We held our second retreat, to formalize the objectives we discussed over the summer, on Saturday, October 16 in Geisser Hall. When Father Mike retires, the Vestry and members of the parish will assume many of the operational responsibilities that traditionally have been handled by the rector or the priest-in-charge. This meeting broke down those responsibilities into six different groups, which includes a leader who will serve as a liason to the Vestry. The notes below were taken by Rae-Ann Algiere, the clerk of the parish.



Leader and Vestry representative: Vera Toro

Members: Paul Baligian, Rick Burlingame, Eduardo Espinal, Emilio Marte, Wes Wright

Notes from Rae-Ann: Vera reported on some of the ideas/projects that need to be addressed and that this ministry will put together a plan going forward to accomplish them. Among the ideas suggested in addition to the items that require outside contractors to do was possibly doing some landscaping for the front of the church to make it attractive to people as they pass by and maybe encourage new parishioners. Another possible idea is to decorate the front of the church with Christmas lights for the upcoming season. Also, maybe making a banner that we can put on the side of the building to give Ascension a more "public presence".

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Leaders and Vestry representatives: Judy Walker and Yngrid De Los Santos

English congregation members: Evelyn Baker, Penny Titterington, Vera Toro, Judy Walker

Notes from Rae-Ann: This group has several very excellent ideas to promote education/youth activities here at Ascension. They will all be doing some research into various items and resources available for education and present them at a meeting of their group October 30. They are very eager to restart our Sunday school program hopefully by December 1, and they will be looking into ways they can encourage parents in our community to bring their children to church school. Among ways to reach out to parents is to get a list of children baptized at Ascension in the last six years and reach out to them. Some ideas that might appeal to children are crafts such as making Advent wreaths, having a Christmas pageant. One thing that will need to be address is somehow creating different age groups so as to appeal to them all and meet their interests and abilities. We could also put up a banner that would be used to attract families.

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Communications: Art Martone (leader), Paul Baligian, Cindy Rollins, Jose Rosario (video Spanish service)

Notes from Rae-Ann: This could be done partially via social media exposure (Facebook and the like). We could also hold different events such as bingo that would draw in the general community and help them become familiar with Ascension. Also, they can put together special events such as our annual picnic, bilingual services and special celebrations. Art asked that anyone who has any expertise in the field of making a website contact him so we can update and make our website more appealing to attract potential parishioners.

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Leader and Vestry representative: Eduardo Espinal

English congregation members: Jean Field, Linda Moss (visitation), Corrine Pichette (prayer shawls), Fay Whiteside (phone outreach)

Notes from Rae-Ann: Evangelism means “to invite”. The Latino congregation has already been reaching out to the community by going door to door. This is very much a more one-to-one relationship with the community as we reach out to individual people/families. We can also maybe do a mission pamphlet that we could give to people pointing out what Ascension is all about and what our mission is.

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Leaders and Vestry representatives: Rick Burlingame and Art Martone

Fundraising and Events: Rae-Ann Algiere, Donna Burlingame, Doris Espinal, Wendy Johnson, Hope Kirkconnell, Diane Martell, Sarah Mills, Daphne Owens, Cindy Rollins, Judy Walker

Stewardship: Susan Wright (leader), Rae-Ann Algiere, Jean Field, Diane Martell, Jose Rosario

Audit/accounting: Rick Burlingame (leader), Paul Baligian, Carla De Los Santos, Art Martone

Notes from Rae-Ann: A sub-committee of this ministry held a Zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 19 to discuss ideas for some fundraising events.

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Leader and Vestry representative: Susan Wright

English congregation members: Rae-Ann Algiere, Evelyn Baker (lector), Paul Baligian (acolyte/chalice), Chris Faria (lector/acolyte/chalice bearer), Jean Field (lector), Jack Kirkconnell, Diane Martell (lector), Art Martone (scheduling), Linda Moss (music), Daphne Owens (lector/music), Cindy Rollins (music), Ed Seaholm (music), Penny Titterington (lector), Vera Toro (acolyte), Susan Wright (lector/chalice bearer), Wes Wright (lector/music)

Altar Guild: Corrine Pichette (leader), Rae-Ann Algiere, Doris Espinal, Chris Faria, Jean Field, Art Martone, Kim Martone, Conor O'Brien, Leo Pichette, Grace Varghese

Notes from Rae-Ann: Among the items discussed were sharing our vision/ideas with our clergy. We should do more to promote lay leaders. Recommendations for the Anglican congregation are special blessings at the end of the service on Sunday like Mercedes has done in the past (such as birthdays). Maybe we can occasionally practice new music that we are not familiar with, and maybe introduce different types of services that are inclusive of various needs/interests of our congregants such as being gender inclusive. Also, encourage the Latino congregation to become involved in the week-to-week operations of the Altar Guild. We need to strive to make our liturgy more meaningful and inclusive to people who attend.

Also, Yngrid pointed out that she has been holding a prayer/healing ministry every Friday for the last 104 weeks. They offer physical, emotional and mental health support at the service.