Vestry Minutes – 7/21/2015 meeting

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July 21, 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: Dave Eitland, Ward Kuhn

Staff Present: Ann Hackett

Clergy Present: Daniel Richards, Katheryn King

Scripture & Study: Vestry members shared what has been going on in his or her life since the last vestry meeting. Daniel directed our thoughts and prayers to consider where God lives in us. Responses varied, ranging from God exists everywhere, to God lives within us and moves outward from there, to thoughts of seeing God in loved ones. Daniel discussed similarities and distinctions between soul and spirit.

Study period was followed by discussion about the Sunday, July 19 parish meeting and feedback from the congregation about the results of the recent Tapas Talks.

Agenda: Approved.

Minutes of the June 16 meeting were corrected. Under the “Agenda” heading the date June 16 was changed to May 19. In the first action item in the Parish Administrator Report the last sentence of the motion should read, “Ann will work with EPS to put together a specific package.” Under “Follow-up and Follow-Through” the correct spelling of Dixie Stephen’s name was noted.

Reports/Old Business:

Treasurer Report:           

In the absence of Mark Stackable, Daniel presented results of the most recent Finance Committee meeting. A question was raised regarding how computation of the value of the Hughes Foundation is calculated. Following discussion it was agreed that the concern was unfounded and that the method of calculation was correct.

On an annualized basis, our budget looks good.

Priest Report: Daniel said he will return to the vestry next month with a summary of comments received from the Tapas Talks. He said there were several comments made about the need for an elevator, concerns for addressing the needs of elder members of the congregation and concern for ensuring that elderly members are receiving services important to them.

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church was held during the last month and several important issues were resolved. Daniel also reported that a fund raising campaign for a new church in the Dominican Republic was incredibly successful thanks largely to contributions from Grace and its parishioners. Of $27,000 raised from the diocese, $25,000 came from Grace, including $15,000 from the Ann Mapes foundation. In essence, a planned five-year campaign was successfully concluded in less than a year.

Associate Rector Report: Katheryn reported that vacation bible school is scheduled for August 4 through August 6 with an estimated 25 children and 15 volunteers involved. In May Katheryn attended the Northern Great Lakes Synod Assembly held at Finlandia University in Hancock.

Parish Administrator Report:            

Former Youth Group Pilgrims have been invited to attend and to make a presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions to be held in Salt Lake City in October. A request for financial support has been made for attendance. Roland Andreasson has generously donated travel funds, and lodging discounts have been arranged. Approcximately $3,000 remains to be raised and the Youth Group Pilgrims have asked for permission to host a fundraiser to gather at least a portion of that amount.

Motion by Sue Kelly seconded by Nancy Flowers to support efforts of the former pilgrims to host a fundraiser to attend the Parliaments of theWorld’s Religions conference. Motion approved.

Motion by Donna Olendorf, seconded by Chuck Wolterink, on behalf of the congregation to support the youth group trip to the Parliament of the World’s religions, with a contribution of $2,500 using funds from the GEC Foundation. Motion approved

Motion by Nancy Flowers, seconded by Sue Kelly, that the vestry support Rosemary Hagan by paying $700 for the cost of a required psychological evaluation as she continues to discern her way toward ordination, using funds from the GEC Foundation. Motion approved.

Motion by Chuck Wolterink, seconded by Jeff Tibbits that the vestry support the work of the Episcopal Peace Foundation locally and nationally by contributing $250 to the National EPF using funds from the Social Action budget. Motion approved

Motion by Jeff Tibbits seconded by Nancy Flowers to reimburse a portion of the Education for Ministry expenses incurred by Rosemary and Greg Hagan in the amount of $456, using funds from staff continuing education fund. Motion approved

Motion by Nancy Flowers seconded by Michael Middlestaedt that the vestry support the Food Pantry’s request to raise funds at the church picnic by serving donated chicken for a free-will offering. Motion approved

Motion by Mary Merrill seconded by Nancy Flowers to authorize window replacements in 222 Boardman Avenue using budgeted funds from line 6175-3. Motion approved

Senior Warden Report:            

Donna reported that parish members have shown interest in the Stephen Ministry and Alpha Ministry and would like more information.

Donna also reported that a parishioner showed distress about the office being closed from Noon to 1 p.m. Daniel said he will discuss with staff how to address this issue.

Donna and Nancy continue to meet with Ward Kuhn and Dave Eitland on reviewing the by-laws of Grace Episcopal Church.

Donna reported that she was approached by Susan Bonner regarding concerns about people having time to move between services under the new service format. Donna and others will work to address those concerns.

Junior Warden Report:           

Jeff reported that there will be a ministry fair held September 26 and 27 to inform church members about the various ministries active at Grace.

Old Business:

Motion by John Strickler, seconded by Donna Olendorf that the candidate receiving the next highest votes from the January Annual Parish Meeting be invited to join the vestry to fill the unexpired term of Dixie Stephen. Motion approved. Daniel will approach the candidate regarding this appointment.

New Business:

Ward Kuhn and Dave Eitland attended the vestry meeting representing the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation. They presented proposals for changes to the Foundation by-laws.

Change #1 would stipulate that the annual meeting of directors be held in January at a time and place determined by the directors.

Change # 2 would direct that the primary investment objective be to prudently maximize growth and income, thus providing more flexibility in making investments, rather than narrowly focusing on maximizing income.

Change #3 would reflect a commonly used foundation approach by distributing 2.5% of the total value of the investments twice a year. The total value will be the average of the actual value over the preceding 12 fiscal quarters.

Change #4 would make it possible to invade or distribute the principal of the corporation to address church crises with the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the vestry and also a simple majority of the members eligible to vote at a meeting of the parish. Current by-laws require a 75% majority vote of both vestry and the congregation.

Consideration of the by-law changes was tabled until the August meeting.

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Daniel will follow through with Tim Hamilton regarding appointment to the vestry and with Ward Kuhn regarding appointment as Chancellor.
  • Nancy Flowers will write to Roland Andreasson expressing appreciation for donating all the airfare for 6 youth and 4 chaperones to attend the Parliament of World’s Religions.
  • Chuck Wolterink will send a note to LOVE Inc expressing appreciation for increasing their funding of the hygiene pantry.
  • Daniel will send a note to Maxcie Latimer thanking her for attending to the food and beverages at the Tapas meetings.

Process Evaluation:

Sue Kelly noted that several items were handled expeditiously during the meeting. Sue added that she sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit during the vestry’s deliberations.

Compline followed by dismissal at 9:25 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted
John Strickler, Clerk

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