2020 Annual Report

Table of Contents

2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

Welcome
• Slideshow & Lunch
Meeting called to order at 11:45 a.m.
• Opening Prayer – The Reverend Karen Mosso
• Announcements & Gratitude – The Revered Jered Weber-Johnson
Remember “Unpacking the Sermon” on Wednesday; there are still opportunities to volunteer
for Project Home; Theology and Film series begins Thursday at Tillie’s; all members are encouraged to
participate in Safe Church Training.
Jered gave thanks to Fellowship Committee and Stewardship Committee for their service;
gratitude to the Staff; thanks to outgoing Committee Chairs Elaine Eyre, Rita MacBain, John MacBain,
Jeff Olson, Nate Van Yperen; and thanks to the Vestry
Business
• Approval of 2017 Annual Meeting Minutes
Motion to approve by Alden Drew with accolades to Bob Baumann; seconded by Ed Cook. Motion
carried.
Reports
• 2018 Financials & 2019 Budget: Treasurer Rick Rinkoff
2018 was a good year financially; we ended with a surplus of $19,000; we budgeted for $5,000,
which was earmarked for the next youth mission trip. The extra $14,000 will be used to reduce our
debt. The surplus was in line with our historic average because we tend to budget conservatively. But
how we got there bore little resemblance to what we expected when the year began.
Let’s start with pledges. The 2018 stewardship campaign was wildly successful. Pledges were
budgeted at $635,000, up $60,000 from the year before, by more than 10%. We’ve never seem that size
jump in the 11 years I’ve been keeping the numbers.
We actually received $643,000, $8,000 above budget. For more than a decade, pledges were
stuck in the $500,000 – $589,000 range so numerically this was by far our best year ever. That’s where
the resemblance to what we expected ends. Every other donation category was below budget: nonpledged income, plate offerings, Easter, Christmas, altar contributions. In aggregate, they were $21,000
below budget, more than offsetting the pledge surplus. Remember when I stood up here last year and
said pre-paid pledges for 2018 were nearly 2 ½ times as much as the previous year and many other
people were signed up for monthly pledge payments from their bank account? We started the year with
half our pledges either already in the bank or on autopilot. Recall that last year, in keeping with my MN
Vikings theme, I referred to them as season ticket holders.
So what happened? Couple of things. The standard tax deduction was doubled, personal
exemptions were eliminated – this made charitable donations financially less appealing for many
people. That change in the tax law explained why our pre-payments surged in late 2017 but we saw the
downside of that change all through 2018 as people who weren’t season ticket holders pulled back.
Combined with the loss of some long time parishioners, our income lagged budget by $15,000.
We had a surplus on the bottom line because of unexpected payroll savings. Our new Music
Director and new Associate Rector didn’t join us until September, six months later than we expected.
We paid Sonya, Monte and Susan to fill in, and they cost us less than having two full time senior
employees.
Spending on ministries, programs and operating expenses overall was above budget, made
possible from the payroll savings. Some things need an explanation. Kayoro spending exceeded budget
MINUTES FROM Last year’s meeting
January 27, 2019
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by 50% in 2018. That’s a good thing and was intentional. The clinic had an urgent need for money that was not
anticipated when the budget was drafted. The Kayoro committee planned to send the needed money in 2019 but
when the size of our 2018 surplus became clear and we could see challenges for the 2019 budget, we elected to
send it in 2018 instead. We reduced Kayoro’s 2019 budget by the same amount, $7,500, so it’s simply a timing
issue. On a two-year basis, spending isn’t affected, and the Kayoro people are happy.
You might wonder how an expense labeled contingency managed to overshoot its budget 9-fold. Well, we
hired a new Music Director who came from a distant, and as he’s figured out, a much warmer climate. Interview
and relocation expenses were charged to contingency. You’ve heard Richard play the organ; many of you were
there two nights ago when he performed in concert. Wow!
We also hired a new Associate Rector who originally hailed from Zimbabwe. He’s a wonderful preacher,
celebrant, and by his own admission, a passable chanter if only five notes are involved. The story behind his
journey from Zimbabwe to Great Britain to the US is fascinating – ask him sometime. It took considerable time
and treasure for our staff to prove to Homeland Security that he wasn’t a threat to the United States of America. I
doubt anyone here regrets making the investment to get these two people on board.
On to the 2019 budget. Bottom line: we have a balanced budget and we’re sticking with our policy of the
endowment income essentially covering operating expenses (which includes the cost of maintaining the building),
pledges and other income covering the cost of ministry and programs, and generating a $5,000 surplus that will go
towards the next youth mission trip.
Based on our recent stewardship campaign, we’re budgeting for pledges to be $638,000, slightly above last
year’s budget and slightly below pledges actually received. With 2018 as a guide, we reduced our expectations for
non-pledged income, Christmas and Easter. The endowment draw will be higher since our 12-quarter moving
average of asset values moved up in 2018. We’re using the same 4.5% draw rate that’s been in place since 2017.
The staff got raises. Ministry and program budgets reflect requests from the committees, actual spending
levels in 2018, and how the Vestry agreed to allocate our resources this year. Our pledge to ECMN went up
sharply based on a formula tied to our income; the more money we receive, the more they receive.
Kayoro’s budget dropped by $7,500 since we advanced that amount in December. We moved altar
contributions off budget to the Memorial Restricted Fund. This is money from parishioners for flowers. The cost
of flowers will also now be paid out of that Fund.
The largest increase was for what we previously called repair & maintenance, now relabeled Building &
Grounds. We have old buildings and they are expensive to maintain so the budget went from $40,000 to $51,000.
One more thing. With pledges expected to be flat, meeting the organization’s needs required us to fall back on a
funding mechanism last used in 2013: Special Gifts. Remember the year-end ask where some parishioners agreed
to put up $6,000 if others would match it? The results are in: $8,600 was received towards the match so Special
Gifts totaled $14,600. Thanks to all of you who generously contributed.
To sum up the financials: 2018 was a year of significant growth; 2019 will be a year to consolidate those
gains.
I want to end with some forward-looking comments. As Treasurer, I work on the monthly numbers,
annual budget, investments, sign checks, authorize payroll and tax payments – but those are only snapshots of the
job. Put all the snapshots together and you’ll see there’s a movie and the theme of that movie is making sure
money doesn’t get in the way of St. John’s from doing what it wants to do.
That requires looking ahead. Any challenge way out in the future represents an opportunity decision. As its
gets closer, it becomes a problem decision. And when it’s right in front of us, it’s a crisis decision. To quote the
great philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re liable to end up somewhere else.”
So we want to know where we’re going and that takes us to the Strategic Plan approved back in 2014. There was a
section on financial sustainability with three goals:
1. develop a financial plan that provides adequately for ongoing facility maintenance
2. long term preservation of endowment principal
3. funding from reserves for periodic capital replacement
Maintenance: Property Committee detailed their expected spending needs for 2019. We increased the
budget 27% as a result. Longer-term challenge is the linkage of endowment income to operating expenses. That
income could go down in a tough market while operating expenses for the building are likely to only move higher.
The numbers have worked for several years and will again in 2019 so for now I’d give our progress on this first
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goal a grade of B.
Preservation of endowment: Many years ago, the draw rate was 8%. As recently as 2016, it was over 5%.
It’s now 4.5%. Goal is to get it to 4% or less. I would give our progress on this goal a grade of A-.
Funding capital replacement: Our buildings are old and on occasion consume major dollars. A few years
ago, we spent $500,000 for a new roof. We borrowed money, started to pay it back, and then there was a new
$100,000 expense when water problems forced us to dig up the sidewalk along Kent Street. Fast forward to today
– we have $250,000 in debt minus $14,000 soon to be repaid from our 2018 surplus. We know there will be other
large expenses in the future and we want a dependable way to pay for them without having to borrow using the
endowment as collateral. We have minimal reserves set aside for the next big project so we’re essentially living
paycheck to paycheck.
Since disaster hasn’t struck yet, I classify funding capital replacement as a problem decision. There are
obvious solutions: get people to contribute to a reserve fund; get a major influx of cash into the endowment; build
the true cost of depreciation into the budget. All options are on the table. We don’t want this to turn into a crisis
decision.
The Vestry took an important step this week by approving the hiring of a consultant to assess our capital assets
and their expected future funding needs. For example, if our roof has a 100-year life expectancy and it was new 5
years ago, it should last another 95 years. If its projected replacement cost is $950,000, we should be putting away
$10,000 every year.
The consultant will analyze our capital assets and produce a schedule of how much we should be
squirreling away every year to eventually replace or fix them. Tom Evans has spent the last 6 months seeking out
other churches to see how they deal with this challenge and who they used to help them. He will be contacting a
consultant that got high marks from another church. We don’t have an actual reserve fund yet but identifying our
future needs at least represents progress towards our goal so I’d grade this C+.
No matter what the report card says, St. John’s is blessed in many ways. We do have a balanced budget, we
are supporting a wide range of ministries and programs, we do have a wonderful staff and a beautiful building, and
we still have a large endowment.
We have all of you who make this possible. Thank you!
Warren Buffett says, “Don’t worry about the income, worry about the outcome.”
St. John’s is not about money; money only enables our people and our ministries. And like it does every
year, the numbers have come together to allow St. John’s to do what it wants to do in 2019.
Now it’s time to focus on the outcome.
Question: Why is Compline not on the budget?
Answer: Compline has historically been an off-budget item funded through the restricted John Graham Compline
Fund.
 Annual Report: The Rev. Jered Weber-Johnson
Today marks the celebration of another year of growth and new life, of strengthened ministries and the
deepening of our mission to “show forth our service of [God] in our service of [the world].” Indeed, today we are
living out, in ways large and small, what I preached about this morning, the embodiment of God’s reconciling love
for the world. I would like to take a few moments to point out some of what we undertook this year and highlight
some of what I believe are the key moments of 2018 and what they mean for us in terms both practical and
spiritual as we look ahead to the year to come.
2018 was a year of great transitions. While we’ve seen large changes and transitions in our life as a faith
community in years past, rarely have we experienced multiple of them all in the same 12 months. The year opened
with us deep in the work of searches for not one but two key staff positions – the Director of Music and the
Associate Rector. These searches included bringing aboard important interim leadership, and the heavy lifting of
so many of you, our lay leaders, choirs, search committees, and support ministries. With the leadership, wisdom,
and commitment of many, we were delighted this fall to welcome Richard Gray as Director of Music and the
Reverend Craig Lemming as our new Associate Rector. Already we are seeing increased attendance at music events
and deepened commitment and participation in our choirs, and new life and activity are popping up all over our
ministries of pastoral care, spiritual life, and faith formation. It is difficult to overstate how important these two
staff positions are for our mission and ministry, and I am delighted by the selection of both Richard and Craig,
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gifted and faithful ministers who have joined us in our work here. For the first time at least as far as I am aware,
we have staffed both of these positions at full-time – allowing us a greater breadth of hours to tackle the vital
ministries these two will support. Welcome again, Craig and Richard! I am more confident than ever that with the
right people in these posts, we are better poised than ever to tackle the next set of challenges we face to grow both
physically and spiritually as a faith community in 2019 and beyond.
These transitions alone would be enough to stretch any ordinary congregation. But, on top of these, we
had already planned and later embarked on a four-month season of renewal and sabbath. Our aim was to get to
know our stories and connect more deeply with one another over shared meals and fellowship. We did that with
great intentionality over the summer months, meeting in homes for dinners, and at ice cream socials, brunches,
and over cups of coffee – eating together and sharing our stories. All of this while I, your rector, was away on my
own journey of renewal. We have celebrated what that time meant for us as a congregation already. We learned
just how deeply capable this faith community is at shouldering our shared mission and ministry. Lay leaders and
staff owned sizeable portions of our mutual ministry, and while that was nothing new, that portion and the reality
that we were up to the task, grew and deepened in this season of renewal.
What lies ahead is the strengthening of what began in that time of sabbath. Only in truly knowing one
another, only in finding ourselves connected and linked deeply within Christ’s Body at St. John’s, will we be able to
really grow. There is great work to be done in the world. So we must be sustained and supported for that work.
That sustenance and support will be found most truly in the relationships, through rich story, and through the
vulnerability we share here in our faith community in house groups, spiritual life groups, in opportunities for
fellowship, and by continuing to share and hear each other’s stories. To that end, I intend in 2019 to convene a
conversation about how we do this work. How do we break bread and connect in tangible and specific ways? And
how can we strengthen and better support the processes and programs that make this essential work possible? If
anything, our season of renewal made us aware of just how important and necessary it is to pause and be together,
not in some action in the world, but in the sanctuaries of our homes and away from the busyness of life.
You could say that all of this that I have just described could be housed under the header of one of our
two great resources – our people. St. John’s is blessed by a myriad of talented, capable, faithful people –
parishioners, volunteers, neighbors, and staff who make up this wonderful faith community and who enrich it by
their presence. Each of you is an invaluable part of what makes this place rich. Our aim as every year in 2019 is the
strengthening and supporting of this great resource. Our aim and mission is to build this people up in the
knowledge and love of God.
And, if that is our first great resource, the second is our place. It is true what the old Sunday school song
says, that the church is not a building or a steeple – the church is a people. But that does not negate the reality that
as a people, we inhabit time and space and that we need a place which we can call sanctuary, a place to meet and
be formed, a base of operations out of which we can grow and serve. That place is this, all that you see around us,
our buildings and our sanctuary, our grounds and all the physical assets, endowments and budgets that we use to
support them. While there is always a danger that buildings can become idols, a danger that I confess we have been
susceptible to from time to time here at St. John’s. It is equally true that when left neglected these things can
become a burden and an obstacle to the flourishing of a faith community. And so we have, as Rick’s report will
point to, endeavored to strengthen our endowment, which supports this place and its healthy functioning, by
reducing our draw on the endowment and funding more of our ministry and program through our pledges. We are
beginning plans to strengthen our planned giving so that it can grow at a better rate even in the face of market
uncertainty
Our Vestry is tackling two vital questions. First, what is the actual and real cost of funding all our deferred
maintenance and regular wear and tear on this building over the normal life of each part (the roof, the organ, the
parking lot, and more), and how can we begin to develop funds that will replace and repair those large items when
they fail without raiding the endowment or increasing our debt. Second, the building committee has been hard at
work with an architect and contractor exploring what it might look like to develop and improve our 1956
Education and Office building, where we are now, so that it can support and sustain a growing congregation. That
work came about as a result of our strategic plan begun in 2014, which realized that if we wanted to grow, we
might need to make better use of our space and our place. Now that plan has completed and is before the vestry
who will be interviewing consultants to come alongside us to determine if the architectural plan has resonance
within the congregation, a community that has grown and changed much since 2014, and more importantly is the
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project feasible in whole or in part in this moment as a faith community, or are other projects, like funding our
depreciation, growing our endowment, or something we haven’t even articulated yet is needed.
What is evident is that 2019 has a lot already cued up and waiting to be tackled. Undoubtedly, new things
will emerge too that we have yet to imagine and yet remain to be seen which will require our best selves, our
energy, and our faithful response. I am sure that, based on what we have seen in the years past, we are fully up to
the challenge of it all. I remain grateful to be your rector, working with you and this vestry on the mission of God
and the ministry of Saint John’s. I am privileged to be in a place so richly blessed with the resources of good
people and beautiful and holy space. Thank you for this honor.
Q&A
Q – John Graham – thanks to Richard Gray for a wonderful concert on Friday. Why was there no reception
afterwards? Promotional materials promised a reception. Who accepts responsibility for this oversight?
A – Jered responded that as Rector, he accepts responsibility; it was clearly a dropped ball. That evening he
thanked Richard for a beautiful concert and apologized for the lack of a reception to honor him. While we regret
there not being a reception, the important outcome of the evening was an amazing show support of support from
the faith community and city at large. We won’t let a dropped ball take away from the evening’s success.
Q – Coleen Connolly Swope: What are the goals for the building upgrade?
A – Jered – the goals are identified on page 32 of your bulletin: 1) Create a gathering space on the same level as
existing worship space, 2) Provide a wide hallway from worship space to gathering space, and 3) Consolidate
church offices to one location. The work will focus on the 1956 portion of our building, which houses the
Education Program and Offices. We will ask for feedback on the building plan as part of engaging the
congregation in shaping our strategic plan.
Q – Jim Johnson – We had difficulty navigating the ice on December 30 – what about valet parking?
A – At one time there were volunteers who assisted with parking; although it is a needed service, we don’t have an
organized volunteer base to cover valet during services or events. Jered invited anyone interested in coordinating
valet volunteers to contact the Church Office.
Recognition of Outgoing Vestry Members & Lay Leaders
Jered presented Prayer Books as thanks to outgoing Vestry members Jay Clark, Tom Evans, Peter Rosendale, and
Diane Wallace-Reid
Elections
Wardens: Marilyn Conklin – Senior Warden, Lynn Hertz – Junior Warden
Vestry: Marilyn Conklin – Senior Warden, Lynn Hertz – Junior Warden, Bob Baumann – At Large, Gabrielle
Lawrence – At Large, Bob Linehan – Liturgy, Jenny Koops – Children, Youth and Family.
Motion to approve the above by Lucy Johnson, seconded by Jeff Olsen. Motion carried
• Cornerstone Trustees: Brad Clary, Jim Johnson
Move to approve the above nominees as Cornerstone Trustees by Brad Parsons, seconded by Jeff Olsen. Motion
carried
• Convention Delegate: Sabine Krall – Youth Convention Delegate
Motion to approve Sabine Krall as Youth Delegate – moved, seconded, carried.
Q – (WHO?) Are there other delegates?
A – Jered acknowledged and thanked Marilyn Conklin, Jerry Woelfel, and Becky Garthofner, each serving threeyear terms.
Closing Prayer – Collect of St. John’s
Meeting adjourned at 12:40 p.m.

2020 Financial Statements

Recognition of Outgoing Vestry Members & Lay Leaders

Ministry Reports

Children, Youth, and Family

30 children registered; 3 classrooms with average Sunday attendance of 18
 Changed the time of Children’s Faith Formation to 10am (during the service)
 Children grades 6-8 attend worship with their families at 10am
 2 new Godly Play Storytellers have been added this year
 6 new Godly Play Greeters have been added this year
 Godly Play time and structure changed, children now process behind the choir during the opening hymn, attend Godly Play and return during the Peace/Announcements
 4-6th Graders began a new series on Saints of the Church and meet in the Green Room
 Continued facilitation of Faithful Parenting events for caregivers
and parents to connect outside of Sunday mornings

2019 Property Committee Completed Projects
 Upgraded the building security system including
relocation of key fobs, alarm arming of additional
doors, and enhanced monitoring.
 Inspected and repaired various roofing issues including
gutter repairs/ replacement and resolution of interior
leaks.
 Landscaping improvements to various aspects of the
grounds.
 Ongoing boiler maintenance including steam pipe
repair, insulation, and resolution of specific room heating issues.
 Exterior door repairs including the automatic closer on eastside of the
building.
 Church bells repaired and placed back into service.
 Parking lot resealed.
 Secured new vendor relationship for snow removal.
 Installed a new sign at the church entrance.
 General maintenance and repairs including carpeting to the chancel,
elevator repair, electrical outlet replacement, and light bulb and ballast
replacement.

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