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Episcopal Church of Transfiguration Mesa, AZ

Meeting Minutes

April 14, 2020

Approved

  1. Call to order

The meeting was called to Order by Fr. Bob Saik.

  1. Roll call

The following vestry members were in attendance: Pat Gutsch (2020), Gordon Noyes (2020), Heidi Kinney (2021), Pam Mack (2021), Catherine Schuyler (2021), Jo Laslo (2022), Karl Shepsted (2022), Bob Wilk (2021). Also in attendance were Bob Saik, Rector; Lynn Graff, Senior Warden, and Pat Mack, Junior Warden.

  • Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the March 10, 2020 meeting were approved.
  1. Financial Financial Reports (previously distributed) were discussed.
    1. The Finance Committee has met.
    2. The Financial Reports will be revised and distributed for approval by email.
    3. Issues to be resolved include Electrical and Refuse Expense and some bookkeeping issues.
  2. Reports from Ministries and Others:
    • Women’s Ministry Report was given by Jo Laslo.
      • ECW is not currently meeting.
      • The Style Show has not been rescheduled.
      • When the stay at home order has been lifted the ECW will proceed with the purchase of First Aid Kits as authorized in the March Vestry Meeting.
    • There was no Children’s Ministry Report.
    • The Chile Farm report was submitted in writing.
    • Social Media Report was given Fr. Bob Saik
      • The church is using all its online platforms to continue our services ad programs. These include YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Web Page.
      • We have added Zoom as a platform.
      • The following were acknowledged for their contributions: Dea Podhajsky, Cheryl Podhajsky, Dana Wittmann, Gordon Noyes. Elena Little, Peter Lafford, and Jan Saik
    • Junior Warden’s Report was given by Pat Mack
      • Landscaping work has been ongoing.
        • Spot Spraying of grounds
        • Bushes Trimmed
        • Weeds in back removed
        • Clean up of waste around campus
      • Walt Devonshire has been painting.
    • Senior Warden’s Report was given by Lynn Graff
      • Daughters of the King has completed its training. The formal ceremony for new members will be scheduled when possible.
      • The Soup Kitchen is still operating.
      • Susan Smith-Allen has organized a phone tree to keep parishioners informed of events and to check on people’s welfare.
    • Rector’s Report was given by Fr Bob Saik
      • The Deanery is meeting via Zoom/
      • We are currently staying in touch by recorded services, Zoom Services and the phone tree.
      • Peter Lafford has been recording our services. He has a videography business. In lieu of payment for his services he has requested any fee be donated to the discretionary fund.
      • Bishop Reddell has extended the ban on in person services until May 25th.
      • Plans for the sabbatical are on hold.

We qualify for a small business loan from the federal government under the Paycheck Protection Program

  1. Open Issues
    • WiFi Capability Update by Heidi Kinney
      • A new box has been installed by the office.
      • A separate WiFi system has been created for the church.
      • We have received an free upgrade for the month from Cox.
    • Million Meals Update
      • There has been a $1,000 donation to this ministry.
      • Grants have been made to the following food banks: Oasis Food Pantry in Payson, Silver Creek Senior Center in Snowflake and Taylor, Desert Manna Food Pantry in Mesa, Gila Commmunity Food Bank in Globe and Old Concho Community Association in Concho
    • Diocesan Rebate Money
      • There is $3,100 available
      • The following suggestions were made.
        • A celebration with flyers in the neighborhood for the resumption of our children’s programs.
        • Using money to support vets. A committee consisting of Catherine Schulyer, Barbara Turner, Pat Mack and Karl Shepsted will research and make recommendations for possible recipients.
        • Food Programs
        • Adopt a Grandparent Program in Mesa
        • Vacation Bible School
      • Adjournment

Fr. Bob Saik adjourned the meeting.

Minutes submitted by:  Dea Podhajsky

 

Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration

Mesa, Arizona

2020 Annual Meeting

January 26, 2020

The Reverend Bob Saik, Rector

Gary Quamme, Music Director

Linda Ostmeyer, Office Manager

 

2019 Wardens and Officers

Miriam Waddington, Senior Warden

Pat Mack, Junior Warden

Debbi Bloom, Treasurer

Ann Williamson, Clerk

2019 Vestry

Ruby Seyffert                                    Pat Gutsch                                         Lynn Graff

Eileen Chandler                                 Gordon Noyes                                    Heidi Kinney

Dea Podhajsky                                   Barbara Turner                                     Dave Milton

  1. Annual Meeting Agenda

 

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Appointment of Clerk, Recorders and Tellers
  3. Minutes of 2019 Annual Meeting
  4. Appointment of Senior Warden
  5. Election of Junior Warden
  6. Election of Treasurer
  7. Election of Vestry
  8. Election of Diocesan Convention Delegates
  9.  Rector’s Report
  10. Senior Warden’s Report
  11. Junior Warden’s Report
  12. Ministry Reports
  13. Recognition of Outgoing Officers and Vestry Members
  14. Financial Reports
  15. Presentation of 2020 Budget
  16. Celebration of Our Ministry
  17. Closing Prayer
  18. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING

January 27, 2019

  1. Call to Order / Opening Prayers

The meeting was called to order at 12:06 am by Fr Bob Saik.

  1. Appointment of the Clerk of the Meeting.

Joan Crossman moved that Ann be appointed as Clerk of the Annual Meeting, seconded, passed

  1. Appointment of Recorders and Tellers

Ruby Seyffert moved to approve Linda Sandoval and Vivian Ware as tellers, seconded, passed

  1. Minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting:

Margie Wauters moved to approve the minutes from last year as presented, seconded and passed

  1. Appointment of Senior Warden

Miriam Waddington has been reappointed as Sr Warden.

  1. Election of Junior Warden

Ruby Seyffert moved that we approve Pat Mack as our Junior Warden.

  1. Election of Vestry

Lynn Graff nominated Debbie Bloom as Treasurer, seconded and passed.

We have nine member-at-large members of the vestry, plus the officers.  They rotate at 3-year intervals.

Nominees are Lynn Graff, Heidi Kinney, and David Milton.  Meg Stresen-Reuter moved to accept the slate as presented, seconded, passed

  1. Election of Diocesan Convention Delegates

Clergy, Sr Warden, and Jr Warden are automatically selected.  Four lay positions are available.  Candidates don’t have to be Vestry members.

Automatic:  Clergy, Sr Warden, Jr Warden,

Nominees: Ann Williamson, Pat Gutsch, Bill* Robinson, Dea* Podhajsky, Ruby *Seyffert, Peg* Wier, Linda* Sandoval, Barbara Turner

Top 5* elected, the rest are alternates.

  1. Rector's Report

Fr began his remarks earlier during the sermon.  He forgot to mention Jan during the 10 am service.  There are many wonderful things going on in this church.  Fr's old office is being turned into a nursery.  We are getting closer to being able to serve food from our kitchen.  We need drivers to bring people to church.  We need improvement in pastoral care.  Fr wants to start a Saturday evening service (unstructured) in the chapel located in the house.  Thanks to Terry Ostmeyer, Freda Laing and Meg Stresen-Reuter for working in the kitchen today.

  1. Senior Warden’s Report

Miriam expressed an “Attitude of gratitude”, thanking Fr Bob for his service.  She is grateful for lay presence.  Her own message is to love and serve the Lord, worship on his Holy ground.  A written report is in the booklet.

  1. Jr Wardens’ Report

Written report is in the booklet.  Pat thanked all the volunteers who have helped throughout the year as listed in the report or otherwise mentioned.

  1. Ministry Reports

In the packet, attention was called to the Daughters of the King report, Outreach report, the Altar Guild report, the Improvement Fund report, the Stewardship report, the Chile Farm report, the Social Media report, the ECW report, and the Children’s Ministry report.  Fr thanked Nancy Robinson for her work in the garden.  Bill Robinson presented a video about the Chile Farm.

Intermission - Singing with Gary

  1. Recognition of Outgoing Officers and Vestry Members

Joan Crossman is the outgoing Treasurer.

Meg, Steve Dingle and Elena are outgoing Vestry members.

Thanks to Linda Ostmeyer and Gary Quamme,

  1. Financial Reports

Fr reviewed Joan's notes in the booklet for the Balance Sheet and the Treasurers Report, noting the effect of the stock market on our investments.  James Stines moved to accept the reports as presented, seconded and passed

  1. Presentation of 2019 Budget

The notes at the end of the report were reviewed, including changes.  Bonusses for employees were explained.  Since this has already been approved by the Vestry, no further discussion occurred.

  1. Celebration of Our Ministries

Meg is thankful for the having more land than we did (land abandoned to us by the county), Ruby for the Altar Guild.  Jan and Linda thanked all those who have assisted in the office.  Shirley thanked all our winter members, especially the Canadians.  Pat G thanked those who have helped her with the nursery.  Bill R thanked all the chile farm volunteers,

  1. Closing Prayer
  2. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 1:16 pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Ann B Williamson   Clerk of the Vestry

 

  • Candidate Information

 

Appointment of Senior Warden\

Appointment of Lynn Graff as Senior Warden

Election of Junior Warden

Re-election of Pat Mack, our current Junior Warden

Election of Treasurer

Re-election of Debbi Bloom, our current Treasurer

   Selection of Diocesan Convention Delegates

The candidates for Diocesan Convention are Heidi Kinney, Pat Gutsch, Barbara Turner and Ruby Seyffert.

 

  1. Rector’s Report for the Annual Meeting – January 26, 2020

 

Last Sunday, January 19th, I celebrated the sixth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. This week, January 26th, we join together as a Transfiguration community to celebrate the past year in our church life and look forward to another year. It is a special blessing for me to be your rector. Jan and I have received many positive comments from the people of this church. I am fortunate that we have so many volunteers who help out. I am thankful for those who welcome newcomers and I ask you to continue to show your care for everyone who comes to the church. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and strengthen us.

Our liturgy is the central activity of the church. Thanks to Steve Dingle, Chris Whitehead, and Ann Williamson for coordinating the volunteers. I so appreciate all that Susan Smith-Allen does for us. And I am thankful that Philip Stowell, retired priest, has come back to help at the altar. My special thanks go out to Ruby Seyffert and the altar guild members who prepare and clean up after each service. I thank all the lay readers, acolytes, chalice bearers, and ushers. Thanks to Gary Quamme who so faithfully leads our music program and thanks to the dedicatedmembers of the choir for providing music.

We continued many regular events and invite you to join us at any time. We have coffee and fellowship after each service in the Parish Hall and my thanks go out to

Terry Ostmeyer for cleaning up after the coffee hours. On Monday mornings, a group of men and women gather for breakfast and fellowship followed by completing projects to keep our church property functional and working in the garden. Thanks to Dea Podhajsky for continuing the walking group and a book club. On Wednesday, we have either Morning Prayer or Eucharist in the Parish Hall followed by Bible Study. Altar Guild, Daughters of the King and ECW meet on the first Saturday of the month. Thanks to Bobbie Lafford who helps plan Adult Formation discussion which we hold on Sunday between services.Our Lord’s soup kitchen continues to offer tasty soups thanks to Bob and Mabel Wilk. Please feel free to take one and give itto a person in need. I think about all the events and activities of the past year including the Spring Fashion Show, the Rummage Sale, trips to Detour Theater, and Organ Stop Pizza.

We have held Newcomer’s Dinners. Our vestry held a successful retreat to help us focus on our 2019 activities. We have fun together, learn together, worship together and eat together. Our church is a place to engage with people spiritually. Some new ministries started in 2019. Several people converted an office into a nursery and Catherine Walicki takes care of young children during the 10:00 AM service. We started a Saturday evening service with slightly different liturgy and music. After a pause, we will restart the Saturday service at 5:00 PM in the Parish House. Susan Smith-Allen leads a group called spirituality for the second half of life every other Tuesday at 1:00 PM. Pam Mack started a monthly game night. We are fortunate that generous people give money to keep our ministries active. This past year people gave money to help our Capital Campaign.

Outreach continues to be a major focus of our activities. Our interaction with local nonprofit organizations has significantly increased this year. Please see Peg

Weir’s report in this booklet. As we look to the future, I hope that we can seek new ways to interact with people who need our help. Our Facebook page and web site continue to be an important way for us to keep in touch with regular members of the church and those who are just learning about us. Thanks to all those who work in our children’s ministry programs. Sadly, our Sunday school does not have children attend most of the time.

Most especially, I wish to thank those who have served on our vestry, our treasurer, Debbi Bloom, Joan Crossman who continues to help, and our clerk, Ann Williamson. I am so appreciative of all the assistance that Miriam Waddington, our senior warden, has given to me. Thanks to Pat Mack for serving as our junior warden. We are grateful for the service of retiring vestry members Dea Podhajsky, Eileen Chandler, and Ruby Seyffert. I am sure that I have missed many people who have volunteered their time and made this the joyful and loving and welcoming place that it is. Thanks to you as well. A special thanks to Linda Ostmeyer, our office manager, for seeing that the orders of service are prepared weekly and the office runs smoothly. I would also like to thank my wonderful wife, Jan, who has been such a dedicated volunteer and companion on this journey. We have many opportunities to grow our ministries to families, neighbors, visitors and those in need. I hope that we will become a food distribution site for needy people. Please pray that we will all find a way to do God’s work in this world.

Blessings to each of you,

Bob Saik, Saik, Rector

 

  1. Senior/Rector Warden’s Report

 

My report this year comes in a spirit of love and thanksgiving. We at Church of the Transfiguration are SO privileged to have Fr. Bob as our Rector, along with Jan, his dedicated wife and partner, in his ministry. Fr. Bob has such a kind and loving spirit "The Spirit of the Lord" that he shares with all of us. He is happy to be here in God's service and we are so blessed that he answered God's call. 

I give thanks to God for each of you, just your presence makes a difference. To those of you who are able to volunteer we give our gratitude and love. All of our amazing Outreach programs and ministry opportunities are included in this report. I encourage all of you to read them, I hope you are as impressed as I am with what we can accomplish as a group.  I do feel that in all these situations the Holy Spirit is working in amazing ways. The Spirituality is visible, Thanks be to God for the love and caring we share with our Church Family, our City and the World.

I have been honored and blessed to work closely with Fr. Bob the past 2 years and have gotten to know many of you. Thanks to Jan Saik and Linda Ostmeyer for all of your support and to Fr. Bob for the opportunity to serve in the capacity of Senior Warden.

Blessings and Prayers, Miriam Waddington, Senior "Rectors" Warden

 

  1. Junior/People’s Warden Report 2019

2019 was a very busy and productive year, primarily with moving the offices to the Parish House and repurposing rooms in the Parish Hall.

 

General Maintenance

 General maintenance is pretty much the same every year. A/C filters are changed in all buildings as needed. Septic system is treated weekly. Light bulbs, inside and out are replaced as needed. This year termite inspections were done with good results and a new contract was signed with Blue Sky. Weekly and monthly critter and pest control is performed.

A/C Units were inspected and checked out well for their age.

The parking lot was repaired and sealed and more will be done there at the end of January.

Parish Hall

 The kitchen, nursery, and library all have new poured concrete floors. A new dishwasher was installed in the kitchen. Batteries for thermostats are changed on a yearly timetable for the Parish Hall and the Sanctuary. The water softener is maintained by Don Strachota. The walls of the new nursery were beautifully painted with murals by Pat G. and friends. Thank you very much for all of your work. The remainder of the floors in the Parish Hall were stripped, waxed and polished. Required backflow was completed without need for repair. Required annual inspections for fire prevention systems in kitchen and church were completed with passing grades. Motion sensor lights were installed where needed. Kitchen certification is being delayed indefinitely.

 Parish Offices, Chapel (house)

 New cameras, motion sensor lights and a handicap ramp with rails were installed for the safety of office personal and others. Flower beds were removed for better insect control and were paved over. New, programmable by phone, thermostats were installed in the church and later on will also be in the parish office and parish hall, we hope! An overhead fan with light was installed in the small chapel

Chapel

 All Maintenance was performed according to schedule.

Junior Warden attended Arizona Diocese Convention!

 I want to thank ALL of the people who helped with all of the work throughout the year. Especially Fr. Bob. Every Monday morning at our weekly meeting and work day he gives me a list of things that need to be taken care of. He always asks me what he can do to help me and then jumps right in and helps. A very, very special thanks goes to Don Strachota, my unofficial Executive special assistant Junior Warden! Also to Walter Devonshire, who will do whatever I ask of him. He also does many things around the property without being told. These 2 and Fr. Bob make my job so much easier. Sometimes(often) we are referred to as THE 4 STOOGES, but we get things done. And my LOVING thanks goes to the late James Stines. He came in every Monday when he was able to give us his help, and/or his humorous advice. His quick wit and presence will be sorely missed by me and many others. Rest in Peace my Friend.

Here’s to another wonderful year at Transfiguration!

 Respectfully submitted, YOUR Peoples/Junior Warden.

Pat Mack

 A special PS. Thanks so much to Ruby and Mother Susan for coming in every Monday morning to prepare a wonderful breakfast for all who work!

  • Ministry Reports

 

Daughters of the King

 The St. Teresa of Avila Chapter of the Daughters of the King was reestablished at the Church of the Transfiguration in 2014.  The current officers are Lynn Whayne Graff, President, and Miriam Waddington, Secretary.  We usually meet monthly at 10 a.m. on the same Saturday that the Episcopal Church Women meet.  Membership has been stable with 10 members.

 Three of our members attended the annual Daughters of the King Province VIII Spring meeting in Tucson.  The program centered on the development of a strategic plan for the organization as a whole to provide some direction and growth to all the chapters and members.

 The focus of the Daughters of the King is prayer, service, and evangelism. Prayer concerns for the church or individuals are discussed at each meeting.  The Daughters pray for these needs throughout each month.  Our service has centered on providing receptions following funerals, memorial services or special events. There were two such events during 2018.  We also strive to support the minister in his work.  We will begin the new year with recruiting and training new members.            Respectfully submitted,  Lynn Whayne Graff, President

 

             Outreach Report 2019        

                                    

Apache Junction Food Bank             974 pounds of food plus 13 turkeys

Apache Junction Healthcare  Various Hug A Bears and shawls

Banner Baywood Medical Center 6 Hug A Bears

Brinton Elementary School          $50; 359 units of school supplies; 40 Christmas presents; tissue; antibacterial bottles; underwear

CAAFA (Community Alliance Against Family Abuse)        $912.50  to UFB for food

Camp Genesis   $300 for dioceses camp for children of incarcerated parents

Cruzando Fronteras  $500 for medical attention for immigrants in Nogales

El Hogar school in Honduras   $305 for Christmas presents

Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska $270 for flood victims

Lutheran Social Services  $500 for asylum seekers

Million Meals for our Neighbors       1,375,390 meals since the start of Transfiguration involvement

Native Health Mesa  $100

Project Help           $150 for student athletic participation

Rachel’s Vinyard     Shawls

Rosarito, Mexico Boys and Girls Club 250 assorted items of school supplies and packs of pencils

Soup ministry  Approximately 30 per month homemade soup and bread delivered to persons who are shut in or ill

United Thank Offering  $471.5 from fall ingathering

 

Submitted by Peg Wier

 

Altar Guild

 In the early days of the church, the duty of caring for the altar and sanctuary was the concern of the priests and attendants.  Nuns do the work in certain parts of the world, but for some years in most churches, these duties are performed by a group of women and men knows as the Altar Guild.

 The Altar Guild is an important element in the celebration of all services, such as Sunday communion services in the church, Wednesday services in the parish house, memorials, funerals and any other special services.

 We will be gearing up for the Lenten/Easter season. We just finished the Advent/Christmas season; which is also a busy season.  Our members enjoy the greening of the church at this time; even though it is a busy time.

 We have a meeting monthly, normally on the first Saturday of the month at 11;00 a.m. in the church. These meetings are informational and for preparations needed for our Sunday services and any other services that may be scheduled in that month.  There are special church seasons that require us to come together for seasonal preparations.

 We have one fund raiser a year;  and that is a bake sale in the month of December.  We had an awesome bake sale this past December, raising close to $600.  We will be using some of these funds to purchase a missal stand for the chapel in the parish house in memory of our guild member Elaine Sweet who passed away in November of this year.

 We as a guild work harmoniously together; lovingly preparing the Lord’s table, the sanctuary and other areas for the Eucharist celebrations and other services.

 We have increased our guild by 2 members this year and look forward to having more join our guild.  Should you be interested in joining our guild; preparing the Lord’s table for the Eucharist services; you would be welcomed and we would love to have you as a part of our guild.

 If you are interested, feel free to call me: Ruby Seyffert (602) 318-0568 or just catch me at church and we can chat about the guild.  You can also talk to any member to get an idea for what we do.

 We would love to have you as part of our altar guild family.

 

Respectfully submitted,  Ruby Seyffert, Altar Guild Director

Music Ministry

Dear Friends,

 2019 was a wonderful year for music at Transfiguration. The choir, at its peak, had 16 singers, giving us opportunities to sing more advanced literature. And our cantors continue to lead us beautifully at every occasion. Our December Evensong, which included more congregational participation than in the past, proved to be a model for future Evensongs, and a wonderful moment of Advent respite in the busy holiday season.

I wish to thank our cantors: Eileen Chandler, Peter Lafford, Bill Robinson, and Meg Stresan-Renter. And, special thanks to Eileen Chandler for managing our choral library so efficiently. To them, and to all of our volunteer musicians who show such commitment every week to the glory of God, and to all who support them, I am forever grateful.

 Respectfully Submitted, Gary Quamme, Director of Music

 

Stewardship

Our 2020 Stewardship theme was “Shining Our Light.”  This year we tried something different.  We partnered with St. Matthews in Chandler. Our churches selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year.  New Consecration Sunday was based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. 

On November 10th we had Fr. Dominic Moore from St. Matthews preach about stewardship and later had the consecration of the pledges as we concluded our stewardship campaign.  As of January 21, 2020 we received 83 pledges totaling $186,008.  Last year we had 87 pledges totaling $188,206 so we have slightly decreased our pledge amount with four less pledges.  We actually received 9 new pledges for 2020 but also lost several pledges from 2019.  Our total budget for 2020 is $220,720 so we will need to take in additional funds from the offering plate and other sources to cover the difference between pledge income and budget.

We are so blessed that Transfiguration is a growing and vibrant congregation.  I am thankful that people have volunteered their time and talent and given generously to our church.  So many make pledges and give money for our ministry. I’d like to thank everyone who generously contributed to Transfiguration.  Without your support this church would not exist.  I’d also like to thank you for all of the volunteer work that occurs at Transfiguration.  It continues to amaze me how blessed Fr. Bob, myself and the church are to have so many dedicated people pitching in where needed.   You are an answer to our prayers.                    -Faithfully yours,      Jan Saik

 

The Crazy Chile Farm 2019

2019 The Year in Review

 

We began 2019 with high hopes and great expectations, partially because of the extraordinary success of 2018. In 2018, you may recall, Bob DeSpiegelaere’s tractor and Laura Ward’s Clydesdales blessed us with a new 5000 sq. ft. field behind the parish hall. This allowed us to begin rotating crops between the two fields and dramatically increased our yield. 800 lbs. of chiles were harvested that year, along with a beautiful crop of blue corn, tepary beans, and squash in Field #1. 2019, however was a different story.

We began the year by expanding the original field (#1) by 1000 sq. ft., which brought us up to 10,000 sq. ft. total. Then, with the guidance of Jim Soper, we revised and improved the irrigation system. However, the work on infrastructure ended up involving the bulk of our labor force, which delayed the planting of our new crops. Most crops didn’t get in the ground until late May or early June, by which time the heat was upon us…32 days of temperatures over 110°, with little or no rain. Ground temperatures exceeded 150° and some of the PVC irrigation pipe joints actually melted, causing flooding and driving up our water bill. Corn tassels were cooked before the silks on the corn ears could form, causing lack of pollination. 44 hills of squash, with 3-4 seeds/hill were planted. Exactly one squash sprouted. Only the chile plants made a good showing, with enough production to keep up with demand and to sustain our revenue through this winter. Additionally, a late planting of tepary beans fared very well. We learned some valuable lessons. This year, 1000 peat-pots have already been planted in the greenhouse. Chile, corn, beans and squash will be planted in the ground beginning in early March, and the irrigation is being simplified by setting up what’s called a flood/row system. Also, we already have all of our seeds in house and ready to plant! What’s more we have set up a Farm Advisory Board that meets monthly to work on finances, capital expenditures, marketing, and schedules for labor, planting, harvesting, processing and packaging. Board Members are Lynn Graff, Heidi Kinney, Gerry Ewert, Catherine Schuyler, Dea Podjasky, Lee Podjasky, and Fr. Bob. 

The bright spot for 2019 was our increased involvement with Native Americans. We now use one of our fields to generate revenue to pay our expenses and for outreach, while the other field is used to grow indigenous seed stock to support the traditional tribal agriculture of the low desert and San Juan Basin. Our expanding reserves of rare seeds for endangered traditional crops have increased dramatically. We have now successfully developed seed transfer agreements (and sales relationships) with a number of tribes and service organizations. For example, we now buy blue corn from the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Colorado that we process and package as blue cornmeal for a generous profit. We provide a significant volume of seeds to the Yaqui, Tohono O’odham, Akimel O’odham (Pima), Omaha, and Diné (Navajo) tribes, Native Health in Mesa, St. Vincent DePaul Community Garden, and the St. Andrew’s Outreach Garden in Sedona. The Native American communities, whose tribal lands make up a third of the area of Arizona, are gradually regaining access to the water that was denied them in the late 19th and early 20th century. To successfully make their agricultural comeback, they will continue to need the support and assistance of people like us. While there is still much to do, we are making great progress. This has come as a result of the truly dedicated support of our volunteer farmers, the kind and loving hearts of the people of our parish, and a bishop and diocesan staff who not only encourage us, they promote us. I cannot tell you how much that moves me.

In Christ, Bill Robinson

For The Crazy Chile Farm  

2019 Native Plant Landscape Ministry

 

2019 has been a year of both celebration and challenge. The annual desert Bluebells and Mexican Gold Poppies provided abundant Easter color (far beyond where they were originally planted). The invasion of Globe Chamomile (a truly noxious weed from Africa, the seeds of which blew in from county land on the east side of Mountain Rd.) caused the entire parish property to require professional spraying to eliminate it. Englemann’s Prickly Pear, Buckhorn Cholla and an Ocotillo were added to the area between the Church and the Parish House. Candelilla were planted along the sidewalk and in the St. Francis beds. A Strawberry Hedgehog, two Arizona Fishhook Mammalarias and a Blue Elf Aloe were also added to the St. Francis beds. In spite of the summer Non-soon and triple teen temperatures, most of our plantings survived. Then “The Great Flood”, on the last day of the summer Monsoon Season, did its worst. It flooded the property, wiped out our plantings, blew through the check dam on the dry stream bed between the Church and the sign, and literally washed tons of dirt into both of our retention basins. But… thanks to a long Saturday work day with Chile Farmers and Friends and a rented Bobcat, barrels of trash were collected and 7 cubic yards of dirt was removed from the south retention basin. There is still much more dirt that needs to be removed, but it was a great start. Since then, watering basins have been rebuilt, replacement plants have been put in, and an uprooted Red Fishhook Barrel Cactus has been moved next to the Big Saguaro. The winter rains have come, and the Desert Bluebells and the Mexican Gold Poppies are again growing in the planters in front of the Church.          Nancy Robinson

 

Book Group Report   Dea Podhajsky

The book discussion group meets monthly October through April. We normally meet on the third Friday at 10 am in the Parish House.

The books for this year include The Nickel Boys by Colsun Whitehead (October), Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (November), The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (December), The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia (January).  At Play in the Field of the Lord by Peter Matthiessen, February, Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin (March) and Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimandi Ngozi Adichie (April).

The books are selected to elicit discussion on topics such as morality, the role of the church in society, and respect for all of God’s people. For more information or to have your name added to our email, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Book Ministry General Membership Report

Vivien Warr, Lynn Graff, Dea Podhajsky

This year saw the creation of a new Book Ministry. We sell donated books for $1.00 each. The profits from the book sales funds camperships at Camp Genesis at Chapel Rock. This is a camp for youth whose parents are currently incarcerated.

The books are located in the Outreach Room in the Parish Hall. This room previously housed the church office.

We have a wide range of books in varied genres. The ministry depends on the sales of the books to reach our goal to provide camperships. Please take the time to walk back and browse our selection. We are confident that you will find something to appeal to your tastes.

 

Social Media Report    Dea Podhajsky

 YouTube (Transfiguration Mesa)

  • We have 5 subscribers.
  • Cheryl Podhajsky, Dea Podhajsky and Peter Lafford are authorized to post.

Twitter ([email protected])

  • We have 12 followers.
  • Elena Little and Dea Podhajsky are authorized to post.

Facebook (Episcopal Church of This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • The following people have publishing rights. Dana Witmann, Bill Robinson, Gary Quamme, Chris Whitehead (pending) as Editors. Jan Saik, Bob Saik, Peter Lafford and Dea Podhajsky are administrators.
  • We have 253 followers.

Instagram (transfigmesa)

  • We have 23 followers.
  • Gordon Noyes and Dea Podhajsky are authorized to post.

Web Page (https://www.transfiguration-mesa.org )

  • The following people are authorized authors: Jan Saik,* Bob Saik, Cheryl Podhajsky,* Susan-Smith Allen, Dea Podhajsky* and Bill Robinson. Stars indicate they actively post. The ones without stars have content listed by them but it is posted by me.
  • People looking for a church come to the Web Page.
  • The audio of the sermons automatically is sent from YouTube to the Web Page. The audio is on the Worship Menu.
  • The sermons average about 150 views. They are only on the Home Page for two weeks. Then they are found on the Worship Menus.

The Newsletter

  • The newsletter is in a print and electronic format.
  • It is published on a monthly schedule with some exceptions.
  • If you are not receiving a copy of the newsletter, it may be because we do not have a current email address of because the newsletter is being sent to your junk mail folder. The newsletter is sent from the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Included with the newsletter is a letter from Fr Bob.

Submissions

  • Submissions of ideas, photographs or articles for any of the above are encourage.
  • You may email the submissions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • You may also drop them off in the office during regular business hours.

 

Walking On Wednesday         Dea Podhajsky

This was a busy year for our Walking on Wednesday group. We accumulated enough miles to return to Transfiguration from our around the world tour by Easter 2019. To celebrate our return, we had a special breakfast after both the 8 and 10 am service which features dishes from places that we had virtually visited.

Having completed our world tour, it was time for new challenges. We adopted a mascot, Flat Charlie. The idea was to keep our community connected no matter where we travelled. Flat Charlie is based on the concept of Flat Stanley a program used worldwide in elementary schools. To participate in our Flat Charlie Program, one needs only pick up a picture of Flat Charlie on our bulletin board, take it with you as you travel, and send a picture of you and Flat Charlie wherever in the world you might be to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Pictures are posted on our bulletin board in the Parish Hall. By doing this you are automatically a part of the Walking on Wednesday group and will receive a monthly reminder to submit your mileage. If no mileage is submitted, I use 50 miles as the default. An average person walks 2 miles a day; 50 miles is a conservative default. The miles for all participants are kept on a spread sheet.

A review of the creation of Walking and Wednesday follows for those who are unfamiliar with the program.

 

  • Walking on Wednesday is a program at Transfiguration which strives to build community and encourage healthy living.
  • In the winter those who wish meet at the Parish House and walk together. Our normal walk is a little over two miles, the terrain is flat, and the company is good. We also have variations on our walk which are shorter.
  • Walkers don’t have to be present on Wednesday to be part of the group. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to keep track of their miles and submit them. (See the first bullet).
  • We have group mileage goals and special corresponding activities. Currently we are accumulating our miles as we have not established an itinerary for our next journey. If you have ideas on where we should virtually walk, tell Dea, Jan or Fr Bob.

 

Episcopal Church Women

As I reflect back on 2019 I realize how incredibly blessed our church is. The ladies of our church and their husbands also give of themselves on a daily basis without expectation of acknowledgement for their participation and support of all the ECW activities during the year.  We continue to meet the first Saturday of the month to plan and discuss ways to contribute to the community at large. 

Ongoing projects of this group include supporting - Brinton school with items such as kleenex, clothing for the children and school supplies and of The Christmas Angel tree.   This past year 40 gifts were donated to the children of Brinton from the members at large of our church.  Turkeys were donated to the AJ food bank.  Members also created and donated Prayer Shawls, Scarves and hats for children, and bears for the Hug a bear progam.   A request came in for us to somehow create Clothing protectors for the Rehab homes.   That request is being fulfilled and donations are coming in and being delivered. 

- The Secret Prayer Sisters of 2018 were revealed in January at a luncheon.   The ladies enjoyed finding out who prayed for them during the year.  It was a successful ministry and new sisters for 2019 were picked.  The revealing will be in February of this year.  This ministry encourages members to pray for each other, send little notes of encouragement and even small gifts to let them know they are being thought of throughout the year.   

- The Lords soup kitchen was formed in 2018 and  met every month to create wonderful soups to be distributed to anyone who may be in need of comfort.   This past year approximately 260 quarts of soup were distributed. 

- Church support group continues to support members by providing rides and other needs.  Even helping folks move.    

ECW donated $356.00 to Project Help. 

The annual Rummage sale was a success once again earning $2,767.90.   The attendees of the sale seemed to need the items offered for a goodwill offering.  It was well attended and appreciated by the community at large.   It takes many hands to run the sale and the ladies of ECW are always ready and willing to help.

ECW hosted many events this past year Flower for Mothers day, Donuts for Dads, Clergy appreciation to name a few. 

Spring Luncheon and Style show was once again a great success.  The raffles were enjoyed by all. It was well attended and everyone had a good time.  

Once again the ladies supported Transfiguration by donating $5000 to the general fund and have pledged an additional $5,000 for 2020.

This group is extremely busy.   It never ceases to amaze me that when the call goes out for help so many ladies show up to help.  All the events and activities could not happen if not for the commitment of all the ladies of ECW.   These ladies give of themselves freely and willingly.  The support of these women, the parishioners, Fr. Bob and Jan Saik and the faithful officers of ECW make my commitment so much easier.   I am most grateful to all the ladies and gentlemen for their ongoing encouragement, knowledge and support.  

Respectfully Sumitted,  Jo Laslo   President

 

Episcopal Church of Transfiguration Mesa, AZ

Meeting Minutes

March 10, 2020

                                                         Approved

  1. Call to order

The meeting was called to Order by Fr. Bob Saik.

  1. Roll call

The following vestry members were in attendance: Pat Gutsch (2020), Gordon Noyes (2020), Barbara Turner (2020), Heidi Kinney (2021), Pam Mack (2021), Catherine Schuyler (2021), Jo Laslo (2022), Karl Shepsted (2022), Bob Wilk (2021). Also in attendance were Bob Saik, Rector; Lynn Graff, Senior Warden, and Pat Mack, Junior Warden.

  • Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the February 11, 2020 meeting were approved as amended.
  1. Financial Financial Reports (previously distributed) were discussed and approved subject to audit.
  2. Reports from Ministries and Others:
  • A written report was submitted by Women’s Ministry. There were no written reports from Children’s Ministry, the Chile Garden, or Social Media. The following oral reports were given. (Summaries are attached) Jr. Warden, Senior Warden. Rector, Lay Leadership Retreat.
  • During the discussion of the Women’s Ministry first aid kits were discussed. The vestry authorizes the purchase of four of the more expensive first aid kits. The money for the purchase shall be taken from the Improvement Fund. The motion was made seconded and passed. *Fifty dollars was discussed as the price of the kits.
  • During the Rector’s Report funding for Fr. Saik’s sabbatical was discussed. The vestry authorizes $3,000 for costs associated with a supply priest for Fr. Saik during his sabbatical. The motion was made seconded and passed.

 

 

  1. Open issues
    1. Vestry Retreat: The retreat will be held in the Parish Hall on Saturday March 14, 2020. The goal of the meeting is for the vestry to come together as a team and to prioritize goals for the coming year.
    2. WIFI Capabilities: An update was given by Heidi Kinney. Cox is close to completing their upgrades. There will be an early termination penalty for changing providers. Heidi and her husband will install the needed equipment to provide internet access to the church. Three hundred dollars shall be authorized for expenses related to installing internet capability to the church. The motion was made, seconded and passed.
    3. The church finance committee has been meeting regularly. They have discussed paying for Fr. Saik’s sabbatical, conducting an audit, and reviews of financial reports and practices.
    4. Diocesan Rebate Money: Members brainstormed ideas for the use of this money. (See attached)
    5. Chile Garden Update: Heidi Kinney, Catherine Schuyler and Lynn Graff reported on the recent meeting of the Chile Garden advisory committee. Field One is completely planted. Seeds from the garden will be given to Native people to help replenish their agriculture. We have the traditional three sisters in our garden: corn, beans and squash.
    6. Audio Visual Update: New microphones and head sets for people with hearing problems have been purchased.
  • New business
  • Lynn Graff is contact person for the month.
  • The following items were added to the calendar: Pops Concert at St. Marks @ 7 pm on Tuesday the 24th of March, Daughters of the King Installation on Sunday the 29th of March.
  • Motion The vestry accepts the Parochial Report. The motion was made, seconded and passed.
  • Adjournment

Fr. Bob Saik adjourned the meeting after a Compline service was held.

Minutes submitted by:  Dea Podhajsky

Annual Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reverend Bob Saik, Rector

Gary Quamme, Music Director

Eileen Chandler, Director of Children’s Ministry

Linda Ostmeyer, Office Manager

 

2017 Wardens and Officers

Miriam Waddington, Senior Warden

Pat Mack, Junior Warden

Joan Crossman, Treasurer

Ann Williamson, Clerk

 

2018 Vestry

Elena Little                               Ruby Seyffert                           Barbara Turner

Meg Stresen-Reuter                  Eileen Chandler                        Gordon Noyes

Steve Dingle                             Dea Podhajsky                         Pat Gutsch

 

                  Table of Contents                        Page

  1. Annual Meeting Agenda           2
  2. Minutes of 2018 Annual Meeting 2-5
  • Candidate Information 5-6
  1. Rector’s Report 6-7
  2. Senior Warden’s Report 7-8
  3. Junior Warden’s Report 8-9
  • Ministry Reports 9-19
  • 2018 Financial Statements Review                              19-22
  1. Budget for 2019 22-24

 

  1. Annual Meeting Agenda

 

  1. Opening Prayer
  2. Appointment of Clerk, Recorders and Tellers
  3. Minutes of 2018 Annual Meeting
  4. Appointment of Senior Warden
  5. Election of Junior Warden
  6. Election of Treasurer
  7. Election of Vestry
  8. Election of Diocesan Convention Delegates
  9.  Rector’s Report
  10. Senior Warden’s Report
  11. Junior Warden’s Report
  12. Ministry Reports
  13. Recognition of Outgoing Officers and Vestry Members
  14. Financial Reports
  15. Presentation of 2019 Budget
  16. Celebration of Our Ministry
  17. Closing Prayer
  18. MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING

January 28, 2018

  1. Call to Order / Opening Prayers

The meeting was called to order at 11:54 am by Fr. Bob Saik.

Fr. passed out a survey to everyone for the upcoming Volunteer Appreciation event

  1. Appointment of the Clerk of the Meeting.

Ann Williamson was appointed clerk of the annual meeting by acclamation.

  1. Appointment of Recorders and Tellers

Lynn Graff and Peg Wier were appointed as tellers.

  1. Minutes of the 2018 Annual Meeting:

Some names were misspelled and corrected.  Joan Crossman moved to accept the minutes as corrected, seconded, and passed

  1. Appointment of Senior Warden

Miriam Waddington has been appointed as Sr. Warden.

  1. Election of Junior Warden

Pat Mack has been nominated as Jr. Warden.  James Stines moved to accept Pat by acclamation, seconded, and passed

  1. Election of Vestry

We have nine member-at-large members of the vestry, plus the officers.  They rotate at 3-year intervals.  Pat Gutsch, Gordon Noyes, and Barbara Turner have been nominated for the three member-at-large positions to be filled this year.  Don moved to accept the slate by acclamation, seconded, and passed.

  1. Election of Diocesan Convention Delegates

This year delegates will be voting on a new Bishop.  Clergy, Senior Warden, and Jenior Warden are automatically selected.  Five lay positions are available this year.  Candidates don’t have to be Vestry members. Nominees are Ann Williamson, Chris Whitehead, Bill Robinson, Lynn Graff, Ruby Seyffert (alternate) and Jan Saik.

Ken Sobiech moved to accept the slate by acclamation, seconded, passed.

  1. Junior Warden’s Report

The report is in the booklet.  Thanks to all who have helped throughout the year.

  1. Senior Warden’s Report

Bobbie is stepping down as Sr. Warden but will continue to work on the Strategic Planning. After discussing the importance of the Diocesan course "Saving God's Children/People", she thanked Fr. Bob for the opportunity to serve as Sr. Warden, then passed the Sr. Warden's medallion to Miriam.

  1. Rector's Report

In addition to Fr's remarks during the sermon, he wanted to recognize the ECW and other women.  He was open for questions, but none were asked.  The rest of his report in the packet.

  1. Deacon's Reports - not present
  2. Ministry Reports

Many reports from many people can be found in the booklet. Fr. asked that anyone with something to add may speak. 

Dea Podhajsky has revised/expanded the path for the walking group, everyone is welcome to email mileage.  She also promoted the upcoming volunteer event on Feb 10th.

Ruby Seyffert thanked all her helpers who stepped in during her daughter's recent health crisis/death.  She called attention to the Flower chart.  Each arrangement requires a $35 donation.

Bill Robinson discussed the relationship between Million Meals and the Chile Farm.  Over 1,300,000 meals have been provided so far, the equivalent of 184 miles of meals.

Ann Williamson invited the congregation to join the contemplative prayer group, also the Anglican Rosary and walking the labyrinth.

Eileen Chandler discussed helping with the Children's Ministry, looking for more volunteers.

  1. Recognition of Outgoing Officers and Vestry Members

Outgoing members are Bobbie Lafford, Don Strachota, Steve Lazlo, Lynn Graff, Pat Gutsch (who completed someone else's term and will stay on).  Others recognized: Gary Quamme, Linda Ostmeyer, Joan Crossman, Ann Williamson, Terry Ostmeyer, Nancy Robinson, and Jan Saik.

Intermission - Singing with Gary

  1. Financial Reports

Balance sheet:  Our credit union accounts have been closed out.  Investment accounts have increased to $94, 913.24.  The Diocesan investment was also closed and the balance was moved into an investment account. 

Treasurer’s Report:  The deficit of $2,700 for the year was paid by a parishioner.  We pay 16.9% of our income to the Diocese and get 1.5% refunded to us by the diocese.

Stewardship:  Pledges are over $10,000 from last year.  We have received 23 new pledges and lost some old pledges.

  • Presentation of 2018 Budget
  1. 16. Presentation of the 2018 Budget

 

 

This has already been approved by the Vestry, no discussion.

  1. 17. Celebration of Our Ministries

Sarah thanked "anonymous" for a merry Christmas.  More thanks to Bill Robinson and the Chile garden, Jan Saik, and Fr. Bob.  Bobbie thanked Marge Connolly for bringing her here, Francis Davis thanked Marge Connolly, Gary Quamme thanked his choir, Ruby thanked all members of this parish, Jan Saik thanked everyone who has helped with all of our events, Barbara Turner thanked her husband for helping with the Chile farm, the rototiller, etc.  Meg thanked Gary for his work as music director, Miriam thanked Jan for her organizing abilities, Fr discussed a thank you from an anonymous gentleman whom he has helped, Pat Gutsch thanked everyone for their support, Shirley Johnson thanked Linda Jo, Barbara Turner thanked everyone for the way they have received her grandson. There were a number of other thanks per the recording. 

  1. Closing Prayer
  2. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 1:02 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Ann B Williamson, Clerk of the Vestry

 

  • Candidate Information

 

Appointment of Senior Warden\

 

Appointment of Miriam Waddington, our current Senior Warden

 

Election of Junior Warden

 

Re-election of Pat Mack, our current Junior Warden

 

Election of Treasurer

 

Debbi Bloom will be our treasurer

 

Election of Vestry

 

Lynn Whayne Graff—I grew up in the Episcopal Church and have seen the church grow and change. I have served in various ways that include: Altar Guild, Lay Reading, Chalice Bearer, Vestry, Daughters of the King, ECW and working in the Chile garden. I enjoy helping others and am willing to serve on the Vestry. My background includes work in administration with college student housing.

 

Heidi Kinney – Heidi is originally from Chicago, but attended high school & college in Cape Canaveral/Central FL.  After college she moved back to Chicago area where she worked for AT&T as a RF engineer and later in network engineering. Her job enabled her to travel both domestically and internationally upgrading cellular networks.  She has two children currently in college and two adult step-children. She retired in 2015 and is now focusing on her own health and education. She is currently in classes to become a Pilates fitness coach. Heidi is new to the Episcopalian church, but finds it’s a perfect match with her core beliefs and enjoys many of the different outreach programs at Transfiguration.  

David Milton-- I was born and raised in the Washington, DC area. I was in the Air Force from 1972-1993 as a medic. My post military career has been in a variety of executive positions in the Phoenix and East Valley for Iasis Healthcare and Banner Health. I now operate a stem cell distribution company. I have been involved in the Episcopal Church since the early 90s when my mother joined St. Christopher's in Springfield, VA. I went with her every time I was in town. Since we moved her here in 2017, I take her here to the Church of the Transfiguration. I have 3 children. My daughter works for the California Dept. of Corrections, my oldest son is an Army Reservist that just returned from his third deployment and my youngest son works for the Valley Ho Resort in Scottsdale.

Election of Diocesan Convention Delegates

 

The candidates for Diocesan Convention are Bill Robinson, Ann Williamson, Dea Podhajsky, Ruby Seyffert and Pat Gutsch and the alternate is Lynn Graff.

 

  1. Rector’s Report for the Annual Meeting – January 27, 2019

I wish to begin my report by thanking everyone in this congregation for their loving support.  It is a joy for me to be the rector at Transfiguration.  Jan and I appreciate the positive comments and the people who willingly volunteer.   I also am thankful for the welcome that you give to visitors and for the love you share with others.  We don’t often have disagreements and I hope we can always seek God’s will together in a positive and considerate way.  May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and strengthen us. 

Our liturgy is the central activity of the church.  Thanks to Steve Dingle, Chris Whitehead, and Ann Williamson for their assistance each week.  These three people make everything go smoothly during the service.  My special thanks go out to Ruby Seyffert and the altar guild members who prepare and clean up after each service.  I thank all the lay readers, acolytes, chalice bearers, and ushers.  Thanks to Gary Quamme who so faithfully leads our music program and thanks to the dedicated members of the choir for providing music.

I hope you will join us for the many activities we have outside of the Sunday service. We have coffee and fellowship after each service in the Parish Hall.  On Monday mornings, a group of men and women gather for breakfast and fellowship followed by completing projects including keeping our church property functional and beautiful led by Nancy Robinson and working in the chile garden led by Bill Robinson.  Thanks to Dea Podhajsky for continuing the walking group and a book club.  I hope that more of you will join her.  On Wednesday, we have either Morning Prayer or Eucharist in the Parish Hall followed by Bible Study.  Altar Guild, Daughters of the King and ECW meet on the first Saturday of the month.  I am thankful for the people who started the Lord’s Soup Kitchen.  Please join us and join me in thanking all those who volunteer to lead or work in these activities.

I think about all the events and activities of the past year including the Caregiving Seminar, the Spring Fashion Show, the Rummage Sale, the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program, trips to Detour Theater, the Orpheum Theater, Organ Stop Pizza, and Hale Theater.  We have held Newcomer’s Dinners and we started a Contemplative Prayer group in Lent. Our vestry held a successful retreat to help us focus on our 2018 activities.  We moved our offices from the Parish Hall the Parish House.  We have fun together, learn together, worship together and eat together.  Our church is a place to engage with people spiritually. 

Outreach continues to be a major focus of our activities.  Our interaction with local nonprofit organizations has significantly increased this year.  Please see Peg Weir’s report in this booklet.  As we look to the future, I hope that we can seek new ways to interact with people who need our help.

Our Facebook page and web site continue to be an important way for us to keep in touch with regular members of the church and those who are just learning about us. 

Thanks to all those who work in our children’s ministry programs. 

Most especially, I wish to thank those who have served on our vestry, our treasurer, Joan Crossman, and our clerk, Ann Williamson.  Thanks to Miriam Waddington and Pat Mack for serving as our senior and junior wardens, respectively.  We are grateful for the service of retiring vestry members Steve Dingle, Elena Little, and Meg Stresen-Reuter. 

I am sure that I have missed many people who have volunteered their time and made this the joyful and loving and welcoming place that it is.  Thanks to you as well. 

I would also like to thank my wonderful wife, Jan, who has been such a dedicated volunteer and companion on this journey. 

We have many opportunities to grow our ministries to families, children, neighbors, visitors and those in need.  Some steps were taken to help us open our kitchen to provide food for the needy and to open a nursery for families with little children.  I hope projects like this will finally be completed.  Please pray that we will all find a way to do God’s work in this world.  

Blessings to each of you,

Bob Saik, Rector

 

  1. Senior/Rector Warden’s Report

 

It has been both a humbling and exhilarating year serving as Rector’s Warden. It has been great to share the joys and challenges of Fr. Bob's ministry. I feel that my most important role in this ministry is to pray for all of you in the Congregation and Fr. Bob.

I am honored to work with all of you weekly supporting our church's various minisitries including; The Crazy Chili Farm, newcomer's dinners, Daughters of the King, ECW, Sunday School, Project HOPE, Brinton School, United Food Bank and Prayer Shawl Minisitry.

Areas that we have grown in this year include our social media presence including our website and Facebook presence.  We have seen increased attendance and enthusiasm at our weekly Bible Study.  We have added The Lord’s Soup Kitchen and the meals have been welcomed by the congregation and others in need.  We were fortunate to host the event "Studying the Spirituality for the Second Half of Life," through the Diocese. The event was well attended and we plan to continue exploring this subject in the new year.

Our amazing Volunteers went above and beyond with the move of the Offices and creation of a Chapel in the Parish House. If you have not yet had a tour let us know. I am so proud of the work everyone has accomplished! With this change we now have an opportunity to establish a Nursery and have more space for our Sunday School, now Lord, "Bring us the children!"

The Kitchen is only one step away from being licensed. Once the floor is renovated and the license is in place it will allow us to do further outreach to the community by providing meals.

 

I also want to thank Jan Saik and Linda Ostmeyer for their patient guidance and assistance in the office.

Thank you for letting your light shine and loving one another. This is the important mission of Christ's Love.  I look forward to serving you and Fr. Bob again in this coming Year. Fr. Bob has been very gracious and accommodating of my travel schedule, thank you for your patience and understanding.             Prayerfully yours~Miriam Waddington

 

  1. Junior/People Warden’s Report

 

GENERAL MAINTENANCE--Changing AC Filters as needed, Septic System treatment weekly, Water softener system changed as needed, Replace light bulbs, Landscaping Pre-emergence weed control was completed in March, Graffiti was painted over.

Weekly critter and Pest control inside and outside of all buildings, Required water backflow inspection.

PARISH HALL-CHURCH AND PARISH OFFICE BUILDING (HOUSE)--A/C & Heating units were inspected, Annual inspection for Fire suppression system in Kitchen & Church (passed). Required water backflow inspection, Termite inspection & renewal of year to year contract

PARISH OFFICE BUILDING (HOUSE)--New lights have been installed where needed,

Required Emergency Lighting & Exit Lights were installed per Fire Marshall Regulations,

New Door Bell Installed, Old Altar found in garage was cleaned, put together, refinished and moved into new Chapel & looks great.  Thanks to Don Lucas for refinishing the altar.

Bathrooms were brought up to date. New shut off valves and new sinks were installed.

New doors were installed where needed.

Security cameras have been purchased for inside and outside for this building.

Rooms were converted to Conference room, rector’s office, secretary office, storage rooms.

Garage is storage for large garden equipment and Jr. Wardens supplies and tools.

PARISH HALL

Old Rector’s office is becoming a nursery. Several bids and options for type of flooring for Kitchen were looked at.  The floor will be replaced soon. A new 75 gallon hot water heater was installed to code. The one year old heater was moved to office building. A new commercial Freezer was purchased to code, the door needed replaced as it was damaged in transport. A new commercial coffee maker was purchased.    

GROUNDS

BBQ was repaired and painted. Planters in front of church were repaired. Benches that could be repaired after vandalism were, two new ones were donated and will be assembled.

CHURCH

General Maintenance performed: Kneeler in front of candles repaired, front door has new weather stripping. A baby changing station was installed in men’s restroom. Door lock and handle were placed on door to sacristy.

Jr. Warden attended AZ Diocese convention and cast a ballot for New Bishop. Attended a Disaster preparedness workshop.  Attended vestry retreat.

Three crosses made, donated and installed in front of church entrance.

Respectfully Submitted, Pat Mack, Junior/People Warden

 

Jr. Warden wants to thank everyone including Father Bob that made the job easier. 

THANK YOU

 

  • Ministry Reports

 

Daughters of the King

 

The St. Teresa of Avila Chapter of the Daughters of the King was reestablished at the Church of the Transfiguration in 2014.  The current officers are Lynn Whayne Graff, President, and Miriam Waddington, Secretary.  We usually meet monthly at 10 a.m. on the same Saturday that the Episcopal Church Women meet.  Membership has been stable with 10 members.

 

Three of our members attended the annual Daughters of the King Province VIII Spring meeting in Tucson.  The program centered on the development of a strategic plan for the organization as a whole to provide some direction and growth to all the chapters and members.

 

The focus of the Daughters of the King is prayer, service, and evangelism. Prayer concerns for the church or individuals are discussed at each meeting.  The Daughters pray for these needs throughout each month.  Our service has centered on providing receptions following funerals, memorial services or special events. There were two such events during 2018.  We also strive to support the minister in his work.  We will begin the new year with recruiting and training new members.            Respectfully submitted,  Lynn Whayne Graff, President

 

Outreach Report 2018                                               

Apache Junction Food Bank             1500 pounds of food including turkeys

Apache Junction Healthcare                     Over 20 Hug A Bears

Brinton Elementary School             $40, 401 units of school supplies, 50 Christmas presents, tissue, antibacterial bottles, underwear

CAAFA (Community Alliance Against Family Abuse)        $1,438.82 to UFB for food

Citadel                                              18  Hug A Bears

East Valley Hospice                         16 Bears

El Hogar school in Honduras         $305 for Christmas presents

Homeless girls in Florida                 12 handmade shawls

Hug A Bear donations                     6

Million Meals for our Neighbors      1,354,738 since the start of Transfiguration involvement

Native American Tribe  Tohono O'odham (through Maricopa County Community Garden Association, Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Native Seeds/SEARCH,  Ramona Farms)  Rare seeds from traditional Native American crops:  8 lbs. of tepary beans, 8 lbs. of Yoeme Blue corn seed, 200 lbs. of squash

Native Seed Search                           500 grams of  Yoeme  Blue corn seed

Project Help                                     $252.70      34 sets of handmade scarves and hats

Rosarito, Mexico Boys and Girls Club Delivered 21 computers from $2700 donations

Soup ministry                                  Homemade soup and bread delivered to persons who are shut in or ill

Sunshine Acres                                New sheets and pillowcases, toiletries

United Food Bank                           $1,000 for AZ Brain Food for Kids backpacks filled with food ($463.88 came from Chile Farm)

United Thank Offering                    $373 from fall ingathering

Wings of Life Worship Center        $200 via United Food Bank

 

Thanks to all of those who help with these efforts, Peg Wier

 

 

 

Altar Guild

 

A bit of background of your altar guild director:

I was baptized, confirmed and married in the same church.  During my youth the only time I ever saw a woman in the sanctuary was when I saw the altar guild preparing the altar.  In those days, there were no girl acolytes, no female lay readers, no female chalice bearers or lectors, and no females were ordained as priests.  When asked to be on the altar guild 25 – 30 years ago, to my mind I was following in my mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps.  I was living out a legacy.  This is what the women in my family did, they served on the altar guild.  That heritage was my connection and my motivating force.

It was a good time to be in the altar guild in the early 1970’s.  It was a time of change; the church had a trial prayer book; the altar was moved from the wall; the priest began to face the congregation “I am lucky to be born when I was born! I’m having a really good time learning, something that my mother and grandmother didn’t have” (and we don’t wear gloves and hats).  There is a meeting once a month on the first Saturday of the month and Fr. Bob will join us often. He may have a request and we have never turned him down.  He always tells us how very grateful he is for us.  In the early days of the church, the duty of caring for the altar and sanctuary was the concern of the priests and attendants.  Nuns now do the work in certain parts of the world.  Although the altar guild was primarily a Women’s Ministry, members today are of no particular age and/or gender.

2018:

We will be gearing up for Lenten/Easter services soon.

We have monthly meetings that are held on the first Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the church.  Our meetings are informational and for preparations needed for our Sunday services or special services.   There are special church services that require us to come together for seasonal preparations.

Should you join the altar guild, you would be serving with a partner at either the 8:00 or the 10:00 whichever service is your choice.  We as a guild work harmoniously together; lovingly preparing our lord’s table for the Eucharist.

We have increased our guild in 2018 by 2 members.  If your interest is to serve the lord by preparing his table for the Eucharist; become part of the altar guild.  Feel free to call me at any time for any information/questions:  Ruby Seyffert (602) 318-0568.  We look forward to having you as part of our altar guild family.

Respectively submitted,  Ruby Seyffert, altar guild director

 

Stewardship

 

Our 2018 Stewardship theme was “Journey to Generosity.”  Fr. Bob asked all parishioners to reflect on the question: Lord, what do You want me to do with all the gifts You have given me?  The challenge is that we cannot know what God wants from us unless we spend some time every day communicating with God.

This year we were asked to do three simple things.

  1. Make a commitment to spend more time in communication with God. Consider participating in a church activity during the week, in addition to attending church on the weekend.  Try starting our day with a few minutes of quiet prayer and ending our day with spiritual reading.
  2. When praying, don’t spend all the time telling God what problems you want God to solve in the world. Instead, be still and ask God what God wants you to do.
  3. Then listen carefully. Listen to hear if God is calling you to a more active, conscious participation in our parish – sharing your time, talents and treasure.

 

On November 12 we had the blessing of the pledges as we concluded are stewardship campaign.  As of January 21, 2018 we received 85 pledges totaling $184,956.  Last year we had 86 pledges totaling $177,558 so we have increased our pledge amount slightly with one less pledge.  We actually received 14 new pledges for 2019 but also lost several pledges from 2018.  Our total budget for 2019 is $219,539 so we will need to take in additional funds from the offering plate and other sources to cover the difference between pledge income and budget.

I’d like to thank everyone who so generously made a pledge to Transfiguration.  Without your support this church would not exist.  I’d also like to thank you for all of the volunteer work that occurs at Transfiguration.  It continues to amaze me how blessed Fr. Bob, myself and the church are to have so many dedicated people pitching in where needed.   You are an answer to our prayers.                         Faithfully yours,      Jan Saik

Improvement Fund 2019

 

Transfiguration has been so blessed by the generosity and hard work of so many people.  We are thankful for those who came before and helped this church to be a beautiful place. 

One of the gifts of the people of Transfiguration happened in 2012 when many of our members created and contributed to an Improvement Fund.  This Improvement Fund has been used over the last 7 years to provide many important items to keep the church looking beautiful and to fix problems that arose with the buildings and grounds of the church.   That fund has done its job but now it is time to create a new fund or to provide additional money to keep that fund in a meaningful way.  You may wish to see all of the things that were accomplished through the generosity of those who contributed to the Improvement Fund (originally called the Property, Landscape, and Liturgical Repair and Renovation List).

I am most concerned about the possibility that we will have to replace the four air conditioners in the church.  The current air conditioners have been in place for about eighteen years.  That is a long time to work in the heat of the Arizona desert.  There are some other potential projects that I would like to see us pursue including the completion of upgrades to the kitchen (repairs to the flooring, etc.), completion of a nursery (in progress), and installation of a newer organ.

Now is a time for us to discern what capital projects we would like to pursue.  Please look for more information about how you can help us plan our next steps. 

Bob Saik

The Crazy Chile Farm 2018

 

2018 was the fourth growing season for The Crazy Chile Farm, and by all calculations it was a record year, at least in terms of production.  For the year we picked 692 pounds of Campo Dorado Chile, 18 pounds of Yoeme Blue corn (10 pounds of cornmeal, 8 pounds of seed), 8 pounds of Tepary beans (all for seed stock), and 200 pounds of squash.  This extraordinary increase over previous years was enabled by the addition of a 5000 sq. ft. Field #2, by a new greenhouse, and by consistent and dedicated participation by a great group of farmers and support personnel.  Field #2 was built on the site of what was once a gravel parking lot. Transforming it from lot to field turned out to be a massive project. Bob DeSpiegleare did initial plowing, with a rented tractor. Laura Ward’s team of Clydesdales, under the skilled hands of teamster Todd Good, performed grading and disc work. Rows, furrows, and fencing were installed by hand under the direction of Lee Podhajsky and a cast of dozens. Irrigation was designed by Jim Soper and installed with help from Pat Mack and Walt Devonshire, and a new greenhouse and fencing were installed.  The resulting field was amazingly productive.  Harvesting and processing was conducted from May to November, by an exceptional cadre of volunteers that included Sharon Shane (with grandkids Kael, Cody, and Emma), Sarah Mihail (with kids Joshua and Noah), Caryll Prokosch (with grandteens Alex, Derek, and Skylar), Juan Chavez, Dea and Lee Podhajsky, Heidi Kinney, Dana Wittmann, Jim and Janet Zuber, Shirley Johnson, Julie K-L, Lynn Graff, Laura Whayne, Laura Ward, Todd Good, Art and Dawn Vernon, and our seasonal bookends, Barb and Gerry Ewert.

 

Total income for The Crazy Chile Farm in 2018 was $4,127.  This was comprised of an $800 cash grant from Seed Money LLC for the greenhouse and fencing,  $300 from the Diocesan Outreach rebate, and the balance of $3,027 from the sale of chile powder and cornmeal. 

 

While The Farm does not solicit donations, in 2018 we received a donated Troy Built Chipper Shredder (from Barbara and Dwayne Turner), a brand new gas powered string cutter (from Art and Dawn Vernon), half a day of tractor rental (from Bob DeSpiegleare and Liz Farmer), close to 100 hours use of a team of Clydesdales (from Laura Ward), and a container load of locally produced organic soil amendments valued at $10,000 (from David Hill at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens).

 

Farm income was used to pay for all expenses, including irrigation water, farm maintenance, growing surface expansion, equipment failures, irrigation failures and, on two occasions, contract labor to help us deal with an out of control Bermuda Grass invasion.  As for outreach, $463.88 was donated to United Food Bank for the “Backpack Food” program during the 2018 teacher walkout.  $300 was given to Million Meals for the provision of 6000 meals. There is currently $595 in our account and we take in between $50 and $150 each Sunday.    

 

There is also a new dimension to our outreach, that began in 2018 and that will continue to grow significantly in 2019. We have made a commitment to assisting the indigenous communities of Southern Arizona (Tohono O’odham, San Xavier O’odham, the Akimel O’odham, the Maricopa, the Pima and the Pascua Yaqui communities) recapture their traditional agricultural heritage. By working with three other organizations (Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson, the Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ajo, and Ramona Farms on the Gila River Pima Reservation), we are collectively enabling hundreds of Native American families to reclaim traditional crops and healthy diets.  Our part of the project is to grow seed stock of rare indigenous food plants, and to encourage and provide those seeds to indigenous farmers throughout the 5,500 sq. mi. of Reservation Lands in Southern Arizona.  In 2018 we grew and provided seeds of tepary beans, Yoeme blue corn, and Tohono O’odham squash to our new partners for distribution to indigenous farmers. Field #2 will be used exclusively to support this effort in 2018.        In Christ, Bill Robinson

 

2018 Native Plant Landscape Ministry

 

In 2008 a program was begun to Restore, Recycle, and Renew our landscape. This effort was led by then Junior Warden Jim Soper along with Bill and Nancy Robinson. Many others helped out on various projects.

 

RESTORE

Originally our acreage was low Sonoran Desert land. The plants that lived here survived on the rainwater that God provided. As wise stewards of the resources we have, we have chosen to install plants that are desert natives (Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave) or desert adapted that can survive on rainwater alone, which in some years is less than the average annual of 7.5 inches.  Trees and shrubs that have been added to the landscape will need irrigation support until they are established (3-5 years). Perennials will need support for a shorter period of time. Most plants except creosote bush may need some irrigation support during a prolonged drought.

                                                              

RECYCLE

As part of our stewardship, we have chosen to Restore the landscape using primarily recycled plants. These have come from parishioners’ home gardens, gardens of their neighbors or homeowner association common lands, and plants rescued from being taken to the dump. Some of these plants were sizeable; others have a lot of growing to do. In the first two years of this program we recycled over 90 plants. We also recycled rocks and gravel through “bring a rock to church”, allowing us to defend vulnerable plants as well as providing dry stream beds for water harvesting when the rains do come.

 

RENEW

Renewal is a process, not an event. It takes time. The renewal of the landscape at Transfiguration comes as we continue to learn to be co-creators with God. By changing from a kill-all weed eradication program, to a manual program with plant identification prior to spraying, we have been blessed with many “planted by God and nurtured by gardener” trees, shrubs and perennials. Part of the renewal process is in the selection of plants for the landscape. Plants have been chosen that attract bees, butterflies and birds to help counteract the great loss of many of these species. Plants have also been chosen that have berries, pods and flowers that our resident and migratory wildlife look to for food. Native plants attract and nourish native wildlife as well as beautify God’s creation. We have a resident roadrunner along with quail, doves, hummingbirds, Gila woodpeckers, mockingbirds, cactus wrens, sparrows, finches, and the ever-present curvedbill thrashers. We also have lizards, desert cottontails, visiting coyotes and raptors.

 

In 2018 we have added 35 flowering plants including hesperaloe, pink fairy duster, candelilla, ocotillo, Engelmann’s prickly pear, desert milkweed, wooly butterfly bush, and buckhorn cholla. Most of these were 1-gallon size, so they have lots of growing to do before they are well established. We have also planted seeds of annual wildflowers and desert perennials, which should eventually germinate with the monsoon rains. In the coming year, as these plants begin to bloom, we hope to have a more colorful landscape.

Nancy Robinson

Book Group General Membership Report

 

Our group meets the third Friday of the month October through March at 10 am in the Parish House. The purpose of the group is to create a community of readers who are interested in exploring ideas relating to morality and religion. Our books selections are both fiction and non fiction. This year we have read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The Sun Also Shines, a nonfiction biography of an innocent man who spent 30 years on death row. Death Comes for the Archbishop, a classic by Willa Cather dealing with the early church in New Mexico, is our January selection. In February we will read Beneath a Scarlet Sky and in March A Prayer for Owen Meany. All are welcome to attend. Please feel free to invite your friends who are readers. Details about selections can be found on our web page https://www.transfiguration-mesa.org

Dea Podhajsky

Social Media Report

 

Dea Podhajsky This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our Sites – Webpage https://www.transfiguration-mesa.org/

YouTube: Transfiguration Mesa (Please subscribe. Check out the playlists.) (No subscribers)

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/transfiguration.mesa/ (222 follow)

Twitter [email protected] (13 followers)

Instagram transfigmesa (46 followers)

 

Our most popular site is Facebook (FB). Recently we had a post that reached over 1,500 people. It was a cartoon on gratitude. Our next most popular site is our web page. Our web page contains a section entitled Transfiguration Meditations that are blogs written by members. These blogs average 100 hits. We also have a calendar section on the webpage. We had eighty hits on our Christmas Eve Services. Fr. Bob’s sermons are also featured here in addition to Facebook. On the web the sermons average 50 hits. There is a section of the home page devoted to news. An article on our new chapel had 135 hits. A story about Detour Theater garnered 36 hits, Spirituality for the Second Half of life had 86 hits and Prayer Shawls had over 100. Although it is possible to order from the Crazy Chile Farm from our web page no one has. There is much more available on the web page. Please feel free to ask me to give you a tour on your mobile device.

 

To get an idea of how FB and the web page compare. Fr. Bob’s sermons on FB average 60 hits. The information on Detour Theater Company had 143 hits. The daily meditation posted by Dan Heron averages about 50 hits a day. The Farm Report has done well in the past. The key to success on FB is the sharing of a post.

 

We have recently added a YouTube channel. We need subscribers as we have none as yet. Class materials from the adult formation class on The Power of Love can be found there. Hopefully, we will soon have the sermon available here as well. Again I would be glad to help you to subscribe on your mobile device.

 

Our Twitter account is aimed at a younger audience and contains posts dealing with popular culture among other things. Part of the power of Twitter is the retweet. We follow 44 sites so one can expect to see retweets from sites we follow.

Instagram is the place to go to find images and the occasional musical number from our choir.

If you are interested in helping with social media, let me know.          Dea Podhajsky

 

Walking Group

 

Our walkers have logged 31,762 miles since our group’s creation. Last December we reached our goal of walking to Mt. Tabor in Israel. Starting in January we began our trek home, since than we have been in Switzerland, England, Scotland, and Ireland. We have walked the Camino de Santiago, stopped off in Spain, spent a few days in Morocco before heading off into the Sahara. There we had visits to Algiers and an Oasis. In Egypt we saw the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings. While in Africa we also stopped in Khartoum, Adis Abba, Nairobi, and Cape Town.  From Cape Town we headed to Australia and from there to New Zealand. We are currently in French Polynesia.

The group’s goal is to create community while improving our health through walking. We appreciate the miles contributed by all the people and dogs that have joined us for the journey. We welcome new walkers whether they join us in person or if they walk independently and report their miles. To become a member of our group either show up at the Parish House at 8:00 on Wednesday or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to our mailing list. Updates on our progress can be seen at our website    https://www.transfiguration-mesa.org   Dea Podhajsky

Episcopal Church Women

 

Reflecting back on 2018 ECW has been really busy.   The ladies of Transfiguration are an incredible blessing to the community.  These ladies give of themselves on a daily basis without expectation of acknowledgement for their acts of compassion. 

Every first Saturday of the month the women, and sometimes Father Bob and other men, gather to break bread at a potluck luncheon and then hold their meeting where planning and decisions are made as to outreach to benefit the surrounding community.  

Ongoing projects of this group include supporting - Brinton school with items such as kleenex, clothing for the children and school supplies, - AJ Food Bank, Million meals, Hug a bear, and  Project Help.  Three New Ministries were formed:

- The Secret Prayer sisters was formed.  Secret sisters were picked and each sister holds their sister up in prayer and supports them throughout the year with little notes of encouragement and  small gifts to let them know they are being thought of.  The revealing of the sister occurs at a luncheon this coming week. 

- The Lords soup kitchen was formed and every month the ladies and gents get together to make soup and loaves of bread to be distributed to anyone who may be in need of comfort.  Many different types of soup are available in the kitchen freezer for distribution to whomever may need it. 

- Church support group was formed to help members of the church who need transportation, meals for the homebound etc. 

The annual Rummage sale was a success, perhaps not financially a windfall, but it served the community well.   The attendees of the sale seemed to need the items offered for a goodwill offering.  It was well attended and appreciated by the community at large.

Kitchen was cleaned up and organized by a dedicated group of ladies.  ECW hosted many events-Deacon Dan's retirement, Flowers for Mother’s day, Donuts for Dads, and Clergy appreciation to name a few.  Spring Luncheon and Style show was once again a great success.  It was well attended and everyone had a good time.   The ladies also supported Transfiguration by donating $5,000 to the general fund. 

This group is extremely busy.   All the events and activities could not happen if not for the commitment of all the ladies of ECW.   These ladies give of themselves freely and willingly.  The support of these women, the parishioners, Fr. Bob and Jan Saik and the faithful officers of ECW - Ruby Seyffert - vice president, Sharon Shane - secretary, and Joan Crossman - treasurer make my commitment so much easier.   I am most grateful to Linda Ostmeyer for her ongoing encouragement and knowledge and support.  

Respectfully Submitted, Jo Laslo, President

 

Transfiguration Children’s Ministry

                                    

The Sunday School teachers have remained flexible and steadfast this year despite the unpredictable number of attendees and young age span (2.5-8 years).  The staff prepared lessons and crafts for, on average, two children per class.  There have been consecutive Sundays of zero attendance and at times as many as four.  Accordingly, our teaching plans were “reset” to help prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child:

  • The curriculum we ordered last summer for all ages was used as a resource only, in order to teach younger children.
  • Integrated Old Testament stories with Jesse Tree ornament making to represent the story’s lesson and as an activity for the four Sundays of Advent.
  • The children participated in church worship by placing their ornaments on the Jesse Tree, the family tree of Jesus.
  • Teachers took the opportunity to meet informally and provided feedback to the director during class time when no children were in attendance.
  • Teachers kept class time organized, structured, and focused (one step ahead!) to manage the shorter attention span of the very young.
  • Emphasized family faith experiences by encouraging participation in summer/winter camps offered through our diocese. (Transfiguration families attended camp this year.)
  • Winter/Spring curriculum will include New Testament lessons and stories and new thoughts for the Easter egg hunt.

I thank our teachers Sharon, Cat, Gordy and Bobbie for sharing their gifts of creativity, perseverance and patience.  We have bonded and become dedicated members of Transfiguration’s children’s faith ministry in Christ. 

We appreciate all who have offered their help and support: Dea-Volunteer Recognition and pageants, Jo-ECW Easter egg hunt, Joan and Linda Jo-the sewing ministry for the activity bags and new surprises inside, Emily-music ministry, Susan Smith-Allen-story-teller and especially, Joolz, the very creative and talented mother of Ian, who built the base for our humble Jesse Tree! Thank you one and all for your willingness to be a part of our church village.

Most importantly, thank you to the parents, grandparents, guardians who encourage (and make possible) a child’s faith development.  As teachers we would lose the opportunity to shepherd children on their journey, letting them know they are loved unconditionally and are unique in God’s eyes. Thank you for trusting us to serve and “do God’s work.” 

Ian summed it all up when he was walking by the Jesse Tree after communion and exclaimed to his mother, “That’s my tree”!  Yes, Ian, you are one of Christ’s own.

Prayerfully submitted,    Eileen Chandler, Director of Children’s Ministry

  • 2018 Financial Statements Review

Treasurer’s Notes

We had a good year.  Our Income was more than our Expenses by $1,071.  We did not have to take money from our Investment Account to pay our bills even in the summer when cash is low.  Our Investment Account, which is now $188,005 has been decreased due to the market value.  We were sorry that the pledge money we received was much less than pledges made for 2018 by $22,044.   On the bright side our following accounts were more than we budgeted:  non pledge, $7,389, plate $1,551, and visitor $1,946, leaving us with only $11,158 less than we planned for the year.  Our expenses were less also than we budgeted by $6,413. which helped with having more money at the end of the year.  Our office move has not been completed this year, but will probably be finished by the end of this month.  So far it has cost us $1,777, but we still have electrical work to be completed and a ramp to be put in front of the office entry door.  Also we are filling in the flower beds on the side of the Parish House, which is now the office site, with cement.  Our Improvement Fund, which started in 2012 when we needed many improvements, still has a balance of $14,439.  We did receive a check for $10,000 this year for our improvements.  Our other future expense will be the air conditioners for the church, which was estimated to cost almost $30,000.  These are the original air conditioners from when the church was built.  Our parking lot is also in need of help.

Thanks for all your help in keeping our campus in good condition.

Sincerely,   Joan Crossman, Treasurer         

Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2018

                     

Account Name

 

YTD Balance

 

Previous Yr Bal

 

Amount Diff YTD

   

ASSETS                                                   _______________  ____________  ________________

CURRENT ASSETS

Chase Checking

 

39,830.92

 

34,439.52

 

5,391.40

   

Chase Savings

 

200.00

 

200.00

 

0.00

   

Total Current Assets

 

$40,030.92

 

$34,639.52

 

$5,391.40

   
                     

INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS

Able Financial Invest Acct 1065

 

89,763.22

 

94,913.24

 

(5,150.02)

   

Able Financial Invest Acct 6766

 

98,241.53

 

105,906.31

 

(7,664.78)

   

Total Investment Accounts

 

$188,004.75

 

$200,819.55

 

($12,814.80)

   
                     

Total Assets

 

$228,035.67

 

$235,459.07

 

($7,423.40)

   
             
                     

LIABILITIES

Total Liabilities

 

$0.00

 

$0.00

 

$0.00

   
             
                     

FUND BALANCES

Chili Garden Balance

 

594.83

 

334.42

 

260.41

   

Diocesan Outreach Balance

 

1,707.47

 

1,329.24

 

378.23

   

ECW  Balance

 

5,543.54

 

7,616.64

 

(2,073.10)

   

Improvement Fund Balance

 

14,439.17

 

9,476.52

 

4,962.65

   

Memorial Fund Balance

 

854.28

 

454.28

 

400.00

   

Million Meals Balance

 

553.66

 

586.92

 

(33.26)

   

Music Fund Balance

 

13,966.29

 

14,211.29

 

(245.00)

   

Nursery Fund Balance

 

1,105.25

 

1,105.25

 

0.00

   

Stainglass Window Balance

 

867.40

 

867.40

 

0.00

   

Total Restricted Fund Balances

 

$39,631.89

 

$35,981.96

 

$3,649.93

   
             
                     

Total LIABILITIES and FUND BALANCES

 

$39,631.89

 

$35,981.96

 

$3,649.93

   

1.  Our Current Assets have increased by $5,391.

2.  Our investments have decreased due to the market value by $12,815.

       

3.  Our fund accounts have increased by $3,650

             

4.  Our Current Assets have covered the Fund Accounts by $399.

       

Treasurer’s Report

 

 

Treasurer's Report as of December 2018 (Vestry Reports)

                             
                             

Account Name

 

Previous YTD

 

YTD Balance

 

Budget YTD

 

Over/UnderYTD

+(-)+Budget

 

INCOME

   

General Fund Income

 

5,200.00

 

6,123.91

         

Non Pledge Income

 

17,787.00

 

25,738.66*

 

18,350.00

 

7,388.66

 

Plate

 

6,745.00

 

8,301.00*

 

6,750.00

 

1,551.00

 

Pledge Account Income

 

164,615.43

 

157,028.88

 

179,073.00

 

(22,044.12)

 

Visitor

 

1,450.30

 

2,966.00*

 

1,020.00

 

1,946.00

 

Total Income

 

$195,797.73

 

$200,158.45

 

$205,193.00

 

($11,158.46)

 
             
                             

EXPENSES

   

RECTOR EXPENSE

   

Rector Education

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

360.00

 

(360.00)

 

Rector Health Insurance

 

8,603.00

 

8,154.00

 

8,196.00

 

(42.00)

 

Rector Pension Expense

 

11,700.00

 

12,150.00*

 

11,000.00

 

1,150.00

 

Rector Phone Expense

 

420.00

 

420.00

 

420.00

 

0.00

 

Rector Stipend Expense

 

64,999.92

 

67,500.00

 

67,980.00

 

(480.00)

 

Rector Travel

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

1,200.00

 

(1,200.00)

 

Spouse  Health Insurance

 

1,096.60

 

1,131.80*

 

1,104.00

 

27.80

 

Total Rector Expense

 

$86,819.52

 

$89,355.80

 

$90,260.00

 

($904.20)

 
                             

ADMINISTRATION EXPENSE

   

Administrator Expense

 

17,118.00

 

17,509.92

 

17,510.00

 

(0.08)

 

Adult Education

 

716.21

 

113.85

 

500.00

 

(386.15)

 

Advertising Expense

 

265.00

 

33.79

         

Audit Expense

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

90.00

 

(90.00)

 

Childrens Sun. School Exp.

 

299.95

 

352.61

 

1,200.00

 

(847.39)

 

Convention Expense

 

931.00

 

540.00

 

850.00

 

(310.00)

 

Copier Lease Expense

 

3,092.99

 

2,889.55

 

3,160.00

 

(270.45)

 

Deacon Ministry

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

500.00

 

(500.00)

 

Interest Expense

 

47.70

 

883.14

         

Music Director Expense

 

16,500.00

 

18,588.25*

 

18,540.00

 

48.25

 

Office Phone Expense

 

2,236.95

 

1,851.96

 

2,400.00

 

(548.04)

 

Office Supplies Expense

 

1,882.96

 

2,642.50*

 

2,000.00

 

642.50

 

Payroll Administration Expense

 

502.00

 

432.00

 

480.00

 

(48.00)

 

Payroll Taxes Expense

 

2,570.43

 

2,754.43

 

2,760.00

 

(5.57)

 

State Corporation Fees

 

0.00

 

20.00*

 

10.00

 

10.00

 

Supply Music Director Expense

 

1,650.00

 

1,325.00*

 

600.00

 

725.00

 

Supply Priest Expense

 

1,300.00

 

2,500.00*

 

1,200.00

 

1,300.00

 

Youth Sunday School Expense

 

372.00

 

0.00

 

1,200.00

 

(1,200.00)

 

Total Administration Expense

 

$49,485.19

 

$52,437.00

 

$53,000.00

 

($1,479.93)

 
                             

OPERATING EXPENSE

   

Audio/Visual Expense

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

500.00

 

(500.00)

 

Diocesan Assessment Exp.

 

33,734.00

 

33,708.82

 

35,421.00

 

(1,712.18)

 

Electric Expense

 

8,295.26

 

8,109.00

 

8,760.00

 

(651.00)

 

Fire Protection & Insp. Expense

 

1,704.00

 

2,191.00

 

2,600.00

 

(409.00)

 

Grounds Maintenance Expense

 

2,361.66

 

736.86

 

2,400.00

 

(1,663.14)

 

Property Insurance

 

6,928.50

 

5,693.75*

 

5,200.00

 

493.75

 

R & M  Expense

 

3,965.65

 

4,094.07

 

4,800.00

 

(705.93)

 

Refuse Expense

 

398.37

 

440.54*

 

400.00

 

40.54

 

Water Expense

 

1,988.32

 

2,321.06*

 

2,160.00

 

161.06

 

Total Operating Expenses

 

$59,375.76

 

$57,295.10

 

$62,241.00

 

($4,945.90)

 
                             

Total Expenses

 

$195,680.47

 

$199,087.90

 

$205,501.00

 

($7,330.03)

 
             
                             

Difference

   

$117.26

 

$1,070.55

 

($308.00)

       

1.  Income was less than the pledged amount by $22,044.  The other items were over budget.

   

2.  Most of our Expenses were close to our budget.

               

3.  The highlighted Operating Expenses were less then we budgeted, by $4,946.

       

4.  Our income was $1,071 more then our expenses

               

 

IX.            Budget for 2019

Annual Budget Report 2019

 

 

                     

Account #

 

Account Name

 

Yr Beg 01/2019

 

Yr Beg 01/2018

 

 

INCOME

   

 

4.100.001

 

Pledge Account Income

 

184,956.00

 

179,073.00

 

 

4.100.002

 

Non Pledge Income

 

21,873.00

 

18,350.00

 

 

4.100.003

 

Visitor

 

2,110.00

 

1,020.00

 

 

4.100.004

 

Plate

 

6,800.00

 

6,750.00

 

 

4.100.005

 

Holidays

 

500.00

 

600.00

 

 

4.105.000

 

General Fund Income

 

0.00

 

0.00

 

 

4.213.000

 

ECW   Income

 

5,000.00

 

5,000.00

 

 

   

Total Income

 

$221,239.00

 

$210,793.00

 

 

EXPENSES

   

 

RECTOR EXPENSE

   

 

5.506.001

 

Rector Stipend Expense

 

68,000.00

 

67,980.00

 

 

5.506.003

 

Rector Pension Expense

 

12,150.00

 

11,000.00

 

 

5.506.004

 

Rector Health Insurance

 

7,692.00

 

8,196.00

 

 

5.506.005

 

Rector Travel

 

1,200.00

 

1,200.00

 

 

5.506.006

 

Rector Education

 

360.00

 

360.00

 

 

5.506.007

 

Rector Phone Expense

 

240.00

 

420.00

 

 

5.506.008

 

Spouse  Health Insurance

 

900.00

 

1,104.00

 

 

   

Total Rector Expense

 

$90,542.00

 

$90,260.00

 

 

ADMINISTRATION EXPENSE

   

 

5.508.001

 

Music Director Expense

 

18,540.00

 

18,540.00

 

 

5.508.002

 

Supply Music Director Expense

 

800.00

 

600.00

 

 

5.509.001

 

Supply Priest Expense

 

1,300.00

 

1,200.00

 

 

5.509.005

 

Deacon Ministry

 

500.00

 

500.00

 

 

5.519.005

 

Administrator Expense

 

1                  18,510.00

 

17,510.00

 

 

5.520.000

 

Convention Expense

 

850.00

 

850.00

 

 

5.532.000

 

Payroll Taxes Expense

 

2,760.00

 

2,760.00

 

 

5.533.000

 

Payroll Administration Expense

 

480.00

 

480.00

 

 

5.543.001

 

Office Supplies Expense

 

2,000.00

 

2,000.00

 

 

5.551.006

 

Office Phone Expense

 

2                   3,720.00

 

2,400.00

 

 

5.558.003

 

Copier Lease Expense

 

3,135.00

 

3,160.00

 

 

5.620.005

 

Childrens Sun. School Exp.

 

1,200.00

 

1,200.00

 

 

5.620.006

 

Youth Sunday School Expense

 

1,200.00

 

1,200.00

 

 

5.621.005

 

Adult Education

 

500.00

 

500.00

 

 

5.655.001

 

State Corporation Fees

 

10.00

 

10.00

 

 

5.715.000

 

Audit Expense

 

90.00

 

90.00

 

 

   

Total Administration Expense

 

$55,595.00

 

$53,000.00

 

 

OPERATING EXPENSE

   

 

5.150.001

 

Cleaning Service

 

3                    5,000.00

 

0.00

 

 

5.220.000

 

Altar Guild Expense

 

1,000.00

 

1,000.00

 

 

5.509.006

 

Bonus

 

4                    2,500.00

 

1,500.00

 

 

5.563.005

 

Electric Expense

 

8,952.00

 

8,760.00

 

 

5.564.006

 

Water Expense

 

2,160.00

 

2,160.00

 

 

5.566.006

 

Refuse Expense

 

440.00

 

400.00

 

 

5.568.000

 

Fire Protection & Insp. Expense

 

2,900.00

 

2,600.00

 

 

5.574.006

 

R & M  Expense

 

4,800.00

 

4,800.00

 

 

5.580.000

 

Grounds Maintenance Expense

 

2,400.00

 

2,400.00

 

 

5.591.001

 

Property Insurance

 

6,000.00

 

5,200.00

 

 

5.621.006

 

Hosp/Kitchen Mgr

 

5                       500.00

 

0.00

 

 

5.629.000

 

Audio/Visual Expense

 

500.00

 

500.00

 

 

5.630.000

 

Social Media

 

250.00

 

200.00

 

 

5.711.000

 

Diocesan Assessment Exp.

 

36,000.00

 

35,421.00

 

 

   

Total Operating Expenses

 

$73,402.00

 

$64,941.00

 

 

   

Total Expenses

 

$219,539.00

 

$208,201.00

 

 

WE HAVE A BALANCED BUDGET!  I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL WHO HAVE PLEDGED AND MADE THIS POSSIBLE.

 

INCREASES IN OUR BUDGET FROM LAST YEAR

             

 

1.  Our Administrator was given a $1,000 increase

             

 

2.  We now have 2 lines coming into the church which increased our phone expense.

       

 

3.  We need a cleaning service for our buildings so we allowed $5,000 for this expense

     

 

4.  The bonus was increased by $1,000.

             

 

5.  When our kitchen is certified we will need a kitchen manager.

             

 

                                         

 

NOTES

ECW Update September

 

The purpose o fECW to empower the women of The Episcopal Church to carry out Christ’s work throughout the world. As the eyes, ears, hands, and heart of Christ in the world, we will persist in the work of healing, justice, and peace.

ECW of Transfiguration meets the first Saturday of each month. Jo Laslo is president. The following is a synopsis of some of the actions from the September meeting.

  • Secret Prayer Sisters continues to grow.
  • Over 400 items were donated to Brinton Schools from our Back to School Drive.
  • Five bags of clothing have been donated to Sunshine Acres.
  • A new project for our group is the Soup and Bread Ministry. Soup will be made and frozen by members and given to parishioners who are ill or recovering from surgery.

Dates for following upcoming events were announced.

  • Clergy Appreciation October 21
  • Turkey Drive First Sunday in November
  • Rummage Sale November 16th and 17th
  • Spring Luncheon March 16th.

Vestry Update September

Vestry meets the second Tuesday of the month. Members include Bob Saik, Rector; Miriam Waddington, Senior Warden; Pat Mack, Junior Warden; Joan Crossman, Treasurer; Ann Williamson, Clerk; Steve Dingle; Elena Little; Meg Stresen-Reuter, Eileen Chandler; Dea Podhajsky; Ruby Seyfert; Pat Gutsch; Gordon Noyes; and Barbara Turner.

A quorum was not present for the October meeting so no formal actions were taken. Informal discussion was held on the following topics:

  • Fr. Bob, Miriam Waddingham and Bobbi Lafford will meet soon to discuss the progress on Strategic Planning.
  • The status of moving offices to the Parish House was discussed
  • The confirmation class has been completed. A time for confirmation will be announced.
  • Schedule of Adult Formation topics will be listed in the bulletin. October's topic is the book of Proverbs.
  • An update on the Bishop Selection was presented. Information about the candidates is available on our web site. The decision on the Bishop will be made at the Diocesan Convention. Input on the candidates should be given to Fr Bob.t
  • The vestry contact for the month is Meg Stresen-Reuter.
  • Recycling was discussed
  • A report on Social Media was given
  • Possible uses for the Diocesan Rebate money was discussed
  • The kitchen preparedness is progressing.
  • Another Newcomers Dinner has been scheduled.  Check the dates in our calendar.

The Story of Our Icon

Icon of the Feast of the Transfiguration by Br. Bill

 

To better understand the Icon of the Transfiguration, it might be helpful for us to have a short understanding of the nature of an “icon”, and why this particular graphic format is different from other types of religious artwork.

 

The word “Icon” is simply the Greek word for image, and “icons” consist of symbolic images of Jesus, Mary, all of the canonized Saints and, occasionally, the feasts and events of the church year (such as The Feast of the Transfiguration).   They are usually painted on wood, or fresco, or done in mosaic, and they always illustrate portions of scripture.  Icons are regarded by the major liturgical churches as “graphic scripture”.  Like scripture, icons are said to be written rather than painted.  By interacting with icons in prayer and contemplation, icons can become windows and doorways to a spiritual connection that one might not otherwise experience.   This is similar to the icons on phones and computers.  Interact with these icons by clicking, rather than prayer, and whole programs open up!

 

The three synoptic Gospels tell us that Jesus took the three apostles, James, Peter, and John “the beloved” and led them up a high mountain.  There, as Matthew tells us, he was “transfigured into blinding light; both his face and clothing changing before their eyes”. Mark, in his Gospel, writes that “His face shown like the sun, and His clothes became dazzling white.” And again, Mark says that his clothes were “such that no one on earth could bleach them”.

 

 In today’s Gospel, Luke tells us that the transfiguration took place while Jesus was praying. It is this comment that is depicted in this icon, where Jesus is raising His hands in prayer.  Luke says, “While He was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and His clothes became dazzling white.” Then, before the eyes of the apostles, appeared the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus. Then, if that was not already enough, a voice came out of a cloud and said, “This is my Son, the beloved. In today’s Epistle, written near the end of his life, Peter states “We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.”

 

The icon we are discussing today is a symbolic representation of the event described in the Gospels.  The composition of this icon follows a strictly symmetrical scheme. It shows a stylized mountain landscape, characterized by a central peak that is flanked by two lesser peaks.  Jesus stands (or almost floats) on the central peak. He is clothed in a white and gold robe that appears to have dazzling light coming from within it.  This is not sunlight.  It is what students of theology refer to as the “uncreated light of God”-- a source of light, unlike sunlight or chemical light or electrical light that appears to come right out of darkness.  Furthermore, He is surrounded by a gold and red boat-shaped image known as a “mandorla—the ancient symbol of the creator God. At Jesus’ feet is a round medallion showing an Agnes Dei—the Lamb of God, which is one of the earliest symbols for our Lord

 

Jesus is flanked by the two prophets. Moses is on His left (your right as you look at it), and Elijah on His right, each standing on his own peak. The image of Jesus is larger than the two prophets. This follows an iconic convention, which calls for the most important figure to be the biggest.  Moses carries the tablets representative of the Law, and Elijah wears the “mantle of prophesy” that he passed on to Elisha before ascending to Heaven in the chariot of fire.  Elijah’s mantle, or cloak, is described in the Old Testament, and in the icon it is shown as somewhat ratty.  The same cloak is depicted in one of the stained glass panels at the back of our own church!

 

The three medallions at the bottom of the icon represent James, Peter, and John.  Normally, the three apostles are shown as figures rather than symbols, but the round shape of this icon did not permit that design.  The medallions, however, are accurate copies of the symbolic representations of these apostles that also appear in the stained glass windows at the back of our church. These designs have been a part of this church since its construction.  So, even though the icon is new to this church, the symbols have design continuity with our whole history. James is symbolized by the three shells.  After his martyrdom in the first century, James’ remains were moved to the village of Compostela in NW Spain, and the cockleshell became the symbol worn by pilgrims to his tomb.  Peter is symbolized by the crossed keys. Jesus told him: “I give you the keys to my kingdom.  James’ brother, John, is identified by the serpent in the chalice, which symbolizes his willingness to drink from the same cup as Jesus, and which leads to his death.

 

The Latin word for transfiguration, transfiguratio, means, “to be changed to another form”. The Greek word is metamorpheos and has much the same meaning. The Transfiguration, therefore, is a revelation of Christ’s divine nature, a manifestation of the Trinity, and a confirmation of the continuity between the Old and the New Testaments.  This is shown symbolically by all of the white and gold lines that crisscross the image of Jesus and seem to come from within Him, rather than from an external source.  This light is the central feature of this icon and was mentioned earlier as the uncreated light of God.  It is a supernatural light with transforming power that has its source in God’s own being. It is the light that Jesus Himself speaks of in John’s Gospel when He says “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” As Jesus becomes that light, his true nature is revealed.  As Paul says in his letter to the Colossians, “For in Him the whole fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.

 

Today’s Gospel account of the Transfiguration also serves as a very early recognition of the Trinity. The disciples hear the voice the Father, they see the Son, and they were enveloped by the Holy Spirit in the brilliance of the uncreated light.  They also witnessed Moses and Elijah, who represented the “Law and Prophets”, and who confirmed that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophesies of the Old Testament.  Thus, the God they had served so faithfully for so long, without actually seeing, could now be seen and spoken to face to face. Here, in the blinding light on the mountain of the Transfiguration, prophets and the disciples were able to witness God’s personified radiance directly. 

 

 

Message from the Rector

Message from the Rector

Thank you for visiting the Church of the Transfiguration website.  The Church of the Transfiguration is a faith community of people celebrating different understandings of the Christian faith within the Episcopal Church.  We attempt to live out our call to be the body of Christ in the world, and we welcome you to join us in our endeavor to "Let all who enter here be received as Christ."

As the ministry leader of the church my goal is to encourage and challenge people to find a closer relationship with God through vibrant worship, studying scripture, and helping others in a supportive community of fellow seekers. It would be my pleasure to  get to know you personally and answer your questions about our community.  I hope that you will give us a try by worshipping with us as your schedule permits.  Please call the church at 480-986-1145 if there is any way in which I may be of assistance. I hope to see you soon!

 
     
Blessings,   Bob Saik
Rector, Church of the Transfiguration

Outreach

The Church of the Transfiguration is very active in outreach.  Our members of the church share their time, talent, and gifts with those in need.  You are invited to support these various ministries.  Some of the outreach that we support is listed below:

  • Brinton Elementary School –  We provide school supplies to the local elementary school.  We also have an angel tree at Christmas to provide gifts for numerous children whose families don’t have the means to provide gifts for them.
  • Project Help – An Apache Junction Unified School District program designed to meet the needs of students whose economic condition may affect their general welfare and opportunity to attain educational success.  We provide school supplies and backpacks to those in need.
  • Apache Junction Food Bank – Food is collected weekly and taken to the Apache Junction Food Bank to feed those in need.
  • Chile Garden - Our parishioners grow and process chile peppers from our garden and sell them to fund church outreach including food, scholarships and refugee support.
  • CAAFA -  Community Alliance Against Family Abuse is a community oriented organization that saves lives and prevents violence. Our donations support the needs of their clients.
  • Million Meals – Our community supports several food bank distribution agencies such as Genesis Project, Wings of Hope, Apache Junction Reachout and CAAFA.  
  • Boys and Girls Club of East Valley - We provide financial support for the after school programs for children.
  • El Hogar Elementary School - We support a family of three children attending El Hogar Elementary School in Honduras.  These children live in this safe environment and get an education with skills that will allow them to become employed upon graduation.

The Crazy Chile Farm

The Crazy Chile Farm was formed in 2014 to support the food relief programs of Transfiguration Episcopal Church.  We live in a State where hunger is endemic. In Arizona 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults, and 1 in 6 seniors are at risk for adequate daily food.  Our response was to create an all-volunteer non-profit farm growing a 400 year-old un-hybridized landrace chile pepper.  Chile was selected because spicy foods are a trending item in high demand in the gourmet market and, fortunately, grows quite well in our low desert climate.

 

Since its inception, profits from the sale of our chile powder have been used to support our local community, by funding food distribution agencies of the Feeding America Food Bank system.  We also fund programs in our local public school systems to support underfunded students, food support for a large women’s shelter, and other outreach programs at Transfiguration and in The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona.  In 2016 over $5600 was provided for outreach.  Likewise, the 2017 crop got off to an exceptional start, and in March and April we were able to provide over $1000 in grants to Million Meals, Project Help, and Lutheran Social Service’s Refugee Focus Program.  But then we hit a “speed bump”.

 

In early May, we picked over 150 pounds of ripe chiles—a record for that month.  Yet by the end of the month it had become apparent that about 80% of our only field was inexplicably near death.  After examination of our fields by U. of A. Cooperative Extension and an independent agricultural laboratory, our crop was diagnosed with Verticillium wilt, a fungal infection causing irreversible vascular failure in chile peppers and other members of the Solenacea family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants).    

Nevertheless, while the harvest was down, it did not disappear.  We continued to produce enough revenue to cover our operational expenses (including our water bill!) for 2017. And by working with our sister program, A Million Meals for our Neighbors and our summer parishioners, we were able to provide funding for 27,500 pounds of food for Hurricane Harvey relief—an extraordinary project that gained us national recognition!

 

Our current objective is to recover our revenue base, to enable us to provide even more food support in our local community, and additional funding for disaster relief food. To that end, we recently opened a second growing field.  This will enable crop rotation between Field #1 and Field #2 to reduce pathogen build-up in our soil, give us the space to diversify our product offering with different crops, and increase the size of our harvest.  If you haven’t seen it yet, Field #2 is located behind the Parish Hall on what used to be a dirt parking area.  “Ripping” the new field was a project.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bob DeSpiegelaere and Liz Farmer for renting a John Deere Tractor and doing the initial plowing.  We also are indebted to Laura Ward and her manager Todd for initial disc and plow work in the new field with her team of Clydesdales, and continuing to bring the horses back for additional work. 

In November, The Farm was invited to participate in an agricultural funding program called “Seed Money”.  We subsequently earned $800, which will permit us to buy a greenhouse to enable our farmers to start our own seedlings in an "all-weather" facility.  This will give us better control of our seedling production, higher volume, and better quality seedlings.  Currently seed flats are sent home with individual farmers in January, with sometimes disappointing results.  Having our own greenhouse will also allow us to recover more rapidly if we are afflicted with transplant failure or pathogen attacks. If this project is successful it will allow us to gain at least a month on our growing season, lengthen our harvest time, and hopefully enable a 20% to 25% increase in annual revenue.

 

As we move into the first quarter of 2018 we give thanks to all those who have encouraged and supported our “sometimes fumbling” efforts.  The love, patience and enthusiasm extended to us by the clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and of The Church of the Transfiguration in Mesa has been extraordinary.  We are also especially thankful for the help and information provided by U. 0f A. Cooperative Extension, the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture Advisory Council on Food and Agriculture, the Association of Community Gardeners of Maricopa County, A&P Nursery, Native Seeds/Search, Tenth Generation Farm in Apache Junction, and David Archuleta, the Farm and Ranch Mgr. at the New Mexico State University Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Alcalde NM.  But, most especially, we thank our own volunteer chile farmers for their tireless energy, extraordinary insights, and constant efforts to improve our processes, our service, and the quality of our products.  Our hearts have been truly touched!

 

Bill Robinson