Vestry minutes – 10/20/2015

October 20, 2015

Vestry Members: Mike Cotter, Nancy Flowers, Eddie Grim, Helen Hankins, Sue Kelly, Mary Merrill, Michael Mittelstaedt, Donna Olendorf, John Strickler, Jeff Tibbits, Chuck Wolterink (Absentees in Italics)

Guests Present: Mark Stackable
Staff Present:
Clergy Present: Daniel Richards, Katheryn King

Scripture & Study:

Daniel led us in a discussion about transition, and the importance of trusting God to lead us through the departure of one Rector and preparation for attracting and welcoming a new one. He asked us to think about what new or improved tools we need to see us through the transition.


Minutes of the September 15, 2015 meeting were approved.

Minutes of the October 6, 2015 meeting were approved with one correction for the spelling of Bill Spaid’s title as Canon to the Ordinary.

The agenda for the October 20, 2015 meeting was approved

Reports/Old Business:

Treasurer Report:

The Vestry received the consolidated financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2014.

Treasurer Mark Stackable called attention to a decision by the Finance Committee to discontinue seasonally adjusting reporting numbers, returning to the former practice, effective beginning November 2015.

The Finance Committee affirmed the importance of submitting a proposed new budget by November 30 for the Vestry’s consideration and stressed the importance of adopting a balanced budget. The committee recommended adding a line budget item that accounts for funds planned to be taken from the GEC Foundation.

Priest Report:

Daniel submitted a written report. He plans to send a letter to the congregation soon, thanking them and celebrating our mutual ministry.

The Vestry discussed Katheryn’s status as Associate Rector. Donna Olendorf and Daniel will work on a new covenant with Katheryn that will retain her services as Associate Rector through the appointment of an Interim Rector. This covenant will be submitted to the Vestry for their endorsement. Under canon law, pending the appointment of an Interim Rector the Senior Warden becomes the Acting Rector in terms of staff, programs, and signatory status.

The vestry agreed to table a follow-up item from the September meeting which asked that each vestry member recommend three congregants as candidates for an Alpha ministry program. The vestry agreed to table implementation of the Alpha program.

Jubilee House has encountered issues with food availability. Daniel has encouraged discontinuing food preparation since the kitchen does not have health department certification. Serving pre-packaged food, beverages, or serve-and-go items can continue. Disregarding this issue poses a dangerous liability and jeopardizes Jubilee House’s nonprofit status. Pre-packaged items are okay, as are food items that are not temperature-dependent. Helen Hankins will communicate this information to Jubilee House volunteers.

Motion by John Strickler, seconded by Eddie Grim that we extend an invitation to Trinity Lutheran Seminary of Columbus Ohio to hold their Great Lakes Theological Academy at Grace on July 25-29, 2016. Motion approved. Jeff Tibbits will be the point person.

Daniel reported that his final worship services will be on November 29 and his last day will be November 30.

Associate Rector Report:

Katheryn King’s report was submitted in writing. Katheryn reported that building community was her goal when she took over leadership of Saturday evening services. Peter Clapp and Katheryn continue growth in the area of caring and concern by creating a plan to better connect with congregants. Katheryn added that more volunteers are needed to conduct visits to home-bound and hospitalized members of the congregation.

Katheryn reported that she has agreed to continue serving as our Associate Rector pending the appointment of an Interim Rector.

Parish Administrator Report:

Ann submitted a report in writing covering several subjects.

Motion by Mike Cotter, seconded by Eddie Grim that the vestry authorize roofing contractor John Bumgardner to make repairs to the sanctuary roof at a cost not to exceed $2,500 as the first phase of stopping the roof leak that has been ongoing for several years. Motion approved. Funds will come from Line 7620, Property Repair and Maintenance.

Senior Warden Report:

At the September vestry meeting four changes to the Episcopal Church Bylaws were presented by a subcommittee consisting of Nancy Flowers and Donna Olendorf, with help from Ward Kuhn. The changes are summarized as follows:

Section 1 (c) Notice of Meeting. Currently, notice of the annual meeting or a special meeting must be made during regular services on the two Sundays immediately preceding the meeting. Notice of the annual meeting must be published in Grace Notes at least ten days before the meeting. Notice of a special meeting must be made by first class mail to members of the parish. If services aren’t held on two successive Sundays before an annual or special meeting, notice must be sent by first class mail as well as published in Grace Notes.

The proposed change would require notice of the annual or special meeting at regular services on the two Sundays immediately preceding the meeting, by publication in the weekly church bulletin insert, and by publication in the church electronic announcements. Notice by first class mail would be permitted but not required, unless. The decision will be made by church staff or a first class mailing to an individual may be requested by a member of the congregation.

Section 1 (f) Election of Vestry. Currently a list of vestry nominees is required to be published in the January Grace Notes. Grace Notes is no longer published and has been replaced with electronic announcements. The changes would require a list of nominees to be published in the January electronic announcements and in the church service bulletin for two consecutive Sundays prior to the January meeting.

Section 3 (c) Secretary/Clerk. Currently the Bylaw requires the Secretary/Clerk to store records and papers of the church. In practice, records and papers are stored at the church office. The proposed Bylaw change would reflect this reality.

Section 2 Authorities of Commissions. The current Bylaw authorizes commissions to spend up to $200, if available in their budget, without prior approval of the vestry. The change would permit charges up to $200 or more as authorized by the church’s Debit/Credit Card Policy, if available in their budget. Under this change the Debit/Credit Card Policy takes precedence.

Motion by Donna Olendorf, seconded by John Strickler that the proposed Bylaw changes be approved by the vestry. These changes will be submitted to the congregation at the January 2016 annual meeting for their consideration. Motion approved.

Donna reported that employee reviews have been successfully concluded.

Junior Warden Report:           

Jeff Tibbits reported that the Ministry Fair held during the weekend of September 26-27 was well attended and that approximately 25 parishioners signed up or expressed interest in volunteering for various ministries.

Members of the Grace Master Planning Committee were commissioned by Daniel at the October 10 worship service. Some parishioners expressed concern over the small member of female parishioners on the committee. Three females currently serve on the committee and more will be invited.

New Business:

The vestry agreed to celebrate Daniel’s ministry at a unified service at 10 a.m. November 15th. Vestry will host coffee hour at that service.

Vestry members are asked to pray about our interim needs, to consider three to five attributes they think are important in calling an interim rector, and to submit these items to Donna. Meanwhile, Donna will talk to Bill Spaid about placing an initial announcement of an interim rector search on the Office of Transition Ministry website.

Erika and Ann have put together a list of available local supply clergy. The diocese will also send a notice to available supply clergy in the diocese.

Motion by Chuck Wolterink, seconded by Helen Hankins, to appoint Tim Hamilton to fill the vacancy on the vestry, created by Dixie Stephen’s resignation earlier this year. Tim’s appointment takes effect immediately and expires in January 2017. Motion approved.

The Vestry approved a one-time green envelope solicitation seeking donations to Jubilee House to be included in collection baskets at services the second week in Advent. A letter announcing this campaign will be mailed after December 1st and will be included in collection baskets December 6th. Helen will communicate this action to Connie Riopelle.

Follow-up & Follow-Through:

  • Donna Olendorf and Daniel will both write thank-you notes to Elizabeth Wolterink for her inspirational leadership guiding our youth through the formation of their presentation at the World Religions conference in Salt Lake City.
  • Helen Hankins.will write a thank-you note to Barbara MacLaren for completing her first year as director of St. Fiacre Guild, the garden ministry whose work is coming to a close.
  • Helen Hankins will communicate the Vestry’s concern and direction regarding serving food items at Jubilee House.
  • Helen Hankins will communicate the green envelope dates to Connie Riopelle.
  • Daniel will induct members of the Stephen Ministry at the November 29th
  • Donna will follow-up with Ann Hackett regarding the changes to the proposed Bylaw

Process Evaluation:

Daniel observed that the meeting ran long but covered a wide range of issues.

Compline followed by dismissal at 10:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

John Strickler
Vestry Clerk


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