Vestry Minutes – 8/18/2015

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August 18, 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, Mark Stackable

Staff Present: Ann Hackett

Clergy Present: Daniel Richards, Katheryn King

Scripture & Study: Vestry members shared their month’s highs and lows during check-in. For our scripture study Daniel read from the book, Becoming a Blessed Church by N. Graham Standish. The passage stressed the importance of prayer life and God’s power to provide for our needs through prayer. Daniel summarized that God looks after those who look after others.

Agenda: The agenda for the August 18 meeting was approved.  Minutes of the July 21 meeting were approved with the correction that the ministry fair will be held September 26 and 27.

Reports/Old Business:

Treasurer Report:          

Mark Stackable reported that July financials show the deficit continues to grow. Net ordinary income is $55,000 in arrears year-to-date. Mark will review the numbers with Kerry Nelson and Melissa Cartwright to ensure they are correct and to determine that the financials reflect an accurate picture of our current position.

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Chuck Wolterink that the vestry reassert its intention to complete a vestry-approved balanced 2016 budget prior to December 31 for the congregation’s review at the annual meeting. Motion approved.

Mark also reported the Finance Committee’s discussion regarding the financial management of GEC Hughes investment accounts. The focus to date has been on income, sometimes at the expense of growth. The question facing the vestry is whether or not to stay with our current investment manager, Financial Investment Management Group (FIM), which charges no fees but does not offer options for selective investing in accounts that the church deems socially responsible.

Motion by Eddie Grim seconded by Nancy Flowers that the vestry continue the services of FIM with the intention of reviewing and clarifying the Hughes Organ and Maintenance fund investment goals. Approved


Rector Report:            

Daniel presented a detailed written report on the results of the eight Tapas conversations held earlier this year to discuss three primary questions and proposals for the near future of Grace. All the conversations were positive. In small groups participants were asked to express what they love about Grace, what they would most like to preserve in the face of changes, and what they would add to Grace. The majority of responses centered positively around welcome and worship, and a deep desire to celebrate and preserve the hospitality and liturgical basis of the church’s life. In the area of service, considerable support was expressed in extending ministries to our own homebound, elderly, and those who have difficulty coming to church. Especially prominent were concerns for a new elevator and a parish nurse.

Proposals emerged to support an Alpha ministry based around video presentations and a meal together, and for a Stephen Ministries program, a local lay ministry of support and listening to those in need.

At the Tapas talks Daniel also outlined a shift in the Sunday morning schedule to respond to limits of sanctuary space to accommodate higher attendance. The new schedule will be incorporated on a trial basis between Advent and Pentecost. The Sunday service schedule will include the following:

  • 7:30 Morning Prayer
  • 9:00 Holy Eucharist with Chancel Choir similar to the current 10 a.m. service
  • 10:00 Education Hour
  • 11:00 Holy Eucharist which will be more contemporary and song-based rather than hymn-based.


Associate Rector Report:           

Katheryn reported on a very successful Vacation Bible School with an Australian adventure theme August 4-6. Twenty-two kids participated with more than 30 adult and youth volunteers making it all happen. Katheryn expressed special thanks to Connie Meyers and Penny Campo-Pierce who prayerfully partnered with Katheryn in this important endeavor.


Parish Administrator Report:            

Motion by Sue Kelly seconded by John Strickler to accept the 2016 Diocesan apportionment of $68,876 and to include this amount in the Grace 2016 budget planning. Motion approved

Ann reported that the kitchen door is hard to open and swings in the wrong direction to access the outdoor cement pad. This situation has twice been mentioned during fire inspections.

Motion by Nancy Flowers seconded by Eddie Grim to purchase a new outdoor kitchen door at a cost not to exceed $1,900. Motion approved

The Ministry Fair is scheduled for September 26-27. Ministry leaders are asked to complete a ministry description form. The fair will be a showcase of all the possibilities for congregation members to contribute their time and service.

Ann noted that after serving for more than a decade Nancy Templeton is stepping down from her volunteer position of paying the bills for Grace Church. Don Oldenburg has answered an invitation to contribute his talents to continue this ministry.

Phone and internet service has been switched to Charter/Spectrum Business.


Senior Warden Report:            

Donna Olendorf reported that Daniel has recommended formation of a Master Plan Committee to create a building plan for church maintenance and building projects.

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Eddie Grim that the vestry convene a Master Plan Committee, comprised of representatives from the Finance Committee, Stewardship Committee and Building and Grounds Committee, with de facto participation from the junior and senior wardens, to create a building plan for church maintenance and building projects covering the next 5 years and 10 years. This committee will have a two-year duration with the goal of coordinating a long-term plan for church maintenance and building projects. Motion approved

Motion by Donna Olendorf seconded by Mike Cotter that the Building and Grounds Committee seek three bids for repairing the stucco and flashing around the clerestory windows at the top of the steeple, with the understanding that the repairs will stop the leaks originating at that site. Motion approved

Donna reported that Steve Larson is resigning as the Grace organist, effective at the end of services Sunday, August 23rd. Steve has rendered ten faithful years of service as our church organist, contributing immensely to the beauty of our Sunday services. He will be replaced by Kathy Will.


Junior Warden Report:           

Jeff Tibbits reported that at least three church members have requested that Daniel and Katheryn hold a few open office hours each week.

At least five members have expressed concerns about GEC not paying off its mortgage/debts quickly. They voiced concerns that not doing so might jeopardize future contributions to Grace.

Many members complimented the Youth Group’s breakfast fundraiser for their trip to Salt Lake City and the Parliament of the World’s Religions Conference.


Old Business:

Dave Eitland attended the vestry meeting representing the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation. He presented four proposed changes to the Foundation By-Laws. For the rationale behind these changes, please refer to the minutes of the July 21, 2015 vestry minutes.

Motion by Eddie Grim seconded by Donna Olendorf that the vestry accept the proposed By-Law changes to the Episcopal Church Foundation as follows:

Article III Section 1 Annual Meeting of the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation By-Laws be amended to read as follows: The annual meeting of the Directors, to transact such business as may be appropriate, shall be held in January of each year, at such place and hour as the Directors shall determine.

That the last sentence of Article VI Section 1 Investment of the Grace Episcopal Church Foundations By-Laws be amended to read as follows: The primary investment objective of the corporation shall be to prudently maximize growth and income.

That Article VI Section 3 Income be stricken and the following heading and language be inserted as follows: Distribution. Semi-Annually the corporation shall distribute to the Church a sum equal to 2.5% (ie 5% annually) of the total value of the investments. In determining the total value the corporation shall average the actual value of the investments as of the last day of the preceding 12 quarters.

That Article VI Section 4 Use of Principal be amended to read: The principal of the corporation shall be invested pursuant to Section 1 above and shall not be invaded or distributed (except as provided in Section 3 hereof) except upon the affirmative vote of a simple majority of the Vestry and the vote of a simple majority of the members of the parish of the Church eligible to vote at a duly called parish meeting following notice of the specific resolution to be voted upon.

The motion was unanimously approved by a 9-0 vote

New Business:

Chuck Wolterink has received a suggestion that a non-directional mike be purchased for congregation input during church-wide meetings.


Follow-up & Follow-Through:

  • Ann will follow through on soliciting bids for a new kitchen door
  • Donna Olendorf will send a thank you to Nancy Templeton for her bill paying services over the last decade.
  • The junior and senior wardens will oversee the organization of the Master Plan committee
  • Mike Cotter will follow up with of the Buildings and Grounds Committee to solicit bids for repairing the stucco and flashing around the clerestory windows.
  • Daniel will follow up on a replacement to Dixie Stephen on the vestry

Compline followed by dismissal at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John Strickler
Vestry Clerk

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