St. Thomas & Grace, Brandon
|Date Posted||July 9, 2018|
Vermont (Lynn Bates)
|Compensation||$26,515 includes housing value and equity allowance|
|Communicants in Good Standing||46|
|Average Sunday Attendance||24|
|Child Population in Church School||Intermittent church school activities during the 10 am service on Sundays|
Our small congregation functions like a family, being supportive and taking care of each other. In 2018 all active members of the parish made a pledge towards the annual budget and virtually all regular worshippers are active in the life of the church and its ministries. Most of our ministries relate to feeding – from our sumptuous coffee hours on Sunday and public suppers with no fixed price (“good will donation”), to a collection basket for the local food shelf at the back of the church and our garden which provides vegetables for parishioners and community members. Our historic buildings (St Thomas Church and our rectory) are focal points for the town and hold potential for ministry. We welcome newcomers. During this time of transition, we have proven that we have the ability to adapt to new ways of being church. We are committed to living within our means financially.
The reality of being a small congregation is that most members are devoting all their church-related energy to the business of running the parish, despite wanting the parish to be more missional. Long-time members are aging and slowing down, and younger, newer members are caught up in the demands of work and family life. Our two buildings have constant maintenance needs and costs. Staying connected with each other requires both 21st century methods like Facebook and email and old-fashioned methods like phone calls, visits, and mail.
Brandon, Vermont is special. Established in the 1700's Brandon is a close-knit community of neighbors helping neighbors. We have a strong sense of identity and great interest in our history, our many accomplishments, and our plans for the future. In recent years our cultural community has diversified with artists and musicians, brewer/wineries, and small specialty farms now calling Brandon home. ST&G is one of many churches in the area trying to find new direction and purpose. Our rectory is a large, historic building with space for both clergy housing and potential to be used for God’s work in Brandon.
Housing Description: Built in 1802, the rectory is a brick, two-story, 10-room (5 upstairs bedrooms), 3 ½ bath, unfurnished home full of history and character. It is located beside the church building in downtown Brandon (http://townofbrandon.com/). Use of the church office and a small meeting room are shared with church personnel. Kitchen range, refrigerator, washer and dryer are provided. The home is heated by a new propane furnace. An attached two-car garage, full basement and attic (both unfinished) complete the footprint of the building. A spectacular side porch and lovely yard surround the house, including a 4-raised bed garden maintained by the St. Thomas & Grace Garden Ministers. Utilities (electricity, propane, water and sewer) are budgeted at $460 per month and will be paid by the congregation.
Worshipping community’s website: WWW.STANDG.ORG
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Canon Lynn Bates,
Episcopal Church in Vermont