Vestry minutes – 2/21/2017

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Vestry Members: Clare Andreasson, Karl Bastian, James Deaton, Maria DiStefano-Post, Eddie Grim, Kathryn Holl, Sue Kelly, Michael Mittelstaedt, Bill Smith, Jeff Tibbits, Marian Vermeulen, Jeff Wescott (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present: None
Staff Present: Ann Hackett
Clergy Present: The Rev. Carlton Kelley

Prayer and Check-in:
We reflected on the question: what brings you delight?

Scripture & Study:
Today is the feast day of the Transfiguration. Carlton asked: what will Lent be for you outside of what feels like a drudge? Consider Lent a time of housekeeping to make ourselves ready to receive the gift of Easter.

Approve/Amend the Agenda:
The February 21, 2017 agenda was approved by acclamation.
The minutes from the January 10, 2017 meeting were approved by acclamation.
The Annual Meeting Minutes from January 22 were approved by acclamation.
The Special Meeting Minutes of January 24 were approved by acclamation.
The Special Vestry Meeting Minutes of February 4 were approved by acclamation.

Reports:

Rector Report:
The Jubilee House continues to work through some issues related to the new house manager position. On 2/23/17 Clare Andreasson, Rev. Carlton Kelly, Eddie Grim, and Bill Smith will meet with Glenda Andrews to discuss this.

Rev. Carlton had a conversation with Bishop Hougland making him aware of the letter that the vestry decided to send to Bishop Curry.

Treasurer’s Report:
Mark Stackable presented the finance report. Two meetings were held in February 2017 concerning the budget.

Ending in January it looked like Grace had a net operating budget, a surplus, of about $7770.93. But there is $8200 that was put toward the principal of the mortgage that was not accounted for in the January Cash Inflow Outflow Report. This will be corrected.

There is a full audit (done every 5 years) coming up for Grace for the finances. The Finance Committee is taking bids from accounting organizations to help with the audit. Dennis, Niergarth Gartland (DGN) gave an estimate of $10,600 and the Finance Committee is looking into a number of other accounting groups to bid.

The vestry discussed an increase of giving that has occurred since the January call to the congregation to consider increasing pledges in order to help meet our budget needs. In one of the responses to this call, Grace Church received a generous donation of $10,000. The Finance Committee suggests that the vestry bank this recent $10,000 gift. Vestry discussed putting it in savings and using it when needed to be applied to the budget.

Finance Committee feels having a quarterly meeting on the budget is a very good idea to keep the congregation informed more frequently to help prevent surprises.

Jeff Tibbitts pointed out that there might be potential savings for Grace Church to switch from our current Charter phone system to VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Mark suggested that the conversation is in motion for investigating the potential.

Parish Administrator Report:
The signers of various bank accounts are changing. The vestry reviewed the list of those who will have signature privileges. The Foundation puts forth the name of Bill Pierce as Treasurer.

Motion by Marian Vermeulen, seconded by Eddie Grim, to approve the 2017 account signers as listed. Motion passed.

The Board of Grace Episcopal Church Foundation met on January 31, 2017. They welcomed the following new members to the Board and present them for vestry approval: Jessica Rickard, Tom McClay, Kersti Bruining, and Dan Bush.

Motion: by Eddie Grim, seconded by Bill Smith: to elect the 2017 roster of the Foundation Board Members as presented. Motion passed.

Motion by Michael Mittelstaedt, seconded by Bill Smith, to add Jeff Wescott to the roster of the Foundation Board. Motion passed.

From the Foundation Bylaws: Section 3 Distribution. Semi-Annually the corporation shall distribute to the Church a sum equal to 2.5% (ie annually) of the Total Value of the investments as of the last day of the preceding 12 fiscal quarters The Board determined the first of two distributions this year to be $5754.20

Motion by Sue Kelly, seconded by Jeff Tibbitts, to accept the Foundation distribution of $5754.20. Motion passed.

Motion by Eddie Grim, seconded by Bill Smith: to designate the Foundation distribution for the purpose of the rector search. Motion passed.

Motion by Sue Kelly, seconded by Eddie Grim: to apply a very generous gift of $10,000 to bring down the deficit in the budget for 2017. Motion passed.

Discussion ensued about the cost of the roof repair as one of the upcoming needs of the church, with discussions of a potential future capital campaign. Discussion followed of applying for a Bishop Whittemore Grant that could be used for roof repairs if needed.

Motion by Eddie Grim, seconded by Jeff Tibbitts, to place the $10,000 gift accepted above into the savings account and designate it as part of Leap of Faith Fund. Motion passed.

The office received a request for the use of meeting space by Catholic Social Services for a Sex Offender Treatment Group.

Motion by Eddie Grim, seconded by Karl Bastian, to allow the application for a Sex Offender Treatment group to meet at Jubilee House on Grace premises.

Discussion ensued. Significant concerns were raised. Vestry felt that numerous questions would need to be answered before we could accept this request. Carlton offered to follow up and contact the group for more information.

Motion withdrawn by Eddie Grim.

Motion by Marian Vermeulen, seconded by Jeff Tibbitts, to approve the budget as presented including and using the additional congregational donations and funds saved from 2016 and unused Leap of Faith Donations to balance the budget. Motion passed.

Karl Bastian shared some ideas for increasing revenues and donations to help offset our recurring budget deficit. Discussion ensued.

Senior Warden Report:

  • Clare Andreasson will find a date to set for the first Quarterly Meeting for the congregation.
  • Vestry needed to fill leadership/liaison positions that are remaining, filling and confirming the following positions below.
    • Karl Bastian – Stewardship / with Marian Vermeulen
    • Jeff Wescott – Foundation
    • Jeff Tibbitts – Finance Committee
    • Maria D, Sue K – Nominating Committee
    • James Deaton – 150th Anniversary Committee
    • TBD – Delegate to Convention / Alternate
    • Michael Mittelstaedt – Clerk
  • Clare expressed gratitude for the work of the vestry, bringing the gifts that Grace needs in the moment.
  • Safe Harbor Dinner: all openings for evening meals have already been filled. Vestry will serve dinner at the next Safe Harbor this year.
  • The 2/18/17 Dance in the Parish Hall was very successful and other activities are being planned.
  • The vestry fully supports Donna Olendorf’s plans for a Youth Group Urban Adventure in Chicago and a Godly Play training session to be held at Grace Church.
  • On 2/26/17 Clare Andreasson will share an announcement with the congregation following the 10am service. She will explain why the vestry decided to send a letter to Bishop Curry.

Junior Warden Report:
No report this week – James Deaton is out of town.

Old Business:
None

New Business:
None

Forum for Congregational Concerns:
None

Core Ministry Reports:

Rector Search Committee:
Placed an advertisement for the position on a generally circulated job posting database. Canon Spaid has seen a number of candidates and the Committee is preparing for initial interviews.

Follow-up & Follow-through:

  • Thank you Notes
    • Donna Hinton caretaker, resigned to apply herself fully to her own cleaning business
      • Sue Kelly will write a thank you Donna Hinton

Meeting closed in prayer at 8:30 pm
Respectfully submitted, Michael Mittelstaedt, Vestry Clerk

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