Lillian Steele Bequest Update
The session and staff have been hard at work, discerning the next steps of how to responsibly spend the generous bequest of longtime Starmount member Lillian Steele. Following the Ad Hoc committee's recommendation, session voted to split the approximate $1.45 million dollar request in the following ways:
10% is a community tithe to a local organization which targets combating hunger in the area.
Eleven invitations were extended to vetted organizations, seeking interest in applying for this grant. Seven letters of intent were received and are currently being evaluated by the Ad Hoc committee. More information about next steps will be available in the spring.
60% remains, allowing for Lillian Steele to provide a generous $40,000 perpetual pledge which will be added to the annual operating budget.
More information will be available when the 2016 budget is discussed at Starmount's Annual Meeting on Sunday, February 7, immediately following worship in the Fellowship Hall.
30% has been allocated to be spent over the next five years to provide funding for new and existing ministries that further Starmount's mission and vision.
Session approved the Finance Committee's recommendation for distribution of funds for 2016 grants. More information in the upcoming months will be provided as construction and other measures begin. The eleven funded grants are:
- Renovation of the Fellowship Hall kitchen.
- Construction of a multipurpose building and shelter out by the community garden. This structure will provide shelter to Starmount's bus, a place to store tools for the community garden, and - because of the electricity and water at the structure - will be able to also be used for future outdoor events.
- New flooring for the 400 level of the church, including the library, choir room, and staff offices.
- Installation of motorized shades in the narthex, which will decrease the amount of shadows and visual disruptions in the sanctuary, particularly during this time of year.
- Photography services for future publications and Starmount's new website, which is anticipated to launch by the end of this month.
- Additional funding of the Susan White Helping Hands fund, providing financial aid to families in need of long-term funding.
- Installation of shade structures on the Preschool playgrounds, providing respite to the students and teachers during recess.
- Installation of equipment and software to provide live streaming of sanctuary events throughout the church.
- Partial funding for an additional video monitor in the sanctuary, allowing the choir and worship leadership to also see visual aids during sanctuary events.
- Provide funding for Starmount to become a Winter Emergency shelter for the 2016-2017 season, provided the space and facility would sufficiently meet a WE shelter's requirements.
- To hire a full-time, one-year seminary intern who would serve as staff, splitting time equally at Starmount and UKirk Greensboro.
Starmount has so much to be excited about in 2016. More information will continue to come out regarding these thrilling projects in the Star Press, in worship, and more. It is wonderful to see God at work!