News about Foundry’s strategic planning

Sunday, October 6, 2013


This is a report on recent activities of Foundry’s elected Management Board, encompassing its August 27 and September 24 meetings as well as the Holy Conversation on September 15. This and similar accounts in the future will report on Foundry’s ongoing strategic planning.


Mark Schoeff Jr. and Stan Wellborn on behalf of the Mission Possible Communications Team


Update on Search for New Senior Minister


Foundry lay leaders have transmitted the church’s core beliefs to the bishop and district superintendent in an effort to guide the selection of a new senior minister.


“We’d like someone who embraces all our values, including marriage equality,” Larry Slagle, a member of Foundry’s Management Board, said at a congregational meeting on September 15. The one-hour gathering, termed a Holy Conversation, drew about 50 attendees.


Baltimore-Washington Conference Bishop Marcus Matthews and other conference officials have met with Foundry Board members about the upcoming search. The Board has submitted a church profile to the conference, which the bishop will use in the search. The profile contains Foundry’s values, mission statement, five-year goals, and a demographic analysis of the congregation.


The bishop said he would carefully consider Foundry’s needs as he selects the church’s next senior minister, to replace Dean Snyder, who will retire June 30. An announcement of the appointment is expected early next year.


Budget and Stewardship


At the September 24 meeting, the Finance Committee reported that the church’s revenues were running behind expenses by $103,000 at the end of August, but that is common. Compared to the same point last year, revenues are up $37,000 and expenses are down $30,000. (Revenues typically increase in the fourth quarter, because of year-end gifts and the congregation’s extra generosity during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.) Foundry’s current budget relies on spending some of its operating reserves, because Foundry’s revenues have not kept pace with increasing expenses.


The committee also reported that the completion of the 2012 church audit had been delayed because of questions related to a software change in the finance department in 2012. All issues are being fully investigated. Board President Dan Vock emphasized the need to have the audit completed and approved prior to the November 10 Charge Conference, and other Board members have stressed the importance of remediating the audit process to avoid future delays.


Foundry’s Consecration Sunday will be held on November 17. The worship service will mark the culmination of the stewardship campaign for 2014, which will launch in late October. Over the fall, the church staff will develop a proposed budget, and the Management Board will vote on it at its December meeting.


“We do not bring the budget forward until after [Consecration Sunday],” said Al Hammer, Foundry associate pastor and chief operations officer. “The stewardship campaign is not about the budget.”


The stewardship effort will focus on asking members of the Foundry community to determine what God is calling them to give as a part of their faith journey and commitment to God.


Mission Possible


An effort to finance a major renovation of the Foundry building — Mission Possible — has generated more than $3 million in pledges from more than 300 Foundry families. That funding will enable the church to seek a loan to start construction on the $6 million project in early 2014. The loan would have to be approved by the nine-member Management Board and by a congregational vote.


The first phase of the project will center on overhauling the central wing of Foundry’s first floor. The current chapel and parlor space would be removed to create a new reception area and a spacious and versatile new Fellowship Hall. Other improvements include a modern elevator to serve all three floors, new restrooms, and an improved heating and cooling system.


Bicentennial Celebration


The goal of Mission Possible is to complete the first phase of the construction by the end of Foundry’s Bicentennial Celebration, “Looking Back, Living Forward.” Those festivities will begin in August 2014 and continue through September 2015, when a homecoming event and dedication of the church renovation are scheduled.


Choir Room Remediation


Ongoing work on the Choir Room is making progress in limiting moisture seepage, structural deterioration, and mold growth. Existing walls are being stripped of damaged and deteriorating materials and a commercial-grade dehumidifier has been installed to ensure drier conditions in the room. The board has approved expenditures of up to $45,000 to complete the work.


Youth Ministry Plan


At the August 27 Management Board meeting, Theresa Thames, director of challenging study ministries, presented the 2013-14 Youth Ministry Overview Plan. Under the program, Foundry youth would attend worship the first and third Sundays of the month and have group meetings the second, fourth and fifth Sundays. They would participate in worship by serving as Communion stewards, greeters, ushers and scripture readers.


The initiative — which includes two fall / winter lock-ins, two spring retreats, monthly fellowship opportunities, and a Confirmation class beginning in February — is designed to get youth more involved in the life of the church, especially worship services.


“This is a completely volunteer-run, congregationally supported ministry plan,” Thames said. “This is a template for youth ministry for years to come.”