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Meeting to begin following the 10AM Eucharist

  • Meeting called to order
  • Selection of a recording secretary
  • Opening Prayer
  • Election of Officers
    • Junior Warden: Chuck Knill
    • Vestry, three year term: Emma Walker (to chair the Fellowship Commission)
    • Vestry, three year term: Jaime Overley (to chair the Finance Commission)
    • Vestry, three year term: Benjamin Hargy (to chair the Buildings Commission)
    • Vestry, one year term: Gerald Creighton (to chair the Stewardship Commission)
    • Diocesan Convention: Chuck Knill, Martha Heiner, Douglass Post
  • Report from the Rector
  • Report from the outgoing Senior Warden
  • Report from Finance, Moved by the Spirit, and the Approval of the Budget
  • The Presentation of the Lifetime Stewardship Award
  • Questions from the floor
  • Adjournement

Last Year’s Annual Report Minutes

Report from the Rector

I am so incredibly proud of this parish. And, I’m absolutely proud to serve as your rector.

What a year! An amazingly successful capital campaign, which has already slashed our mortgage by two-thirds. We called it “Moved by the Spirit” because the Chip Hughes believed invoking the Holy Spirit was something that we needed to do—and it was indeed a movement of the Spirit, and the People of the Spirit.

The Giving Garden exploded with over 5,000lbs of produce, we surpassed 22,000 meals served in Keansburg, we hosted the First Annual Can-Test for Curbing Hunger, our Youth Group is an absolute thing of beauty, the Parish Hall has a beautiful new floor, prayer blankets are being lovingly made and prayerfully used, and we’re seeing new faces in the pews just about every single Sunday.

We have our challenges, of course. Chief among them is building the Sunday School back. But we’re already seeing things move in the right direction there.

I am immensely grateful for the leadership of Sean Gogerty, Sandy Gogerty, John Lyga, and Matt Seitz. Their contributions have helped see us through this strange time as we try and emerge from a pandemic and forge a new path forward. I’m perpetually grateful for the joyful diligence of Ann Millan, who keeps this place running and keeps me out of trouble.

And, I’m grateful for all of you! For a great 2022, and for the promise of a 2023 where we continue to grow as a parish and as a community of faith.

Fr Rick

What does Fr Rick do outside of St Mark’s?

  • Chaplain to the Basking Ridge Fire Company #1
  • On the Board of Community in Crisis
  • On the Board of Curbing Hunger
  • President of the St Martin’s House Fund Board
  • Leads monthly services at Holly Manor in Mendham, Ridge Oak, and Fellowship Village
  • Facilitates a weekly book group at Fellowship Village
  • Coordinates the Walk to Bethlehem

In 2022 over $6,000 from the discretionary fund has gone to directly help individuals in our local community

We’ve helped people with bills, rent, food, medicine, and other important needs this year

Report from the Senior Warden

2022 was a year of continued transition for our parish family as we continued to move toward a more normal post-COVID world.  The work that so many have done over the past 3 years, especially Father Rick, to help keep us connected and continue our dedicated service as Christians has helped us to be one of the most vibrant parishes in the region living the triennial vision established by the Vestry 12 years ago to “connect to God, each other, and the world”.  Attendance at church services continues to increase as does participation at church events.  The year started off on a tough note with a water leak crisis in the parish hall, but it started a year of substantial improvements to the building and grounds led by our grounds chair on the Vestry, John Lyga.

Being the Senior Warden was an incredible honor for me. I had the opportunity to help represent St. Mark’s at two events at Congregation B’nai Israel to support our Jewish brethren in celebrations of solidarity related to the war in Ukraine and antisemitic threats this past fall.  I also had the opportunity to meet several times with Bishop Chip Stokes on various issues and see the impact St. Mark’s has on the broader Episcopalian community in the Diocese of NJ.  We continue to support St. Mark’s in Keansburg, provide produce from the Giving Garden to the local foodbank and provide gifts to those in need around the holidays and with the tireless leadership of Annabelle Wilmer and Harry Woods we came together to support two rummage sales again this year. We expanded our outreach this year to provide temporary housing in the church to homeless people.

We started our year with a vision that we would need to accomplish a lot to manage anticipated increases in financial needs beginning in 2023.  This was magnified by a year of significant inflation in almost all areas.  To prepare for this, we created a plan to have a capital campaign to help pay for desperately needed roof and organ repairs and to pay down as much of the mortgage as possible in order to reduce our annual expenses.  We were blessed with a significant contribution from the Hughes family to follow the visionChip Hughes, our former Warden, had to pay down our mortgage to strengthen our parish finances.  The campaign was a huge success thanks to the incredible generosity of so many parishioners, current and past, as well as other friends of our parish family.

Finally, I want to thank a spectacular Vestry that gave their all to every task we had for the church this year.  I especially want to thank the outgoing members who all made great contributions throughout their challenging tenures: Matt Seitz (Finance), John Lyga (Grounds) and Sandy Gogerty (Fellowship).  I would also like to give a special thanks to my Junior Warden, Martha Heiner, who was on top of every initiative we ran this year.  She will lead the Vestry well in 2023.

Sean Gogerty

The Giving Garden at the Ross Farm harvested 5,115lbs of fresh produce for local food pantries

We join in this project with the Ross Farm Board, St John on the Mountain, St Bernards, and others

Report from Finance


2022 Operating Income was $391,099 against an annual budget of $372,123. Pledges exceeded budget by $8,655. We also exceeded budget on donations, plate income, and rummage sales income.  Building use donations and income from a budgeted but later canceled fundraiser event were lower than budgeted. Operating Expenses were $5,552 above the annual budget, primarily driven by higher utility (energy) costs from increased consumption and pricing and increased cleaning service costs (note St. Mark’s returned to its pre-COVID full cleaning schedule during 2022).  Net Operating Income was $13,963, driven by favorable income cited above.

Notable balance sheet highlights for 2022 (i.e., comparing balances at the end of 2021 vs. the end of 2022) include a decrease in value of our Diocesan Investment Trust (DIT) of approximately $59,000 (or -23%) reflecting the overall down year in financial markets in 2022, and the decrease in our Mortgage liability of approximately $263,000 (or -71%) due to the pay down of our Mortgage made possible by the Capital Campaign.


Total Operating Income Budget is $390,812. We have projected pledges of $301,500. The rest of income will come from donations, holiday offerings, building rental, and two rummage sales. Our budgeted pledge income is higher than actual pledge income received in recent years (note our 5-year annual pledge income average is approximately $283,000).

Total Operating Expense Budget is $390,811, which primarily comprises personnel costs of $240,252 (increasing $24,261 over prior year due to increases in health care premiums and cost of living adjustments for salaries), administrative expenses of $15,744, buildings and grounds of $96,956 (which includes $6,629 in mortgage costs, a significant reduction from the previous approximately $34,000 annual mortgage costs, and an increase in umbrella insurance costs) and our contribution to the Diocese of NJ of $24,312 (which is substantially below the expected pledge based on the gross income of the church). Other notable expense changes in 2023 include an increase in Sexton expenses (St. Mark’s plans to bring on a new Sexton during 2023) and an increase in Youth Ministry expenses, which reflects St. Mark’s commitment to invest in and revive its youth programs.

Net Operating Income is targeted to be approximately $0. A detailed 2022 income statement and balance sheet can be obtained upon request along with the 2023 budget.

Finally, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the Finance Committee (Father Rick, Sean Gogerty, Martha Heiner, Ann Millan, and Doug Post) for their time, efforts, and guidance throughout the year.  A special thanks goes to Ann Millan, who enters and reconciles all financial transactions and prepares financial statements each month; and to Doug Post, our Recording Treasurer, for recording and depositing all contributions on a weekly basis and providing valuable pledge income forecasting insights each month. 

Thank you!

Click here for the full finance report with detailed budget and balance sheet.

We completely refurbished the area under the parish hall so that we can help temporarily house local homeless families

We have partnered with HOME of Somerset County in this endeavor

Report from Buildings

2022 was a busy year for building maintenance. It started off in January with a BANG; burst water pipes in both the Parish Hall (left & center) and in the Rectory basement under the lavatory (right).

With the help of many volunteers from the congregation and a student outreach group from Ridge we got all the old classrooms refurbished (l to r, music room, Ridge students in hall way, Bill’s, Charlottes).

Our main contracted project this year was to start on a major 3 yr project to replace all of the church roofing and skylights. First up were the roof sections most in need (left – active vent leaking over kitchen, center – chapel & kitchen roof being repaired, right – lower link skylights removed and refinished).

Our garden lighting system was overhauled due to severe corrosion and converted to 12 V for safety (left). Finally, our new Parish Hall floor installed (center) and Zac’s Treehouse!  What a year it was.

In 2022 we served our 22,000th meal in Keansburg

We’ve been serving two meals a month in Keansburg since Superstorm Sandy in 2012

Report from Grounds

In addition to repair work on lighting, fountain, walkways, etc, new plantings were added.  Shrubs and flowers were chosen to make the campus more inviting to explore in all seasons.  Berry bushes, red twig and evergreen acuba were added for winter. One thousand (1,000) bulbs were planted.  Blooms will start in February with winter aconite and run through fall with saffron crocus.  At the corner of Lewis and S. Finley, “hens and chicks” and other fun plants have been slowing down dog walkers and nature lovers.  The slope is being stabilized by liriope and daylilies.  The plan is to have bushes and sunflowers peeking up over the stone walls of the front patio of the church.

Today we blessed the 60th prayer blanket

The St Mark’s Stitchers make blankets for those who are in need of healing and prayer

Report from Outreach

Many thanks to all who helped in our activities this year.  Without your help, we would not have had such a successful year.

The Garden at Ross Farm had a record of 5,115 pounds of produce donated to local food banks, the VA and where else needed.  This year, we had expanded the garden and really depended on all our volunteers.  We had some children’s groups come and plant seeds and do some weeding.  We also had an expansion of bee hives by John Lyga so all the plants were well pollenated.

The usual twice monthly trips to Keansburg Soup Kitchen to serve our donated lunches continued with a total of 22,000 meals since the program began in December of 2012. We also had a generous contribution of turkeys and hams again this year for Easter and Thanksgiving and Christmas for the Food Bank Network of Somerset County as well as $2,055 in Gift Cards at Christmas!
The traditional Rummage sales in April and September were good considering the after math of COVID 19.  Hopefully we will have a better 2023.

A new project this year was the knitting/crochet of squares which were knitted by many of our ladies as well as some friends.  These squares were crocheted into blankets , blessed by Father Rick for the sick or anyone that needed it.  We have recently added blankets for infants that are Baptized at St Mark’s. Another program that we participated in was making lines of plastic grocery bags tied in knots to later be woven into bed pads for the homeless.  This project has come to an end due to to ban of use of plastic bags in grocery stores.

I want to thank all for their help of all kinds this year.  Please remember we are always here to welcome your help and any ideas you might have.

We are 1 of the 17 founding congregations of Episcopal Community Services of New Jersey

Report from Communications

Over the last year at St. Mark’s, we have continued to utilize numerous platforms for communication. We have a following on numerous social media platforms which allows us to connect with new parishioners across the country as well as past parishioners who may have moved away. At the start of 2023, we have 486 likes on FaceBook, 233 followers on Instagram, and 391 subscribers on our YouTube channel. We continue to livestream our services along with the support of Owen Glass. This past fall we also organized our second successful Food Truck event with great food and fellowship. Additionally, we still have a prayer group message through a site called GroupMe where we can ask for prayers for ourselves or others.

Report from Membership

The greeter ministry which is currently supported by seven faithful  brothers and sisters has been going strong this year. And we are hoping to recruit more members into this ministry. If you have a smiley face and interested in shaking hands/ bumping elbow/ hugging (choose one or doing all of the above) with one another on a Sunday morning, we strongly encourage you to join us!

Report from Christian Education

Our 10-15 member youth group (grades 7 and up) has been meeting Sunday evenings approximately every other week for dinner, lessons and activities creatively organized by Father Rick,  Hannah Creighton, and Melissa Sharon. They have helped out with various service projects all year, participated in our fellowship events (yum, ice cream truck!), and most recently took a deep look at the story of Joseph (of the amazing technicolor dreamcoat) and finished off 2022 with an overnight lock-in at St. Mark’s.
Our Sunday School continues to rebuild after Covid. Since late fall, a few of our Sunday School aged children have been joining the youth Sunday evenings, sharing in the lessons and then breaking off for their own activities. We plan to continue meeting at that time this winter and hope to see many of our Sunday School children every other week. (Keep your eye on the calendar or weekly roar for dates).
And, with a big kudos to John Lyga and the Buildings committee, the balcony now contains a space for families with young children, toddlers and babies to join us for worship.  In addition to age-appropriate toys and craft supplies, Zaccheus’s Treehouse has a cozy quiet room with a window to the church and speakers broadcasting the service.
Lastly, we thank John Lyga for his three decades of leadership as our Sunday School Director.  We celebrated his service after our 49th annual Creche Service in December, which, for the first time in recent memory, saw dazzling angels and stars, and adorable lambs and donkeys of all ages, presenting the figures to the manger.
If you have ideas or would like to be involved in our youth programs in any way, please reach out to Kristen Hauser (201-232-8319,

Report from Fellowship

Through our Fellowship events parishioners joined for both the annual Mid-Lent Brunch and the Advent Brunch. Many parishioners joined in preparing the food or dessertsenjoyed. We also had lovely floral arrangements made for the tables at these two special events of the year. The fall 2022 picnic was rescheduled due to anticipated rain, however, the following week we were able to enjoy outdoors in the Memorial Garden some BBQ delights and homemade salads, desserts, and drinks. Thanks to all who were able to enjoy in the fellowship fun and/or also serve in the community for your fellow parishioners.