December 6, 2013


Crossing Council Budget Meeting – 6 Dec 2013

Present: Tricia, Isaac Everett, Isaac Martinez, Annie, Michael, Shane, Jep Streit

Tasty food cooked by Isaac and Tricia and scavenged from Annie’s company.


Read through our mission statement.

What is most important to you about the Crossing?

• Shane: weekly communion. Having a constant ritual, and both serving and being served. This is a unique type of worship, different than anything else in his week.

• Isaac Martinez: Crossing brought him back to faith. This is a place to try new things and experience new things, and to take the boldness we have here out to his life and work.

• Michael: also hooked on Crossing because of the communion time. Here seeking depth of spiritual experience and a community joined together in seeking to fall more deeply in love with God.

• Isaac Everett: forming deep relationships & finding God in those relationships. Seeing people use their gifts – Rebecca’s violin, Keith’s monastic calling, etc. Seeing people blossom.

• Annie: community. First “adult” worship experience she’s had since college, where people are actually connecting with each other.

• Tricia: being part of a group of people really trying to walk in the Way of Jesus. Not just the life-changing bits, but also the world-changing.

What should we pay more attention to next year?

• Shane: external focus on transforming the world.

• Isaac M: calling leadership out of people, recollecting our institutional history.

• Michael: deeper spiritual formation, esp. groups going deep in conversation together.

• Isaac E: getting outside our walls, sharing the love of God with people other than us.

• Annie: by changing hearts in our community, we _are_ changing the world. But, we also need a social justice “arm” of the Crossing. We really don’t have one right now. Feeding the hungry, etc.

Search committee (Penny, Mary Beth, Tom, and Isaac M) update from Isaac M.

• Search committee right now is really excited, and finding that their meetings and interviews remind them of what they love about this community.

• Have interviewed four candidates, and are far in the process with one of them (who came and visited and met with the council) but are pausing that while addressing some questions that his visit brought up.

• Ruled another candidate out. Still need to go deeper with the other two.

• Search committee is meeting at least every other week.

• Question (Isaac E): are candidates hoping for full-time work and unable to commit otherwise? 

No, the other two are willing to go with part-time work. But, if it _were_ a full-time position, we’d probably get more applications.

• Next week, the Council and Search Committee are meeting together at Tricia’s house. Among other things, we’ll talk about whether we want to expand the priest position to full-time.

• Note: the candidate who visited sent a length “epistle” to the search committee giving some of his impressions of the Crossing, and the SC will ask him to send it to the rest of the council too.

Jep introduces himself to everyone in the group. He was a priest first in Lexington, then a BU chaplain living at 40 Prescott community house, then became dean of the cathedral. Historically, the Cathedral was placed here because this is the “nexus” of Boston; the bishop at the time wanted this to be a “house of prayer for all people.” The Crossing was part of that vision: a church service for people for whom church did not work. Was originally just another Cathedral service, but became gradually more independent. But at the same time, the Cathedral has some responsibility for what we do, financially and otherwise. Also, question: is the Crossing tied first and foremost to the Cathedral, or the diocese? 

Decided it’s more a Cathedral ministry.

November financial report from Shane.

• We’re ahead of budget on bringing in plate & pledge income, which is great news!

• Why is our advertising spending so low? (Because the council put advertising funds into creating the new website. Also, there is some Facebook advertising that has been done but not added to the years spending records yet.)

• Annie: has reimbursement been working properly? And how much have we reimbursed people? 

(There are things she ought to be reimbursed for but has not, yet.)

Discussion: philosophy of wages at the Crossing, for the new priest and for Isaac. (Bare bones budget does not include moving expenses or health care costs for a new priest with family.)

• Proposed budgets move Isaac from the “clergy” column to the “lay” column, but do not spell out how much each gets: Tricia $30K, Isaac $24K + $2.2K pension, admin $4.3K.

• Cathedral recommendation is: $33.5K for Tricia, $32.5K for Isaac, $4.3K for admin, new priest would be $33.5K + $6.3K pension + $14K health.

• Big questions: clergy usually get paid more than laypeople, but do we want to do that? Clergy have a recommended minimum wage, but do we have to meet that?

• Annie: it’s great to play with numbers on paper, but where would this money come from? Do we expect the cathedral to provide it? And, it feels like some people in our community are really nervous about the Crossing being too tightly tied to the Cathedral.

• Jep: Note that because the Cathedral gives the Crossing space, etc. for free, the Cathedral is really giving the Crossing a lot more than shows up on paper. Also, if we were a parish, it would be unimaginable to have 1.5 full time staff for a congregation of 35-40, but he thinks of the Crossing as more similar to a chaplaincy.

• Michael: given that realistically, we _can’t_ be independent of the Cathedral or the diocese, why don’t we just accept that? Hearing people stress over and over their hope of us being financially independent makes me feel like the Cathedral and diocese begrudges us what they give us, but if that’s not the case, why act like it is?

Fist – to – five consensus vote on moving toward the Cathedral’s “recommended” wage: passed.

Note: if the new priest does not come on board until June, we don’t have to pay health insurance for half a year, so we’d actually be more like $15K over budget instead of $25K over.

We need to fix a few things in the recommended budget, e.g. it doesn’t include money for the admin. 

Also, the music budged drops by $2600 because we have no music director.

Isaac: If we set a much more aggressive plate and pledge goal, and if we hire the new priest halfway through the year, and if the Cathedral is okay giving us $10K extra, this budget is close to being balanced 

(still an $8K deficit).

Tricia: We got 13 monetary pledges last night, for a total of $11220.

Isaac: that’s not counting some of our biggest regular donors.

Michael: plus, some people can’t be expected to make pledge decisions on the spot. So, I think we’ll end up with a lot more than that.

Annie: some action items:

• Figure out how much the Crossing should reimburse Isaac for his Obamacare

• Revise the budget with the fixes identified above.

Shane: proposal: move forward with this recommendation, assuming numbers will be put in and finalized before we approve the final budget.

Isaac: we also need to reach a consensus on what Isaac’s salary should be, given that the Cathedral proposal of $24K raised to $32.5 is a huge increase.

Tricia: let’s not forget the proposal to pay for the mission circle doing LDI training this year. We need that to be decided on by January.

Annie: we should also be thinking more about writing grants for next year, and maybe using the resources of people at the Cathedral with experience and knowledge of where we could apply.

Fist-to-five passed for budgeting $800 for LDI training. (Lura is hoping to raise grants to offset that, but it is not a given.)



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