Vestry Minutes – 9/15/2015

September 15, 2015

Vestry Members: Mike Cotter, Nancy Flowers, Eddie Grim, Helen Hankins, Sue Kelly, Mary Merrill, Michael Mittelstaedt, Donna Olendorf, John Strickler, Jeff Tibbits, Chuck Wolterink (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present: Mark Stackable

Clergy Present: Daniel Richards, Katheryn King

Scripture & Study: Vestry and staff shared personal highlights from the last month.

Daniel read from a section of Becoming A Blessed Church by Graham Standish. In this passage Standish talked about God’s involvement in what some would call “coincidences,” noting that the more we pray, the more such incidences seem to happen. He suggests that rather than “coincidences,” we should better refer to this phenomenon as “God incidences.” The message is that we need to trust that God is involved in our lives and cares for us individually.

The agenda for the September 15 meeting was approved.
Minutes of the August 18 meeting were approved.

Reports/Old Business:

Treasurer Report:
Mark Stackable, Ann Hackett and others have been working on the consolidated financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2014. Mark presented the statement in draft form and it was accepted by the vestry.

Mark reported that our budget is currently operating at a deficit of $26,342 although cash flow is better than expected. Vestry members discussed various actions that may be taken to bring the budget into balance over the remainder of the year. Among other things, vestry members agreed to delay an earlier-approved decision to replace the exterior kitchen door at a cost not to exceed $1,900 and to install new video cameras at a cost not to exceed $4,000..

 Priest Report:            
Daniel presented a brief verbal report, noting that his month was thrown out of kilter by the death of Molly Lien and other unexpected events.

The fall program is coming on-line, including organization of a new Stephen Ministry program.

Daniel asked vestry members to participate in a small group Alpha program. This is a video group course involving prayer and discussion. The vestry session will be shortened to six weeks. A brief presentation will be made at next month’s vestry meeting. Vestry members are asked to submit the names of three church leaders to invite into this process.

Associate Rector Report:            
Katheryn submitted a brief verbal report.

Parish Administrator Report:            
Members of a vestry subcommittee composed of Nancy Flowers and Donna Olendorf, with help from Ward Kuhn, are proposing four changes to the Grace Episcopal Church Bylaws. The changes are summarized as follows:

Section 1 (c) Notice of Meeting. Currently, notice of the annual meeting or a special meeting must be made during regular services on the two Sundays immediately preceding the meeting. Notice of the annual meeting must be published in Grace Notes at least ten days before the meeting. Notice of a special meeting must be made by first class mail to members of the parish. If services aren’t held on two successive Sundays before an annual or special meeting, notice must be sent by first class mail as well as published in Grace Notes.

The proposed change would require notice of the annual or special meeting at regular services on the two Sundays immediately preceding the meeting, by publication in the weekly church bulletin insert, and by publication in the church electronic announcements. Notice by first class mail would be permitted but not required.

Section 1 (f) Election of Vestry. Currently a list of vestry nominees is required to be published in the January Grace Notes. Grace Notes is no longer published and has been replaced with electronic announcements. The changes would require a list of nominees to be published in the January electronic announcements and in the church service bulletin for two consecutive Sundays prior to the January meeting.

Section 3 (c) Secretary/Clerk. Currently the Bylaw requires the Secretary/Clerk to store records and papers of the church. In practice, records and papers are stored at the church office. The proposed Bylaw change would reflect this reality.

Section 2 Authorities of Commissions. The current Bylaw authorizes commissions to spend up to $200, if available in their budget, without prior approval of the vestry. The change would permit charges up to $200 or more as authorized by the church’s Debit/Credit Card Policy, if available in their budget. Under this change the Debit/Credit Card Policy takes precedence.

Consideration of the bylaw changes was tabled until the October meeting

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Chuck Wolterink that the vestry accept the revised list of account signers as presented. Motion approved.

Motion by John Strickler seconded by Jeff Tibbits to accept the Columbarium Niche Plaque Policy addendum specifying that plaques will be ordered by the church, all of common design, and all bearing the deceased person’s name, birth and death years. No titles will be included, other than clergy. Motion approved.

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Jeff Tibbits that up to $2,500 to support the youth group trip to the Parliament of the World’s religions, be taken from savings, rather than from the GEC Foundation, which does not have funds available for this purpose. Motion approved.

 Motion by John Strickler seconded by Eddie Grim to approve up to $1,500 for purchase of a Dell Micro Tower and Dell Latitude Notebook to replace an old unit which died. Purchase will place the computer account $700 over budget. Funds to cover the additional amount will be taken from account 7605, property expenses.

Senior Warden Report:            
Donna reviewed changes to the Bylaws summarized above.

Junior Warden Report:           
Submitted in writing.

New Business:
Helen suggested that we explore with other churches in the diocese the possibility of hosting or sponsoring one or more refugee families. A similar suggestion was received by Jeff Tibbits from a concerned parishioner. Chuck Wolterink recommended that this be a subject for discussion at the next deanery meeting.

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Helen Hankins to approve a request from Catherine Turnbull for the Grace youth groups to hold three fundraisers during the year as referenced in a September 3rd communication from Catherine. Motion approved

Follow-up & Follow-Through:

  • Donna Olendorf and Ann Hackett will schedule a special vestry meeting for later this year with the sole subject being a review of the proposed 2016 budget
  • Nancy Flowers will write a thank-you note to eight-year-old Wesley Nicula for writing a piece about her volunteer time in the food pantry this past summer
  • Chuck Wolterink will write a thank-you note to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for a $200 donation to our food pantry.
  • Donna Olendorf will write a thank-you note to Matt Burden for donating his time to manage, design and edit our website.
  • At next month’s meeting each vestry member will submit the names of three church leaders to be invited into the Alpha ministry.

Compline followed by dismissal at 8:35 p.m.

Repectfully submitted:

John Strickler






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