Vestry minutes – 10/17/2016

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Vestry Members:  Clare Andreasson, Maria DiStefano-Post, Nancy Flowers, Eddie Grim, Helen Hankins, Sue Kelly, Michael Mittelstaedt, Anne Montgomery, Jeff Tibbits, Marian Vermeulen, Chuck Wolterink (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present:  Kerry Nelson, Don Olendorf, Connie Riopelle
Staff Present:  Ann Hackett   
Clergy Present: The Rev. Carlton Kelley

Prayer and Check-in:  Carlton opened with prayer and we all checked in with each other.
Scripture & Study:  Fr. Carlton shared that the upcoming Gospel is about the tax collector and the Pharisee in which the tax collector begs for mercy.  We all need to ask for mercy for our sins and we all deserve mercy.  God is merciful when we cannot be.  Be patient.   

Approve/Amend the Agenda:
The October 17, 2016 agenda was approved by acclamation with one correction and two additions.  Change the name for the Senior Warden Report to Clare Andreasson.  Add Connie to the beginning of Reports for an update on the Jubilee House.  Add Don Olendorf between the Treasurer Report and the Parish Administrator Report to give an update on the roof.

The minutes from the September 20, 2016 meeting were approved by acclamation.

Jubilee House Report: 
Connie reported that the JH Board has recommended hiring a house manager for consistency with the 40-41 people and 3-4 volunteers who come daily to JH.  The house manager would answer to the Director and Board.  The manager would be at the JH house when open; currently four hours per day, five days per week.  Does a manager need to come from Grace or not?  The Board is researching the fiscal piece of hiring a manager.  The Swingshift money would cover the cost of a manager for two years.  Connie will stay on as Director until March.  Jack Singer is resigning as Assistant Director.
Motion by Anne, seconded by Eddie, to approve the direction of the Jubilee House in investigating the hiring of a JH house manager.  Motion approved.

Treasurer Report:
Kerry reviewed the financials.  We are behind in pledges by about $10,000.  Ann will investigate the possible reasons.  The financial committee provided a proposed 2017 budget. It will be tight and at this point pledged income is only a guess.  Ann pointed out most expenses have been under budget for 2016.

Kerry informed the vestry about a new Federal Fair Labor Standards Act law which raises the salary threshold for full time employees working more than their contracted 40 hours.  This includes salaried workers such as Ann.  In addition, employees working 30 or more hours/week are entitled to health insurance if needed.

Money needed to fix the roof could be about $40,000.  The finance committee strongly suggests using the Chris Black donation ($21,000 – 10% tithe) toward the roof.  The committee feels if Chris wanted to designate her money she would have.

The finance committee will continue to work on coming up with a balanced budget for 2017 and update the vestry in November.

Roof Report:
Don has been working with roofing experts to determine where the roof leaks are originating.  It is least likely to be the shingles and most likely to be the flashing around the clerestory windows where the stucco is cracking.  They have tried caulking to no avail.  It is recommended that the stucco around the clerestory windows be removed and new flashing such as Ice and Water Shield be installed.  Then use a wood substitute, such as vinyl Azek, to keep it maintenance free.  The total cost for materials (with a cushion) and labor would be $15,625.  Expenses would be paid out of the checking account.
Motion by Helen, seconded by Marian, to approve $15,625 to repair the roof.  Motion approved.

The outside parish hall beams need attention.  The current plan is to cut the beams back and clad or seal the ends.  The cost would be $1,093 plus $20 for stain.  Expenses will be paid out of the checking account.
Motion by Eddie, seconded by Helen, to approve $1,093 for the labor of cutting the beams, material, and equipment plus $20 for stain.  Motion approved.

Rector Report: 
Carlton will be helping out our neighbors at St. Paul’s in Elk Rapids.  He will perform two Sunday afternoon services per month.

Carlton has met with Lee Taft, a parishioner and lawyer who specializes in reconciliation in the area of sexual abuse.  He suggested we might use Lee for part of our vestry retreat in February.
Motion by Chuck, seconded by Maria, to support further investigation of Lee Taft’s proposal to guide us in the dynamics of reconciliation and forgiveness.  Discussion ensued.  Motion passed with one recusal.

Carlton thanks the Stewardship Committee for their theme of Join Generations of Generosity and the wonderful posters.

Parish Administrator Report:
Ann asked the vestry to go over the proposed 2017 budget, review year-to -date figures and compare to 2016.  Make notes.  The vestry set a special date to work on the budget for Saturday, December 3 at 9:00 am.  It will be a potluck breakfast.

There will be a welcome breakfast for newcomers this Saturday at 9:00 am.

Co-Senior Warden Report:
Clare expressed gratitude for the vestry’s work and asked us to be good listeners.

Clare encouraged us to attend the Bishop’s meeting and potluck.  The vestry discussed his visit and the need to draft a letter from the vestry to Bishop Gibbs expressing the harm and our concern over the implications of the possibility of Bry Dennison being able to be reinstated as a priest at the end of the two year probation imposed by the courts.
Motion by Maria, seconded by Clare, to write a letter to Bishop Gibbs, with copies sent to Bishop Hougland and Bishop Curry expressing the harm and our concern over the implications of Bry Dennison’s reinstatement as a priest.  Motion passed

Marian agreed to draft the letter.

Chuck had a concern from a parishioner about whether the vestry had written apology letters to the victims from GEC.  It had not been done and he agreed to draft a letter of apology.

Clare encouraged us to support the Swingshift Fundraiser for JH as we can, and to be thinking of a night to host a Safe Harbor dinner at Faith Reformed Church.

Junior Warden Report:
No report

Old Business:
Chris Black’s gift from her estate was discussed and how best to use that money.
Motion by Marian, seconded by Eddie to spend half of the money to repair the roof from Chris Black’s gift and half from the Leap of Faith Money to equal the roof repair quote of $15,625.  Discussion ensued.  Marian withdrew her motion.

New Business:

Forum for Congregational Concerns:
See Senior Warden Report

Core Ministry Reports:

Rector Search Committee:
Marian reported that the Community Portfolio Information is now complete except for finance data which the vestry needs to complete.  Clare will research the data needed and present it to the Executive Committee’s next meeting.  Marian will then email the portfolio for vestry review before posting.  Concerns should be emailed to Marian with a reply all.

Vestry/Convention Delegates Nominating Committee:
Maria reported Barbara Klugh is the chair.  Notice is posted in Grace Life and Gracevine.  Please let the committee know of any names of candidates you may wish to pass along.

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Clare will contact Charissa about the special vestry budget meeting on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 9:00 am.
  • Chuck will draft a letter of apology to the victims from the vestry and GEC for vestry review.
  • Marian will draft a letter from the vestry to Bishop Gibbs regarding concern about the potential reinstatement of Bry Dennison as a priest for vestry review.
  • Clare will poll the vestry via email as to a date in December to host a dinner for Safe Harbor at Faith Reformed Church.
  • Ann will investigate possible reasons for pledge contributions being down $10,000.
  • All vestry members are to go over the proposed 2017 budget and make notes for the special budget meeting on December 3.
  • Marian will email the Community Portfolio Information for vestry review before posting.
  • Clare will gather financial data for the Community Portfolio Information.


The Lord’s Prayer followed by dismissal at 9:15.  Respectfully submitted, Sue Kelly-Vestry Clerk

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