Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sabbatical – How it’s going to work (Part 3 of 3)

In the last two weeks, I’ve written about sabbatical as a time of rest, restoration and a check against the idolatry of believing in our own indispensability. I also wrote about sabbatical as a time of opportunity for reflection, discernment and to experience something new.

But how will things run and what exactly will be going on during my sabbatical? That’s what I want to talk about in this final installment.

The Vicar, wardens, and I have put together a document (approved by the Chapter) that outlines structures of authority, event planning and communications, the expanded role of chapter liaisons and the use of funds usually reserved to the Dean will happen during the sabbatical.

The entire document is available online (click here)- but the highlights are:

*The authority of the Dean will rest with the Vicar, the Rev. Canon Amy Chambers Cortright. This will include speaking on behalf of CCC, managing staff, and being the final authority on all decisions involving liturgy, pastoral care and Christian formation. The vicar will work collaboratively with the Executive Committee (wardens and treasurer)

*The Chapter will continue as it has been – as the primary policy-making and fiduciary body for Christ Church Cathedral.

*There is a process including the Vicar, a chapter representative and staff to decide questions of whether the Cathedral will host an event.

*There is a process involving the Vicar, digital missioner, wardens and communication & marketing committee involving communications and social media.

*The money that usually goes into the Dean’s discretionary fund will be diverted to the Vicar’s fund during the sabbatical, and she will also have access to the funds in the Dean’s hospitality account and a small special fund set up by Chapter that can be used at the Dean’s discretion with the advise and consent of wardens or chapter.

During my sabbatical, important efforts toward survival and sustainability at Christ Church Cathedral will also continue. Among them are:

BTM Rental Income – Facilities Manager Gary Johnson will continue to work with our commercial real estate broker to find tenant(s) for rentable space in the BTM. We currently are in negotiations with one interested party.

Chapter 2017 Budget Group – Jeff Goldone, Kris Reppert, Bruce Hopson, the Rev. Emily Hillquist Davis, and Andreas Altemueller is preparing 3-5 budget options that will be considered by Chapter – each of which is balanced or close to it -- with a broad structure for the 2017 budget being adopted at the May, 2016 Chapter meeting. This will give 7 ½ months both for any staff impacted by budget cuts to find new work or decide whether they want to stay under adjusted responsibilities/salaries and also time for the Cathedral to transition into what will very possibly be a smaller staff structure.

Facilities Audit – Cal Guthrie and the Property Committee are working with Gary Johnson on this project. In 2016, CCC contracted with ArchImages (http://archimages-stl.com/) to do a complete audit of all CCC properties (Cathedral, BTM, parking lot) to determine the state of the facilities, any deferred maintenance and to estimate cost of maintaining all property both today and for the next 30-50 years. This data will be used to determine (among other things):
*budgeting for facilities expenses.
*the amount of money needed to be raised in a capital campaign
*feasibility of sustaining/remodeling/tearing down the BTM

BTM Development Feasibility Study – A group including Lorraine Kee (sr. warden), Anne Trolard (Chapter), Bill Thomas (CCC parishioner), Jeff Goldone (Jr. Warden), the Rev. Canon Amy Cortright (Vicar) and Desiree Viliocco (Diocesan CFO – bishop’s staff representative) is working with The Rome Group, whom we have contracted with to do a feasibility study of whether there is a development project for the BTM that fits with our mission, is economically sustainable and that people are willing to get behind. This data will help determine whether there is a reasonable sustainable future for the BTM and how to achieve it.

Explorations with the Diocese over ownership of properties – Steve Barney, Karen Barney, Kris Reppert and Lorraine Kee are representing the Cathedral in conversations with the Diocese about whether it would be feasible and advisable for the diocese to take a larger ownership role in the Cathedral and the BTM. We are working with the Episcopal Church Foundation in these explorations as well.

It is a sign of the health of this community that I am able to step away and so much is able to get done. I am deeply grateful to the many people who are stepping up during this time and I hope everyone will consider how God might be calling them to step up as well.