Mary McKenna Convener of Council reports
Firstly I want to share an important diary date. Rev Maud Robinson, our much loved minister, will hold her last service at St Mark’s on 31 July 2016. To celebrate this, and to say thank you for all of her seven and three quarter years of being our spiritual leader, we will be having a Maud’s Farewell Party on that same afternoon. All members and friends of St Mark’s are welcome.
For those members and friends who were around when Maud was appointed, we held a ‘Getting to know you’ party at Bryan Wade’s house at Inverleith Terrace. The sun shone and it was a lovely event, and Bryan’s wonderful home and garden provided a great setting for this informal get together. Bryan has offered to host Maud’s leaving party, and this seems a great way of completing the circle. Put the date in your diary. Several members have offered their assistance with organising this event, and other expressions of interest and support would be welcome, just let me know how you can help.
Secondly, I wish to thank all members of Council who serve us so well with their knowledge, skills and experience. Especial thanks to Rob Whiteman who is leaving Council, and special welcome to new members of Council who were appointed at the AGM on 8 May; Jane Aaronson (who in her capacity as Waymark editor was an observer) now joins Council in her own right, and to Ida Silkenat, who is our Children’s Programme Co-Ordinator.
After the formal business of the AGM, there were small group discussions on the key issues in relation to the appointment of our next minister. While there was a strong preference to seek a full time-minister, there is no doubt the financial projections outlined by Brian Robertson, raised concerns. The new Council will need to consider these concerns, and develop a range of strategies to resolve the projected funding gap. If, as we anticipate, there will be a gap in finding our next minister, there was support for us exploring the possibility of a guest minister to support our own programme of worship being led by our members and friends.
Also at the AGM there was substantial agreement to proceed with plans to carpet the upper hall, with the aim of reducing the reverberated noise that is creating difficulties for some people. The Management Committee will take this forward and would hope to have accurate costs and proposed carpet samples to share during the summer period. The Management Committee, under Ann Sinclair’s leadership, does a power of work, and also hopes to progress plans to install new projection equipment.
Lastly, Maud has been working with a small group setting up a new web site for St Mark’s. This should be a significant improvement on our existing website and should be up by early June.