Annual Congregational Meeting Packet 2022

Annual Congregational Meeting Notice


08 November 2022

Re: Annual Congregational Meeting

Saturday, 3 December 2022
   1:00pm-2:30pm - Holiday Social Gathering
   3:00pm - Annual Congregational Meeting

Members, Attenders, Friends of the Church, and All who call SJMCC home,

We offer greetings to you in the name of the One who is the same yesterday, today, and Forevermore!

We write to you today to inform you of our Annual Congregational Meeting to be held Saturday, 03DEC22 at 3:00 pm (ET). This meeting will be held in person at our ministry facility located at 4 North Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27601. The meeting will also be available via Zoom for those not able to attend in person. Register to attend remotely on Zoom.

Town Hall Sessions:
   Thursday, 17NOV22 7pm ET (Zoom only) Join on Zoom
   Sunday, 20NOV22 11:30am (in-person only)
The town hall sessions take the place of what was formerly known as a congregational forum.

The purpose of this meeting is to hold Board Elections, consider a budget for 2023, receive ministry reports, review the Five-Year Plan, and to recognize volunteers. Please tap the links below for more information. Download Meeting Agenda

Board Candidate Introductions
• Proposed 2023 Budget Documents (download)

     Presentation NarrativeBudget ProposalBudget Details
Ministry Reports
• Five-Year Plan Summary Video

Please use the feedback form to submit questions or suggestions ahead of the Town Hall meetings. Questions and/or suggestions will be discussed at the Town Hall sessions. It is customary to have all discussion completed prior to the Congregational Meeting. Please make plans to attend one of the Town Hall sessions as well as the Congregational Meeting. Feedback Form

This is a very exciting time in the life of St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church and our community. We humbly ask that each of you be in prayer as we continue to Build Authentic Relationships through St. John’s MCC!

Blessings to you as we go forward in God’s grace and mercy,
Pastor Vance

Rev. Vance E. Haywood (he/him)
Senior Pastor
St. John's MCC
Office: 919-834-2611 ext 402

Ministry Reports

Senior Pastor’s Report

Annual Congregational Meeting 2022
Rev. Vance E. Haywood, Senior Pastor


2022 has been a great year in the life of St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church. I have seen our congregation and community come together in so many ways, embodying the very essence of Jesus’ teachings of Love, Compassion, and Community.


Earlier this year we launched our Youth Ministry and our Digital Campus. Under the leadership of Katie Almaguer, we have held Sunday morning worship for children and young adults as well as a midweek service project that the youth are engaged in. We have worked this year to evaluate and implement our youth program as it begins to grow. Ensuring not only a rich and engaging environment for young people, but a safe environment as well.


Rev. Wanda Floyd has led our Digital Campus Ministry. Much of our time in 2022 has been to build the foundations on which the Digital Campus is being built. This campus is allowing us to expand our reach into areas where people so desperately are looking for a safe place to worship, and to find what MCC offers. I am excited for the future of what this campus brings and the ways in which we will see people’s lives transformed as they experience radically inclusive love!


This year was very inspiring as well as we witnessed and participated in so many pride celebrations! In our history, SJMCC has historically participated in Durham Pride (which was for many years, the state pride) and in Out Raleigh, a pride festival that has ran here in downtown Raleigh for about 10 years.


This year we participated in 8 different Pride events: - Jacksonville -Wilson - Apex -Raleigh - Charlotte - Durham - Asheville - Kinston


I can’t tell you how incredible this is and how inspiring… to see communities around our state that are coming together to celebrate diversity and inclusion. There were many more events held around the state; we participated in the ones we could and focused on areas where there is not currently an MCC presence, in some cases such as Kinston Pride, we were the only church represented. Again, sharing a message of Love to the world around us.


These connections provide us an opportunity to make a real difference and impact in people’s lives. Think about the first time you experienced MCC and experienced unconditional love and realized that not only does God love you, God created you in God’s own image (ALL OF YOU)! These opportunities allow us to share that same experience with 100’s of people wherever we go!


As a result of some of our outreach work, many of you know that Pastor Paully started a small group in Wilson, NC. That group is preparing for a relaunch early next year with some engagement from people in the Wilson area to include some with longtime connections to SJMCC.


A few months ago, we started an intentional outreach in the Charlotte area. We are now holding monthly social gatherings and hosted our first Worship Experience in Charlotte in August. This was a joint worship bringing in our home campus here in Raleigh, our Charlotte community, and our Digital Campus! Who would have thought we would be worshiping in three spaces at the same time?


I am also planning for the launch of regular social gatherings and information finding in the Jacksonville area starting early next year. We have worked with Onslow Pride and participated in the opening ceremonies of their very first pride event this year!


These are just some of the ways that we have experienced growth and expansion in 2022!


Probably the most noticeable growth we saw in 2022 was the relocation to this space here on Blount St in downtown Raleigh. Bringing together community partners to provide programming and resources to our community.


On a weekly basis we have the following programs and services taking place:

   ● HIV/STI Testing

   ● LGBT Center Programming

   ● Aging Adult Programming

   ● Youth Programming

   ● Food Pantry Services

   ● Connectados - a group for primarily LGBTQ+ Spanish speaking persons who have experienced trauma and finding ways to navigate life together

   ● Mail Services and Resource Assistance

   ● Case Management Services


This is just a summary of the events that take place here. We also have hosted other programs such as voter registration, health insurance enrollment, Medicaid enrollment and support, and so many other benefits to the community.


In March of this year, we relaunched our in-person worship. Following a rollercoaster of adaptations from the previous two years of COVID. As a part of that relaunch, I worked with the worship team to create our current model of “hybrid worship”. This enabled us to provide a worship experience not only for those of us gathered here in the sanctuary, but also for those gathered online. Prior to this hybrid launch, our online worship was simply a space to come “watch” worship. The online community was not invited to participate. Simply put, this was church online and not online church.


We will continue to seek ways to enrich the worship experience for both the in-person and digital community and we value your input as we grow! Over the past two years we have worked with leadership, staff, and the congregation to develop our five-year vision and plan. We have rolled that plan out and will ask for your affirmation of that vision today. Our next steps will be developing a detailed strategic plan and road map to achieving that vision. Some of that work has already begun.


I have worked with the Board of Directors and Finance Team to begin the transition of the church’s bookkeeping to an outside firm. This work began this year and will be completed by the end of this month. Our Board of Directors is responsible for the financial management of the church and contracting with an outside bookkeeping firm will assist in keeping best practices and accountability.


We already utilize the services of an accountant who performs quarterly and annual reviews of the church financials. This step to add a bookkeeping firm will enhance our ability to make informed decisions and provide timely reports to the Board of Directors and to the congregation. Simply put, when I became Pastor in 2018, our annual budget was around $120k. Next year, with our normal operating budget plus grant programs, the church will potentially be managing in excess of $600k so enhancements and expansions to our financial practices are required.


Looking to our future, I have asked our Board of Directors at its next meeting to focus on some key areas next year:

   ● By-Law Revision

      ○ Develop a by-law committee to review and propose to the congregation and the next congregational meeting by-law revisions/amendments.

   ● Financial Security

      ○ Develop a plan to build a 6-month operating reserve

      ○ Develop a five-year budget to align with the five-year vision

      ○ Work with the bookkeeping firm and accountant to review/revise our financial policies

   ● Establishment of a Board of Trustees

      ○ For the purposes of exploring and reviewing our needs and plans for 4 years from now and beyond.

      ○ To explore options for property

      ○ And prepare for the launch of a capital campaign


I am so honored to be serving here at St. John’s MCC and forever grateful for God’s divine design that had this community of faith impacting my life so many years ago (long before I even knew what MCC was). I am excited for the future that God has in store for us and the work that we are called to do.


Thank you and God Bless you all!

Pastor Vance


Board of Directors

Year-End Report 2022


The Board for the year 2022 consisted of the following:

  • Vance Haywood - Moderator

  • Mark Godette - Vice Moderator (term expires end of this year)

  • Treasurer - Bob Young (term expires end of this year)

  • Clerk - Martin Smith (term expires end of this year)

  • Member At Large - Willie Evans (term expires end of this year)

  • Member At Large - Dela Adams (term expires end of 2023)

  • Member At Large - Joyce Robinson (term expires end of 2023)


During 2022, the Board took the following actions:


I. Oversaw the Church’s move from 622 Maywood Avenue to 4 North Blount Street, and the renovations necessary of the latter space.


II. Approved the formation of the “Equity and Justice Coalition NC” (a.k.a. “City on a Hill). This organization oversees social justice issues the church works on. Its board includes members of SAGE, the Raleigh LGBT Center, Vision Church, and persons who receive the Coalition’s services. Two board slots are also reserved for St. John’s members, who are appointed by the St. John’s MCC Board.


III. Oversaw administration of the City of Raleigh grant for operating the White Flag Shelter during winter months. Approved a Case Manager staffing position, for 20 hours a week at $42,000 per year, helping shelter visitors find work, housing and health services.


IV. Allocated money for the following items:

 a. $263 for 100 Service Pins, to recognize volunteers for St. John’s various ministries.

 b. $1000 for local General Conference expenses.

 c. $833.33 per month ($10,000 per year) for the Youth Program Coordinator to staff and oversee the Wednesday meal service, which delivers meals to Moore Square.

 d. $5000 to contract with Raleigh Bookkeeping Services through the end of the year.

 e. $350 to upgrade our Vmix license, Vmix being the service we use to stream worship and other events online.


V. Approved the following items:

 a. The NAVA Church Marketing proposal.

 b. The “Giving Video” proposal suggested by Mike Gauss: 8 to 16 short videos encouraging donations to St. John’s, to run during worship services and on social media.

 c. The proposed 2023 Budget and Pastor Vance’s proposed “5 Year Plan” for St. John’s MCC, to be presented to the Congregation at the Year-End Congregational Meeting.


Respectfully submitted – Marty Smith, Clerk


Spiritual Growth Ministry
for St. John’s MCC • November 2022


The Spiritual Growth Ministry helps people move along their journey to spiritual awakening. Many come to St. John’s MCC with broken spirits; having been rejected by other churches. We help heal those broken spirits.


Then, we help the same people find a path to a deeper spirituality; understanding how God’s all-inclusive love empowers them to treat others with care, compassion, and love.


Finally, we help people discover insights about their relationship with God; learning who God is for them and helping them overcome the burden of bad teaching from the past.


 • In 2020, we helped almost a dozen people “Discover MCC” as they considered whether they wanted to make St. John’s MCC their spiritual home.

 • Over a period of 12 weeks starting after Easter in April, ten participants studied Bishop Carlton Pearson’s groundbreaking book, The Gospel of Inclusion.

 • In August and September, Travis Compton and Jim Manchester facilitated the eight-week discussion for twelve people when they took the “Freed from Guilt … Freed from Shame” course.

 • In October and November, a core group of six individuals developed a strategy for Creating Authentic Relationships as Pastor Vance facilitated a workshop using Andy Stanley and Bill Willits’ book, Creating Community: Five Keys to Building a Thriving Small Group Culture, as a starting point. Watch for more information about Community Groups that will launch in 2023.


We plan to dig deeper in forming new and varied Community Groups in the next year. Community Groups can be the “Starting Point” for many people. We will also offer the eye-opening and controversial class called “The Gospel of the Revelation according to St. John the Divine” in 2023.


Jim Manchester

Ministry of Spiritual Growth


Digital Campus Report 2022
Rev. Wanda Floyd, Digital Campus Pastor


In March 2022, I was hired as the Digital Campus Pastor. Since that time, the journey has been exciting, informative, challenging, and educational. For MCC, I believe this is the first time a church has been intentional about having a staff person dedicated to the digital world.


Throughout 2022:

 • Attended webinars, summits and read books around what and how to do Digital Ministry

 • Being present for online worship at 10am each Sunday

 • Sent “thank you” messages, via Facebook, to those who attended worship on the previous Sunday on Mondays

 • Text sent mid-week check to check in and solicit prayer requests

 • Maintained the Facebook page for the Digital Campus

 • Attended retreat in Charlotte, NC with other staff pastors

 • Researched how to be a Digital Pastor


Main area of focus for 2023: Create a weekly flow that will begin to bring more connections with those online.

Ministry of Worship Report 2022
Rev. Paully Adams,  Associate Pastor


During the 2022 year, the following was done:


 • Planned Sunday morning worship every week (50 Sundays)

 • Wrote, edited, and planned Special Services such as Ash Wednesday, 2 Easter Services, Blue Christmas, TDORR, 2 Christmas Eve services, and Christmas Day.

 • Attended 2 Pride Events in Eastern NC representing St. John’s MCC

 • Spoke at Interfaith Pride Service

 • Spoke at UUC congregation in Greenville

 • Relaunch of Wilson community group

 • Made contact with visitors listed on queue

 • Attended retreat in Charlotte

 • Agreed to work with East Carolina University to help with the Regional Faith Symposium on LGBTQ+ Inclusivity that is taking place on Feb 25, 2023

 • Will have preached 6 times at St. John’s MCC by end of the year

 • Named to serve on the City of Wilson Human Relations Commission for a 3-year term


Focus for 2023

 • Redo the Google Worship Drive so that all resources for each special service has its own folder.

 • Try to keep 1-2 months ahead with scheduling folks for helping with worship.


Youth Ministries Report 2022

Katie Almaguer, Youth Ministries Coordinator


In May of 2022, I began an amazing new spiritual journey when I was hired as St. John’s Youth Ministries Coordinator. Since then, I have been doing a lot of praying, researching, and networking with other youth coordinators in the area. I have learned a lot about what has been successful for other programs, and I am looking forward to implementing several of these ideas as our programs grows.


Our highlights this year include:


Our youth and young at heart preparing and serving 6,972 meals from the months of June to November.


Holding our first annual Halloween Carnival, co-hosted by our spiritual roommates, Vision Church.


The young people amazing us with their talent, poise, and wisdom for our first quarterly Children’s Church Sunday.


Now that we have our “feet wet,” and a remarkable new space to work in, it is my plan to continue to grow our Youth program.


My primary focus right now is forming a faithful group of youth program volunteers passionate about creating a safe space t for growing spiritually while having fun. Please consider becoming a part of this very important team.


I would also like to add additional programming in the forms of


   a. Expanding our Wednesday night social action ministry to include dinner/activities during Front Porch Sitting

   b. start a teen small group that meets monthly,

   c. plan for a Vacation Bible School week

   d. cohost an LGBTQ+ prom with WCPSS and the LGBTQ center.


I want to thank my fellow staff who have provided prayer, encouragement, and guidance this year. I ask that you all continue to promote our youth activities and let your friends and family know all that is happening at St. John’s. Thank you for your continued faith and support!


Katie Almaguer
Youth Ministries Coordinator