The Episcopal Church of St. JohnBaptist
200 Main Street, Thomaston, Maine 04861
ANNUAL REPORT for the year 2021
Proposed Halsey Adams Distribution for 2022
Operating Budget 80% Scholarship Fund 5% Equipment Fund 5%
Rector’s Discretionary Fund 5% Outreach 5%
Halsey Adams Distribution for 2021
Operating Budget 80% Scholarship Fund 5% Equipment Fund 5%
Discretionary Fund 5% Outreach 5%
Sr. Warden - Brian Perkins
Jr Warden – Chris Rector
Treasurer – Ben Griffin
Clerk – Emily Jenks
Vestry - Jan Gaudio and Sandra Hoekstra
Delegates: Jan & Christy Gaudio and Maria Protheroe
The year of the long haul. After nine months of shutdown and pandemic there was hope that 2021 might see the end of the lockdown, starting around Easter we began to slowly open up again for more in person worship. 2020 was the year of zoom and recordings, but we began to meet again as 2021 progressed. We began the year with only the 8 am service inside and zooming other services. Then we were able to meet under a tent, thanks to wonderful generosity in our parish. This led to a number of profoundly moving and holy moments of baptism, revival and celebrating the bishop with us. It was also a way for us to share the space with the DownEast Singers. As the Summer progressed, we were able to also meet inside and have been doing so ever since.
It was also the year of the vaccine. Alleluia. Starting in late winter we were all beginning to become vaccinated. And with such we were beginning to try to live with the pandemic, albeit vaccinated.
But as the year ended, we were confronted with the Omicron Variant and have had to mandate masks again and begin adding more restrictions.
This last year marked the 30th anniversary of Dr. Antolini serving with us here at St. John’s, we have been so deeply blessed by his leadership and vision for our music program.
We were able to celebrate Christmas in person again, albeit with many guidelines and cautions to protect everyone. We held the Lessons and Carols in Watts Hall, a community space down the street. It was a grand affair that perhaps might lead to more support, connection and opportunities for us to work with the community.
This was a challenging year for all churches, and many businesses as the pandemic just ground on. Most churches suffered losses of about a third. We are no different here, with our average attendance moving from the 70s into around 50. There have been many clergy transitions during the last year and a half. Almost half of the active clergy in the diocese I have only met through Zoom and not in person. We had our second year of a diocesan convention via Zoom.
The outreach committee has been reborn during this year, which is exciting and encouraging. The Altar Guild has continued to undergird our worship with great beauty, order and grace. And the Education for Ministry has been able to adapt through this time in ways that are both remarkable and inspiring.
We were able to live stream our worship on Facebook. We also were able to purchase two cameras and a computer for steaming purposes. This along with new televisions will allow us to be more adaptable as the years progress and live stream on more platforms such as YouTube, etc. and allow for weddings, funerals, and other events to be shared by those who cannot be here in person. We also started the process to put security camera(s) at the church.
This upcoming year marks my 30th year at St. John’s and we hope that with the added technology and the addition of the tent, and lessons learned during this pandemic, we will be positioned to offer more programs and opportunities to share our faith as we move ahead.
This has been a year of transition, of enduring and of rethinking, with hopes of this upcoming year to be one of renewal and much less restrictions as the year progresses. Though, the lessons of the COVID pandemic have clouded any future projections.
It is a great honor to serve here at St. John’s. I feel very fortunate, as I hear of other churches and what they are going through, and how well we are doing, and it makes me all the more thankful.
Faithfully Submitted The Rev. Peter Jenks
Deacon’s 2021 Annual Report
I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:17
“Do you appreciate the love and support of your family? Can you still marvel at the rising of the sun? Can you still laugh about a funny situation, or do you find it hard to believe that humor is one of God’s gifts to you?
Don’t let your enthusiasm for life wane! Enjoying and appreciating the beauty of life must be an integral part of your life.
If you put God at the center of your life and thoughts, you will discover that, by appreciating your life, you continually move closer to Him, the source of all real life.”
Father, I appreciate all the beauty and joy that fills my life and that You have so freely bestowed on me. Amen. Grace for Today—Christian Art Publishers
It has been a challenge over the past year to keep ahead of the covid rules and regulation. Handwashing, social distancing, what kind of mask to wear, vaccinations one and two plus booster shots, and home testing. When to vaccinate our young people, plus in house or remote learning. Then the crisis of testing positive with the disease, isolation, no family members to lean on for some. Then, for some, dying alone, the ultimate sacrifice.
Behind all this, there are the front line workers. Nursing and medical staff stretched to the breaking point. Inadequate staffing and equipment, not enough beds along with inadequate staffing. The frontline ripple includes EMS, Fire and Law enforcement, sanitation, highway crews and housekeeping.
So, how did we cope? The gift of a wonderful tent for outside services, with wafers only for communion. Social distancing, mask wearing, handwashing, cough into your elbow. Very slowly creeping back to a sense of normalcy. A wonderful tent revival with the Baptist church, singing, increasing inhouse worshiping. Gathering for coffee hour, return of AA, Al-anon, book study, oh the Joy!
For my part, I have really enjoyed being able to help with the upkeep of the building and grounds. Opening up in the morning for AA, set-up for Sunday services, serving at the Lord’s table. Then heading downstairs to serve at the kitchen table. Taking care of mail and deliveries, bonding with Christie preparing Sunday bulletins while cursing the Evil photocopier. Awesome dump runs! Feeding the alligators at night. Dancing with the Dyson and mingling with the mop bucket.
Then the Omnicom virus hits. The reversal slowly starts. Reducing numbers and physical contacts. Increasing zoom services and streaming. Mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, fist and elbow bumps. Sandwich amongst all this is watching and helping a vision become a reality. Revamping the sound system and installing wall cameras for video streaming. All new televisions are on the way for 2022.
All of the challenges and success of the past year would not have been possible without the Love and support of the St. John’s family.
After the successful completion of many projects, I step back with Gratitude, “This is the magic of St. John’s!” I am also very grateful with all the support I personally have received coping with some challenging health issues. Because of the support I CAN still marvel at the rising sun. So spectacular! I am also greatly appreciative of the beautiful sunsets and the moon glow at night. I quite often laugh at myself when I deviate from the rumb line. Then snag myself back on point.
I think, at one time or another, we have drifted away from putting God in the center of our lives. This is when the “magic of St. John’s” brings us right back to having God as the center of our lives.
So, Live, Love and Laugh often! Blessings!
Faithfully Submitted, Rev. Robert E. Laite Jr.
Senior Warden’s Annual Report – 2021
We remain solvent despite Covid thanks to the PPP loans which were distributed by the Diocese and ultimately forgiven. Our financial intake is less than two thirds of normal and we risk losing our staff if the pandemic continues and such aid stops. We are currently financially safe for the short term, but as Senior Warden I remain apprehensive and cautious. This is not a time for big purchases which can be postponed, nor is it a time to ignore critical maintenance which cannot.
We rang the church bell every night for over a year in honor of doctors, nurses, health professionals and emergency responders and it was a worthy ministry. We stopped this summer when we reopened to in-person services. We are watching carefully and remain open…for now, but we maintain distance, we wear masks, and we request vaccination and booster shots.
We continue to serve those in the parish and have supported weddings and funerals when possible. We have suspended fairs but continue to provide outreach and currently are supporting AA meetings as these services are even more important during these difficult times.
We are blessed with a dedicated vestry and it is my honor to serve with them. Each and every one has made valuable contributions and each and everyone is a joy to be around. Our professional staff is dedicated, upbeat, and careful and we could not ask for better. Miracles are alive and well at St. John’s in Thomaston– some are small and some are not small at all. It is a great time to serve God and his church.
Faithfully Submitted, Brian D. Perkins
Report of the Junior Warden 2021
2021 was a quiet year on the building front. Perhaps the most important accomplishment was the acquisition, through a very generous gift, of a tent for providing outside worship space as well as space for other church activities and rehearsal space for Down East Singers. It allowed for safe gathering when inside services were still not advisable. We have since added side curtains to extend the season for the tent use and plan to have it back in place as soon as things warm up in the spring.
We also installed the long-awaited railings to the steeple providing safe access to the bell tower and reducing the risk of slipping on the stone steps. In addition, several new plantings were added to the front of the church, including a tree to replace one that was removed to allow for painting and repair of the front entrance. In addition, through a generous donation, two shrubs were planted to honor the bell ringing that took place recognizing the sacrifices of our first responders and medical providers for the pandemic. This ministry began in March, 2020 and ended on Memorial Day, 2021, for a total of over 400 days of nightly ringing at 8PM.
Gardens were well cleaned to get us ready for spring and then had a final cleaning in the fall. A terrific parish turnout of volunteers made the task quick, satisfying and very enjoyable. We will be looking for volunteers again once spring arrives. Our gardens generally are in the best shape in years thanks to the work of parishioners.
We have other projects both shorter and longer term in the works. There are major upgrades to our electronics and ability to broadcast services within the church and on the internet. We are also planning to install security cameras to improve safety. We will need to do some repairs to the chancel stained glass windows on the outside to keep them in good, weatherproof shape. We have some brick pointing to do on the foundation. We will need to address some painting and roof replacement in the next few years.
I want to thank Don Protheroe of the Vestry for his help with identifying places where drafts can be reduced and helping with those efforts. I also want to thank our Deacon, Rev. Rob Laite. His attention in and around the building and grounds keep things in top shape, attending to needs as they arise. He deserves our gratitude!
With a building our age, it is a continuous maintenance effort if we, as stewards, are to keep it for future generations.
Our facility is a blessing to us all!
Respectfully, Chris Rector
The Music Program in 2021
When 2021 dawned, we still weren’t vaccinated. We knew were in for a long winter. At St. John’s, services were videotaped with music included. Fr. Peter came up with “Hymn of the Week,” and I sang and played it. An organ prelude and postlude bracketed these musical offerings. As time went by, I started playing piano preludes and postludes. Our lovely Yamaha Clavinova also permitted me to prerecord accompaniments. This allowed me to start singing hymns or other pieces to my own piano accompaniment. For video, this was a better setup than playing the organ and singing with the camera behind me or to one side.
For a while, we recorded Holy Eucharist liturgies just like so many other churches. But virtual communion began to wear thin after a while and services became more oriented toward Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer.
All the while, Fr. Peter became more and more adept at multiple camera recording, making it possible to watch the organ pedals and the manuals simultaneously. This went on week by week. Lent came and went, then Holy Week. For Easter, I hired my colleague, Sean Fleming, to prerecord the piano accompaniments to Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Five Mystical Songs. This is major vocal repertoire that requires an expert accompanist, and it brought me back decades to my time as a solo singer. Without COVID, it wouldn’t have happened. Various movements of Vaughan Williams’s settings of George Herbert’s poetry were performed, some for Easter and others later on.
Finally, on Pentecost, May 23rd, we held our first service in the churchyard. Accompaniment for outdoor services was a rickety electric keyboard that dated back to the days of the Youth Choir. Connected to a portable amplifier borrowed from the Bowdoin Music Department, it wasn’t a great sound but nobody cared. It was such a joy to sing together outdoors! But it was short lived. The following week, Trinity Sunday, was too cold to hold an outdoor service so we moved inside. It was May 30, 2021. We hadn’t had a service inside the church with congregation for fourteen months! The following weeks, weather permitting, we moved back outside until the 4thof July, a Sunday, when we began regular indoor services.
In the meantime, a new musical ensemble had come together: the Recorder Trio. This group comprises Gail Ladd, Wilhelmina Ulbrich and your music director. The three of us had been playing together outdoors since the pandemic began but now, in the middle of summer, we decided to include recorder music occasionally for Sunday services. I’m deeply grateful to Willy and Gail for their devotion to this work. We have appreciated the enthusiasm that members of the congregation have expressed for the recorder music. Since July, the Recorder Trio has played twice a month for services, providing prelude, Communion and postlude woodwind music.
For fall semester, Down East Singers needed a rehearsal venue where it would be safe to sing as a larger chorus. St. John’s graciously agreed to share the tent that had been erected in the side yard. Rehearsals began in late August on Sunday afternoons and concluded with a concert at the Camden Amphitheatre in mid-October. Down East is deeply grateful for the hospitality offered to our chorus. Without the tent rehearsals we wouldn’t have been able to present our fall concert. If you’d like to watch it, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC4fcfOImIE&t=35s
In December St. John’s was able to present a Messiah Sing with four fine soloists and the Mozart Mentors Orchestra. This popular pre-Christmas event had not been scheduled in 2020 due to the pandemic. To keep people as safe as possible, we staged the event in Watts Hall. A good-sized crowd of singers showed up but in that large space we were able to keep socially distanced while singing Handel’s glorious music. A video of this event, made by videographer Luke Fatora, will be featured on Down East Singers’ YouTube Channel and the Church’s media platforms soon.
During 2020, with the church closed for services for many months, it was decided not to have the Bedient pipe organ serviced. It is usually tuned annually in October. When services in the church began again in the summer of 2021 it was remarkable that the organ was still enough in tune to be presentable. The instrument finally got a thorough going over in November of 2021 and is in wonderfully good condition. Our organ is the pride of this area – unquestionably one of the finest instruments of its kind. It is now 18 years old.
In the spring of 2021 I decided that it was time to retire fully from the music faculty at Bowdoin College. I had technically retired in 2015, but the College had kept me on as a part-timer to conduct the Bowdoin Chorus. After 30 years on the faculty, I felt that the pandemic provided an ideal time to step aside. Although retired from Bowdoin, I have decided to keep going with Down East Singers and, of course, St. John’s. I am deeply grateful to the congregation of this lovely church for your enthusiasm for the music I provide, your quiet attentiveness during preludes and postludes, your chanting of the psalms, and, most of all, for your stirring singing during services.
It is a joy and a pleasure to serve as your music director.
Faithfully Submitted, Tony Antolini
2021 TREASURER’S REPORT
Despite the continuing COVID pandemic that disrupted the normal routines of St. John’s for about half of 2021, our financial situation continued to improve throughout the year. This progress was made possible by 1) the outpouring of support from our parishioners, both full-time and part-time, 2) our ability to return to in person gatherings starting in the early summer using the tent made possible by the generosity of Gayle and Bruce Elfast, 3) an unexpected second draw PPP loan of $43,700 arranged by the Diocese, 4) the continued improvement in the local COVID situation in the summer and early fall that permitted us to have more routine activities inside the building and 5) expense reductions that were undertaken early in the year to address an uncertain environment
Due mainly to the PPP loan, which has been forgiven and converted into a one-time grant from the Diocese, we ended 2021 with an operating surplus of almost $41,000. Even without the Diocesan aid, we could have finished the year with a more modest surplus because we accumulated, and reserved for future years, income from some of our endowments that we normally use for operating purposes. In short, since we didn’t need that income, we didn’t use it.
Although the COVID situation still is quite fluid, we are planning on a more traditional operating year in 2022, as reflected in the attached budget. We are thankfully able to increase compensation for clergy and staff and anticipate other increased expenses primarily for utilities and insurance and other categories that hopefully will be reflective of robust Church operations. Against these expenses, we have solid pledges for 2022 and with traditional income from our other sources, plus the cash reserves we were able to accumulate in 2021, we should be able to address what is projected to be a modest operating deficit.
Finally, I am happy to report that we were able to use some of our excess cash in 2021 to repay to our Endowments the final $10,000 we borrowed to finish off the recent capital improvements and a smaller amount outstanding that we needed to access a couple of years ago to cover operating cash flow shortages. Thus, we are debt-free to ourselves as of year-end 2021!
I want to thank Peter and Tony for their hard work and flexibility in keeping us going through some very unusual circumstances. I offer a shout out as well to the members of the Vestry for their valuable input and advice and to the congregation for your outstanding support. With God’s help, we will continue in 2022 and beyond, the mission to which we have been called.
Ben Griffin, Treasurer
Outreach Committee 2021 Report
The Outreach Committee has re-formed after a long covid related break. Membership in 2021 included:
Jack Carpenter, Mary Anderson Griffin, Marsha Hoecker, Bonnie Percival and Karen Goodwill.
Our mission statement: The mission of the Outreach Committee of St. John Baptist is to educate and communicate with the parish about the needs of the greater community and to discern and inspire appropriate parish action to meet those needs.
In addition to defining our mission, we decided that we should donate some of the Outreach money that has accumulated in our account. To that end, we made the decision to help fully fund the Bishop’s request for the Lebanon Boys. The committee presented Bishop Brown a check for $3,000.00 which included some direct donations from members of the congregation earmarked for this fund. In addition, we came up with a list of five organizations that we felt could benefit from a donation. The congregation was asked to rank the organizations from one to five. The participation was gratifying, and the committee appreciated the enthusiastic response. Based on the feedback, the following organizations each received a donation of $1,000.00:
The Homeless Coalition/Hospitality House
The Knox Clinic
The Landing Place
New Hope for Women
In 2022, we plan to continue to educate our committee and the congregation about the many organizations in our community who are helping to meet so many needs and serve so many people.
If there are members of the congregation who would like to join us, the committee would be delighted to have them. We would also like to have suggestions from the congregation of organizations who need our help. We plan to try to introduce a new charitable group to the congregation every month or so and to periodically make decisions, with input from the congregation, on which deserving organizations will receive funds. We also hope that we can inform the congregation of ways in which they can become directly involved.
Sincerely, Mary Anderson Griffin Chairman
Altar Guild Report
The Altar Guild is currently in a good financial position, thanks to generous donations received for Altar flowers in 2021. We have ordered a plain new fair linen for the Altar, from CM Almy, in Pittsfield, Maine - a ‘back-up’ in the event wine, wax, soot, or some other substance needs immediate removal.
Last spring, St. John’s received some items from St. Matthew’s in Hallowell when they closed; hymnals, bibles, brass candlesticks and other altar items including many linens, most of which are stained and are in still the process of being laundered.
We are in the process of looking into oil candles for the new pew poles, as the wax ones make a terrific mess on the glass sleeves.
We have 9 year-round and 4 seasonal members and we are always eager to welcome people interested in joining us.
The Altar be seen during the 8 & 10 am services live, or live-streamed on Facebook, and often in Father Peter’s video messages on the website and You Tube, and also on Instagram at flowersofstjohns.
Respectfully submitted, Emily Jenks, Directress
PEOPLE AND PLACES TO KNOW OR CONTACT:
The Diocesan Office
Loring House, 143 State Street, Portland, ME 04101
mailing address P.O. Bos 4036, Portland, ME 04101
Telephones: Portland, Maine(207) 772-1953
Toll Free within Maine: 1-800-244-6062
Web Address: www.episcopalmaine.org
The Bishop of Maine
The Rev. Thomas J. Brown, Bishop
The Diocesan Camp
Camp Bishopswood, Michael Douglas, Director
In The Parish:
The Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist
200 Main St., Thomaston, ME 04861
Office phone: 354-8734
OUR INTERNET WEB ADDRESS: www.stjohnsinthomaston.org
2021 Vestry: Parish Staff:
Rector: The Rev. Peter Jenks
Deacon: The Rev. Robert Laite, Jr.
Music Director: Dr. Anthony Antolini
Bookkeeping: Trina Ames
Cleaning: Tracy Emery
Brian Perkins, Sr. Warden
Chris Rector, Jr. Warden
Ben Griffin, Treasurer
Emily Jenks, Clerk
Sandra Hoekstra (22) Jan Gaudio (22)
Mark Ranney (23) Don Protheroe (23)
Altar Guild - Directress: Emily Jenks Asst. Dir: Kathy Cuthbertson
Secretary: Bev Williamson Treasurer: Bonnie Percival
Flowers: Bonnie Percival and Emily Jenks
Finance Committee – Ben Griffin, David Percival, Carolyn Garratt-Reed
Hospitality – Kathy Cuthbertson
Knitting Group –
Liturgy Committee – Emily Rotch
EfM mentors – Emily Rotch & Emily Jenks
Outreach Committee –
Prayer Chain Committee –
Rota Scheduling – Christy Gaudio
Copyright © 2021 Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist - All Rights Reserved. 200 Main St. Thomaston, ME 04861