|Date Posted||February 24, 2021|
Easton (Patrick Collins)
|Diocesan Compensation Info||By Convention Resolution - Diocesan Minimum Salary for full-time clergy is $50,000|
|Is there a rectory?||Yes|
|Average Sunday Attendance||81|
Additional comments re: compensation, benefits and housing.
St. Alban’s is in a healthy financial position.
• St. Alban’s Operating Expense for 2022, presented at the end of November 2021 Annual meeting was $171,427.08. (Please note: This figure is without a known figure for a new rector.)
• Our pledges for 2022 increased by nearly 5 percent over 2021, despite having two years of Covid-19 and approaching three full years without a full-time rector. 2022 pledged income is 142,404. By February 28, 2022, $34,322.34 in pledged income had been received.
• Personnel expenses will make up the major portion of our Expense Budget
• Diocesan apportionment, our second largest expense, is always paid, a promise made when we gained parish status in 1972.
• St. Alban’s solar panel array off-sets most energy expenses
• St. Alban’s has no outstanding loans or mortgage
• St. Alban’s has three restricted accounts:
o Columbarium – Specifically for maintenance and addition of new niches and walls of niches
o Hodgson Trust Income - Covers all physical plant capital expenses and contractual repairs or maintenance as restricted by donor in his will
o Endowment Fund – Restricted to new ministry start-up funding, by grant application
Liturgical style and practice
St. Alban’s is a “Broad-Church” congregation. We have a group who prefer Rite I with no music, historically an 8:00 a.m. service. The larger portion of our congregation is Rite II oriented. Our larger service has been a 10:30 a.m. service with music led by a choir. At that service, we integrate bishop-approved liturgies from other parts of the Anglican Communion seasonally: New Zealand, Canadian, South African, and English. We also strive to use inclusive language and elements from Enriching Our Worship. A Worship Committee plans our services seasonally.
Our Eucharist offered three kinds of bread: wafers, gluten-free, or home-made. Our bishop referred to the as, “flat Jesus or chunky Jesus.”
Storytelling the Gospel is a tradition at St. Alban’s. In pre-COVID days, Storytelling would happen several times during the year, we could count on our Passion Sunday’s being enriched by this practice for years. Maundy Thursday observance included foot washing. The Easter Vigil was an over-night watch, complete with tents, old fire tending, bread-making for the Easter Eucharist, and a sunrise Eucharist. We look forward to the return of our traditions.
Diverse in many ways, we are comfortable with those who genuflect or make the Sign of the Cross at times during the service. Rarely have incense and the Sanctus Bell been part of the Worship at St. Alban’s. We have, however, been sprinkled with water from a branch upon occasion. Eucharistic Ministers are part of both Sunday services. We have trained and licensed lay ministers who take various roles in our worship: nine Eucharistic Ministers, three Eucharistic Visitors, and seven Worship Leaders. Currently we have a Deacon in Residence. Our Acolytes vary in age, as interest is the impetus for training.
Children of all ages are welcome at either service. Our most recent rector was known to bend down and scoop up a toddler, who had escaped his parents to explore the Chancel area, and just continue her sermon. While we were accustomed to 18 years of sermons delivered from the floor of the Nave that connected scripture with history and relevance for today with an authentic personal voice, we also appreciate well-constructed sermons delivered at the lectern. Former rectors and visiting priests have mentioned that we are an attentive and responsive congregation.
Music is an important part of our parish life at St. Alban’s. Our pipe organ was digitally enhanced four years ago. Hymns are chosen from the Hymnal 1982 and Lift Every Voice and Sing. Our choir has performed with local university singers, the American Spiritual Ensemble, convocational and diocesan choirs. High school and university musicians have added to our worship as guests over the years.
Pandemic restriction gifted us with the capacity to offer virtual services, first through a Zoom link and now through YouTube. We acquired the necessary equipment and have a trained “Tech Team” of parishioners to operate it. As with other churches, this capability will be standard practice into the future.
Construction of St. Alban’s began in 1959. Our congregation is the smaller, more liberal politically leaning of the two Episcopal Churches in Salisbury. Most of our ministry efforts spring from congregational inspiration and leadership. We take seriously the words of the dismissal prayer, “Send us into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to serve you with gladness and singleness of heart…” In just over a decade, we have raised and donated to local, national, and international charitable efforts more than $90,000. Our parishioners have participated in four Diocesan Mission Trips, three abroad, and one national. Young parishioners have built schools in Honduras. We maintain a partnership with a local high school and answer their needs all through the year. We join in constructing ramps to facilitate entrance and egress from their homes for our handicapped neighbors. We are involved with local organizations who provide cold weather shelters. In March 2022, through a one-day, COVID-restricted, Lenten Soup lunch sale to our parishioners we were raised more than $1,000 to replenish depleted Discretionary Funds. We held a Black Lives Matter event. Most recently, we organized a community Prayer Vigil for the People of Ukraine.
We are a diverse congregation ethnically, economically, by age, by sexual orientation, and by physical, developmental, and emotional capabilities. Our parish hall is available to the community and used by 12-step groups many times during the week. During the growing season, a garden space is offered to the community.
Our congregation is environmentally conscious. In addition to solar panel installation, we have planted more than 80 trees, installed a rainwater cistern, a rain garden, and a pollinator garden. Our appliances and lighting are energy-efficient, and we use biodegradable paper products.
Our property is debt-free and well-maintained. Our parking lot has been resurfaced and painted. Multiple handicapped spaces are easily accessible to our entrances. The parish is completely accessible to the handicapped. There are no physical barriers to the building or the Nave. The kitchen is Health Department inspected and approval maintained. Currently our community labyrinth is being refurbished.
We maintain a robust web presence through our website, stalbanssalisbury.com/, and our Facebook page, facebook.com/stalbanssalisbury/. A link to our Parish Profile can be found on our website https://stalbanssalisbury.com/
While we have a stable adult formation weekly class, we do not have a core of children that can be grouped by ages to create age-range Sunday School classes. We recently lost our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, which served our children and many outside our parish. This had been an important ministry to young children at St. Alban’s for years. Sermons are the primary form of formation in our congregation, and we appreciate sermons that connect scripture and our Baptismal Covenant to our lives, sermons that pose questions to ponder and challenge us. Although we are known in our community for our service ministry, we need to learn how to evangelize to let people know that we are a place where their stories and ours can coalesce.
St. Alban’s is a Pastoral-to-Transitional sized church. Before the pandemic we numbered more than 170 members. As we are still under pandemic restrictions, we offer one in-person and virtual service, on Sunday mornings. The largest recent attendance was 55 people in the Nave and 14 log-ins on YouTube. Our vestry has formed Shepherding Groups to reach all our members, and as our COVID restrictions are lowered, we hope to reunite everyone in our worship in person, while maintaining virtual capacity for those who are home-bound.
Just over a year ago, we began to study a shared ministry with a neighboring ELCA congregation. Faith Lutheran is a congregation of about 30 individuals that has been without a pastor for more than five years. We share similar missions and have joined in ministries, worship, and activities over the years. Right now, our adult formation is a joint book discussion via Zoom. We joined Faith for Reformation Sunday, and Faith will join us for our Maundy Thursday service. More joint opportunities are anticipated in the future. Exploration took the path of joint meetings, worship, articles, and parish meetings. Finally, in January 2022, the vestry approved a move to establish a shared ministry with Faith Lutheran. We seek to hire a rector who will minister to both congregations, approximately three-fourths of the time with St. Alban’s and one-fourth with Faith Lutheran.