Vestry minutes – 02/16/16

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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:  Ann Hackett, Rosemary Hagan
Clergy Present:  The Rev. Katheryn King

Scripture & Study
Donna opened with a Prayer for the Mission of Grace Church.  Check-in followed with each person sharing about his/her life.  Rosemary led us in an Evening Liturgy and reflected on the upcoming Gospel.  She encouraged us to keep a spiritual discipline every time we meet as a vestry.

Minutes from the January 26, 2016 meeting were approved.
The agenda for the February 16, 2016 meeting was approved by acclimation.


Rector Report:  
In transition, no rector

Associate Rector Report:    
Katheryn gave the vestry her letter of resignation as Associate Rector of GEC effective March 31, 2016.  Her last Sunday will be Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016.  The balance of her time will be taken as vacation days.  Katheryn will also officially retire from Parish Ministry and join her husband in Oregon.

Motion by Jeff, seconded by Marian to regretfully accept the resignation of The Rev. Katheryn M. King as Associate Rector of GEC effective March 31, 2016.  Motion approved.

Treasurer Report:
Mark thanked the vestry for their hard work in balancing the budget and said the numbers for January looked good.  The Financial Committee continues to discuss two budget related ideas.

  • Moving our checking account to a credit union or Traverse City State Bank could result in a savings of approximately $500.
  • Attaching a checkbook to the Hughes Organ Fund would allow us to pay bills as they come due as opposed to waiting for reimbursement the following year.  Withdrawals would be taken periodically throughout the year in accordance with the terms of the trust and be deposited into the checking account.

Parish Administrator Report:    
Information was received and discussed regarding the installation of a wireless smoke detector alarm system in the Jubilee House.

Motion by Donna, seconded by Michael, to accept the gift of $1000 for the installation of a wireless smoke detector fire alarm system in the Jubilee House.  Motion approved.

Motion by Nancy, seconded by Michael, to approve the installation of a wireless smoke detector fire alarm system as specified in a quote submitted by Northern Fire & Safety not to exceed $920.  Any expense above $920 would be paid out of Jubilee Restricted Funds.  Motion approved.

Motion by Donna, seconded by Helen, to install a gutter system for the back door of Jubilee House at the cost of $629 with funds from the St. John’s grant.  Motion approved.

Motion by Helen, seconded by Nancy, to approve account signers as presented, with the date change of March 31, 2016, for Rev. Katheryn.  Motion approved.

Ann provided updated copies of the Grace Church Bylaws and the Grace Church Foundation Bylaws.  She also informed the vestry that Barbara Klugh has resigned as chair of the Stewardship Committee.  The committee will be looking for a new chair.  There was a discussion about the Leap of Faith Campaign and the $22,920 in monies/pledges received thus far.  After the campaign ends on February 29, the vestry will relook at the budget.

Senior Warden Report:    
Donna encouraged the vestry to be observant and reach out to members who may be absent from church. This can be done with a phone call, note, or email letting them know they are missed.  Data from the Parish Survey Report was reviewed. It can be downloaded here:  

The Parish Profile will be completed by March 10, 2016.

The vestry will provide dinner for Safe Harbor on Thursday, March 10.  Helen and Sue will coordinate the meal.

Three candidates had applied for the Children and Youth Formation Director but one person withdrew.  Interviews are set for February 22, 2016.

Motion by Donna, seconded by Nancy, that the vestry vote of approval for the Children and Youth Formation Director be conducted via email so the person can begin before the March 15 vestry meeting.

Discussion ensued with concerns about only having two candidates, a desire to discuss as a vestry the recommended candidate, and the possibility of putting a temporary volunteer in place until the new rector comes.  Donna withdrew her motion.

Two new committees were formed at the vestry retreat.  Jeff, Clare, and Helen will serve on the committee to address and communicate information regarding sexual harassment issues stemming from Bry Dennison’s tenure as interim priest (2008-2009).  Nancy, Sue, and Maria will serve on the Transition Committee to welcome the interim rector as well as the new rector.

Junior Warden Report:   
Jeff has been working diligently on a GEC Rector Search Committee Application and Questionnaire.  He shared a draft copy for the vestry to review.  There was discussion over the length, types of questions, information needed, format, and how to collect the survey.  The application will be available as a hard copy and electronically by February 22.  Applicants must submit their applications to the office by March 11.

Old Business:

New Business:
Connie Riopelle updated the vestry on new cabinets/moving of cabinets in the Jubilee House which have been donated by Cabinets by Robert.  The moving of cabinets will allow for wheelchair accessibility.  A Bunn coffee maker has been donated.  There are now two handicap parking signs for the JH which are available for GEC Saturday and Sunday services.

Forum for Congregational Concerns:
In Jeff’s report, the following concerns have been expressed to him by parishioners.

  • The need for continued transparency and communication regarding the Bry Dennison sexual harassment issue in order to re-establish and maintain trust.
  • Conserve energy and save money by turning lights out.
  • Does the Children and Youth Formation position need to be filled in a time of budget cuts?
  • Important parishioner questions along with answers need to be addressed and shared in some manner to improve communication with the parish.

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Donna will send a card to the Dow family on behalf of the vestry to let them know our thoughts and prayers are with them as Amanda heals from a skiing accident.
  • Ann will include the January 12 vestry minutes in our March packet for review and approval.
  • Ann will make changes to the vestry partner chart and Voice of the Vestry list.
  • Mark will look into no cost checking accounts and attaching a checking account to the Hughes Organ Trust Fund.
  • Donna will investigate who can release clergy discretionary funds in the absence of a rector.
  • Helen will write a thank you to Barbara Klugh for her eight years of service as chair of the Stewardship Committee and to Canon Bill Spaid for working with the vestry at the January retreat in Conway.
  • Donna will write a thank you to The Rev. Greg Brown, rector of Emmanuel Church in Petoskey, for working with the vestry at the retreat on Friday.
  • Clare will write a thank you to Catherine Turnbull for serving as the Children and Youth Formation Director.
  • Ann will format The Rev. Katheryn’s letter of resignation and send it to the congregation.
  • Helen and Sue will head the Safe Harbor dinner on Thursday, March 10 put on by the vestry.
  • Marian will prepare a testimonial about pledging for the Leap of Faith Campaign.

Daily Devotions:  At the End of the Day followed by dismissal at 10:00

Respectfully submitted,

Sue Kelly
Vestry Clerk

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