Vestry minutes – 3/15/2016

Vestry Members: Clare Andreasson, Maria DiStefano-Post, Nancy Flowers, Eddie Grim, Helen Hankins, Sue Kelly, Michael Mittelstaedt, Anne Montgomery, Donna Olendorf, Jeff Tibbits, Marian Vermeulen, Chuck Wolterink (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present: Connie Riopelle, Mark Stackable
Staff Present:
Clergy Present: The Rev. Katheryn King

Scripture & Study:

Katheryn read from 1 Corinthians and Father Tim of the Mitford Series. She had us ponder the thought that we are fools for God’s sake. Check-in followed with each person sharing a high and low in his/her life.


Minutes from the January 12, 2016 meeting were approved by acclimation with one amendment. The date of January 14 needs to be changed to January 12.

Minutes from the February 16, 2016 meeting were approved by acclimation.

The agenda for March 15, 2016 was approved with the amendment of moving New Business after the Rector Report. After New Business, the vestry will go into closed session.


Rector Report: In transition, no rector

Associate Rector Report:  

Katheryn passed out copies of her final Pastoral Care Report. Her report listed the current licensed lay visitors, those receiving visits, and the Munson visitor schedule. Charissa will now be the contact for lay visitations. Meredith Hunt and David Lillvis will be called in crisis situations when clergy are needed. Our Stephen Ministers and Spiritual Directors are another resource for pastoral care.

New Business:

Connie reported on Jubilee House information presented in our packets. She reviewed the Organizational Plan to Operate Jubilee House and clarified the Director/Assistant Director set-up needed for flexibility. This plan will be in effect for one year.

Motion by Helen, seconded by Anne, to approve The Organizational Plan to Operate Jubilee House as presented. Discussion ensued. Motion approved.

Connie explained the Jubilee House Board Policies. With an average of 42-43 patrons a day, it is helpful to have policies written for consistency. She further explained the Jubilee House Rules. Violations are now divided into Minor Violations and Major Violations.

Connie gave rationale for the vestry to consider moving the patron smoking area from the alley near the dumpsters to behind the JH including under the large tree between the JH and the church. Discussion ensued related to our smoke-free campus. When put to a vote, the motion was tabled to allow more input from the Buildings and Grounds Committee (see also Parish Administrator report).

The vestry gave its blessings for the JH to pursue fundraising with various community sponsored fundraising activities such as Swing Shift with the Stars, Shop for the Community, and Norte Cycle Club benefit ride. A Fundraiser Committee has been formed.

The vestry went into closed session for the remainder of the meeting.

Treasurer Report: Mark was unable to stay for the Treasurer’s Report. Donna reviewed the report. The February GEC financials are in line and ahead of the 2016 budget. The finance committee recommends to the vestry:

  • Save the surplus funds, GEC will need them in the not to distant future.
  • Push the “extra” amount of funds from checking to savings.

A generous $40,420 has been received or pledged from the Leap of Faith campaign. The vestry would like Ann, our Parish Administrator, to investigate a special savings account for the extra money in the budget and report back with recommendations.

A financial review will be conducted this year for the 2015 year. A full financial audit will be completed for the books of 2016 before the new rector comes, as required by the Diocese.

The vestry addressed the question of who will handle the rector’s discretionary fund after Katheryn leaves. According to the canons, the vestry can appoint a designee to administer the funds.

Motion by Nancy, seconded by Maria, to appoint Rosemary Hagan, with her approval, to be the designee to administer the rector’s discretionary fund in the absence of a rector or priest-in-charge.

Addendum: If Rosemary is unable to accept this responsibility, the vestry agrees to appoint Denny Meyers, with his approval. Motion approved.

On 3/19/2016, at the Senior Warden’s request, Rosemary Hagan accepted this responsibility.

Parish Administrator Report:

In the absence of Ann, Donna reviewed the Parish Administrator report.

The vestry reviewed the Parochial Report for 2015. The Parochial Report, established by our Constitution and Canons, is a tool for the collection of data that assists the National Church in planning for its mission. It is the official report to the Diocese from which our Diocesan pledge is determined. Future prospective rectors will review this report.

Motion by Donna, seconded by Jeff, to accept the Parochial Report as presented. Motion approved.

Jubilee House was commended for the committed outreach to our homeless, under the guidance of Connie Riopelle. JH has been serving our community for ten years. It requires a tremendous amount of time and attention. The vestry would like to rely on our JH liaisons, Ann and Helen, to bring forth issues and concerns.

The vestry reviewed Ann’s information regarding the pros and cons of moving the JH designated smoking area to the rear of the Jubilee House.

Motion by Eddie, seconded by Helen, to move the Jubilee House smoking area to the back of the Jubilee House including under the big tree. Discussion ensued.

Motion tabled so the vestry can get input from the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

The vestry is recommending a change in language for the Jubilee House Board Policies as of March 2016. Consider changing “will work with the church accountant [add parish administrator and treasurer] to maintain accurate records…” under Budget and Expenditures.

Eddie Grim and Brad Will have been licensed by the Diocese to be able to preach and lead worship.

A celebration for Rev. Katheryn and her husband, Dave, will take place March 19 and 20, at all services.

Senior Warden Report:

The Rev. Mary Fitzgerald, from Hillman in the Diocese of Eastern Michigan, will preach and preside at our Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday services. Ordained in the Reformed Church in America in 1985, Mary has regularly served Episcopal congregations, most recently as priest-in-charge of Calvary Episcopal Church in Hillman. Bishop Hougland has extended a welcome to Mary and given her permission to serve churches in our Diocese.

The Bishop has three candidates for us to review as interim. One of the candidates, the Bishop describes as “really great”, will not be available until June. The vestry is committed to reviewing all candidates before it makes its decision. The Bishop has delivered the biographies of all three candidates and the vestry will review them at a special vestry meeting on March 21. The Bishop also cautioned we probably should not expect to install a new rector in this calendar year. After Easter, the Bishop wants us to think about how he can be helpful to the congregation.

The vestry will review all applicants for the Rector Search Committee at a special meeting on April 5. Selection for the committee will be based, in part, on representing a cross section of the church. Marian Vermeulen will represent the vestry on the Rector Search Committee.

Sue, Maria, and Nancy will begin work as the Transition Committee to welcome the interim rector and eventually the rector.

The Parish Profile was reviewed. Many thanks go to the committee for their hard work in representing GEC in this well-written document. It will be available electronically, and hard copies will be available on request.

Motion by Donna, seconded by Sue, that the Parish Profile be approved for final output. Motion approved.

Bry Dennison will be arraigned on Monday, March 14, 2016, and charged with 4th degree criminal sexual misconduct, a high court misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison. Statute of limitations does not apply to sexual assault cases. The victims and not the church are pursuing these charges. The subcommittee, Clare, Helen, and Jeff:

  • Are available to speak to anyone who needs more information.
  • Will have a bulletin board in the Parish Hall with updates.
  • Continue to work on a standard sexual misconduct procedure for GEC.

Junior Warden Report: Jeff contributed throughout the meeting.

Old Business:


Forum for Congregational Concerns:

A letter was received from Lynn Feeter encouraging the vestry to maintain a smoke-free campus at GEC.

A letter was received from Connie Riopelle regarding a situation with a JH patron needing a warm place to stay several hours before Safe Harbor was opened at GEC.

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Ann will investigate a special savings account for the extra money in the budget.
  • Donna will discuss with Rosemary the motion of being the vestry designee for the rector’s discretionary fund.
  • Mark Stackable needs to sign the Parochial Report.
  • Anne and Helen will discuss possible solutions with Connie regarding her concern for one of the JH patrons as well as their roles as liaisons.
  • Donna will follow-up with Mike Cotter on the Buildings and Grounds Committee regarding a designated smoking area on a smoke-free campus.
  • Donna will email interim candidates’ biographies to vestry members.
  • Charissa will get copies of the Search Committee applications to all vestry members after Easter.
  • The Bry Dennison Sexual Misconduct Subcommittee will set up a bulletin board in the Parish Hall for regular updates.
  • Sue will follow-up with Ann regarding removing her name from the buddy list and adding Helen’s name.
  • Two special vestry meetings:

March 21 (6:00-7:30) to review interim candidates. Each vestry member is to bring top five criteria they would like to see in an interim.

April 5 (6:00-7:30) to review and select members for Rector Search Committee

 The Lord’s Prayer followed by dismissal at 9:55

Respectfully submitted,

Sue Kelly
Vestry Clerk





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