Vestry minutes – 9/19/2017

Sept 19, 2017
6:00 pm

Vestry Members:  Clare Andreasson, Karl Bastian, James Deaton, Maria DiStefano-Post, Eddie Grim, Kathryn Holl, Sue Kelly, Michael Mittelstaedt, Bill Smith, Jeff Tibbits, Marian Vermeulen, Jeff Wescott (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present: None
Staff Present:  None  
Clergy Present: None

Prayer and Check-in:
The vestry checked in with one another by sharing prayer requests.  Eddie opened the meeting with prayer.

Scripture & Study:
Eddie led us in a reflection on the importance of abiding in Christ, based on a scripture passage from the Gospel of John.

Approve/Amend the Agenda:
Approved minutes from the regularly scheduled vestry meeting on 8/15/2017 by acclamation as amended.
Approved minutes of special vestry meeting on 8/23/17 by acclamation as amended.
Approved minutes of special vestry meeting on 8/31/17 by acclamation.


Rector Report:  None

Treasurer’s Report: Mark Stackable Present
The Finance Committee is pleased with the way the distributions are now being made to Grace Church from the Hughes Organ Fund.

They pointed out that the Organ Fund has the available funds to hire talent but they recognize that it can be hard to find talent.

In addition, the Finance Committee affirmed the decision to offer the use of the Brown House first floor apartment as housing for the Interim Rector.

Parish Administrator Report:
Love Inc. proposes that Grace Episcopal donate $4,000 in support of their fundraising efforts through participation in Swingshift and the Stars.  The Vestry decided that we need more information and Eddie Grim suggested that he will discuss this with the Jubilee Ministries.

The calendar dates for November and December 2017 vestry meetings were reviewed for possible holiday travel conflicts.  The Vestry will make the decision on revised dates at the October 2017 meeting when our new interim rector is in place and when we have more members present.

Senior Warden Report:
The following online vote was made and passed unanimously on September 9, 2017:

Motion by Eddie Grim and Seconded by Jeff Wescott – to offer an interim salary package which includes a salary of $80,000 with the option of using the Brown House as a rectory or a housing allowance of $21,000, up to 5 weeks vacation, and the option of up to 3 months negotiable extension at the end of the contract which will be set to expire when a permanent rector is called or when specifically negotiated with the interim candidate.  Motion passed.

The vestry affirmed this online motion at this regular September vestry meeting.

Clare then presented the final version of the interim rector covenant which Kathryn Costas accepted and signed and which included a salary of $80,000 with housing provided by Grace Church in the Brown House first floor apartment.  This covenant needed to be ratified by the vestry.

Motion by Sue Kelly and seconded by Karl Bastian –  to approve the Interim Rector covenant as accepted and signed by the Rev Kathryn Costas and the Senior Warden Clare Andreasson.  Motion passed.

The covenant will be sent to the Diocesan Office to be signed by Canon William Spaid and Bishop Whayne Hougland.  A copy of the signed covenant will be kept on file in the church office and in the Diocesan office.

In addition, the vestry was presented with a resolution with regard to the housing allowance provided by Grace Church for Kathryn Costas.

 Motion by Eddie Grim and seconded by Jeff Tibbits to accept the following resolution:

 The following resolution was duly adopted by the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church at a regularly scheduled meeting held on September 19, 2017, a quorum being present.

Whereas, the Reverend J. Kathryn Costas is compensated by Grace Episcopal Church exclusively for services as a minister of the gospel; and

Whereas, Grace Episcopal Church provides Rev. Costas with rent-free use of a church owned rectory as compensation for services that she renders to the church in the exercise of her ministry; and

Whereas, Rev. Costas incurs expenses for living in church- provided housing; therefore, it is hereby

Resolved, that the annual compensation paid to Rev. Costas for calendar year 2017 shall be $20,000 of which, $2,500 is hereby designated to be a housing allowance pursuant to Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code; and it is further

Resolved, that the designation of $2,500 as a housing allowance shall apply to calendar year 2017 and all future years unless otherwise provided by the vestry; and it is further

Resolved, that as additional compensation to Rev. Costas for calendar year 2017 and for all future years, unless otherwise provided for by this vestry, Rev. Costas shall be permitted to live in the church-owned rectory located at 222 Boardman Avenue, Traverse City, MI 49684, and that no rent or other fee shall be payable by Rev. Costas for such occupancy and use.

Motion passed.

Clare presented two building use requests to the vestry.  The first was a request from Tom McIntyre to rent our space for a neighborhood meeting with regard to the building he is developing behind us.  The vestry agreed to this request in the hopes that it would facilitate an opportunity for our neighbors and those impacted by this development to raise questions and concerns.

The second request was from an organization named Indivisible, seeking to meet regularly at Grace Church.  The vestry tabled this request until Kathryn Costas’ arrival when it will be discussed with her.

 Junior Warden Report:
            No Junior Warden report

 Old Business: 
            No old business

 New Business:
 Karl Bastian, Stewardship Committee, reported that they are going to kick off the pledge campaign this year on October 1st with the theme “Grateful Harvest.” The pledge card and the poster are already done.  There are testimonial weekends to come with thematic events lined up.   The Committee is seeking in-person testimonies for Oct 7, 8, 14, and 15.

Eddie Grim reported on the work of the Jubilee Ministries Subcommittee and presented recommendations to the vestry. In summary, these recommendations reaffirm the volunteer-led nature of these ministries and strengthen ties and improve communication between the ministries and the congregation. These recommendations need to be reviewed by the vestry, and adopted at our next meeting in October.

Forum for Congregational Concerns:

  Core Ministry Reports
            Rector Search Committee:

Follow-up & Follow-through:

Sue will write a letter to Kathy Will thanking her for enhancements to music and worship.

Michael Mittelstaedt will follow up with Kathy Will on seeking musicians/talent for hire.

Compline followed by dismissal at 8:15 pm

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Mittelstaedt
Vestry Clerk





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