
There was a report from the Treasurer of the Diocese and the Convention later approved the proposed budget for 2021. It’s interesting to note that congregational giving is the Diocese’s largest source of income at about 45% of the total. The 2021 budget is looking for this item to amount to 2 million dollars, which is about 23% less than was budgeted for last year.
The Treasurer did make note of the fact that the Diocese’s books are audited every year and that the last audit was clean. He also noted that congregations are required to be audited annually also, and as it happens, we are behind.
Following a break for lunch, a report was given by the Committee on the Constitution and Canons presenting a new Canon proposed to be added, officially establishing the guidelines for evaluating parish vitality that had been discussed earlier. There will be a Special Diocesan Convention later this year to discuss this proposal and decide whether to formally adopt it. This means that the Delegates elected at today’s Parish Meeting will need to attend that Convention, as well as participate in the Regional Assembly in the fall, and the regular Diocesan Convention in January 2022.
The last item of business was to consider four Resolutions place before the Convention. All four were adopted. Briefly, the subjects of the resolutions were:
1. To acknowledge the harm done by an inhumane immigration system and commit the Diocese to support Episcopal Migration Ministries.
2. To call for the Diocese and the parishes to review our history in regard to racial justice and address racial justice issues.
3. To examine the role systemic racism plays in policing and promote healthy engagement among police,
the public, and community groups and institutions.
4. To call on General Convention to consider revising lectionary readings for Holy Week to remedy passages that have been interpreted as anti-Semitic while maintaining the meaning and intent of the original Greek texts.
Delegate to Convention
REPORT ON THE SPECIAL DIOCESAN CONVENTION, APRIL 17, 2021
This Special Convention had been announced at the regular Diocesan Convention in January, for the specific purpose of considering a proposed addition to the Canons of the Diocese. In the draft of the Canon, its title was to be “Diocesan Stewardship and Parish Vitality” and its intended purpose was to help “support and revitalize all communities of faith, ensuring that they have the necessary capacity to achieve spiritual and financial health.” The Canon proposed to establish a process by which the Diocesan Council could initiate a “Health and Vitality Assessment” of a parish at the request of the Bishop, Standing Committee, or a member of Diocesan Council.
The canon states that situations that may impact a parish and call for an assessment include adherence to Constitution and Canons; financial resources adequate to fund ongoing operations; effective governance and stewardship, including sound financial practices that preserve long term assets for future ministry.
Between January and April, the Diocese had conducted “listening sessions” (in which your Delegates and Senior Warden participated) and there were a few tweaks to the original text that were made before the final draft was presented on April 17th. One such change was to replace the word “vitality” in the original draft with “viability” in the version we met to discuss. It was also made clear that there was no automatic trigger that would force an assessment to be conducted. (Deanie Anderson had asked about this.) Another change to the original draft was to add the rector or vestry of a parish to the list of persons/groups that could initiate an assessment.
It would be up to the Diocesan Council to accept and approve a request for an assessment, which would be conducted by a committee appointed to conduct the assessment of that specific parish. (So this canon does not create some sort of permanent watchdog committee to keep an eye out for signs that parishes are in distress.) One amendment proposed and adopted at the special convention specified that the committee must include a clerical individual and a lay individual designated by the affected parish.
Although the meeting considered a number of proposed amendments to the wording of specific paragraphs in the draft, and incorporated several of these, the essence of the document was not substantially changed by the time it was put to a vote. In the end, what became Canon 54 of the Diocesan Canons was approved by a wide margin. The resolution to adopt the Canon called for it to take effect the next day (April 18th). There was a motion to postpone it for six months, but it was defeated, so Canon 54 is now in effect. The rationale for having it take effect immediately was made by speakers at the convention: the canon is not intended to be punitive or authoritarian, but to create a mechanism for the Diocese to help parishes in distress before it’s too late.
A copy can be found here:
Delegate to Convention