Annual Report

Dear Members and Friends of Heritage,

Below is the annual report of our church as written by your church officers.  As you read it, remember to give thanks for all the excellent work that was done with your help and by our church.  We are always open to any suggestions or comments you might have to help us improve.

Thank you for supporting your church!

Yours in Christ’s joyful service!

Rev. Mark Plunkett, Pastor

REPORT OF CLERK TO THE SESSION

Sue Crawford, Clerk

Presbytery of New Covenant work:

  • Pastor Mark was the vice-chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry; he is also a member of an administrative commission serving Formosan Presbytery Church. Both roles are expected to end in 2020.

In 2019, the Session of Heritage Presbyterian Church met for twelve stated meetings and six called meetings; four membership meetings plus one meeting to consider an offer for our property, and one meeting to draft the budget.   Also, we had three Congregational meetings:

  • January 20: to approve Rev. Mark Plunkett’s terms of call, to receive the 2019 church budget, and to receive the annual report of the Session committees
  • February 10th to consider an offer for our church property
  • October 27: to elect new church officers and 2020 congregation members of the Nominating Committee.

On September 16, a “town hall” style meeting was held to discuss why the church building project needed to be discontinued; this was because we could not reasonably acquire a loan.

At the end of 2019, active church membership totaled 75 members, which is an increase of 6 over 2018. Five members were removed from our church rolls, and eight members joined us by transfer of letter, reaffirmation of faith, or confirmation.

On December 31, 2019, our church membership consisted of the following:

SEX     Female:  49      Male:  26

ETHNICITY      White: 63     Hispanic: 5     Multiracial: 2     African-American: 4     Asian: 1    

AGE GROUPS             0-25:  5       26-40: 10       41-55: 5       56-70: 19        Over 71: 36

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S HOUSE: RESOURCE & MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Elder: Sally Luker        Treasurer:  Jim Lower

 

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  2nd Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

This committee includes the chair, Sally Luker, church treasurer, Jim Lower, and Steve Vetters.  Meetings for our committee are on an “as needed” basis.

The purpose of our committee is two-fold:

  1. to record and deposit gifts and offerings received by our church, and;
  2. to control expenditures required to operate the church.

Our office administrator, Wendy Ballard, handles the weekly deposits as well as the payments for all goods and services. Disbursements require the signature of one of three designated elders, and the monthly bank statements are reconciled by another elder.

Our financial review shows that our financials appear well maintained. A few more suggestions regarding checks and balances to our existing systems were made and have been implemented. 

During 2019:

  • We collected over $165,950 in pledges and offerings for use by our church.
  • We paid $170,050 in church expenses and charitable contributions. The resulting deficit of $4,100 is less than the anticipated one of $35,500.
  • We paid all expenses associated with our property.
  • We initiated a Memorial Fund for our church.
  • We will be implementing a “Faith Budget” this coming year; our expectations are that this congregation will continue to underwrite the work of our church along with its expenses.

We expect to continue worshipping at The Lodge in The Heritage at Towne Lake in 2020 until such time as we secure another location. We will continue to look for areas in the budget where we can save money on expenditures.  Our committee welcomes your ideas or suggestions to contain costs.

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2020 CHURCH BUDGET

 

ESTIMATED TOTAL INCOME:             $148,704

 

EXPENSES:

Worship                                               $5,750.00

Christian Education                             $2,700.00

Fellowship & Hospitality                      $1,500.00

Mission & Outreach                             $12,730.00

Resource & Management/Property       $155,376.00

 

TOTAL EXPENSES:                             $178,056.00

 

PREDICTED SHORTFALL:                  (- $29,352)

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S HOUSE: PROPERTY COMMITTEE and CHURCH SALES TEAM

Elders Richard Silva, Chris Rigoulot, and JC Kissinger

 

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

 

2019 has passed with our church property on West Road continuing to be for sale.  During the year, we had one viable offer, but that potential buyer wanted too many concessions for their proposed building that violated the development’s master plan.  So that offer was withdrawn, and the property remains on the market.

 

In the fall, the Church Sales Team met with our commercial sales representatives from the Caldwell Corporation to discuss possible options that might make our property more attractive to potential buyers.  These options include:

  • Dividing the land into two parcels and selling them separately;
  • Digging the required detention pond on the property to demonstrate in an observable way how much land is available for construction;
  • Continuing to market the land as one 7+ acre parcel.

 

Among the members of our congregation, much discussion has occurred during the past year involving moving from the Heritage Lodge into a different rented space where we could set up our church and all its materials.  Such a site has not yet been located, but we continue to search.

 

The challenge for all of us is this: Do we move into a different temporary location and rent - or do we wait until our property sells, build our new church home, and then move?

 

If we are blessed enough to find a new church home, we have all our needed church furnishings safely in storage and ready to be deployed.

 

The faith that the congregation has placed in the members of this committee and the Church Sales Team is the driving force behind our commitment to see this endeavor through until we have a new and permanent church home of our own.

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S WORD: CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Elders Katie McMillen and Jodie Smith

 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2nd Timothy 3:16-17

 

We believe teaching and learning God’s Word is essential to a Christian’s formation; thus, this is the focus of our committee and our classes.

 

Two adult Sunday School classes are held each week. One class decides collectively which book of the Bible or Christian DVD they will study.

  • The first six months of 2019 the class studied the Gospel of John.
  • In September through the middle of December, this class began the DVD Series of Ray Vander Laan’s “That the World May Know.”
  • As a prelude to Christmas, in the middle of December, the book and DVD The Journey, Walking the Road to Bethlehem by Adam Hamilton, was viewed and discussed.

 

The other class, “Saints Under Construction,” studies The Common Lectionary.

Each Sunday, four prescribed lessons are read and discussed with attention given to a common theme.  Students find the study of these lessons gives a preview into the passages chosen by the pastor for his sermon during worship.

 

During the summer months, the two classes combined and utilized guest speakers.

  • For the month of July, Diane and Dean Forbes, friends of Pastor Mark, provided four presentations on their travels to Israel.
  • In the month of August Nancy Giffin’s study on “David’s Ladies” that included Micah, Abagail, Bathsheba, and Tamar.

 

Mark continues teaching Bible study thirty minutes before each stated session meeting.

 

We also have a children’s Sunday school on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.

 

A Confirmation class was taught by the Pastor for Mia Martin and Christian Turner who were confirmed on December 22, 2019.

 

Mrs. Kay Cronk from St. Thomas Presbyterian Church teaches a ladies’ Bible study weekly.  The group provides an opportunity to learn as well as pray for local and worldwide concerns.

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S WORD: WORSHIP COMMITTEE

Elder Carol Beverlin and Elder Sally Dunnagan

 

“… the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid!  I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy in all the people.”   Luke 2:9-10

 

In our seventh year at the Lodge, Rev. Mark Plunkett continues to lead us in worship every Sunday at our 10:30am service.  We continue to lead an 8:30am chapel service each Sunday at Sundance Memory Care.

 

Highlights of our year follow:

  • Music remains a large part of our worship services under the direction of Nancy Kissinger. Leticia Lima, our accompanist, finished her degree in piano and has a full-time position now as Music Director at a nearby Episcopal Church.  Michelle Willey filled in until Cathy Wafford was hired.  We still encourage soloists to join us.  On the fifth Sunday in any month, we continue to enjoy “Stump the Choir” Sunday.
  • Our YMM program also continues with grant funds. Our 2019 seniors graduated: Natalie Pantuso, Jessica Omoheyeke, and Cameron Iwaskewycz.  Keiana Kreitz continues to sing with us, along with our 2019-2020 class: Dylan Gamble, Nina Nguyen, and Julia Redinger.  We have also had several excellent guest musicians.
  • We celebrated 56 worship services including four special ones. We had guest speakers, as well as pulpit supply, including Dr. Rose Niles, Elder Shelly Hernandez, Rev. Helen De Leon, Rev. Lynn Hargrove, and Rev. Cheryl Gans.  Pastor Mark also swapped pulpits with Rev. Mirjam Hass-Melchior from St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Needville.
  • Our liturgists help bring even more wisdom and praise to our services and hope to have more participate. A new training session for liturgists will be held in the early spring.
  • Our congregation again purchased lilies for Easter and poinsettias for Christmas from Brookwood, a faith-based community for functionally disabled adults in Brookshire.
  • We are using our website and social media more to tell the public about Heritage.
  • Mia Martin and Christian Turner both completed a confirmation class.
  • Pastor Mark officiated at 6 weddings.
  • Pastor Mark also officiated or participated in 7 funerals, 3 of which took place in our church family.

 

Memorable Services throughout the year include:

  • Good Friday – John and The Passion Verses.
  • Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day Sundays special remembrances for our troops.
  • Fourth of July service with patriotic hymns.
  • World Communion Sunday on October 6.
  • Youth Sunday on October 20.
  • Christmas Cantata “Waiting For Christmas” presented on December 15.
  • Our traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve evening service.

 

Elder Sally Dunnagan moved in the summer this year, leaving the worship elder position open.  It was moderated by Carol Beverlin to finish 2019.

 

We look forward to serving the members of our congregation in the coming year of 2020.

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S PEOPLE: FELLOWSHIP & HOSPITALITY COMMITTEE

Elders Angeline Martin and Jodie Smith

 

“…let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:10

 

The purpose of the Fellowship & Hospitality Committee is to assist and inspire members in their spiritual growth, connections with each other, and participation in the life of the church of Jesus Christ.

Below is the list of the activities that our church held during 2019:

 

January: Congressional meeting, Jan. 20th, the Committee served sandwiches, dessert, and beverages.

 

February and March - No activities planned.

 

April

April 21, Palm Sunday: Pancake Breakfast - Pancakes, sausage, syrup, and juice provided. George McDonald and J.C. Kissinger made pancakes and Doris Stallings brought decorations.

April 27: Free the Captives 5K race – 14 were in attendance with church T-shirts made for race team participates. 50 t-shirts were ordered. Remaining t-shirts were given away for small donation. ($5.)

April 28: Celebration for Rob & June Brown – Meet Eli! Cake, punch and decorations provided.

 

May

May 12: Mother’s Day gift - A Hershey’s candy bar and a rose were given to all the HPC mothers following worship. Ann printed a special wrapper for the candy bar.

May 26: Graduation celebration for all our graduates – cupcakes and treats provided by the committee

 

June: Father’s Day gift – A Hershey’s candy bar and koozie were given to all the HPC fathers following worship on June 16th. Ann printed a special wrapper for the candy bar.

 

July: Christmas in July Pot-luck on the 14th – Christmas jars were provided and decorated by God’s People. Juice, paper products and decorations were provided.

 

August - No activities were planned.

 

September: End of Summer Luncheon, September 8 – Committee provided brisket, lemonade and tea and congregation brought sides. Bingo was played with Mark as our caller and “white elephant” style prizes were awarded to our winners. Prizes donated by committee.  Good turnout and a lot of fun.

 

October: Youth Sunday, October 20th – Committee provided cupcakes and punch.

 

November - No activities were planned.

 

December

December 8: Advent Potluck Breakfast – the congregation brought their favorite breakfast items.

December 14: Ladies Holiday Luncheon – 11:30 am @ Union Kitchen (28 in attendance). A “white elephant” style gift exchange occurred.

 

Thank you to all the committee members and elders who helped make all this happen!

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD'S PEOPLE: MISSION & OUTREACH COMMITTEE

Elder Doris Stallings

“These things I command you, that you love one another.”  John 15:17

We kicked off this year with:

  • January 15 – February 3: Souper Bowl of Caring for CAM
    • 900 Units of Soup and misc. food items., 1860 Servings.

 

  • Valentine’s Day, February 14: Purchased 100 Hershey bars, wrapped with wishes from Heritage Presbyterian Church. Each were put in each teacher’s box

 

  • February: Book drive for Postma Elementary School teacher’s libraries.

 

  • May 4: Ladies Lunch at Sterling Country Club. 28 attended.

 

  • April 28 - May 12: Undies for Everyone, collected 412 pair.

 

  • May 20: Staff appreciation. Postma Elementary, served cupcakes and juice to staff.

 

  • July 4: Christmas Jars distributed.

 

  • June 2 - July 23: Peanut Butter and Jam collected for CAM
    • total 153 jars, 3965 servings.

 

  • September 1: Christmas paper goods collected for The Pinemont Apartments, which provides affordable housing for low-income and disabled persons.

 

  • November 18: Pie Day at Postma Elementary, serving staff pie at each lunch break.

 

  • December 8-15: Christmas Jars collected and counted. Final Report, $1300.00
    • $200 gift cards for five homeless families at Postma Elementary
    • $300 gift card for needy member of Heritage Presbyterian Church.

 

Each month, we had our “Gold Bag Offering” that benefitted Free the Captives, an organization that works to end human trafficking.  In 2019, our church donated $1579 to this worthy cause.

 

Three PCUSA special offerings are given by our church:

Easter Sunday - One Great Hour of Sharing: $255

World Communion Sunday, October 6, Peace & Global Witness: $300

St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, Cleveland, Texas: $100

December 22, Joy Gift: $790

 

I would like to thank the Mission & Outreach Committee for all they have done to make this a good year.

 

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MINISTRY TEAM FOR GOD’S PEOPLE: DEACONS

Deacons: Mindy Boyd, George McDonald, Pat Schoenfelder, Jean Smith, Betty Brown

 

“Deacons must hold fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.  And let them first be tested; then, if they prove themselves blameless, let them serve as deacons; for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”

1st Timothy 3: 8-13

 

Heritage is one of a very few small churches that still has a Board of Deacons.  Each Deacon is assigned a “shepherd group” of church folks to look after.  Our Deacons care for the individuals in our congregation by visiting or calling when they are sick, bringing meals during times of need, and talking with or listening to the individual concerns of our church.  They manage our Deacons’ Fund, which is a benevolence that benefits others by assisting with rent/mortgage payments, food, prescriptions, medical insurance bills, and even gasoline; in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Deacons’ Fund was used extensively to assist victims of the hurricane’s devastating effects.  The Deacons’ Fund is supported each month on the third Sunday of the month with a special collection.  During 2019, the Deacons’ Fund spent $3708 helping those in our church and our surrounding area.

 

Our Deacons help the pastor to keep up with the lives of our individual congregation members.  If someone is missing or ill, our Deacons will reach out to that person and often give the pastor a “heads-up” that a call might help.  In this role, they are truly shepherds of our flock.

 

During the past five years, our Deacons have organized a cookie drive that provides tasty treats for our high school and college students.  These treats are collected on Cookie Sunday, which is immediately following the Thanksgiving holidays.  Then they are sorted, bagged, boxed, labeled, and mailed to the students to use during their preparation times for their final exams and projects.  This year, we mailed or hand-delivered containers of cookies to 13 different students, including our Young Music Ministers.  We have received delightful feedback about how the treats were shared and greatly appreciated by the students.  In many cases, our students reported that their friends remarked, “Your church does this?  How cool is that!”  We believe it not only reminds the young people of our church that we have not forgotten them, but it also serves as a way for us to spread the Good News to the Kingdom!  Sometimes, when we have LOTS of cookies left over, we have taken them to Postma Elementary School and laid them out on the tables in the faculty break room for the teachers and staff to enjoy.

 

Deacons bring a ministry of caring to the God’s people, and we praise God for their good work!