Vestry minutes – 6/20/2017

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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:  None  
Clergy Present: The Rev. Carlton Kelley

Prayer and Check-in:
Carlton opened with prayer and we checked in with one another.

Scripture & Study:
Carlton led us in a reflection.

Approve/Amend the Agenda:
The agenda was approved by acclamation.
Minutes from April 18, 2017 were approved by acclamation.
Minutes from May 16, 2017 were approved as amended; the spelling of Carlton Kelley’s last name on page 3 was corrected.

Reports:

Rector Report:  None

Treasurer’s Report:
Mark Stackable reported that we continue to have a positive budget.  There is a trend, however, in contributions from pledges going down over the last few years, which is why he advocates paying down the mortgage.

Parish Administrator Report:
Ann Hackett is away on vacation, but submitted a written report.

It is time to pay the diocesan pledge/apportionment – our share is $65,622.  Discussion ensued about what it means to pay an apportionment to the Diocese.
Motion by Eddie Grim and seconded by Maria DiStefano Post that the vestry accept and include the Diocesan Apportionment of $65,622 for Grace Church for the budget of 2018.  Motion passed.

During the budget process for 2017, some expenses related to the 150th celebration were anticipated, but not all.  Now that the committee is hard at work, other expenses are emerging.
James Deaton reported on the plans for the 150th celebration.  There will be a special activity every month, beginning with participation in the Heritage Parade on July 4th.  In October, the focus will be on community outreach.  An open house is planned to which the Traverse City community will be invited.
Motion by Sue Kelly and seconded by Eddie Grim that the vestry endorse a limit of $5,000 to be spent in addition to the money already budgeted ($5,000) in celebration of our 150th Anniversary events.  Motion passed.

Since the opening of the new sanctuary in 2005 the Altar Guild operates with little to no hot water in the sacristy.  This is due to a very small hot water heater with a capacity of only four gallons.  Discussion ensued related to a quote of $889 for a 19-gallon hot water heater installed.  The vestry asked for more information related to the cost and size of the new hot water heater.

Ellen Schrader is now trained in the computer program used to produce the weekly worship bulletin, the bulletin insert, and the online Gracevine.  She is ready to fully assume these responsibilities which had been taken by Kathy Will and Donna Olendorf when Charissa left Grace.  This means that Ellen has an increase of 5 hours to her weekly rate.
Motion by Jeff Tibbits and seconded by James Deaton that the vestry accept the change to the salary and benefits of the Administrative Assistant effective May 22, 2017.  Motion passed.

TC State Bank offered to switch our status from a business account to a non-profit, which means that we will not have bank fees since we are a non-profit.

Senior Warden Report:
The Rector Search Committee is currently interviewing selected candidates face to face.

The vestry received a letter from Bishop Matthews dated April 18, 2017.  A draft letter of response was presented to the vestry.  Discussion ensued.
Motion by Eddie Grim and seconded by Karl Bastian that we send the letter of response as presented to Bishop Matthews, Bishop Curry, Bishop Hougland, Mary Kostel, and Bishop Ousley.  Motion passed.

Our next quarterly meeting will be held on Sunday, July 23rd after the 10 am service.  A report about current plans to change the deanery structure in the Diocese of Western Michigan will be one of the items presented to the congregation at this time.

We have not received the Julie Christensen bequest, but we can make a decision with regard to the tithe prior to receiving the gift.  There is support for giving a tithe of 10% to the new Safe Harbor building project.  Any gift would be tripled by a generous matching donor.
Motion by Jeff Tibbits and seconded by Eddie Grim that we commit a tithe of 10% of the Julie Christensen bequest to the New Safe Harbor building project.  Motion passed.

Discussion ensued with regard to the timing of the receipt of the bequest and a possible time-limit on the matching funds campaign.
Motion by Jeff Tibbits and seconded by Eddie Grim that, if there is a time limitation to the matching funds, we give $10,000 from the Leap of Faith account to be reimbursed upon receiving the bequest.  Motion passed.

Jeff Tibbits presented the problem of snow and ice on the sidewalk and the suggestion of using the bequest money to install a heated sidewalk.

Junior Warden Report:
We’re going to do our best to keep people informed for the 150th Events.

After a period of heavy rain there was some water leakage observed in the sanctuary near the choir area.  A possible next course of action will need to be considered.

Old Business:  None
New Business:
Jeff Tibbits, vestry representative to the Finance Committee, reported that there was a long discussion at the Finance Committee meeting about what recommendation the Finance Committee could make concerning the Julie Christensen gift.  They had a strong consensus that $50,000 be used for an elevator fund.  The Finance Committee advocated for a capital campaign to raise the remaining necessary funds.

Carlton Kelley suggested that Grace consider contacting a foundation that could help with a long-range plan of updates to the Parish Hall and further a whole site renovation.

Forum for Congregational Concerns: None

Core Ministry Reports:

Jubilee Ministries
Eddie Grim reported that the Jubilee Ministries subcommittee continues to meet and is currently developing a general mission statement and specific policy recommendations to be presented to the vestry and rector. All aspects of the history and current operations of the Jubilee Ministries of Grace are being considered and evaluated. The members of the Jubilee Ministries subcommittee are: the current Rector, Eddie Grim (vestry liaison), Bill Smith (vestry liaison), Kate Wood (Jubilee House volunteer), Ed Emenheiser (Jubilee House volunteer), Nancy Johnson (Jubilee Ministries Food Pantry), Glenda Andrews (Director, Jubilee House), and James Deaton (Jr Warden).

Follow-up & Follow-through:
Sue Kelly needs addresses for thank you notes to the family of Julie Christensen

Compline followed by dismissal at 8:45 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Michael Mittelstaedt
Vestry Clerk

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