By Kate Silfen, Church Historian | December 2023 Council Meeting Report
The Reverend John Edgerton opened our December Council with a reading of William Butler Yeats’ “Second Coming,” a poem that reflects the complicated Advent season we are experiencing due to the ongoing wars in the Middle East, Russia, and Ukraine. Council members gathered in small groups to share their wishes for this holiday season. Many wished for peace both at home and abroad.
Treasurer Bill Bulkeley provided a monthly update on the state of the Church’s finances. Our numbers continue to suggest that our projected deficit will be more than $100,000 less than anticipated. This is due to some unfilled positions and lower building expenses. Inflation is still high, and our endowment is reduced due to a lackluster stock market. Our building rental has also been down due to the Hollywood writer’s strike; movies are often filmed in our sanctuary. Bill anticipates that building rentals will increase now that the strike has passed. There will be more in-depth discussion about our future budget at our January meeting.
The December meeting was chock-full of motions for Council to approve. Council approved motions to designate John Edgerton and Ashley Poppseron as signers in banks where Old South has accounts. These include Citizens Bank, Santander Bank, and One United Bank. In addition, Council approved a motion to allow Kathleen Steen full-access to these accounts. Council also approved a motion to designate portions of John’s and Ashley’s compensations to go towards their housing allowances. Christian Service & Outreach Committee Chair Phil Dearing introduced a motion to have Council approve the awarding of grants to Justice 4 Housing, Common Cathedral, Legacy Lives On, and the Boston Higher Education Resource Center.
Members of committees and boards also offered several updates. The Deacons are planning to serve Communion once a month at Festival Worship. Christians in Formation chair Tim Longman is looking for ideas and suggestions for future community hour topics. Phil Stern encouraged council members to attend a GBIO in-district meeting.
Last but not least, John and council members welcomed Rachel Barton to Council in her new capacity as Assistant Minister and continued role as our Nancy S. Taylor Fellow. On that happy note, John closed our meeting with a reading from Dylan Thomas’”A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”