I want to extend my public appreciation to our Board of Trustees and other lay leaders. They have worked very hard over the last couple of months to address the unknown challenges of a global pandemic. They have had extra meetings and intense conversations about the safety of our building and the people who use it, whether and how long to pay staff, how to honor our polity with an online congregational meeting, how to manage pledging unknowns and revenue losses, and so much more. I suspect it was not evident to the average member, but a lot of planning went into the congregational meeting, including upgrading our Zoom account, learning the advanced settings of the technology, assigning roles, and providing information to the congregation in advance. In addition, our Treasurer, Steve Cohen, along with staff, waded through a very comprehensive loan application to gird up our financial stability. Members of the AV Team including Linda Sanders and Cinda Crane were especially instrumental in helping the Board navigate the technological aspects of meetings. I am very grateful to our Board of Trustees of this past year: Tracy Spinka-Doms, Mike McCabe, Deb Griffin, Carmen Bell-Delgado, Dale Megill, Phil Krape, Leslie Dickerson, Renee Anderson, Travis Laster, and Treasurer Steve Cohen.
I also extend my appreciation for our committed, hardworking staff who have done a remarkable job adapting to the challenges of the pandemic and all year long have been a supportive presence to me as I have been adjusting to my new role as Minister. In recent months, Catherine Williamson has led online classes and meetings for children and youth, and hosted family worship services. Marina VanRenssen has implemented stringent building protocols to keep us safe, worked with the EEC and other renters to discern next steps, helped lay leaders and staff adjust to online communications and prepare for the annual meeting, and so much more. Chrissy McCullin and Ernie Congo have been our steady presence in the building. Chrissy has been processing income and expenses, managing communications, and keeping up with the administrative work of the church. Ernie has been keeping our gardens looking beautiful, managing building projects, and keeping up with ongoing maintenance and repairs. Our custodians Lenell Laws, Mohamed Konate, and Cecil Williams have been diligently following new cleaning protocols and taking on additional projects to keep the building safe and in great shape.
There is so much behind-the-scenes work that helps us to live out our mission as a congregation, and I am especially moved by the ways in which all of these lay leaders and staff members have consistently lived out our values through their behind-the-scenes work. Thank you all for your compassion, love, joy, and commitment to justice.