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Annual Report 2018 St. Mary’s Episcopal Church Laguna Beach 


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Agenda St. Mary’s Annual Meeting, Jan. 21st 2018 Call to Order Declaration of Quorum According the By-Laws of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, sixty percent of members present in person shall constitute a quorum.

Appointment of Clerk Minutes of the Annual Meeting of January 2017 Nominations of Vestry Candidates Diocesan Convention Delegation 2018 Reports Report by Priest in Charge Report by Acting Treasurer Report by Sr. Warden Report by Jr. Warden Reflection on Ministry 2017 (Please see written reports)

Vestry Elections and Commissioning Thanksgiving to Outgoing Vestry members Closing Hymn Dismissal

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Priest in Charge Under Special Circumstances, Annual Report to members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach CA. Greetings of peace and hope in the name of Christ. I give thanks to God for the presence of the people of St. Mary’s in Laguna Beach. Thank you for the privilege to serve as your Priest in Charge. I have been spending time reading a small, yet powerful book by Michael Ramsey, Be still and know. The book affirms what a vital part of the Christian life prayer is. A challenging but important way to God. The verb used in the Epistle to the Hebrews to describe the prayer of the ascended Jesus, means ‘to be with’ or ‘encounter’ rather than to plead or speak petitions. May we think of prayer at St. Mary’s as our way of being with God and one another. This is very much like spending time with a friend. We create the space to spend time with a friend, yet the use of the time is not organized in a specific manner, but within the time of gathering we may experience gratitude, regrets, news, talking, listening and gesture. May our time our prayer and common life be like this with God. To be with God wondering, that is adoration. When we are with God gratefully, that is thanksgiving. To be with God as we hold others on our hearts and minds, that is intercession. May we spend time with God and one another this year in prayer, as we discern together a way to nurture our new, emerging Sunday School. May God disturb you as you explore where in the life of our Church you are called to be in ministry. May we explore our new relationship with our Pack 734 and wonder with the cub scouts how God is calling us to be present in the neighborhood. May we wonder in prayer with God and each other how we repair the lower Guild Hall and offer a space for all kinds of groups in our community. May we spend more time together in joy and fellowship. May we spend time with God and one another in discipleship. This means learning together, breaking bread together and playing together. I look forward to a Lenten Christian Formation evening during the week to supplement our Sunday Morning Christian Education hour. Let us show the neighborhood a path to a hopeful future. Let us show the value of compassion and fellowship amidst the current social divide. Let us live deeper into ‘seeing’ and recognize deeper, the presence of the holy in the lives of my neighbor. Let us explore once again the scripture narratives that affirm the importance of recognizing and ‘seeing’ my neighbor. Thank you for your presence, thank you for your time, thank you for your talents and thank you for the sharing of your treasure. I am blessed to journey with you and your loved ones. pax et bonum Fr. Lester+

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2018 Vestry Candidate Bios JULIANNA VAN DEN BERG I am originally from Australia and have lived in the U.S. since 1992. My husband and I moved here for his job. Originally it was scheduled for 3 years, but life took over. I was born and grew up in the nation’s capital, Canberra and was raised a Catholic, and went to church regularly. In the early 80’s I became disillusioned with the Catholic Church, so I stopped attending for 10 years. My husband, Paul and I have two beautiful adult daughters who were born in the U.S. Our eldest, Courtney, works and lives in L.A. and our youngest, Sarah, recently moved to Spokane, Washington to study. We have lived in Denver, CO and Lansdale, PA, but have spent 20 years here in Laguna Niguel. I was introduced to St. Mary’s by a neighbor around 1997, and it’s where I found what I was looking for. I felt welcomed and so I embraced my new faith and was baptized as an Episcopalian a few years later. I have been very involved in several ministries in the Church. In 2005, I was part of a group for the Katrina Relief, where we spent a week volunteering to clean up, paint, etc. I have also been a member of ECW (Episcopal Church Women), and have held various positions over the years, which include Secretary for several years, President in 2013 and again in 2017. I was re-elected as President for 2018. Other ministries that I am involved in include “Ushering”, and being part of the “Hospitality” group. I also enjoy being part of the Supper Club and getting to know my fellow parishioners. Outside of the church, I am a Board member for LNYSA (Laguna Niguel Soccer Association). My passion is fostering dogs, which I continue to do since 2010. It is so rewarding when a dog finds their forever home. I love to spend time with my family, socialize with friends, play tennis, and take our golden-doodle, Finn, for walks. This is my first time on the Vestry, and I decided to accept the nomination as I wanted to be an integral part in helping St. Mary’s become an active and vibrant church again and help it reach its full potential, as well as bringing more young families and children to the Church.

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TERRY MOORE

Terry Moore moved to the area 18 months ago, relocating from the Philadelphia Metropolitan area. Currently, He is the CFO at St Mary’s IB World School, Aliso Viejo. For the past 20 years Terry was independent School Management’s (Wilmington, DE) Executive Consultant serving private schools worldwide. His expertise is non-profit business modeling, board and leadership structure and function, non-profit board training, and strategic planning. He has served on numerous boards - both church and non-Profit - and is excited by the opportunity to serve at St Mary’s. He believes the keys to dynamic church growth are actually simple Relevant preaching, deeply meaningful music rooted in our Anglo- catholic tradition, and powerful fellowship that leads to meaningful relationships. When you get the church simultaneously moving towards these three goals people come and they commit. He is married to Tim Harbison and has 5 grown children and one grandson.

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MICHAEL METZLER Michael has had a lifetime passion of contributing to a team-oriented environment leading him to choose an educational and career path in organizational development. He has enjoyed 37 years of experience as a CEO of four separate nonprofit organizations using his training and skills in strategic architecture, governance, management, and financial development. An only child raised in a career Marine Corps family, Mike’s character was formed by honor, duty, and humility that laid the groundwork for his sense of teamwork, fair play and public responsibility. His relationship skills were honed by his family’s repeated displacements causing him to be the “new kid” which required physically and emotionally adapting, social agility, and personal integrity that have been integral throughout his life. Serving on public and private corporate boards, government commissions, regional, state, and national associations, Mike has expertise in building effective relationships between board members, staff and shareholders/stakeholders. He currently serves as Chairman and Executive Director of The Values Institute, a strategic think tank/philanthropic organization whose purpose is to revitalize the human condition of underserved communities through values-based learning systems. He’s also Chief Operating Officer of Higher Ground Consulting that creates values-based operating cultures for business clients resulting in trustworthy relationships and improved performance.

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GARY MANGIOFICO

My involvement in St. Mary's, in summary, has been: •

Started attending in 2005, member in 2007

Served previously on the Vestry for two years

Served as Chair, Adult Education/ Spiritual Formation from 2010 to 2017

Perform as Server for 8am services since 2009

Represent Outreach Ministries to 8am parishioners

Trained as LEM under Elizabeth Rector+ (Provided hospital and home-based services)

Served on Finance Committee for several years

Elected to the Episcopal Vergers Guild in 2017

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Report by Assisting Priests Giving Thanks for Our Alaska Native Episcopalians and Your Support! Will and Mary Crist appreciate the prayers for our mission work in the Diocese of Alaska, and give thanks to all of you at St. Mary's for your encouragement. This year the ECW provided $300 for a metal "Episcopal Church Welcomes You" sign which was attached to the building for Holy Trinity Church in Circle, Alaska. The previous sign had floated down the river along with the church building during the flood a year earlier! Volunteers from an evangelical church in Tennessee restored the church building to its foundation during the summer, but the sign was long gone. Now it's back!

We spent this Christmas in Fort Yukon at St. Stephen's. Nancy James, the lay leader in charge of the church, is also the First Chief of the Gwitch'in Athabascan Tribal Council. She drove us around in her vintage orange pickup truck to take Holy Communion to twelve elders. We named her truck the Snow Warrior. It was 24 below zero, a heatwave for Fort Yukon this time of year. We took turns being celebrant and preacher for three services, and attended the children's Nativity Service, the family party at the Community Hall, and several dinners. The hospitality of the people is wonderful, and typical for any Native Episcopal gathering, no one goes home hungry, and the elders go home with food to eat for the next day or two.

After a quick flight back to Fairbanks, we were on the bush plane again headed for Hughes, Alaska, about 40 miles above the Arctic Circle. Wind and fog prevented our landing. After two more tries, we had to cancel the trip to Hughes this year.

The Episcopal Diocese of Alaska is an amazing place to do ministry. The people we serve are self-reliant, They have been loyal to the Episcopal Annual Report, Page 8


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Church for over 100 years, even though most villages are without clergy. Bishop Mark Lattime is doing a great job of training lay leaders to serve in the village churches, and he welcomes volunteer clergy to do what we do whenever we can. The diocese provides airfare for travel within Alaska, but volunteer clergy are self-funding for other expenses. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve God's people in the last frontier. We have learned many lessons from them. (If you are reading this document online, please click the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5iBic8Laos to watch the video) Please keep them in your prayers, as they are truly our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Revs. Will and Mary Crist

St. Stephen’s Church, Fort Yukon, Alaska

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TREASURER’S REPORT YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2017 There is ample evidence of a resurgence in the spiritual growth and vitality that is taking place here at St. Mary’s. We have Father Lester Mackenzie to thank for the thought provoking, challenging and stimulating messages and musings he has delivered to us throughout the year; as well as his commitment and contributions to the steady growth in the number of individuals and families in attendance at St. Mary’s experienced over the past 16 months. There is, as well, ample evidence of a corresponding resurgence in the financial health of the parish. I believe these trends are related, interdependent and synergistic with, one complementing and nourishing the other. Again, thank you Father Lester! At this point, I would like to share the following information and observations with you about our finances: Regarding the Year ended December 31, 2017 1. We are prudently building a solid financial platform to launch an exciting new chapter in St. Mary’s long and storied history. Our combined cash resources have grown by approximately $188,500 over the past three years and stand at $297, 297 at December 31, 2017, providing us with our highest level of liquidity since 2008. Our Working Capital totaled $201,994 at year end 2017. 2. In 2017, we achieved a net operating income of $45,218; $40,384 or (935%) over our budget. Over the past three years, net operating income totaled $129,694. 3. Total operating income in 2017 was $359,674, $37,453 or (11.6%) above budget. 4. Total pledge and non-pledge contributions in 2017 totaled $256,621; $30,621 or (13.5%) above budget. while Non-pledge contributions amounted to $47,501, $17,501 or $158.3% above budget. We, need to remind and encourage parishioners who have not as yet formally pledged, but are regular contributors to St. Mary’s, to consider a formal pledge for 2018. Doing so would enable us to more accurately and effectively plan and budget our financial resources in 2018. 5. Total operating expenses incurred in 2017 were $314,456, $2,931 (1%) below budget with no large deviations in any expense categories from budgeted amounts. 6. Included in 2017 income is a cash subsidy of $51,693 from the Los Angeles Diocese related to the agreement that brought Father Lester to St. Mary’s in September 2016 as discussed in my report provided to you at last year’s annual meeting. The agreement, which ends August 31, 2018, will provide a cash subsidy of an additional $34,463 in 2018.

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Based on the foregoing, we should look forward, with confidence and optimism, to a robust, productive and eventful 2018. 2018 and Beyond We need to bear in mind that the current agreement with the Los Angeles Diocese with respect to Father Lester terminates on August 31, 2018 and will impact our financial planning and the use of our financial resources during 2018 and beyond. Accordingly, as 2018 commences and our new Vestry and Finance Committee are formed, we will need to thoughtfully consider various budget scenarios taking this fact into account before the final adoption of our 2018 operating budget. This process should be completed by the end of February or shortly thereafter. In the interim we will operate by reference to the 2017 budget. We shall keep you informed as we develop our plans related to these matters. *************************************************************** In closing, I wish to thank each of you who contribute your time, talent and financial resources to St. Mary’s and its various ministries. Without your support we would not have the availability of this sanctuary, our spiritual home, and the opportunity to join one another in the various activities that are undertaken by St. Mary’s throughout the year and enrich our lives and this community. I also wish to acknowledge and express my appreciation for the weekly efforts cheerfully offered by Claudia Mellon and Mary Hill who account and prepare reports for the individual contributions made to St. Mary’s as well as Elaine Nadlin our departing office manager. Finally, I wish to acknowledge and recognize the work of Ann Jones the Treasurer of our ECW group. Her careful and professional reports keep me and the ECW Special Fund in balance. Respectfully and faithfully submitted, Dick Swintek NOTE: UNAUDITED INTERNALLY PREPARED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOLLOW THIS LETTER, AS WELL AS AN INDEPENDENT OUTSIDE REVIEW REPORT ON OUR FINANCIAL STATEMENTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2016.

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The Senior Warden’s 2018 Annual Report One year ago today at our Vestry Retreat in Santa Barbara, Fr. Lester invited me to accept the position of Senior Warden of St. Mary’s and I accepted. I was humbled and honored by the opportunity, most grateful to Lester for his trust, and supported by a talented and dedicated Vestry. Much of our time at the retreat was devoted to getting to know one another better, and to organize the Vestry according to the important Committees and Ministries of St. Mary’s: Vestry Committee/Ministry Alignments for 2017: •

Sunday Services – Tina Tipps, Nancy Wallis

Communications – Jorge Cortes, Shanna George, Mark Clymer

Finance/Stewardship – Lester Mackenzie, Mark Clymer, Dick Swintek

Christian Education/Sunday School – Lester Mackenzie, Ria Rhea

Building and Grounds – Larry Spang, Jane Riedel, Ria Rhea

Outreach – Tina Tipps, Jim Van Gaasbeek

Inreach – Carol Freeborn

A Vestry Rotation schedule was also established, so that the Vestry would be represented at both Sunday services as the Face of the Vestry; being present for special announcements, and available for inquiries and suggestions from members of the parish. A Mutual Ministry Review of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, was conducted by the Vestry and the Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie, in conjunction with the Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius of the Diocese of Los Angeles, on Saturday April 29, 2017, from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The following were present for the MMR: the Rev. Lester V. Mackenzie, Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius, Mark Clymer, Larry Spang, Jane Riedel, Tom Davis, Jim Van Gaasbeek, Tina Tipps, Ria Rhea, Shanna George, Dick Swintek, and Nancy Wallis. The purpose of the MMR is a critical assessment of performance of the ministries as the leadership team to review where our ministries are and how we are moving forward. Annual Report, Page 12


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The process used was “Mutual Invitation” where one person begins their reflections uninterrupted on the topic under discussion, after being called upon. Everyone was subsequently invited to contribute their views on each topic. The notes captured on each topic will be valuable as a benchmark for the next six-month review. Eleven topics were reviewed during the MMR: Fellowship, Welcoming Newcomers, Communication, Community, Servant Leadership, Adult Education Programs, Christian Education for Children, Taking Care of Our Facilities, Spiritual Vitality, Stewardship and Finance, and Fulfilling our Mission. A report of Mutual Ministry Review was prepared and shared with the parish on Sunday May 28, 2017. The next Mutual Ministry Review will be held on Saturday March 3, 2018, with the Rev. Canon Joanna Satorius, and the Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy. In July 2017, St. Mary’s had the honor of welcoming a Bishop in Residence, the Rt. Rev. Edward Mackenzie, the retired Bishop Suffragan of Cape Town in the Anglican Church of South Africa. It was indeed an honor to welcome Lester’s Grandfather Bishop Mackenzie and Grandmother Sylvia-Rose Mackenzie to St. Mary’s. On July 8, 2017 saw the ordination and consecration of the John Harvey Taylor as Bishop Coadjuter of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. In a “grand fiesta” of celebration highlighting the diocese’s rich cultural diversity and its focus on mission. Korean drummers, Chinese dancers and a mariachi band led processions of bishops from across the Episcopal Church as about 3,000 laity, clergy, ecumenical visitors, interfaith guests and civic leaders gathered for the service at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles. Another 8,000 watched the celebration by live-streamed video. Banners representing the diocese’s 140 congregations and institutions lined the pavilion’s entryway prior to the start of the service. Taylor chose the theme “Feeding Hungry Hearts” for both the consecration service and his episcopate. Over the summer, an analysis of the audio system was conducted to identify replacement microphone needs and determine next steps in acquiring assisted listening devices for the Sanctuary. A new lectern microphone was purchased and installed, and a head-worn microphone was acquired for Lester’s use. In October 2017, a radio frequency assisted listening system

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with four receivers was purchased and installed into the audio rack. Feedback from those parishioners using the devices has been positive. On December 1 and 2, I was a delegate to the Annual Los Angeles Diocesan Convention, at the Ontario Convention Center, along with Pat August, Nancy Wallis, Lester Mackenzie, and Will Crist. During the opening Eucharist, The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Sixth Bishop Diocesan of the Diocese of Los Angeles, passed the Bishop’s Crozier to the Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, making him the Seventh Bishop Diocesan. A highlight of the Bishop’s address was his explanation of the theme “Feeding Hungry Hearts,” based on the Bruce Springsteen song “Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart.” Bishop Taylor explained that people are hungry for meaning in their lives, communities of connection, justice, and the means of a dignified life. My deepest thanks to the 2017 Vestry for their tireless work for St. Mary’s, and support for me this year. A very special thank you to our Treasurer Dick Swintek for your sound counsel and financial acumen. Many thanks to our Clerk of the Vestry Claudia Mellin for diligently recording our Vestry Meetings. Finally, my gratitude to Lester for his kindness, leadership, and strength.

Blessings and Peace, Mark L. Clymer Senior Warden, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

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ECW Report – 2017 All women of the church are invited to join ECW and support the church through worship, service, gifts and fellowship. We have several fundraisers during the year that we hope will promote and encourage the sense of community within St. Mary’s, Laguna Beach, nationally and internationally. We meet the second Tuesday of the month in a member’s home as well as after church in the Guild Hall a few times this year, so as to encourage those who do not like driving a night to continue their fellowship with us. We enjoy a delicious pot luck dinner and increase our fellowship while we transact business. The Sunday afternoon meetings have been very successful and enjoyable. This year we are adding several more. We had a number of successful Fundraisers, which included several soup and salad luncheons, the Bratwurst lunch which was held after the Blessing of the Animals, and the Easter Bake and Easter Hat sale. The top Fundraiser we had was Bingo, where we served lunch and had beautiful gift baskets as prizes. This was so successful, we will be holding this event again in 2018. We cohosted the Carol Sing-along, Christmas Bizarre and Silent Auction in December with the Vestry. It was very successful as a fundraiser and was very popular with the congregation. Every year the proceeds from these various activities are then donated to outreach - either locally, in the United States or internationally. This past year we were able to give to the following: •

Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD)

$200

ECW, Diocese of Los Angeles

$100

Laguna Food Pantry

Muhangi Church, Diocese of Rwenzori, Uganda

$400

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Circle, Alaska

$300

$500

$1,500 Donations to St. Mary’s Church – we also donated funds where the need arose to help improve and maintain our own Church: •

Garden Irrigation

$300

Handrail by Guild Hall

$950

Round Tables for Guild Hall

$500 $1,750

The two Outreach donations for Africa and Alaska are a result of two of our member’s association with these Churches. The female priest in Uganda where we have donated money was to help buy doors for the church, which has now been built, also with our help from prior donations. The Muhangi Church is headed up by the daughter of one of our much beloved, but

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deceased, former parishioners Glenetta and Jim Farrell. We also donate to the Holy Trinity Church in Alaska, with which two of our Parishioners, Will and Mary Crist, are very involved. We thank everyone for their support and encouragement, and look forward to another exciting and successful year.

Julianna Van Den Berg President - ECW

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ALTAR GUILD - 2018 A big thank you from Altar Guild to everyone who donates flowers during the year and at the two festival seasons of Christmas and Easter. These donations enable us to decorate the church and enhance our celebration of Jesus’ birth and resurrection. We are also grateful to members of the congregation who help set up and clean up after these celebrations. Many hands make light work. Speaking of flowers; a special thank you to Claudia Mellins, Linda Bratcher and Carrie Joyce. These ladies regularly pick up the flowers for the church, saving the church the delivery fee and allowing the donated flower money to go farther in the budget. Another big thank you to Judy McKay who faithfully did it for many years also. Our members make sure that the proper Eucharistic set up is ready for every service during the year; that the linens used during the Eucharist are lovingly handwashed and returned for use, that the silver is polished, the altar linens changed. This is a quiet but wonderful ministry. If you are interested in becoming part of this ministry, please speak to the Rev. Lester McKenzie or me. We have several openings and would love to have you join us. Men are welcome to join too. We are currently looking for donations for oil burning candles for the pew candles and for more stable pew candles than the current ones which were a donation from St. Margaret’s of Scotland. If you are interested in donating, please contact me. The current members of Altar Guild are: Susan Jones, Gigi Meeker, Pat August, Claudia Mellins, Ruth & Ray Jung, Carrie Joyce, Helen Meyer, Nancy Sellas and Spence McIntyre. Our special thanks go out to Spence for his continuing and dedicated help at the both services. Pat August, Altar Guild Directress

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2017 HOSPITALITY AFTER 10:30 SERVICE REPORT

This ministry provides an opportunity for people to socialize after the 10:30 service in the Guild Hall. We provide coffee and light food. It is a comfortable environment for newcomers, visitors and members to interact with each other. Several volunteers make this ministry a success. Some have been members for several years. Duties include preparing the room, making the coffee, bringing the food, and cleanup. Some members do it all on their assigned date while others split the duties. Assignments are generally scheduled every other month. Current members are: Ann Jones, Barbara & Jim Van Gaasbeek, Claudia Mellin, Cristina Calderone & John Lombardo, Ed Merrilees, Linda Mayer, Gigi Meeker, Joslyn Aitken, Julianna Van Den Berg, Linell Nevius, Leslie Derrick, Tina Tipps, Mary Hill, Nancy Sellas, Nancy Wallis, Shanna George, Suzy Horaney, Terry Moore, and Tim Harbison. You are all greatly appreciated! A special thank you to Julianna Van Den Berg for also preparing the schedules. Blessings, Mary Hill

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Outreach Child Survival Kits St Mary’s Lenten Outreach Program raised funds for Child Survival Kits provided by World Vision. These survival kits contain such items as lifesaving medicines, essential vitamins, emergency nutrition and rehydration packs. A total of $2,158.00 was raised, which when multiplied by 12, thanks to World Vision’s corporate partners’ generosity, meant that $25,896.00 of relief aid was actually sent to sick and starving children around the world.

Disaster Relief – Hygiene Items Drive In October 2017, the church ran a Disaster Relief – Hygiene Items Drive, to benefit the survivors of the many recent hurricanes and earthquakes. Seven boxes were filled with soaps, shampoos, toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste, diapers and deodorants. The boxes were delivered to Giving Children Hope in Buena Park, to be sent on the next 40 foot seagoing container to those in need in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Food for Laguna Beach Teen Shelter, and a Goat for Africa In December 2017, St Mary’s Sunday School children provided 20 brown bag lunches for the Teen Shelter. They decorated the bags beautifully, then formed a food production line making sandwiches, and putting cookies, fruit, and chips into the bags until they were full. Father Lester delivered their gifts to the shelter. As a reward for working so hard and so well together, a goat was sent in the children’s name to an impoverished family in Africa, through ERD’s Program. This was a wonderful start to the children learning about outreach and making a difference in people’s lives.

The Shoe that Grows St Mary’s Advent Outreach Program raised $2,250.00 in order to purchase 150 pairs of these ingenious shoes which grow in size to match the growth of impoverished children’s feet, and which protect the children from the misery of parasitic diseases. The 150 pairs of shoes will be sent to a mission in Botswana. With deepest gratitude to all who so generously and faithfully contributed to these and other causes. Thank you! Respectfully submitted, Barbara van Gaasbeek - Chair of Outreach Annual Report, Page 19


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2017 Annual report InReach Men’s Bible Study Men's bible study has continue in 2017, as it has for over ten years, providing fellowship and growth in the understanding of God's word. The St Mary's Christian men meet in the church parish office on Thursdays at 8:00 am. This is a very cohesive group with a goal to study scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to teach them what it means for them today. The group opens and closes in prayer. They do not have a strict format, they read scripture and then pause for reflection. The group is currently studying Acts. They read several passages and then pause for reflection. The group does not actively recruit but welcomes those who wants to join them weekly or just stop by when able. Afterwards, they enjoy having breakfast together at a local Laguna restaurant. Thursday's 8:00 in church office. Prayer team Father Lester leads us in prayer each week for the needs of the church, and they are listed in the bulletin. An ongoing prayer team has always been present at St Mary’s but perhaps not formalized. In 2017, requests were made to create an email blast, with the parish’s weekly needs, along with church goals. Those of you interested in being a part of a prayer team, or have ideas to formalize the team, please contact Carol Freeborn, 949-485-8594. This will be readdressed in 2018 with the Vestry. ECW- Episcopal Women’s Group Meets second Tuesday at 6:00 pm, at church or in other women’s homes. Yearly raise money through bake sales, Christmas bazars, and other activities. This section is reported on by Julianna VanDenBerg, ECW President. Lectio Divina Lectio Divina, literally meaning "divine reading," is an ancient practice of praying the Scriptures. During Lectio Divina, the practitioner listens to the text of the Bible with the "ear of the heart," as if he or she is in conversation with God, and God is suggesting the topics for discussion. The method of Lectio Divina includes moments of reading (lectio), reflecting on (meditatio), responding to (oratio) and resting in (contemplatio) the Word of God with the aim of nourishing and deepening one's relationship with the Divine. Members of our church continue to develop their relationship with our Lord from their discipline of attending Lectio Divina at St Mary's every Monday at 5:00 pm.

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Centering Prayer Centering Prayer is a receptive method of silent prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplative prayer, prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. Centering Prayer is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer  verbal, mental or affective prayer into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Christ. Centering prayer at St Mary's follows Lectio Divina on Mondays at 5:30pm. Healing service with Communion In 2017 the amazing service continues quietly every Tuesday at 10:00 am. This service provides quiet reflection on the healing needs of individuals and the world. Communion is offered at each service. Taize Another very spiritual and reflective service has continued in 2017. This occurs on the 31st Monday of each month 7:00 pm. As with all services at St Mary's it is open to the public. Caregiver Support group Members of the Parish and community meet the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 pm to offer support and resources for those currently caring for others, or anticipate caring for someone. 2017 marked the third year the group has been meeting. The group is facilitated by Carol Freeborn RN BSN and Daniel Haspert MD who provides a safe environment to share feelings and issues. They are able to offer valuable resources and methods to advocate for quality care in the world of healthcare. The group members offers their support to each other through first hand experience. In addition, the group now provides bereavement support. In 2018 the group has decided we should offer our support group and resources to other churches in Laguna and surrounding areas. The group invites you to join us and let us help you, help us on the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 pm. Support calls and visits Visits to anyone unable to attend church, Hospital visits. Home holy communion. Many thanks to those who have silently done the work of home and facility visits. In 2018 Father Lester is bringing together a team to do this important work. Annual Report, Page 21


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At this time we request your prayers for God’s guidance in expanding this much needed ministry. Please contact Carol Freeborn or Father Lester with your ideas, needs and if you would like to help grow this ministry. Transportation to church activities Starting in 2017, transportation is now available to the church services and activities by calling church office The transportation is provided by members of St Mary’s church, and volunteers are always needed to transport from surrounding areas, Dana point, Laguna Niguel, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills. Please contact Carol Freeborn if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

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2017 Music Report 2017 was another year of spiritual and musical growth on many levels for St. Mary’s Choir. We are delighted to welcome three new members this year, Soprano Stephanie Metzler, and TWO BASSES, Arthur Estrada and Terry Moore! We have continued to have the privilege of singing together some of the most beautiful sacred music ever written under the guidance of our remarkably gifted, loving and dedicated musical director Bob Gunn. We have grown to become a truly remarkable choir. We are very grateful for the dedication and service of: Sopranos: Joslyn Aiken, Carrie Joyce, Shauna McFadden, Jane Riedel, Tina Tipps, and Stephanie Metzler Altos: Shanna George, Pat Kollenda, Donna Phillips, Laura Stallone and Karen Zfaty Tenors: Will Crist, Tom Davis, and Rebecca Lyles Basses: Arthur Estrada, Terry Moore We welcome to our choir family all who would come to help us lead worship. As I always mention, there are many reasons we are drawn to sing in St. Mary’s Choir, including: 1. The opportunity to accomplish something together that none of us can do alone: to sing together - in harmony – to the glory of God. 2. The opportunity to read, hear, sing and meditate on words of truth, love, peace, joy and hope. In rehearsal, as we hone each passage, the repetition moves those words into the deepest parts of our souls – and they reside there with us throughout our lives, reminding us of God’s unfailing love for us. 3. The opportunity to serve God and to serve our parish family. 4. The opportunity to prepare for and glimpse heaven’s choir singing along with us. 5. The opportunity to experience and participate in the art of beautiful poetry, melody and harmony. 6. The opportunity to exercise our intellects – singing requires both sides of the brain simultaneously. 7. The opportunity to be part of a close family within the parish family. Working and worshiping together for four hours each week draws us close. We rejoice together and bear each others’ burdens. 8. The opportunity to leave the stresses of life behind by such focus that everything else fades away, and, then, to return calm and energized. Our choir is privileged to do all of these things under the direction of our very gifted, dedicated, loving and funny Musical Director, Bob Gunn. Bob demands excellence in the gentlest, most humorous ways. He leads us to sing better than we really can. His beautiful piano

Annual Report, Page 23


SMLB
 January 21, 2018

improvisations during communion and other moments in the service lead us into intimacy with God. As every choir member would tell you, we are extraordinarily blessed to be able to make music and serve our parish under his direction. As we prepare for the music of Sunday mornings – hymns, responses, psalms, offertories, and communion – and as we prepare for special seasons and feasts – Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter, we sing with joy and gratitude and we look forward to moving into this new year singing God’s praises! Karen Zfaty, Choir President

Laguna Beach Interfaith Council Ann Sloan Jones As St. Mary’s representative to the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council, I have attended meetings and shared information with Fr. Lester and Jim Van Gaasbeek, Vestry liaison, as well as the congregation. The Interfaith Mission Statement is: Our purpose is to further communication and cooperation among the faith groups of Laguna Beach and the community social service organizations to serve the needs of this community, especially the needs of the poor, the sick and the disenfranchised. The Interfaith Council is most appreciative of St. Mary’s hosting the 2017 Community Thanksgiving Service and the Laguna Food Pantry food drive. You are encouraged to attend the National Day of Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, May 3, at Laguna Beach Mission Hospital, which is sponsored by the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council.

Annual Report, Page 24


SMLB
 January 21, 2018

Communications Task Force Communications is an integral and essential component in keeping parishioners and the community of Laguna Beach informed as to what is going on at St. Mary’s. The three areas of focus for Communications are audience, content/messages, and tools/channels. The Communications Task Force made a more conscious effort of ensuring that multiple avenues of communication were pursued in 2017. Below are highlights from the year: -

Published an updated directory of all parishioners;

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Issued a newsletter, The Lighthouse, which included reflections, insights, and announcements about the community;

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Recorded 33 sermons delivered on Sundays and uploaded them to the St. Mary’s YouTube channel;

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Ran ads in the local newspapers announcing services for Easter and Christmas;

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Streamlined the contents of the weekly email blasts;

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Increased the frequency of posts, pictures and announcements, on social media, primarily on Facebook and Instagram;

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Enrolled in the Ralphs Community Rewards program allowing shoppers to select St. Mary’s as a charity that earns a percentage of purchases;

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Promoted the Amazon Smile program that gives St. Mary’s 0.5% of purchases made after selecting the charity;

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Created new banners for the Christmas Bazaar and Christmas Services;

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Opened an account with PayPal to facilitate the acceptance of credit card payments or donations;

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Began utilizing local bulletin boards to post flyers on events at St. Mary’s;

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Enrolled in Christian Pages, which is a directory of South Orange County churches;

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Conducted a clean-up of outdated information on the St. Mary’s website; and

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Began including more announcement and contact information in the printed Sunday bulletins.

The Communications Task Force will continue to evolve in 2018. Everyone’s input is key to ensure that the information sought is delivered in the means requested. If you are looking for ways to get involved, the Communications Task Force could certainly use your help in any capacity. We encourage everyone to take pictures and videos at events and forward them to the Communications Task Force for uploading and distribution. Please contact Jorge Cortes, Shanna George, or Ria Rhea for more details.

Annual Report, Page 25


SMLB
 January 21, 2018

Annual Report, Page 26

St. Mary's Episcopal Church Annual Report 2018  

This is the Annual Report for the Annual Meeting of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach in the Diocese of Los Angeles, CA.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church Annual Report 2018  

This is the Annual Report for the Annual Meeting of St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach in the Diocese of Los Angeles, CA.

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