Well, here it is already—my last blog as President of the Board of Trustees. I thank you all for the honor and the opportunity to serve Westside, a church that I have loved for 22 years. Because of the hard work of many people, I believe that we have made some real progress this year. And I believe that we are set to continue that progress as we move forward.
I think that one of the biggest things we have accomplished this year is to set the foundation for a sustainable financial future. We have established a Stewardship Committee that has engaged the Congregation to come up with ideas for improving our fiscal situation. And, for the first time in several years, we passed a balanced budget without dipping into our reserve funds. Thanks to the generosity of members and friends who increased their pledges, we did this with minimal reductions in church programs and activities. Also, we are well underway with efforts to promote our long-term sustainability by setting up funds to pay down the mortgage, replenish our reserve fund, and establish a long-term endowment fund.
As gratified as I am that these things were accomplished during my term, the credit for them goes to all the people who worked so hard to bring them about: the members of the Finance Committee, Endowment Committee, Stewardship Committee, Board of Trustees, and every member and friend of the congregation.
It is important to remember that the real work of our church is not in its finances, but in its ministries—worship, spiritual growth, caring for each other, fellowship, playing a positive role in our community. A stable and sustainable financial situation is just an underpinning to support these crucial ministries. So real thanks go to the Committee on Ministry, the Caring Connections Team, the Worship Committee, the music program, the RE committee and teachers, the coffee team, the book club, the Family Promise team, and all of you who work so hard to make our church wonderful, useful, and exciting. And special thanks go to Reverend Carol, who gives wise counsel and who, rather than pushing us in her chosen direction, helps us as a congregation define our own path and pursue it with enthusiasm.
I believe our future is bright. At the end of June, Gillian Hunt will take on the role of President of the Board of Trustees. I know she has the ability and character to build Westside's strength and support its important ministries. And I'm sure she will enjoy the same hard-working support and encouragement that I have.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve Westside. It has been one of my greatest honors.