May 19, 2020
As we are facing this pandemic and are unable to come together yet, I would like to take this opportunity to update you on few developments here at the parish.
1. St. Michael’s preschool will end its operation on Friday, June 26th for the reasons I explained to you in my letter. At the same time there is a group of parents with our current director Nichole Reed who are working to continue the mission of the preschool as an independent, non-for-profit organization. They will not be connected with the parish and they will be leasing the space from the parish. They are advanced in setting up the new structure and getting all the approvals to open a preschool. Bob Newstrom represents the parish during this process of transition.
As a result of the decision to close St. Michael’s preschool we are looking at selling the building as soon as opportunity comes our way. We need to remember that in 2014 a 15-year contract was signed with cell tower company to lease the space on the chimney of the school for a one-time payment, which will impact the sale of the building. At this time, we have one lead regarding selling of the building.
2. For many years the Used-A-Bit store and ministry was part of our parish mission supporting the parish school. In recent years the income was declining, and it was difficult to find volunteers and the store was often closed. After discussions with Christie, the manager of the store, and consultation with the members of the parish and finance committees, I have decided to close the Used-A-Bit store as of last week.
Due to coronavirus the store was closed at the beginning of April and with no income and $850 a month rent payment and no date for opening we can say that this ministry, in some sense, became the casualty of the COVID19.
I am grateful to Christie and all the volunteers, who over the years had dedicated their time to help the less fortunate and at the same time supported St. Michael’s school. In the near future I would like to recognize all those volunteers by creating a memorial plaque. Thank you!
3. Working on the upcoming parish budget, together with the finance council, we have realized that some changes needed to be made to balance the parish budget, taking also under consideration the impact of the COVID19 on the parish finances. Just think about the Bazaar, parish diner, closing of the Used-A-Bit store etc.
The one area that came to my attention was the Religious Education program and its total costs vs. the number of students. First, we do not have that money in the budget and second I could not justify that level of spending. As a result of it I decided to restructure the program and create a new position of Religious Education coordinator, which meant terminating the two, current positions of Ben and Nicole. We will be looking to hire a new Rel. Ed. coordinator. Thank you, Nicole and Ben, for your witness to faith and dedication.
4. To provide the parishioners the opportunity, who otherwise would not be able to participate in the Sunday Mass, I am in the process of soliciting bids to install permanent camera in the church and streamline Masses over YouTube channel. I hope to have it ready when we open the church for liturgies. If anyone would like to contribute towards this project, I will let you know the price as soon as I get it.
5. We are also working on a new parish website design. Coming soon…
I would like to once again thank you for your prayers and generosity to support the ministry of the parish and the diocese. I would like to encourage you to see if Online Giving is something that you would consider using. We have a new Online Giving program on our website, which is user-friendly. By using this form of contributing you will help us with the safety of handling and counting the money. Thank you for your consideration.
May God’s blessing be upon you always!
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Andy, omi