congregation council

2017 annual report

Respectfully submitted by Council President, David Richards


Dear Advent Congregation:

It was a pleasure to serve as Council President in 2017, a year full of exciting change for our congregation. I want to begin by acknowledging all of our dedicated volunteers and staff. Even though this was my third year on Council, it wasn’t until I became more involved that I was fully aware of all the special people that make up our Advent family, and all that they do. So, a huge thank you to all for a year of extraordinary service.

The highlight of the year was the calling of our Senior Pastor, Pastor Danielle. I am grateful to the members of the Call Committee, to the Council, and to Pastor Ann for leading us through this process. As a congregation, we have witnessed the increase in attendance, giving, and participation that often follows such a transition, and we look forward to building on that success in 2018.

Financially, while we are still dealing with the transition from our covenant with Broadway UCC, we had a solid year. Despite an aggressive budget for 2017, we seem to have met the bottom line as approved by the congregation. Council spent a great deal of the year discussing and wrestling with the financial challenges before us, including the pending capital needs of the church. We continue to try and balance the financial realities of operating a historic church in the middle of Manhattan, with our vision for the future and the mission and service work we are called to do.

This Fall, the Council held a retreat, focusing on those very things: mission and vision. We spent time defining the church that we are, and the church we want to be. At the end of that process, we broke into groups to attempt to create a mission statement that would represent this church. Here are two statements that emerged, which I'd like to share with you:


We are called to be God’s embracing and empowering presence in the real world: Formed in faith, strengthened in community, and set forth to be light for the sake of the gospel.  

God is calling us to be like Jesus—to be spiritual leaders, strengthened in community, reaching out to and standing together with brothers and sisters of different backgrounds and faiths.


 While neither of these has been adopted as an official Mission Statement of the church, I find them both to be helpful reminders of the work we are called to do.

 As we head into 2018, the Council will be focusing on Leadership Development, and working together to create an environment at the church that will hopefully make it easier for members of the congregation to get involved. I challenge us all in 2018 to work together better, and to be more involved and active. Whether that means participating in worship services, educational opportunities, or service opportunities—let us work together to do more.  

In your service,

David Richards
Council President