Our Annual Meeting on January 11, 2015
By Julia Ariail
Posted January 12, 2015
Christ Episcopal Church held its annual meeting on Sunday, January 11, 2015, at 11:15 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Dave Johnson led the meeting of the approximately 140 parishioners who remained after the Sunday service for the meeting. Senior Warden Jeff Hanson announced the vestry election with eleven candidates for four positions. He and Sandy Sandbach passed out written ballots, collected them after parishioners voted and retired to count the votes.
Fr. Johnson invited several committee chairs to talk about the current conditions and future plans for the church. Clinton Beeland gave the congregation an overview of the camellia garden project beside the rectory. Over the past 30 years from the time Mrs. Sarah Oliver owned the property that is between Louttit Hall and the rectory, the camellias have progressed from glorious to a jungle and back to glorious thanks to the work by the Camellia Society of Valdosta, the local Garden Clubs and members of Christ Church. There will be a dedication on January 29, 2015, with over 130 members of the international Camellia Society present. Clinton invited members of Christ Church to also attend this dedication ceremony.
Brad Burnette spoke about the memorial policy recently established and voted on by the vestry. It will be published on the website for all to view. He also spoke about future meetings of the Memorial Garden committee to improve what we have and plan for the future. Brad congratulated Junior Warden Frances Guice on the excellent job she did in the past year.
Fr. Johnson announced that the Gabard Education Building is totally paid off thanks to the generosity of Christ Church members and the bequest of the late Lougenia Gabard. The success of the stewardship drive for 2015 allows for calling an associate rector or lay person to handle the VSU ministry, young adult and high school ministry. He asked for our prayers for discernment to choose the right person to come as early as summer 2015 but later if needed to find the perfect match. A new heating and air conditioning system is in place in the Transcept and Parish Hall. The Vestry hopes to update or replace the sound system this year in the sanctuary. He also said that the vestry is exploring the possibility of purchasing a van for church transportation like youth trips.
Stefani Carroll, Director of Children’s Ministry, described the Christian education program for children with Sunday School classes, special events like the Christmas party, the Christmas pageant, Vacation Bible School and Honey Creek Camp.
Fr. Johnson thanked those who decorated and undecorated the church for Christmas. He invited parishioners to take one — or a dozen — poinsettias from the Parish Hall. He talked about plans for a women’s retreat February 6-7 led by Steph Johnson, our parish weekend at Honey Creek May 22-24, and the Dominican Republic mission trip June 15-22. He praised the work of the Saturday Lunch Bunch led by Sandy Sandbach and invited others to join the effort. Fr. Dave and Mike Tanner hope to take a youth mission team to New Orleans in late July for a week.
Jeff Hanson announced the results of the election of the four new vestry members: Allan Dear, Dottie Pitts, Sallie Honeycutt, and Nikki Yarbrough. Fr. Dave gave an icon of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to those rotating off the vestry: Jeff Hanson, Sandy Sandbach, Phyllis Hiers, Will Hanson, Jeani Synyard and Robin Coleman, who was not present.