Vestry minutes 1/10/2017

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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:
Staff Present:  Ann Hackett   
Clergy Present:

Prayer:  Helen opened with prayer.

Approve/Amend the Agenda:
The December 20, 2017 agenda was approved by acclamation with the following amendments.  Remove check-in and scripture & study.

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

Reports:

Rector Report: 
No report

Treasurer’s Report:
In the absence of Mark Stackable, Clare gave a financial update.  She and Ann spent time going over the budget line by line to see where cuts could be made to balance the 2017 budget.  After line item cuts, and without tapping into our unspent income from 2016, our total budget deficit as of January 10, 2017 is $57,916.67.  The amount of $57,916.67 is the gap between income and expense if all salaries remain at their current levels.  An added expense of up to $40,000 for potential unknown issues with the roof would also need to be raised.

The vestry discussed how to balance the budget using the current financial information as well as Finance Committee recommendations.

Motion by Jeff, seconded by Eddie, to make salary cuts for both the Youth Ministry Coordinator and the Music & Worship Coordinator in six months to balance the budget unless more money comes into the budget to meet their salary/benefit packages. Discussion ensued.  Motion passed.

Motion by Clare, seconded by Jeff, that given our present budget situation, the Music & Worship Coordinator and the Youth Ministry Coordinator hours will be cut in half effective July 1, 2017 and their compensation packages adjusted accordingly. Motion passed.

Parish Administrator Report: Ann reports that Traverse City State Bank is offering lower fees to manage our general fund checking account than what we pay at Huntington Bank.  She suggests moving that account along with the Discretionary Fund and the savings account to Traverse City State Bank to keep banking in one location.

Motion by Helen, seconded by Anne, that Huntington accounts (checking, savings, and discretionary) be moved to TC State Bank.  Motion passed.

Moving those accounts necessitates updating account signers.

Motion by Anne, seconded by Helen, to approve the account signers as listed. Motion passed.

Peggy Byland has been hired by the Jubilee House Board to be the JH House Manager.  She began working on Monday, January 2, 2017.  She will work Monday-Friday, four hours per day at $17/hr.

Motion by Clare, seconded by Chuck, to ratify the hiring of Peggy Byland for three months whose salary will be paid out of Jubilee House restricted funds.  Motion passed.

Carlton has suggested a two night vestry retreat instead of one.  After discussion, the vestry has decided to keep the vestry retreat to one night.  The retreat will be February 3 and 4 at St. Augustine in Conway just north of Petoskey.

Co-Senior Warden Report:
There was discussion about the best way to proceed with voting for five vestry candidates at the Annual Meeting.  There are five vacancies on the vestry one of which is a 1-year term.  The 1-year term, according to bylaws, must be appointed by the vestry.  It was suggested that we appoint one of the five prior to the Annual Meeting and the four remaining candidates could be voted in by acclamation.  Ballots have already been printed to choose among five and have been distributed to absentee voters.  It was decided to keep the ballots as is and the congregation will vote for four 3-term vestry members and then the vestry will appoint the one 1-year term.

Previous to the meeting, Clare asked us to consider some questions with regard to engaging the National Episcopal Church with our concerns related to the past sexual misconduct issue at Grace.  After discussing, we conferred by telephone with Lee Taft, Episcopalian, lawyer, and graduate of Harvard Divinity School who on occasion when in town attends Grace Church.  Lee’s business, Taft Solutions, works in designing, developing, and implementing conflict resolution processes.  He has been advising us on how to proceed.

Motion by Anne, seconded by Eddie, to have Lee Taft call Mary (legal counsel to the Presiding Bishop) at the National Episcopal Church to clarify what the word “investigation” means.  Motion passed.

Motion by Eddie, seconded by Chuck, to send a letter to the National Episcopal Church to ask for their involvement in a meeting between Bishop Gibbs, Bishop Hougland, Father Kelley, Clare, and Helen to discuss unresolved issues in the past sexual misconduct at Grace.  Motion passed.

Junior Warden Report:
Jeff is organizing the vestry potluck to welcome the new vestry members and to say good-by to retiring members Nancy Flowers, Helen Hankins, Anne Montgomery, Donna Olendorf, and Chuck Wolterink.  It will be held January 24 in the parish hall.  Invitations will go out.

Old Business: 
None

New Business:
None

Forum for Congregational Concerns:
Some parishioners have suggested quarterly meetings with the congregation to keep them apprised especially in the area of GEC finances.

Core Ministry Reports:

Rector Search Committee:
None

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Helen will write a thank you to Jack Singer as he retires from co-directing the Jubilee House.
  • Michael will write a thank you to Kathy Will for managing a thousand details for all the Christmas services.
  • Clare, Helen, and Eddie will talk with Donna Olendorf and Kathy Will about cuts in their positions due to budget deficits.
  • Carlton, Lee, Clare, and Helen will draft a letter to the National Episcopal Church to involve them in a meeting with Bishop Gibbs, Bishop Hougland, Father Kelley, Clare, and Helen.
  • Clare and Helen will draft a letter to the congregation to update them before the Annual Meeting on the current financial situation.
  • Jeff and the office will send out invitations for the Vestry Potluck, January 24.

Dismissal at 9:15.

Respectfully submitted,
Sue Kelly
Vestry Clerk

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