Church members gathered after worship on Feb. 7 to review church activities of the past year and plans for 2016, elect Consistory members, and approve a budget for 2016. Pastor Jeff Gargano highlighted how the work and investment in ministry over the past few years led to a significant growth in programming in 2015. He cited the Cherub and Youth Choirs, with as many as a dozen children attending rehearsals; the Old Dutch Fest's expansion to a "Dutch village" of offerings; and hiring a minister to children and youth to build upon and develop work already underway. The church hosted a vibrant music program, including concerts by organist David McConnell and tenor Marco Panuccio, and continued support of its annual teen mission to the Dominican Republic.
The pastor gave a special thanks to Rob Wingate, outgoing vice president of the Consistory for the past three years. "So much of what we are seeing come to fruition today is not only because of Rob's support, but because of putting his nose to the grindstone," said Jeff. "Beginning with the Property in Mission effort five years ago, ministry to our youth where Rob met every Friday night year-round along with Moira for three years, developing our budget and Stewardship program and the sale of two properties in 2015 all were accomplished because of Rob's hard work and dedication to our church family." The two properties sold were part of the Vydareny Estate, a bequest of Julia, Paul and John Vydareny.
The 2016 budget shows a "steady commitment to growth in our community." Among questions was one about the progress of the Old Dutch Church Restoration and Accessibility Project. "Sadly, this project has been tied up in both local and state government agencies," he noted. A buffet lunch was served after the meeting.