From the Dean: January 26, 2018

What about the Strategic Plan? The capital campaign and building project has been an  important and successful part of our congregational life for the past few years. This work, however, reflects only one small part of our strategic plan. To refresh your memory, the Strategic Plan identified five priorities: Living our Christian Faith, Widening Circles, Education, Marketing and Evangelism, Stewardship, and Leadership. The official name of St. Luke’s is the Cathedral Church of St. Luke. With its focus on worship, newcomers, and care for one another, “Living our Christian Faith” is about our life as a church. With its focus on serving others, being a leader in the wider community, and reaching beyond ourselves, “Widening Circles” is about how we live our lives as a Cathedral. The remaining priorities provide the tools and resources to make the first two take place. The goals underneath this are to seek and respond to God’s vision for the cathedral, to better fill the mission God has given us, and to grow in physical and spiritual ways.

This plan has been the inspiration behind many of our efforts in 2017. For example, the sub categories under Living the Christian faith include worship, ably led by Albert Melton and the choir, David Savage, Thurl Headen and the vergers, our clergy, and so many others. Also listed is a desire for regular pastoral visits, now ably done by our Eucharistic visitors. This area also includes newcomers, currently a focus of the vestry. An exciting development here is the return of the Thursday night suppers. Embodied by the expanding role of MENJ and SAGE, a huge number of concerts, events such as the ukefest and holiday fair, Widening Circles is a continuing theme. In response to concerns in the area of Education, a number of parent meetings in the spring and fall have resulted in the formation of a Christian Education committee. We also have joined several congregations in a newly formed Portland Area Youth Group, creating a “critical mass” of kids served by a professional youth minister. Thanks to the leadership of Dan MacDonald, our stewardship campaign is one of the most successful in our history, thanks to our Capital Campaign leaders, John Watson and Claire Hammen and our Junior Warden, Sam Allen, the stewardship of our resources and care for our sacred space has never been better.
In the strategic plan, “leadership” does not refer to the Cathedral’s leadership in the diocese or wider community (covered in Widening Circles). Instead, leadership has to do with finding the right staffing to fulfill all of the above. Because of finances, this has been the slowest piece of implementation. Both the sabbatical and Dick Rasner’s move last summer revealed just how much work gets done “behind the scenes” and how important it was to have the right people in the right place. As a result, our congregation and stewardship team got to work to make that happen. To this end, I am very pleased that January 2018 has seen the beginning of the ministry of the Rev. Rebecca Grant, a new deacon (who will focus on outreach and ministry to seniors – strategic areas one and two). In addition, the 2018 budget continues the positions of Suzanne Roberts (our current Assistant Priest), Becky Tatro (as Lead Teacher, a part-time position of managing our Sunday School) and Joan Carney (of Fresh Views) as our Communications Director focusing on Marketing and Evangelism. The most exciting news is that as a result of the generosity of so many, St. Luke’s will be calling a ½ time Canon Pastor/Assistant priest, who will begin in the summer, perhaps as early as June.
The vestry will be taking a new look at the strategic plan at its annual retreat. In the mean time, be assured that your voices have been heard and it is alive and well.