December 8 is Commitment Sunday

As of December 3, the Campaign for St. Alban’s has reached $1.23 million in pledges, thanks to the generosity of our parish members — and we still have more parish families to visit. The success of the Campaign is laying the groundwork for a revitalized St. Alban’s that will serve Christ in our community for decades to come.

This Sunday, December 8, Father Jeff and the Vestry will ask that each parishioner make a sacrificial pledge (payable over 5 years) toward this important effort. While we have met our minimum goal, there is more to do — and we need everyone’s participation.

Every dollar raised before the end of the year will allow us to complete our renovations, revitalize our capital reserve, and ensure the vitality and stability of our parish for future generations.

Campaign Update: December 1, 2019

As of early December, we have more than 83 gifts raised by 19 volunteers.

We still need to hear from around 80 of our active parish families.

Please download the December 1 bulletin here.

As Fr. Jeff wrote in the newest issue of our newsletter:

Our initial goal of $1.1M is the minimum we believe we’ll need to complete the project God has called us to, but until the actual work is begun and the old kitchen floor is jackhammered up, we may not know exactly what kind of work we are faced with and the cost could be higher than we estimate. And, because I have absolutely no desire to run a Capital campaign again in my career here with the saints of St. Alban’s, this is our one chance to raise the funds that will be needed to take care of some physical plant issues and potential problems looming ahead of us.

The entire exterior of our building, including the rectory, desperately needs to be scraped, cleaned and repainted. Ironically, our smooth, new parking lot now makes our building look ill-cared for. I have recently learned that the mini-split air-conditioning units in the parish hall are operating with a coolant that will be banned in the next couple of years, meaning that sooner or later, those systems will have to be replaced as they won’t be maintainable.

Did you know that your volunteer mowing teams literally mow the hill on the north side of Columbia Pike with one foot on the curb, and one foot on the extremely busy asphalt surface of Columbia Pike? I wouldn’t ask anyone to do put their lives in danger like that, but yet, our mowers do that weekly. That hillside needs to be cleaned up and replanted with low- or no-maintenance plantings so that our fellow parishioners don’t needlessly put their lives at risk to maintain the beauty of our campus.

These are just a few of the reasons we need to continue forging ahead with our Capital Campaign. In the season of Stewardship, we must be mindful not only of the financial needs of our parish community, but also of the need to maintain and improve our lovely home here at St. Alban’s.

Our Capital Campaign is entering into its final weeks. If you haven’t been approached to give yet, I pray that you respond to the call with generosity. If you’ve already given, thank you! If you are not in a position to financially support this important project, I hope that you will support us with prayer and share the excitement about the possibilities of new ministries and programming.

The work we do today will ensure that there is a St. Alban’s in Annandale tomorrow – a place where Jesus is known and where his love shines brightly.

Campaign Update: Above & Beyond!

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings

As you know, the Capital Campaign Committee plans to meet with every family in our parish to discuss the campaign and to hear firsthand everyone’s thoughts and hopes for the future of St. Alban’s. We are thrilled at the response so far, and the generosity of our fellow parishioners.

As of this writing, we’ve met with about half of all the families, and we have documented pledges for the campaign totaling nearly $1.2 million. Your level of commitment is putting us on a path to improved infrastructure that will benefit our ministries for decades to come!

Our minimum financial goal, to complete the renovated kitchen and adjacent facilities, was $1.1 million. Having exceeded that minimum, we can now focus on revitalizing our capital reserve fund. This will enable us to complete a large number of long-overdue and necessary projects like:

  • Fresh repainting of the entire exterior of the church & rectory
  • Improving the lighting and cooling in the choir loft
  • Upgrading the speakers in the nave so that all can hear
  • Replacing the boiler, long past its lifespan
  • Clearing the overgrowth along Columbia Pike and replanting the hillside with low-maintenance plantings to ensure the safety of our volunteer mowing team

What is the Capital Reserve Fund and why does it matter? The Capital Reserve has been used to fund several important (and expensive!) projects that otherwise might have required capital campaigns of their own. These included such projects as the resurfacing and relighting of our parking lot, structural repairs to the sacristy, and the replacement of the HVAC system.

By replenishing the Capital Reserve, and refurbishing our aging structures, we also contribute to the long-term financial stability of the parish. Did you know that 80% of our annual income comes from parishioner pledges? While your annual pledge generosity  is needed and appreciated, it will be easier for your vestry to plan from year to year if we added more revenue from other sources, such as facility rentals. All of this improved infrastructure will make that possible!

We are only halfway toward our goal of meeting with everyone, and we hope to achieve parish-wide participation in the campaign. If that happens, your vestry will be able to consider even more improvements that have long been requested by our fellow members, such as:

  • Upgrading the electrical throughout the facility, including charging stations in all rooms
  • Upgrading the parish office air conditioners
  • Replacing signs on Gallows Road and Sleepy Hollow Road
  • Eventual need for asbestos removal from classrooms and sacristy
  • Redesigning Room 1, including removing closets, repainting, and appropriate furnishings

It’s been a blessing for those of us on the committee to meet with so many parishioners and hear of how much you love St. Alban’s and what its ministries mean to you. Every single one of you is a vital part of this parish, and we can’t wait to meet individually with each of you. Please, when you are contacted by a member of the committee about meeting, say yes! 

And if you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact either of us, or anyone on the committee. There are also a complete set of Q&As, and regularly updated information, on our website at https://wearestalbans.org/campaign/. Thank you!

Campaign Update: 96% of Our Minimum Goal

On October 20, “The Campaign for St. Alban’s” officially launched — and thanks to our committed fellow parishioners and several early gifts, we have a big head start toward meeting our goal! There’s still a way to go, and we need everyone’s support, and, especially, prayers.

As we’re sure you’ve heard by now, the Vestry launched this campaign after years of prayer, discussion and discernment. At the heart of our project is a major renovation of our Parish Hall facilities — including a new kitchen to help enhance and expand our food ministries, parish family events, and rental revenue; new restrooms, required to comply with county codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act; and a new shower and laundry area to improve our hospitality offerings such as our hypothermia program.

In fact, you could say that “Hospitality” — to our neighbors and community, as well as our parish family — is the theme of this entire project.

The goal of the Campaign Committee is to ensure that personal meetings are held with each and every one of our nearly 200 member families. We want to discuss the goals of the campaign with each of you personally, hear your feedback, and answer any questions you may have about it. When you are contacted by a fellow parishioner about setting up a personal visit to discuss the campaign, please say yes to the visit! And we hope that all of you will continue to pray for our parish, and the success of our campaign.

Campaign Update: October 24, 2019

As of October 24, we have written and verbal pledges adding up to 96% of our minimum goal!

We have met with 63 of our 191 parish families.

Please download the October 24 issue of our campaign newsletter here.

What Do We Mean By Minimum Goal?

That minimum goal represents the least amount of capital that we believe we need to conduct the kitchen and adjoining facilities renovation. We will need everyone’s help in order to reach that goal — and, hopefully, exceed it.

By exceeding our initial minimum goal, we will be able to replenish our capital reserve — which will contribute to the church’s long-term stability and allow us to fund a number of expected capital replacements over the next few years. A full list of potential projects can be found on our campaign webpage. Please visit that webpage frequently as we will keep it updated as we go along! It also includes lots of other background information and resources, including Frequently Asked Questions about the campaign.

Capital Campaign Leadership Finalized

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings

With the start of the 2019 Capital Campaign just around the corner, the Vestry, Fr. Jeff and the Campaign Co-Chairs (Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings) are pleased to present the Executive Committee and liaisons for the campaign (see the org chart below or download a copy here). We are grateful that so many wonderful and talented fellow parishioners are willing to give their time and advice for this critical 4-month endeavor that will help define the future path of our parish.

There will be many opportunities for everyone to help support the Capital Campaign over the next four months. We’ll need volunteers to help with visitations, scheduling, reporting, acknowledgements, grant proposals, graphics, and even planning celebration events. If you are willing to give a week or two of your time to help out, please contact Bill Calvert, Linda Cummings or Fr. Jeff.

Soon, you will also see a new face around St. Albans. Daniella Hansen will be our on-site capital campaign consultant, available for discussions and questions throughout the course of the campaign (to see Daniella’s bio, click here).  Please join us in welcoming Daniella to St. Albans.

We will continue to provide capital campaign updates on our website, so be sure to check back frequently by clicking the banner at the very top of each page of our website!

Capital Campaign Kicks Off in September

by Bill Calvert & Linda Cummings


For those who participated in the St. Alban’s Feasibility and Planning Study, thank you! We are pleased to share that, at the close of the study, 51 strategic conversations were completed. An additional 40+ members of our community engaged in an electronic survey.

The St. Alban’s Feasibility Study Executive Summary provides an overview of the results; you can download a copy of the feasibility study here.

Our consultant, CCS Fundraising, presented a report to the Vestry during the June 2019 meeting. (Download this PDF to learn more about CCS Fundraising.) Following the presentation, the Vestry authorized the commencement of a Capital Campaign for the purposes of upgrading our kitchen and attached restroom facilities. The Vestry authorized funding to support the hiring of CCS Fundraising to run the Capital Campaign, scheduled to start on or about the first week of September.

Preliminary planning is now underway to establish leadership roles and responsibilities in support of the campaign. We (Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings) have agreed to co-chair the campaign and, with the help of the many willing and wonderful volunteers at St. Alban’s, hope to make this effort fully transparent and successful.

We will continually update the capital campaign and kitchen page on our website with info and news, so be sure to check back frequently. There’s a banner at the very top of each page of our website that will always take you there!

Many thanks again for your time, for your important advice, and for your help in this important planning endeavor for St. Alban’s. In the coming months, we will share more information about the plans. And, if you ever have any questions, please ask!

Bill Calvert and Linda Cummings are the co-chairs of the St. Alban’s Capital Campaign.

Why Redo Our Kitchen?

“Your building is either advancing your mission… or a drain on it.”

That’s a quote from one of the architects who produced the design for our new kitchen. That architect very succinctly described our situation. I know that there are some who have concerns about the project – concerns about the cost, concerns about the complexity and there are, perhaps, other unvoiced concerns.

A member of the St. Alban’s Vestry, Jim Kilby, shared some thoughts on the project with me, and I’d like to share them with you. — Fr. Jeff

From Jim Kilby:

Jim KilbyOver the past few weeks, I have heard that some members of our congregation question the high cost and need to undergo the kitchen renovation project. While initially I shared this opinion, I now have a greater understanding of the scope of the project.

Much of this was gained through reading the Case for Support of the Kitchen Project, participation on the Capital Campaign and through talking to some of our primary kitchen users. I am now onboard, completely.

Simply put, our kitchen is not a commercial grade kitchen, but it should be.

If the sole use was supporting coffee hour, I might be swayed against the project. However, our kitchen is not adequate to support our mission of community outreach (Poe Middle School after-hours meals program, Belvedere Elementary weekend food program and Hypothermia Project), nor our larger parish meal requirements.

Furthermore, if we do anything to our kitchen, we need to bring it up to code. This will require significant below-foundation plumbing work as well as other modifications.

I believe the bathroom remodel is a related project which would be prudent to undertake in conjunction with the kitchen. I use the “I’m changing your water pump, so It would be smart to change out your timing belt since you are approaching 90k miles” analogy.

Finally, adding a shower and laundry will be a significant upgrade to help us in executing our Hypothermia Project Mission, as well as helping the Altar Guild with linens and other requirements.

In my life in the Navy I have found it useful to use a command philosophy to center the crew on “the main thing.” I’ve found an open discussion of the difference between “ownership” and “stewardship” is helpful in this regard.

Ownership vs. Stewardship

If I “own” something, I have choice to care for something as I am moved to (example: I don’t have to change the oil in my car, even though I know that I should). If I am a “steward” of something, I no longer have that latitude. I am entrusted with the care of that object. It is a matter of trust and obligation. It is different.

As members of St Alban’s, I believe we are stewards of our property, stewards of our mission that positively impact our community. It is truly a higher calling. I am committed to this project and strongly believe that this is a “must do.” I am optimistic that the feasibility study will determine that we have the congregational resolve and fiscal means to make this investment in our church. Let’s get to it!

Sincerely,

Jim Kilby
Member, St. Alban’s Vestry

Capital Campaign: Exciting Times for St. Alban’s

As Fr. Jeff has extolled, these are exciting times at St. Alban’s!

The Vestry has approved the hiring of a capital campaign consultant and we are in the final contract negotiation phase.

The consultant will be CCS Fundraising of Falls Church, who was the unanimous top choice of the interview panel and has extensive local and national experience with Episcopal church capital campaigns.

So, what should the congregation expect?

In April, the CCS Study Coordinator will arrive at St. Alban’s and embed with our church staff full-time to support the four-week Feasibility Study. A study steering committee will be empaneled, consisting of Fr. Jeff, Nancy Harrell, Bill Calvert and one or two other church members.

With the CCS coordinator, the committee will finalize the Case-for-Support. Additionally, the committee will mail invitations to 50-60 potential donors for confidential interviews with the CCS Coordinator(s).

These interviews will allow CCS to assess the donors’ feelings about the direction of St. Alban’s, the kitchen project itself, and the interest to both financially support the project and volunteer, should St. Alban’s undertake a full capital campaign.

An e-survey will be made available to congregants who are not interviewed.

From the interviews and e-survey, CCS will assess the likelihood that St. Alban’s could reach a campaign goal of $1.1 million, and will identify any potential issues regarding leadership or volunteerism for a capital campaign. This information will be documented in a formal report and presented to the Vestry by the CCS V.P. in late May or June.

From there, the Vestry will decide if St. Alban’s should proceed with a formal capital campaign and the ramping up of the pre-construction processes.

Please feel free to contact Bill Calvert, Betsy Anderson, Fr. Jeff or any vestry member with your questions or comments.

These are exciting times in the life of our parish family. The future is bright, the Spirit is active, and we are engaged in the work Jesus has given us to do.

Bill Calvert
Capital Campaign

Betsy Anderson
Kitchen Committee