From Andy Bihl, Director of Parish Operations
I would like to start off this article with a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the newest addition to our team, Kris Whitaker! Kris has been added to our team to fill the shoes of Leslee Hartford, who, as you probably already know, got an offer that was too good to refuse to go to work in her home parish at St. Rita. We are remiss if we do not acknowledge Leslee again and thank her for the talents she shared with us while she was here.
Kris has been working for church organizations for nearly 22 years. She comes to us most recently from Lumen Christi Catholic School, where she was the administrative assistant. Prior to that, she was the administrative assistant at Queen of the Miraculous Medal Parish here in Jackson, and before that, she worked at Queen’s Elementary School. She brings a vast array of experience, and a polished skill set that will greatly benefit the staff and parishioners here starting July 2.
She is a hometown person, having received the Sacraments at St. Joseph. Her mother is Alberta Ziepiela, who recently served a term on our finance council. And her husband is Ron, who provides most all of our outside IT support in the parish and school. Having said that, I must say—all of that was just a blessing from the Holy Spirit; Kris earned the position entirely on her own merit.
We had eight timely responses in our effort to find a new person. (We had two that were received after interviews had been completed.) It is a measure of how strong the candidates were that we did an interview with every single one of the eight. After a great deal of time spent in discussion and prayer, Kris emerged as the clear leader.
We are excited about her skill set for sure. She is familiar with virtually every software platform we use. But adding to that is the fact that we are unanimous in the idea that her heart is about serving people and bringing them to Jesus. She may be a member of another parish, but she is an evangelist too.
Update On Church Security
We recently had a presentation by the Michigan State Police on church security. They discussed the many options and many levels of things that churches do to protect themselves. After the presentation, Shayne Slough and I created a survey and sent it to the attendees to gauge their opinion of what fits St. John best. We have most but not all responses, and when the rest come in we will compile them and share them with the parish.
Update on Witness to Hope
We are creating a schedule for the projects that were in our case study, with support from Bob Henderson and the Building and Grounds committee. This schedule will balance a logical sequence of when projects should and could happen with an eye ever on the deposits made from your pledges so that we minimize the need to borrow against any of our investment
funds. Likely next projects include repaving parking at the school and the church. When the timeline is created we will share that as well.