Neuroglia in neurodegeneration Michael T. Henekaa,⁎, José J. Rodríguezb,e, Alexei Verkhratskyc,d,e,⁎ aKlinische Neurowissenschaften, Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25, 53127 Bonn, GermanybIKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, 48011, Bilbao, SpaincDepartment of Neurosciences, University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, 48940, Leioa, SpaindFaculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UKeInstitute of Experimental Medicine, ASCR, Prague, Czech Republic
Microsoft word - annual report 2013Annual Congregational Meeting
February 9, 2014
Call to Order
Election of representatives to the Congregational Nominating Committee
2013 Annual Report
2014 approved budget
Approval of the pastors' terms of call
St. Philip Presbyterian Church Dr. Rev. John W. Wurster Rev. Keatan King Associate Pastor Rev. Judith Northrop Ministry Associate Dr. Thomas Goetz Director of Music 4807 San Felipe Street Houston, TX 77056 713.622.4807 www.saintphilip.net INTRODUCTION
No church could ever put what it is, all of it, on paper -- and probably should never try.
Nevertheless, sometimes words can give a taste at least of some of what a congregation of Christ's
people does. Sometimes they can be stimuli to imagination that fills in the blank spaces.
That's the intent of these reports. The rest, the fleshing out and filling in, is left to you. This is just a
"taste" of what St. Philip is, was, and did this past year. Let your imagination do the rest of the
COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
The purpose of the Communications Committee is to oversee communications both within the
congregation and the community. The committee coordinates its work with all other committees,
ensuring that the church's publicity reflects the overall mission of the church and accurately portrays its
ministries and emphases.
Members of the committee in 2013 include Elder David Castle, Elder James Cooper, Elder Cheryl Barker,
Elder Julia Fox, Sam Fisher, Vicki McKay (moderator), William Rowe, and Elder Jim Vick. In addition - new
staff person, Micah Meyers, Communication Assistant. Friends who have done specific things with
limited oversight from this committee include: Susan Estill, Philip-Eye editor; Paxton Williams, worship
service recordings and CDs of sermons upon request and liaison from the Property committee on special
projects; Jeannette Wennenweser, work on the 2013 church directory; and Molly Boren-Whitney,
graphic design for many groups. My thanks to all who have served in the past year.
Communication Committee Work in 2013
> Continued limited oversight of the PhilipEye, both hard copy and email copy
> Purchased a video camera for use primarily in the Church & Society room to record guest speakers > had a new church logo designed and implemented use of it in all church communications > Recommended to Personnel to hire a Communications Assistant staff person part time for the office, Position Description given to Personnel – Micah Meyers was hired. > Placed a church ad in the Newcomers Guide used by area Realtors > Continued sending out two postcards to new home move-ins to 10 zip codes around the church > Continued Google Ad words and charted and discussed progress quarterly > Published a new church directory in notebook format, also available in pdf format > Completely re-vamped the church website (this was a major project and took most of the year) > Hired a professional to film both the Welcome Message and Music Page Message for the newly designed website. > Expanded the social media used by the church to include Yelp, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Meet up, as well as Facebook > Encourage continued use of the church Facebook page and social media usage and also hosted a workshop to assist people in the congregation to understand and use social media Vicki McKay, moderator EDUCATION COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
Commission members: Mary McKelvey (Moderator), Nancy Cook, Toto McGehee, Mary Murphy, Brenda
Thompson, Al Waldrop, Judith Northrop, Kara D'Agostino and Linda Beville
It has been a busy year for the Education Committee:
♦ Education Committee says good-bye to Charles Kelly, John Boone and Todd Murphy ♦ We say 'Hello" to Keatan King, Brenda Thompson, Kara D'Agostino and Linda Bevill, Omi Ford ♦ Education has continued to help provide classes for every age group, from Nursery to Senior Adult ♦ Dedicated teachers have served year round in the education of children and adults ♦ The Lenten and Advent programs aided congregation and families in spiritual nurture ♦ Judith Northrop had title change to Ministry Associate ♦ Sunday School Appreciation Day was implemented by Judith Northrop ♦ Confirmation of 7th and 8th graders were led by Charles Kelly ♦ New equipment and supplies were purchased for Godly Play and Second Hour ♦ Vacation Bible School was a success led by Judith Northrop ♦ Children's Musical was presented from VBS activities on September 22 with collaboration of the music ministry from Tom Goetz ♦ Summer Lecture Series hosted Dr. Rev. Fairfax Fair ♦ Rally Day and Open House were combined and was a success with help from all committees ♦ Friday Phil-Up was created by Judith Northrop and Walker Fair from Fellowship ♦ Mission Statement for Summer Lecture Series was created by Nancy Cook ♦ VBS Task Force was led by Omi Ford, created Mission Statement, purchased Curriculum and set date for July 7-11, 9:30 – 12:00 am ♦ We welcome Keaton King, Associate Pastor • Gains two Middle School Sunday School Teachers • Gain one Youth Sponsor • Youth Group focuses on Missions • Created bi-monthly Theology on Tap for young adults • Continuing Education Events: Evangelism with Ray Jones, Youth Worker Gathering of NewCovenant Presbytery, Fresh Elastic Events for Christian Educators in New Covenant Presbytery Mary McKelvey, Moderator FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE
Committee members: Caryn, Bahruth, Mary Bratton, Skip Britton, Travis Calhoun, James Cooper, Jessie
Fair, Walker Fair, Joyce Fox, Fil Nenna, Lori Murphy, Martha Red, Sondra Sullivan
The purpose of the Fellowship Committee is to plan and arrange social activities and celebrations for the
congregation throughout the year in recognition of our common faith in joy and thanksgiving to build
bonds in Christ.
The fellowship committee plans approximately one special event each month and also oversees several programs that repeat monthly. In 2013 the Fellowship Committee introduced a new program for adults of all ages called the Friday Phil-Up. This casual night out is held monthly on the third Friday of each month at various restaurants around the greater Galleria area. In addition to adult fellowship, childcare is provided at the church to provide an opportunity for fellowship between the smallest members of our congregation. The Prime Timers stayed busy in 2013 with a trip to the Museum of Natural Science Exhibit Gems of the Medici and Mayan Exhibit in February, the Galveston Library Historical Buildings Art Exhibit and Galveston Harbor Tour by boat in June, the Alley Theatre play "You Can't Take It With You" in October, a viewing of the IMAX "Jerusalem" at the Museum of Natural Science in November, and an annual Christmas Luncheon at The Hallmark in December. Special events planned and promoted by the Fellowship Committee in 2013 also included: • Chili Cook-off • Mardi Gras Party • Annual Picnic and Games • Mo-ranch Retreat • Ice Cream Social • Astros Baseball Game • Barbecue and Homemade Ice Cream Contest • Dinners for Eight • CCSC Jingle Bell Express • Caroling on the Ship Channel • Hot Chocolate/Apple Cider • Various luncheons and receptions prepared and hosted in cooperation with other committees We had a great year in 2013 and hope that everyone will participate fully in the various fellowship activities we are planning in 2014. Walker Fair, Moderator FINANCE COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
The Finance Committee shares responsibility with the Treasurer for regular oversight of the church's financial position. The committee members draw on a broad range of financial, business, legal and real estate experience. The members in 2013 were Beth Atkinson, Bebe Burns, Carla Burns, James Cooper, Robert Estill, Dan Flowers, Fort Flowers, David Fox, Carolyn Geis, Dick Howard, Lee Larkin, Celia Morgan, Bill Morris, Lad Perenyi, Al Waldrop and John Wurster. We try to meet quarterly as the eyes and ears of the Session and as a sounding board for the Treasurer. Specifically, in 2013 we: • reviewed and discussed the church's unaudited monthly financial statements and the Treasurer's comments on them; • received the 2011 audit report from Ralph & Ralph, P.C., and the church's accompanying financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 and recommended the report's approval by the Session; • approved the proposed 2012 audit engagement letter from Ralph & Ralph, P.C.; • discussed at length whether the committee is still needed in view of the Treasurer's monthly reports to the Session and agreed by consensus that to enhance transparency, understanding and communication of the church's financial position, the committee should continue to • also discussed whether the church should periodically change auditors as a matter of practice and concluded that since the church's financial statements are prepared by a professional accounting firm, it is not necessary to incur the additional expense of periodically changing the other firm that audits the statements; • agreed to nominate Fort Flowers as Treasurer in 2014, in consultation with the Trustees, and to nominate Bebe Burns, Carla Burns, Lee Larkin, and Bill Morris as Assistant Treasurers in 2014, at the Treasurer's request for assistance; and • received the 2012 audit report from Ralph & Ralph, P.C., and the church's accompanying financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011 and recommended the report's approval by the Session. The committee, with the Treasurer, strives to keep the Session fully informed regarding the church's present and, to the extent possible, prospective financial position. Al Waldrop, Chair MISSION COMMITTEE REPORT
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a
stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of
me…truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did
it to me." Matthew 25:35-40 NRSV
Your Mission Committee planned and hosted:
• Formulated our annual budget out of your pledges to St. Philip • Distributed the Communion Offerings to designated agencies. • Provided Easter boxes to the Women's Home, thanks to Janet Davis. • Continued the Living Waters project in the Yucatan by setting up a clean water facility, thanks to David Fox and Jeromy Murphy and Jeromy's dad. • Supported Bennett Johnson's participation in the Interfaith Ministries leadership council. • Participated in the CCSC Back to School and Jingle Bell Express. • Initiated the "Mission in Motion" pot luck all church dinner to demonstrate St. Philip's involvement with Presbyterian world missions in Mexico, the Congo, Bangladesh and Peru. • Co-hosted the Christmas caroling on the ship channel with the Fellowship Committee. • Provided Christmas boxes to the seafarers in the Houston port thanks to Dick and Sue Howard. • Expanded Alternative Christmas Market in November, the most successful and well organized in recent history thanks to Lori Murphy. • Continued communicating to the congregation about missions in the Philip-Eye on a regular • Revised and published a Mission Handbook that high lights each mission partner, thanks to Jenilee Simmons. • Prepared a Mission Power Point slide show that can play in the Gathering Area or wherever, also a Jenilee Simmons project. • Continued to feed the hungry through the work of the Kids Against Hunger Project so ably shepherded by Sandra and James Cooper. St. Philip Presbyterian Church joined with several Mission Partners in 2013. They are as follows: Amazing Place Bering/Omega Community Services Presbyterian Church of Bangladesh Bethesda Clinic in Xocempich Mexico Christian Community Service Center (CCSC) Community of the Streets Outreach Lord of the Streets (Episcopal Church) Good Neighbor Healthcare Center Presbyterian Disaster Relief Services Good Shepherd Hospital/Democratic Rep.of Congo IMA World Health Interface-Samaritan Counseling Centers Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston Kids Against Hunger Living Waters for the World Kids' Meals Inc. Medical Benevolence Foundation Mission Connection Pan American School Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services Presbytery of New Covenant Presbyterian Outreach to Patients Project C.U.R.E. Seafarers' International Center Search Homeless Services Theological Education Fund United Campus Ministries of Greater Houston The Women's Home The generosity of St. Philip members, many individual gifts, and grants from New Covenant Presbytery and the hard working zeal of the Mission Committee members make this work of the Holy Spirit possible. KIDS AGAINST HUNGER 2013
A remarkable year at St. Philip's Kids Against Hunger satellite was made possible by generous and energetic participants at many levels. This mission project has produced impressive numbers, 511,056 meals packaged since we began. Numbers provide a quick picture of our progress, but this measurement does not reflect the dedication required to serve so many hungry children. The 185,760 meals packed this year by 543 volunteers introduced mission helpers from a broad spectrum of our Houston community to St. Philip. New Covenant Presbytery participated with youth from Young Nak, First Presbyterian Pasadena, and Christ Church Presbyterian. Other denominations volunteering included First United Methodist Missouri City, St. Peter's Methodist in Katy, Houston's Jordon Memorial, and young adults from Ft. Bend Community Church. Student groups from Presbyterian School, St. Luke's Methodist Summer Day Camp, the Girl Scouts, the Accounting Career Awareness Program and the MBA program at Rice University helped us reach our goal. The Center for Student Mission utilized our satellite as a mission venue for young people from our area and around the country. Community organizations such as Houston's Young Energy Professionals, the LaGrange Rotary, Christian Alliance, and Princeton Alumni participated. Employees from Alverez and Marsal tax accountants and Comerica Bank utilized our satellite as a public service project. Of course, an impressive number of St. Philip volunteers were always on hand at every session to welcome and work with these guests. The food packing assembly line process provides a great opportunity for fellowship as workers visit and share stories. Having large productive packing sessions allowed KAH at St. Philip to provide our benevolence partners and community 189,000 highly nutritious meals. Monthly deliveries to Kid's Meals provide supplemental food for the families of preschool age children on days when sack lunches are not delivered. Christian Community Service Center distributes our food packages at the Gethsemane Kitchen Food Pantry. The Hispanic population served by Bethel Ministry in Missouri City relies upon rice as a major component of their diet. Bethel helps meet this need by including KAH rice casserole packages in the family food boxes they distribute weekly. This year 42,768 meals were distributed in an impoverished invasion colonia in Matamoras, Mexico by missionaries working with Adventures in Mission. People in this colonia depend upon what can be salvaged from a nearby dump for their livelihood. A portion of these meals were shared with an orphanage in the area, Esperanza Vida. The purchase of large quantities of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins required to produce 13 tons of food this year was made possible by the mission effort of St. Philip Presbyterian Church and the generosity of other supporters. The Mission Committee budget, the December Communion offering and gifts of individual St. Philip members provided our primary support. We were awarded the New Covenant Presbytery Vision Initiative and the Lyn Johnson Social Justice grants for $2,033. Additional funds came from Christmas projects at St. Philip, the sale of poinsettias and pillowcases and a textile art silent auction at the Alternative Christmas Market. Several volunteer groups, the Center for Student Mission, members of LaGrange Rotary, and the youth from First Presbyterian Pasadena offered financial support also. The business concerns, Venture Products Company and SBS Manufacturing Inc., have been regular contributors. Lutheran South Academy chose Kids Against Hunger at St. Philip as one the charities to learn about and support for their International Day. These students raised $6,160 for our satellite by obtaining sponsors and running laps. As challenging as the operation of this mission project appears, the support of the congregation and the dedication of a faithful leadership team continues to sustain our efforts. Co-Moderators: Nancy Lomax and Beth Atkinson REPORT OF THE MISSION STUDY TEAM OF ST. PHILIP PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
December 10, 2013
APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the Session December 17, 2013
History of Mission Study Team and Previous Work on the Central Mission Fund
In spring of 2013, the Session of St. Philip Presbyterian Church commissioned the Mission Study Team
(hereafter, "MST") to help define the mission of the congregation and to develop a plan for the active
use of the mission endowment established with the proceeds from the sale of the Central Presbyterian
Church property, now officially to be called St. Philip Presbyterian Church Central Mission Endowment
(hereafter, "SPPCCME" or "the Fund"). The Team members were Bebe Burns, Stew Coffman, Julia Fox,
John Hannah, Roderick James, Casey Lambright, Cathy Patterson, and John Wurster, assisted by
consultant Dan Klein, a former President of the Texas Presbyterian Foundation. In its early days, the
MST was guided in its deliberations on the direction for the Fund by important work done by previous
1) The Plan of Union between Central Presbyterian Church and St. Philip Presbyterian Church, dated
May 2010, which called for setting aside a "significant or substantial portion" of any proceeds of the sale
of the Central property for mission, once other needs and obligations were met.
2) The document of the St. Philip Trustees, dated June 15, 2011, which recommended (among other
things) that, after costs of the union have been paid, approximately 2/3 of the remaining amount from
the sale be dedicated toward an endowment fund named for Central Presbyterian Church; that half
should be invested in the PCUSA Foundation and half to be invested with the Texas Presbyterian
Foundation; and that a spend rate be defined and the principal not be spent.
3) The report, dated February 2012, of the Ad Hoc Mission Endowment Task Force, which recommended
(among other things), that "mission" be defined broadly; that the Fund not become an excuse to reduce
individual giving to St. Philip in general and mission in particular; that disbursements from the fund
reference the history and legacy of Central Presbyterian Church; and that the Fund help support the
mission program of the PCUSA and have particular care for the marginalized and those suffering from
economic and social inequality or injustice.
The Work of the Mission Study Team
Beginning its work in the early summer of 2013, the MST tried intentionally to listen for and discern
God's will for this abundant resource. The Team discerned that a crucial first step would be to develop a
new mission statement for the church, by which the future of the CPCMEF would be guided. The Team
wrote a draft statement and the Session approved it as the new mission statement for St. Philip in
August 2013 (included in the Charter, below). Simultaneously, the MST identified three key tasks:
1) Develop a framework for the governance of the Fund. The result of this is the Charter, or governing
document, of the Fund, included in this report (below, p. 4). Key points include a Council to make
decisions on the selection of projects and distribution of the funds and regular reporting by the Council
of all expenditures to the Session and congregation.
2) Obtain input, through a survey and face-to-face gatherings, of the congregation's thoughts on the
purpose and uses of the Fund. A survey went out to all congregation members in August-September
2013 and MST members led a series of congregational conversations in October 2013. The
congregational survey and conversations garnered a wide range of interests and opinions from St. Philip
members and friends, all of which the MST carefully and prayerfully considered in developing the
recommendations that follow.
3) Study how other similar endowments are run, identify best practices, and understand needs in our
community and beyond. This information was gathered from churches in
Texas and other states and from organizations that serve community needs.
With all of this information in hand and with an openness to God's call, the MST developed the
recommendations for the Fund stated below. Rather than identify a specific mission project or projects
to fund this year, the Team proposes first, operational themes for the use and direction of the Fund, and
second, mission themes for projects/programs to receive financial support from the Fund and third, a
possible framework for distributing funds, in keeping with the mission of St. Philip Presbyterian Church.
1) Celebrate the SPPCCME as a gracious gift from God that is separate from St. Philip's regular mission giving; it should not become a substitute for that regular mission giving. 2) Invest in projects or programs that are or have the potential to be transformational and/or high impact. 3) Embrace programs that will encourage active participation by members of St. Philip's 4) Maintain the corpus (principal) of the SPPCCME and spend from the earnings only, using a spend rate in keeping with best practices; at current returns the amount available to spend will be approximately $300,000 per year. 5) Require that amendments to the Charter with respect to the use of corpus of the Fund may be made only by two-thirds vote of the Session, with concurrence and approval of the Fund's Council and the Trustees of St. Philip. Understanding that it is not possible to predict future needs or circumstances (especially in the long-term), this amendment mechanism regarding the possible use of some of the corpus of the Fund is included in the Charter. Although intentionally more difficult to achieve, it allows for the possibility of a large, transformational mission opportunity that might employ a portion of the corpus. 6) Disburse Available Funds fully each year unless holding for a specific multi-year project. 7) Make gifts/grants that honor the legacy of Central Presbyterian Church and fulfill the shared mission of St. Philip Presbyterian Church Mission Themes: 1) Invest in programs/projects that address real need; "Find A Need And Fill It" is an appropriate watchword for this Fund. Focus on programs/projects with the potential to be transformational for the people they serve. 2) Focus giving on programs that address one or more themes/groups from among the following: education, hunger, poverty, children and youth, underserved and/or economically or socially vulnerable populations, and the elderly. These were the most frequently identified in the congregational survey and conversations as important to St. Philip members individually and corporately. Through the work of the Fund, St. Philip should strive to follow the model of service and justice set by Jesus. 3) Seek out partnerships with organizations that can help leverage funds from SPPCCME to make the greatest impact. 4) Direct some funds to support projects/programs of our Presbytery, our Synod, and/or 5) Define mission broadly, both thematically and geographically; the Houston area should be the major focus, but regional, national and international projects/programs can be considered. Possible Framework for Distributing Funds: The available funds could be divided into four segments, as follows: a) Transformational projects/programs—these would be evaluated and selected by governing body (Council) of the SPPCCME, providing large and perhaps multi-year support. This would be the largest category of giving from the Fund. (60-70%?) b) Grant-making on an annual cycle—programs or agencies could apply using a grant application, following specific parameters and with a modest maximum budget. Current mission partners and programs of the church could apply. (20-30%?) c) Youth benevolence—set aside a fixed sum ($10,000?) for the Youth of the congregation to direct at their discretion, under the guidance and advisement of the pastoral staff d) Emergency response—set aside an emergency reserve that is replenished as it is used, to meet sudden and unexpected needs (disaster relief, and the like); would not require the extensive application or review process of other categories. (no more than 5% or a fixed sum?)
A process for program review and deadlines for a review cycle should be established for the ongoing
operation of the Fund; however, in the first year of operation, these rules and deadlines might be
relaxed, or a compressed review schedule be adopted, in order to ensure that available funds can be
disbursed to worthy causes.
The proposed Charter, intended to govern the operation of the Fund, follows:
CHARTER OF THE
ST. PHILIP PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CENTRAL MISSION ENDOWMENT
In 2010, Central Presbyterian Church and St. Philip Presbyterian Church, seeking a way to use our resources to the greater glory of God and the work and mission of the Church, entered into a Plan of Union to serve Christ's kingdom together as the united St. Philip Presbyterian Church of Houston. Out of a shared commitment to mission and service, and a desire to preserve the legacy of Central Presbyterian Church, the Plan of Union joining the congregations provided that "a significant or substantial portion of the proceeds from the Central Presbyterian Church property sale, reasonably allocated given the current and future needs of the unified congregation, physically, spiritually, and economically, would be set aside to endow future mission work of the unified church in the name of and in memorial to the heritage and legacy of Central Presbyterian Church" (Plan of Union, May 2010). This is the purpose of the endowment (hereafter, "Purpose") for which this Charter serves as a governing document. Serving as a guide to this Charter, in support of the Purpose and to affirm its goals, is the Mission Statement of St. Philip Presbyterian Church (adopted August, 2013): Bearing witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are a diverse and welcoming community seeking to glorify God and engage the world with open minds, willing hands, and generous hearts. Responding to God's grace, we nurture faith through worship, preaching and teaching; reaching out in service and fellowship; and working toward justice and peace. Grounded in our heritage while looking forward with hope, we believe God gathers us all, uniting us in love to further God's kingdom in our midst. Inspired by this statement, it is the intent of this Charter to encourage the Council to view "mission" as broadly as possible, working relationally with others to create and foster opportunities for transformational mission projects, seeking to make a meaningful difference. The Purpose of the fund is to and for the glory of God and the benefit of God's people; as such, it is intentionally set apart and distinct from the mission goals, budget, and purpose of the St. Philip mission budget and funding decisions. The Fund shall not become a substitute for the "mission" or benevolence line item in the annual operating budget of St. Philip. WHEREAS at a meeting held on December 17, 2013 the Session of St. Philip Presbyterian Church, a majority of a quorum of the members voted to adopt this Charter, as follows: ARTICLE I
The Fund, which shall be held by St. Philip Presbyterian Church as a fund of the church to serve the restricted Purpose for which it was so designated, shall be known as The Central Presbyterian Church Mission Endowment Fund of St. Philip Presbyterian Church of Houston, a/k/a "St. Philip Presbyterian Church Central Mission Endowment"("Fund"). The Council shall endeavor to expend all Available Funds annually; the Corpus of the Fund shall be preserved, this provision subject to amendment only by two-thirds (66.7%) of the Session at a regular or special meeting of the Session, with concurrence and approval of the Trustees and the Council. ARTICLE II
Section 1. "Available Funds" shall mean and refer to a portion of the total return earned by the Endowment over time, determined annually by the Trustees and approved by the Session, and allocated to current uses as a spend rate. The remaining portion of the total return shall be retained and added to Corpus for future growth of the Endowment. The spend rate may be stated as a fixed percentage (such as four and one-half percent [4.5%]) of a trailing or rolling average of the value of the Endowment measured over a period of time (for example three years), or such other formula the Trustees shall determine to be reasonable for this purpose and approved by the Session. Section 2. "Corpus" shall mean all money, or investments in that certain account set up to fulfill the Purpose of the Fund, which shall not include Available Funds, which corpus shall be managed and invested by the Trustees. Section 3. "Council" shall mean and refer to the governing members of the Fund. Section 4. "CNC" shall mean and refer to the St. Philip Congregational Nominating Committee. Section 5. "Presiding Member" shall be the person selected by the Council, annually at its first meeting of the year, to serve as the Council's presiding officer. Section 6. "Trustee(s)" shall mean and refer to the Trustees of St. Philip Presbyterian Church. ARTICLE III
OPERATION OF THE FUND
Section 1. Primary Role of Council. In operation of the Fund, Council's primary role will be to determine the general and specific mission purposes of the Fund and to determine the recipients, amounts and timing of disbursement of the Available Funds to carry out those purposes. In addition Council shall provide periodic reports about the Fund to the Session, the Trustees and to the Congregation of St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Section 2. Investment Management. The Trustees, in consultation with the Treasurer of St. Philip Presbyterian Church, and with the approval of the Session, shall be responsible for the management of the investments of the Fund and, with the approval of the Session, for establishing the spend rate used to determine the amount of Available Funds each year. Section 3. Custody of Assets and Recordkeeping. The Treasurer and the finance staff of St. Philip Presbyterian Church shall be responsible for maintaining the financial records of the Fund, for the custody of the assets of the Fund, and for making disbursements of Available Funds as directed by the Council. Section 4. Distribution of Available Funds. Council, with ratification of its actions by the Session at least annually, shall distribute all of the Available Funds to or for the benefit of such projects, programs and organizations as it shall determine to be appropriate to address and carry out the mission priorities and the Purpose of the Fund to honor the legacy of Central Presbyterian Church and fulfill the shared mission goals of St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Ordinarily Council shall distribute all Available Funds fully each year, unless holding funds for a specific multi-year project, reserving funds for unplanned or emergency mission needs, or for other good purposes as determined by Council. Section 5. Mission Priorities of Fund. Initially, and until changed by Council, the mission priorities shall be to address the needs of underserved and vulnerable populations with an emphasis on children, youth, and the elderly, for hunger, poverty, and education, in the local, regional, national and international communities, within and without the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Council may enter into partnerships or other collaborations with one or more other organizations to carry out the mission priorities and Purpose of the Fund. ARTICLE IV
SELECTION OF COUNCIL AND TERM OF OFFICE
Section 1. Number. The affairs of the Fund shall be managed by a Council of seven (7) members who must be members of St. Philip Presbyterian Church or ordained staff of St. Philip. Section 2. Appointment. St. Philip's Pastor or his/her designated member of the Pastoral staff shall be a standing member of the Council. In addition, annually, Session shall appoint one of its members to the Council. The remaining five (5) Council members shall be nominated by the CNC, and approved by Session for three (3) year terms, except in the case of the initial Council, which shall have two members with three (3) year terms, two for two (2) years, and one for one (1) year. An appointment to fill any unexpired term due to vacancy shall be for the unexpired remainder of said term. The Council shall elect its own Presiding Member and such other officers as it shall deem necessary. Section 3. Term Limitations. Other than the Pastor or his/her designee, no member shall serve on the Council for more than six of any nine years, with a maximum of two consecutive terms without at least one term off the Council. Section 4. Compensation. No Council member may receive compensation, either monetary or otherwise, for carrying out her/his duties in such capacity, or for any service he or she may render to the Fund. Violation of this provision shall result in immediate removal from the Council. However, any Council member may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses actually incurred in the performance of his or her duties, if approved by the Council. ARTICLE V
MEETINGS OF COUNCIL
Section 1. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at such place and hour as may be fixed from time to time by resolution of the Council, but not less frequently than quarterly. The term "meeting" does not include the gathering of a quorum of the Council at any other venue, including at a social function unrelated to the business of the Fund, or the attendance by a quorum of the Council at any St. Philip or PCUSA, or Charity regional, state, or national convention, workshop, ceremonial event, or press conference, if formal action is not taken and any discussion of Fund business is incidental to the social function, convention, workshop, ceremonial event, or press conference. Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Council shall be held when called by the Presiding Member, after not less than three (3) days notice. Section 3. Meetings Without Notice; Actions Taken Without Meeting: The Council may meet without prior notice to address a reasonably unforeseen emergency or urgent matter that requires immediate action. Such a meeting may be accomplished by any method of communication, including electronic and telephonic, so long as each Council member may hear and be heard by every other Council member. Alternatively, the Council may take action on such matters by unanimous written consent. Any action taken must be summarized, including an explanation of any known actual or estimated expenditures approved at the meeting, and documented in the minutes of the next regular or special Council meeting. The Council may not, without prior notice, consider or vote on: (1) emergency disbursements over $2,000.00; (2) any non-emergency disbursement or commitment; or (3) changing or terminating any previously approved disbursements. Section 4. Meetings. Regular and Special meetings may be open to non-Council members, but need not be, and are subject to the right of the Council to adjourn an open session and reconvene in closed executive session for any purpose. Section 5. Minutes. The Council shall keep a record of each regular or special meeting in the form of written minutes. The Council shall make meeting records, including approved minutes, available to the Session and Trustees upon request. Section 6. Quorum. A majority of the number of Council members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Every act or decision done or made by a majority of the Council members present at a duly held meeting at which a quorum is present shall be regarded as the act of the Council. ARTICLE VI
POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE COUNCIL
Section 1. Powers. The Council shall have power: To adopt and publish guidelines for committees, applications, on-site visits, reporting, or any other documents beneficial or deemed necessary to the orderly work of the Council; To exercise for the Council all powers, duties and authority necessary or beneficial to the work of the Council in fulfilling the Purpose. To appoint any committees it deems beneficial to the Purpose of the Fund. The Council may appoint such committee members as, in Council's sole discretion, it believes best suited for the purpose for which the committee was convened, and such persons need not be members of the Council, nor even St. Philip. To employ agents and enter into agreements with third parties in order fulfill the Purpose of the Fund in the discretion of the Council. Section 2. Duties. It shall be the duty of Council: To cause to be kept a complete record of all its acts and to present a summary thereof to the Trustees and Session at least quarterly and to the membership of St. Philip at least annually, or at any time upon request by the Session or Trustees; To supervise all expenditures, and to see that any disbursements are used for the intended purposes; To submit to the Session for approval annually Council's general plan for distribution of Available Funds for the succeeding year; To develop a long-term strategic plan, and periodically to review the current mission priorities of the Fund to determine if they continue to reflect the most important needs of the communities served by St. Philip, making changes as necessary; To develop an annual calendar for grant making portion of fund expenditure along with accompanying application process, forms, and review criteria. ARTICLE VII
BOOKS AND RECORDS
The books, records and papers of the Fund shall at all times, during reasonable business hours, be subject to inspection by any member of the congregation in the church offices. ARTICLE VIII
Any provision of this Charter may be amended by the Session at the request of the Council or by Session's own motion, other than Article I, which may be amended only as provided therein, supra. PEACEMAKING AND SOCIAL JUSTICE ANNUAL REPORT
The Peacemaking and Social Justice committee, in collaboration with the General Assembly, sponsored a
Peace Discernment Retreat at St. Philip on Saturday, May 18. The retreat was an intense, four-hour
event, open to all congregations of the Presbytery of New Covenant. There were twenty-one
participants, including three from other churches. The next day the Committee showed the film "Food
Inc." as part of the Peacemaking and Social Justice Weekend. As a direct result of viewing this film, the
Committee voted to pursue the building of a Community Garden, the food from which would be
donated to Christian Community Service Center (CCSC). Our budget request for 2014 reflects our desire
to build and maintain a sustainable garden.
On Earth Day Cathy Patterson led children in the Sunday School classes in the planting of two Meyer
lemon trees on the campus.
At the Alternative Market in November, the Committee sold St. Philip bamboo tote-bags, the proceeds
going to the Community Garden project.
Rev. Eid Abd Elmasseh, a Presbyterian pastor from Egypt, visited our committee twice during the year.
He has formed a Middle Eastern ministry, now called Hope International Center, which reaches out to
immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, mostly Iraq and Iran. The P&SJ committee is interested in
maintaining ties with him and his ministry. We hope to become more acquainted with the people to
whom he ministers and possibly offer assistance in their adjustment to their new living situation.
Jo Helland, Chair
Property Committee Report
The Property Committee is responsible for the practical and economical management, upkeep, and safety of the St. Philip campus. Our responsibilities include routine maintenance and repair of the campus, renovations and alterations to the facility, landscaping of the campus, payment of utilities, and monitoring parking. This also includes following policies and procedures for art collection, furnishings, and building usage by outside groups. Members of the Property Committee this year included Ginny Camfield, Winston Crowder, William Howard, Elder Celia Morgan, Elder Todd Murphy, Barbara Runge, Gary Willis, Paxton Williams, and Elder Jack Fox, Moderator. The Art Subcommittee members included Bill Camfield, Elizabeth Crowell, Betty Golemon, Cathy Hunt, Barbara Runge, Nan Schissler, Jacqueline Hamilton Taylor and Ginny Camfield, Chair. The Furnishings Subcommittee members included Mark Clemons, Jessica Fair, Nan Schissler, Gary Whitney, and Charles Lucas, Jr., Chair. The Sound System Subcommittee included William Rowe and Paxton Williams, Chair. Activities of the Committee during 2013 included: Building Structures • Monitored and prioritized HVAC routine maintenance and repair work completed by contractors Gowan Mechanical and Trane. Performed minor diagnostics and repairs, air filter changes and cleaning of outdoor coils and indoor coils by St. Philip volunteers, our facilities manager and sextons. Maintained a spreadsheet detailing all campus HVAC equipment including BTU capacity, number of compressors, fan belt and filter sizes, location, and approximate age. • Initiated a project to replace three rooftop air conditioning units (RTUs) on the Administration building roof before summer 2014. • Monitored and prioritized electrical work done by Torres Electrical. • Completed conversion of front Sanctuary spotlights to economical-to-use LED, via a generous designated contribution to the Property budget again this year. • Supervised general maintenance work on building and grounds. We follow a two-bid requirement for expenditures expected to be greater than $1000.00, to be approved by Property Committee. • Replaced the range in the main kitchen with a 10-burner range top with two ovens underneath, via use of designated memorial funds. • Installed glass in all solid office doors in the Administration Building, so that there is no presumption of privacy. • Monitored ongoing repairs to doors and elevators. • Extended the installation of magnetic locks to four. • Completed a detailed survey of the Sanctuary sound system. Acted upon survey recommendations to upgrade that sound system. Among other features, this gives the Sound subcommittee members flexibility to use many more wireless microphone frequencies, combating outside electronic interference. Maintained and replaced wireless microphones for the worship leaders. • Monitored facility use by outside groups. • Completed restoration of ten beautiful mosaic crests, now mounted along the wall outside the Fellowship Hall. • Completed restoration of two copper wall sconces, now mounted outside the Administration Building dining room. • Began parking lease agreement renewal work for parking spaces used by Pappas Restaurants, Inc. (owner of Yia Yia Mary's restaurant). Those negotiations are still under way at this writing (1/19/2014). STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE
The Stewardship Committee meets periodically to consider all fund raising requests for Session approval and more often from August to December to plan and lead the annual stewardship campaign and follow-up calls, as well as to prepare the stewardship request for the annual operating budget (which consists primarily of office supplies and equipment, property insurance premium and audit fees). The committee members in 2013 were Linda Bevill, Nita Davis, Julia Fox, Judith Hiott, Cletus Johnson, Stewart Lyman, Fil Nenna, and Al Waldrop. Specifically, in 2013 we: • coordinated the trial use of an offering card in the collection plates from January-June 2013, as an opportunity to acknowledge prior gifts of time, talent or money; • obtained Session authorization for the Institute for Civility in Government to solicit donations in the Philip-Eye for Furr H. S. student trips to Washington, D.C., in May 2013; • obtained Session approval to purchase the ACS Pay Plus software for online giving by electronic funds transfer on a two-year trial basis beginning in January 2014; • adopted John Wurster's suggested stewardship theme from 2 Corinthians 4:15: "So that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God." • planned and organized the events for the campaign, which Robin and Gary Willis chaired, including the stewardship breakfast and open meeting and the worship moments for mission by Robin and Gary, Jessie and Walker Fair, Jeromy Murphy and Rev. Pablo Estrella, Dillon Junkin and Paxton Lambright, and Jack Fox; • prepared and mailed the stewardship packet, including the chairs' cover letter, narrative and comparative budgets, answers to frequently asked questions, time and talent commitment forms and pledge cards; • prepared and distributed time and talent commitment forms for children and youth; • made follow-up calls to outstanding prior pledges. As of January 14, 2014, the church has received 162 pledges for a total of $1,122,380 for 2014. Thank you for the commitments of time, talent and money that underwrite St. Philip's plans for the year ahead as we seek to be the people God calls us to be. Al Waldrop, Chair WELCOMING AND MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
Members of the Welcoming and Membership Committee (W&M) included Jan Meyer, Janet Hess, Shirley Coffman, Robert Estill, Rosemary McBride, Andrew Henderson, Carolyn Vestal and Ellen MacDonald, Chair. Accomplishments and Activities included: Welcome Table Coordination – we provided 85 Visitor Bags which contain information about our church. This year we added 10 additional Children's Bags to which we added children's activities for visiting families whose children are more comfortable attending worship service with their parents. Greeters Ministry – for each 11:00 am worship service greeters are positioned at each of the main entrances, not simply to give directions, but also to serve as visitors' initial contact, to make them feel warmly welcomed to our church community. This year, in order to involve more of our members in this important ministry each committee of the Session joined in the recruitment program. Weekly Visitor Contacts – we collect visitor/member registration sheets. All first time visitors (in and out of town) receive a handwritten note, email or telephone call. 82 new visitor and follow-up notes were written this year. Contacts are reported to the church office. Name Tags – we ordered name tags for all new members and replacement tags for members who request them. Our continuing efforts are to encourage all members to wear their name tags at all church functions. New Member Photos – our photographer, James Cooper, took pictures of new members which are posted in the halls of the Gathering Area. New Member Packets – we assembled packets for New Members that give information about our church and its mission. Modified Procedure for joining St, Philip Church. Starting in 2014 after meeting with Session, New Members will be received into our church at an 11:00 am worship service. Following the service there will be a New Member Reception in the Gathering Area. New Member Lunches – all new members are invited and taken to lunch by members of the committee and members of our church. Schedules are sometimes a problem, but we took 20 new members to lunch n 2013. Presbyterian 101 classes – offered 4 weeks during the Sunday school hour are taught by John Wurster. For new and current members, it gives a brief history of St. Philip and its
relationship to the PCUSA. It focuses on the mission and goals of both, the Reformed Faith, our
covenant relationships and our polity.
We appreciate the support of committee members and church members who are committed to
sharing with visitors and new members the warmth and support of the St. Philip community.
Ellen MacDonald, Chair
WORSHIP AND MUSIC COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT
The purpose of the Worship and Music Committee, working with the Pastor(s) and Director of Music, is
to develop, implement, coordinate, and oversee all aspects of worship that strengthen both public and
private worship of God. Individual tasks which fall under the committee are overseen by various
The committee approved and recommended to the session dates for baptisms and for communion, and,
under the leadership of Joe Harwood developed a yearly schedule for the serving of communion. Bill
Morris, with the help of Jane Cooper, was in charge of ushering, both at Sunday services and at special
times. He developed a schedule of teams of ushers and made sure that everything ran smoothly. Jane
Larkin and the Chancel Guild continued to make sure that the chancel and sacristy were prepared for
worship and that communion supplies were available.
Cathy Steward continued as Wedding Coordinator as she worked with brides so that their weddings
would be lovely and memorable. She also continued to train and coordinate Acolytes for the 11:00 a.m.
Jo Helland continued to obtain liturgists for Sunday worship.
Jane Malczewskyj acted as liaison with the Chancel Choir.
Roderick James and Elizabeth Duerr rotated the banners quarterly as scheduled and placed appropriate
banners on the Chancel at special times.
Music at St. Philip Concert Series presented the following concerts: "Heart and Soul" with Ars Lyrica in
February, Chancel Choir singing Mozart and Britten in May, Three summer piano/organ/harpsichord
concerts, Concert for peace in October, Daryl Robinson in collaboration with AGO in October, "Music for
a Princess" with Ars Lyrica in November.
The Duerr lecture Series presented Rev. Thomas L. Are in February.
There were five midday services during Lent that included preachers from St. Philip and from around the
presbytery and were followed by lunch in the Gathering Area.
In September St. Philip received the new hymnbooks, "Glory to God".
There were three Wednesday services at noon during Advent. These included music and communion
and were followed by lunch.
The committee decorated the Chancel for Christmas using the lighted tree, gold stars, and white
poinsettias. There were two well-attended services on Christmas Eve, one at 5:30 primarily for families,
and a candlelight communion service at 8:00.
It has been a joy to work with this committee, John Wurster, and Tom Goetz throughout the year.
Jeanie Flowers, Chair
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC REPORT
"With gratitude in your hearts, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God." (Colossians 3:16b)
The St. Philip music ministry has experienced growth in spirit and in number in 2013. We have
welcomed new members, and current members have had opportunities to support one another by
exercising their musical gifts, offering prayers, and putting their faith into action. The music ministry is as
much about spiritual growth and personal relationships as it is music. In the life of the Christian church,
the arts function as just one vehicle of many vehicles which enable people to touch the sacred and be
knit into the closest friendship possible.
It takes many volunteers and staff to enable our music and worship to be offered throughout the entire
year. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the many volunteers, choir members, soloists,
handbell ringers, Jubilate! singers and parents, youth ensemble singers, and instrumentalists who share
their talent throughout the year. I am thankful for the excellent work of church organist Matthew Dirst,
the Music at St. Philip Concert Series committee members (Robin Angly, Molly Boren-Whitney, Bill
Connolly, Elizabeth Duerr, Jeanie Flowers, Joyce Fox, Jane Malczewskyj, organist Matthew Dirst, and
intern John Kirk), and Organ Interns Gavin Craig and John Kirk. Several volunteers do significant work
each week apart from rehearsals and worship services, including Jim Waggoner (music volunteer, data
entry, copyright communications, printed materials), Ed and Janet Hess (music librarians), Jane
Malczewskyj (choir president), Jan Fox (choir attendance, robes), and a host of choir members and
handbell ringers who assist with many tasks each week. Our adult choir roster has swelled to 56
persons, Bell Canto includes 18 people who ring regularly or serve as substitutes, Jubilate! includes 14
children in grades 1-5, and 8-10 youth have sung for special services, including Keatan King's ordination
and installation service in September. We welcomed soprano Alicia Chew and bass Gregory McDaniel as
new staff singers this year. I am thankful for several individuals who step in as needed to conduct
rehearsals, accompany choirs and soloists, and handle special details: Eleanor Grant, Jane Malczewskyj,
Elizabeth Duerr, Susan Mitchell, Paulette Goetz, and Keatan King. It is a great gift to have so many
professionals (both volunteer and staff) serving the church, and building up the body of Christ.
Our entire church feels the loss of one of our most beloved church leaders and a faithful choir member,
Daniel F. Flowers, Sr. Dan was an inspiration to many, and was an important member of the choir and
an ardent supporter of the church music program. For Dan, we can truly say "Well done, thou good and
faithful servant." We are deeply indebted to Dan in many ways, as well as to his wife Jeanie, who
continues to share her musical gifts in the choir and Bell Canto, and to Fort and Beth Flowers and
children, who are an integral part of the church.
The Music at St. Philip concert series included nine concerts and special worship services in 2013. The
MASP series is entirely self supporting through offerings at concerts, ticket sales, and special gifts. The
programs included "Heart and Soul" by Ars Lyrica Houston, Matthew Dirst, Artistic Director, February 3;
the St. Philip Choir and Orchestra Mozart Vespers and Britten A.M.D.G. May 5; Rob Landes, pianist, June
16; Thomas Goetz, organist, July 21; "A Baroque Summer's Eve," presented by Matthew Dirst,
harpsichord, Yung-Hsiang Wang, violin, and Barrett Sills, cello, August 18; the sixth annual Concert for
Peace with our choir, jazz pianist Paul English, and PIVO October 5 (this concert was in part a benefit for
Syrian refugees); Daryl Robinson, organist (First Prize winner and Audience Prize winner of the 2012
AGO National Young Artists Competition) October 15; "Music for a Princess," presented by Ars Lyrica
Houston, with Cornell University Organist Annette Richards, November 16; and a worship service
featuring the St. Philip Choir and Orchestra presenting Bach cantata No. 61 for Advent and a Mozart Magnificat on December 15. Instrumentalists joined our choir presenting festive music on Easter Sunday and Christ the King Sunday. I cannot help but marvel at the beauty and inspiration which comes to us from the Spirit through the Paul Fritts organ, our worship space, and the musical instruments (handbells, choir chimes, pianos, and harpsichord) which serve as tools tuned for praise. Our church is blessed to have many ways to offer our best to the Creator, our faith community, and the greater Houston community. With God's unbounded love and grace, how can we keep from singing? In 2014, we look forward to reaching ever higher, and welcoming more disciples to our worship and music. We look forward to concerts and services which raise us to a new awareness of God's wondrous acts, and give us a reason to sing "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." (Psalm 122:1) Sincerely, Dr. Thomas Goetz, Director of Music PASTOR'S REPORT
2013 was my first full year at St. Philip. From beginning to end, it was a year filled with great blessing.
We added two new faces to the church staff: In May, Micah Meyers joined us as part-time
communications assistant, Micah has greatly enhanced our print and electronic publications, including
our new website. In June, the congregation called Keatan King to serve as associate pastor and
celebrated her ordination in September. Keatan's extraordinary gifts for ministry have already blessed
us in many ways, including an expanded outreach to youth and young adults. As Keatan was installed,
Judy Northrop transitioned from interim associate pastor to ministry associate. I am grateful that Judy's
creative and spirit-filled leadership continues among us. The music life of our church is regularly
refreshed and enriched by the many gifts of Tom Goetz and Matthew Dirst. Arriving about the same
time I did, Laurie Fortenbery is settling well into the role of office manager. Denise Ferrell faithfully
handles our bookkeeping. Wilbert and Dimas Parada continue to handle facility matters of all shapes
and sizes, assisted by Peter Ramadan.
A primary goal for me in 2013 was to develop a process for disbursements from what had been known
as the Central Presbyterian Church Mission Endowment Fund. As described elsewhere in this annual
report, the Session appointed a study team, which worked for several months engaging the
congregation and synthesizing guidelines and a charter for what we now know as the St. Philip
Presbyterian Church Central Mission Endowment. Approving and adopting that report in December, the
Session has prepared the way for 2014 to be the year when we begin to realize the full promise of this
extraordinary resource. Already in this new year, the Session has appointed the first Central Mission
Council: Bebe Burns, James Cooper, Julia Fox, Dick Howard, Rusty Howard, and Cathy Patterson. The
charter provides for the pastor to serve as the seventh member of the Council.
We were enriched throughout 2013 by opportunities to hear from leaders across the Presbyterian
Church (USA), including Thomas Are, who came for the Duerr Lecture Series; Johnson C. Smith Seminary
President Paul Roberts; MaryAnn Dana, who led our Mo-Ranch retreat; Fairfax Fair, who came for the
Summer Lecture Series; and Princeton Seminary Professor Robert Dykstra, who came for the ordination
of Nathan Carlin. Our worship life has been significantly enhanced by the September arrival of the new
Presbyterian hymnal, Glory to God.
On a personal note, Deb and I at long last sold our Kerrville house in November. Just before Christmas, we were able to purchase a new house in Houston. We look forward in 2014 to being here in a more settled way! Yours in Christ, A ASSOCIATE PASTOR'S REPORT
As you read this, I will be celebrating my six month anniversary of serving St. Philip! My joy in serving Christ with the St. Philip community seems to know no bounds; each day continues to reveal previously unknown treasures in the journey of discipleship. I value beyond measure the tremendous gifts of my colleagues in pastoral ministry, John Wurster and Judy Northrop, and benefit daily from their wisdom, imagination, and compassion. I marvel at the dedication and excellence of Tom Goetz and Matthew Dirst in leading worship collaboratively. I deeply appreciate the consistent willingness to help and the hard work of Laurie Fortenbery, Denise Ferrell, Wilbert Parada, Dimas Parada, and Peter Ramadan. The relationships I've had the privilege of beginning within this congregation and in this community richly bless me. This congregation graciously accompanied me in a pivotal moment of my life: my ordination and installation to the ministry of Jesus Christ. I remain humbled by and thankful for our special bond forged in that holy moment. God holds great dreams for young people in and beyond this congregation. Several adults in the congregation agree and have responded by contributing their gifts as Sunday School Teachers and Youth Sponsors. Our youth have demonstrated their faith in mission projects including CROP Walk, Kids Against Hunger, Brookwood Community, Target Hunger, the Souper Bowl of Caring, and the Seafarers Ministry. I'm anticipating with joy our time at Cho-Yeh for Presbytery Conclaves and our mission trip to Peru in June. God continues, week after week, to call thoughtful and gifted young adults to share their lives with our congregation. Young adults have contributed their leadership in worship and in ministries of the church including Kids Against Hunger, stopping Human Trafficking in Houston, and serving on committees of the church. I've contributed to the planning of the Taize Pilgrimage of Trust coming to Houston in April and the Young Adult Weekend at Mo Ranch in September for the purpose of nurturing the spiritual lives of young adults. Looking to the future, I am excited to strengthen youth leadership in Vacation Bible School, co-teach Christian Education classes with Judy Northrop, and serve at the presbytery level on a year-long Vision Committee to discern God's call for the future of New Covenant Presbytery. I enjoy the on-going privilege of teaching the faith to young disciples and of seeing God at work in their lives. With joy and thanksgiving, I look forward to the ways that God is seeking to transform the world in love and peace through the open minds, willing hands, and generous hearts of St. Philip! Grace and peace, MINISTRY ASSOCIATE'S REPORT
Overjoyed is the feeling that I would use to describe how I felt when I learned that I would no longer be
the ‘interim' but that I would be staying at St. Philip to continue my ministry here. Half of the past year
was filled with questions such as: who needs what the most, why have I been called to this place, what
are the things that need attending right away, how can I best serve in the ‘interim' here at St. Philip, and
where can I make a difference in a short period of time? The remainder of the year has been such a
fulfilling time for me, knowing that along with our wonderfully creative staff, I will be ministering here,
planning present and future ministries here in this sacred community.
In this past year, I have been privileged to serve St. Philip with many hats and I try to utilize my gifts and
talents in the best ways possible. Planning and leading worship, teaching classes, working with PW and
our Peace-making and Social Justice Committee, visiting with members, working with teachers and
building relationships with children and families, are ongoing chances to build community and to form
the faith of the members of this body of Christ. I look forward to many things in the near future as well.
Teaching Sunday School class and leading Wednesday Nights during Lent, preparing for a fun-filled
Vacation Bible School, and leading the PW Retreat at the end of February are all very exciting activities.
I'm grateful for grace-filled opportunities such as the chance to be an ambassador for Presbyterian
Children's Homes and Services through connections made within our church and beyond. By getting to
know folks in the Presbytery, I have developed relationships with other church educators and to attend
creative and spirit-filled workshops through SCRAPCE and APCE, fulfilling my promises to continue to
expand my horizons and to enhance what I have been called to be and to do at St. Philip.
Just as I strive to expand my knowledge of Presbyterianism and my connections there, I maintain strong
connections with my denomination, the United Church of Christ (UCC) through attending Fall and Spring
Association Meetings and the Annual Conference Meeting in June. I have been asked to serve on the
Houston Association Council and I look forward to helping with the examination of by-laws. In
December, I met with our Ministry Committee and I remain in good standing with the United Church of
Christ. Our family holds membership with First Congregational Church of Houston. Although I am not
able to attend worship there, my husband and our children keep their Sunday connections through
attendance occasionally and we attend events and maintain friendships with members there.
Personally, our family is delighted to be a part of the St. Philip community. John and I enjoy seeing our
children thrive here in Sunday School, in worship, in choir, in relationships, and as disciples. They feel
safe and free to explore their beliefs, to develop their faith and to ask questions about these things,
knowing that their doubts and their wonderings are taken seriously here. We look forward to the many
ways in which our family will grow in Christ as we continue to invest our energy and our creativity into
this community of disciples. We are grateful for the diversity of belief, the co-existence of differing
opinions, the acceptance of all, and the openness to new things here in this grace-filled place.
Professionally, I am grateful for the amazing colleagues I am blessed to work with each day. I am
thankful to the multi-talented John Wurster for the chance to be here and to learn from his wisdom,
amazed by Keatan King and her innate ministry abilities, wowed by Micah Meyers and her stunning
creativity, inspired by Tom Goetz's gentle nature and musical intuitions, charmed by Laurie Fortenbery
and her ‘Laurie-of-all-tradesness,' blown away by Matthew Dirst and his ‘never-miss-a-beat'
preparedness, impressed by Denise and her accounting prowess, comforted by Denise and Janice who
love our little ones in the Nursery, and always grateful for Dimas and Wilbert Parada and their faithful
and steadfast service to the greatest and least of things here at St. Philip and for Peter Ramada for sharing with me his journey with God. I am blessed, especially, in my ministry, by those who volunteer their time, talent, energy, creativity, and zest for the faithful life of our members and visitors. I lift our Sunday School worker bees who are here every Sunday to teach us and our children what it means to be disciples of Christ. I look forward to 2014 and all that we will accomplish in love and with joy, in all things together, Respectfully submitted and yours in Christ, Rev. Judith Northrop
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