Dear St. Lukers,
You will be seeing some exciting staff updates over the next several days and I felt it was important for you to know how these positions are being funded. One of the most important things for you to know is that even with the latest hires, we will be spending $63,000 less on personnel costs than we did in 2014.
As you may recall we offered voluntary retirement packages at the end of 2014 to approximately ten employees. Four employees accepted those voluntary packages. Once we knew who was going to take the voluntary package it was determined which of those positions would need to be filled. It has always been in the plan to backfill the Administrator for Connect and Care Ministries and the Director of Adult Spiritual Formation. We anticipated that the receptionist position could be covered by volunteers who answer phones and greet visitors. We thank those dedicated servant leaders who have answered the call to support St. Luke’s in this volunteer role. The Director of Events duties were absorbed by Kelly Smith, Executive Director of Operations, who did this function prior to the events position being added to the staffing structure.
It is our philosophy to re-evaluate staff positons when there is a vacancy. This gives us the opportunity to explore realigning the staff to improve efficiency and ensure we are living out the goals of our 4D Vision. We utilized this process when Andrew Miller, Director of Youth Ministries, announced his intent to move into the candidacy process to become an Ordained Elder. As he worked this fall to complete the needed paperwork we were evaluating what would be best for the youth program. Andrew was successful in completing all of the needed paperwork and is being appointed as a local pastor as of July 1. His last day with us is Sunday, May 31. Knowing this, we created a job posting for not one but two Directors for our youth ministry with some additional responsibilities. We will now have a Director of Middle School Youth which will not only connect with middle schoolers and have primary responsibility for Confirmation but will also build a bridge of connection with our 5th and 6th graders helping them make the transition from elementary and early middle school to being involved completely in the middle school youth program. We also determined that the High School Youth Director should be connected with our college age/young adult population. The connection with college age/young adults has been a missing component for us for many years and was identified as a strong need through the 4D Vision process. We have hired two individuals for these roles and they begin on June 1. Zac Burke will join us as the Director of Middle School Ministries and Caryn Royer will join us as the Director of High School and Young Adults. This is very exciting and should help to re-energize our efforts to connect with new students and young adults as well as keep our young people more connected with the church from 5th grade on.
With the success of the COMMIT Completion Campaign we also recognized the need to examine how the Coleman Memorial Gymnasium would be utilized once Founders’ Hall (the new worship and performing arts venue) is complete. Additionally, we have identified a need for more Family Ministry connection. We again utilized this opportunity to vision and discern what we needed and determined it was time for a Director of Family and Recreational Ministries. This new position is different than the Director of Recreation and Wellness role from several years ago and includes more ministry connection. This position will work with existing ministries to determine how to be more inclusive of the entire family in activities – some related to sports and some related to family type events. This could be things like movie nights, taking over the family campout night, off site opportunities, etc. This position will also create more organized recreational time for the congregation and community and ensure ample opportunity for open gym times too. The St. Luke’s Sports Ministry will fall under this new person which eliminates the need for the current contracted coordinator for this ministry. A portion of the compensation for this ministry position will be offset by fees which we have been paying for this contract employee. There is also an option for some additional fee-based recreational programs which would also generate funds to offset the compensation. Again, because of the good stewardship of the salary line items we have the capacity for this position and will remain under the 2014 actuals for compensation expenses. We posted the position, held interviews and extended an offer to Chris Smith which he accepted. Chris will join our team as of June 1.
The final full-time position we anticipate adding in 2015 is the Director of Adult Ministries. We will work over the summer to build the framework and structure for this position and post the job either late summer or early Fall. Our desire is to have someone on board by September.
I give you all this information to not only be transparent in what is happening with these new hires but to also let you know that this is a well thought out process taking the finances of St. Luke’s into consideration as well as the organizational needs as we move forward. We are in constant communication with the Staff Leadership team and reviewing our financial situation. You have been good and faithful servants in your stewardship to the church with your giving and service. Please know that we are doing the same as we determine appropriate spending needs.
Thank you for your trust and support. We have an exciting few months ahead of us with Pastor Bill’s departure and Pastor Jenn’s affirmation of leadership. St. Luke’s is in a good place and we are continually blessed by the mission and vision that God has placed before us.
So remember, it’s not STLUKE’S without U.
Chairperson, Staff Parish Relations Committee