February Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, February 21, 2017

In attendance: Rev. Canon Rosemari Sullivan, Julia Carter, Michele Casciano, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Penelope Jones, Dan Plafcan, Karen Ruff, Thomas Sheldon, Molly White.

The meeting opened with prayer and introductions.

After review of the Vestry declaration form, which all members signed and submitted, election of officers was conducted with the following results:

  • Senior Warden: Karen Ruff
  • Junior Warden: Mary Cushing
  • Register: Penelope Jones
  • Delegate and Alternate Selection to the Diocesan Convention: Terri Katon (delegate) and Barbara Adams (alternate). Barbara will move to the delegate position in 2018.

Action Items

Finance Committee

The following Finance Committee recommendations were reviewed and approved:

  • The Finance Committee recommends reducing the operating account to an amount that is the equivalent of 3 months operating expenses, $71,000.
  • The Finance Committee recommends distribution of the $62,000 surplus as follows: 1) Payback $30,000 borrowed for the capital campaign, 2) seed $16,000 for stained glass repair, and 3) seed $16,000 for roof replacement.

Children and Youth Ministry

The Vestry accepted a report from the Children & Youth Ministry Committee which noted the February 18th forum, draft youth ministry plan, Sunday School gaps, overall organization of Sunday School, and communication for children and youth activities.

Steps Along the Path Vision and Planning Committee

The Vestry was updated on activities of the Vision and Planning Committee which included a draft update to the action items of the 2004 Steps Along the Path document. The Committee plans to solicit feedback from the Parish during a March forum prior to submitting a final report to the Vestry. Their efforts will be coordinated with the Profile Writing and Search Committees.

Housing Allowance

The Vestry approved a housing allowance resolution needed for tax purposes for Rev. Sullivan.

Check Request Approval

The process for obtaining Vestry approval of check requests was explained.

Search Process

The Vestry discussed elements of the search process and agreed to proceed with the following schedule, understanding that the target dates will be adjusted if needed as the process unfolds.

Timeline: The profile writing and search committees will be given approximately 3 months each to complete their work with the goal of having candidate(s) submitted to the Vestry in September/October and having a new rector in place by the end of the year.

Profile Writing Committee:

Timeframe: March—May.

Number of members: 3. To include a representative from the Vision and Planning Committee.

Purpose: This group will prepare a document that describes St. Michaels and outlines qualifications for a successful candidate for rector. The profile will be approved by the Vestry and used in preparing an advertisement for the job. This group will work with the Webmaster to see that the website is accurate and up to date as it will be a resource for individuals interested in the position.

Search Committee:

Timeframe: June—August.

Number of members: 5-6. To include a representative from the Profile Writing group.

Purpose: This group will solicit and review applications, evaluate candidates, and submit recommendations to the Vestry according to the charge given them.

Consultant

As part of its spring retreat, the Vestry will consider inviting a consultant to work with it and members of the search process to review best practices and clarify the process for conducting the new rector search.

The Vestry entered into Executive Session to discuss individuals to staff the committees. The senior and junior wardens will contact the various individuals to invite their participation.

Interim Rector Remarks

Rev. Sullivan announced plans to introduce new hymns and coordinate them with the readings during Lent and Easter. She indicated she will be away at the beginning of Easter week but back in time for Easter weekend. The past schedule for Easter week services will be retained except for those on Saturday noon and Sunday 6am.

New Business

Rectory Use

Until arrival of the new minister, the rectory is unoccupied. The Vestry briefly discussed options for use of the space during that time. Mary Cushing will gather information on insurance and legal considerations to inform further discussion by the Vestry at its next meeting.

Challenges to Faith and Conscience in Today’s Political Climate

Some parishioners have asked if St. Michael’s can provide guidance on how to process and respond, in ways consistent with our faith and conscience, to issues raised in today’s political climate. The Vestry agreed to ask the Mission and Outreach Committee to consider options for addressing these concerns. Julia Carter will follow up with the committee and invite them to offer recommendations for Vestry’s review this spring.

Care of Creation

As part of Earth Day recognition in April, St. Michael’s will host a screening of Before the Flood, with Academy Award winners Leonardo DiCario and Fisher Stevens. Mary Cushing will follow up.

Stop Hunger Now

St. Michael’s will continue to participate in this effort. Michele Casciano will follow up.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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Annual Meeting Minutes

Annual Meeting of the Parish
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
February 5, 2017 (11:05 am to 12:05 pm)

Actions Taken

  1. Gratitude was expressed to retiring Vestry members Tad McCall and Alice Thomas. Karen Ruff was thanked as she also completes three years of service although continuing her service for one year.
  2. Karen Ruff was elected to the Vestry filling a vacated seat in the 2015-17 term.
  3. Three new members were voted onto the Vestry by vocal acclamation since their nomination was uncontested: Michele Casciano, Penny Jones, Molly White.

The meeting and these Minutes follow the Agenda distributed before the meeting to all present. These Minutes omit details amply conveyed in the 2017 Annual Report available on www.stmichaelsarlington.org .

Call to Order: Mother Rosemari Sullivan called the Annual Meeting together in the Nave at 11:07 o’clock using the prayer For a Church Convention or Meeting on page 818 in the Book of Common Prayer and song Spirit of the Living God handed out. She had just led the congregation in morning worship in her first service as St. Michael’s Interim Rector. The written agenda with the adopted 2017 Mission Spending Plan was distributed.

Appointment of Secretary and Teller: Mother Sullivan appointed Alice Thomas as Secretary. She appointed the outgoing Vestry members as Teller if needed to count election ballots for incoming Vestry.

Recognition of Retiring Vestry Members: Mother Sullivan introduced the three members who began serving in 2014 and completed three-year terms on the Vestry as of January 2017 (Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, and Alice Thomas). Thanks and applause for these servants were given. Karen, continuing on the Vestry to fill out a vacant one year term, presented gifts to Tad and Alice.

Vestry Nominations, Introductions, and Balloting: Three members were introduced as candidates to serve a three year term 2017-20: Michele Casciano, Penny Jones, Molly White. Written introduction for each had been posted as well as published in the Guardian. Nominations from the floor were requested and none were made. These three names were approved for the ballot. Karen Ruff was proposed to occupy the remaining year of a seat for 2015-17. As there were no contests to the nominees, voting was by verbal acclamation, offered with vigor at 11:15 am.

Reports (11:16 to 11:47 am):

  • Treasurer: Dean Scribner summarized 2016 financial operations. This information appears in the 2017 Annual Report and on the website. Operating expenses were approximately $30,000 lower than budgeted because compensation was not needed for a full time rector since October. Revenue was approximately $30,000 greater than budgeted. The Vestry had recommended distribution of the provisional $62,147 surplus from 2016 operations into non-operating funds such as for preservation of the stained glass windows.

Dean also noted that the Endowment Fund increased by $24,380 to $312,472, and that the in-house audit conducted of the 2015 finances had reported no new deficiencies.

  • Stewardship: Karen Ruff noted that the pledges for 2017 operations were lower at $232,500 compared with $260,000 in 2016 – fairly normal when clergy changes. She also noted that the total number of pledging units decreased from 70 in 2016 to 63 in 2017.
  • Presentation of the 2017 Budget: Karen Ruff referred to the handout Profit & Loss Budget Performance that shows annual operating budgets 2013-2017. She noted that the proposed 2017 salary expense total at $120,997 is much less than in prior years because the Episcopal Church requires lower salary for “retired” clergy – like Rosemari – on staff. As a result, the budget proposes a surplus of $6,943. Those expense lines that are greater in 2017 than in prior years fall into three broad categories: (1) plans to emphasize communication and local outreach to draw visitors, (2) standard best-estimates that can be migrated to other expense lines when actual expenses exceed predictions, and (3) search committee travel and other costs. It was emphasized that budgeting when a new rector arrives will have to return to prior levels to support an appropriate salary. Karen agreed that the Vestry and Finance Committee could address any “savings account” for this future operating expense from any actual surplus in 2017.
  • Director of Christian Education: Melanie Monahan’s report emphasized the formation of the Children and Youth Ministry. This group has been designed to step forward from the recent focus of children’s education at St. Michael’s. She urged attention to the article in the January 24th issue of the Guardian, attendance at the coffee hour forum she will co-host with Dan Plafcan on Sunday February 12th, and ideas for this group and the middle/high schoolers it intends to involve.
  • Mission and Outreach: Linda Kelleher summarized this in the absence of Caroline Haynes. She noted that the Committee’s quarterly meetings direct the parish’s generous financial outreach (budgeted and via collected yellow envelopes). At each meeting, a member speaks on behalf of a designated agency, and the committee as a whole allocates its gift. The group’s input to the 2017 Annual Report made graphic not only the financial support but time spent by individuals throughout the parish. Target organizations address local, national, and international needs. She noted that St. Michael’s is known within Arlington as “small but mighty” because of its generous and varied support.
  • Moving Forward in Faith: Alice Thomas pointed out some highlights of work done with the $400,000 pledged by the parish. She acknowledged that actual expenses did exceed that pledged amount, and that the Vestry approved the overage in light of the excellent flow of pledge-payments and the cushion provided by the Endowment Fund. She noted that one area desired for improvement – a sound system for the nave – was not done but was not forgotten nor would it be inexpensive. Operating cost savings from the energy-efficient HVAC, lights, windows is in the 2017 Annual Report. She thanked the parish energy that made these possible.
  • Senior Warden: At 11:40, Tad McCall emphasized his experience as Senior Warden since Mtr. Leslie left in October. He said that he realized that the real “parish” is its members; that he learned a new level of trust in God as supply priests came forward, the Bishop’s visit was organized, St. George’s Episcopal supported the confirmation class, as all liturgical seasons were celebrated robustly. He noted the difficulty in finding an Interim Rector and the amazingly-timed offer of Mtr. Sullivan. He cheered the effort to establish a Youth Ministry. Tad explained that the Diocese recommends that the Search Committee not be called until the Interim Rector was installed, so that would be the next Vestry’s top priority. He said he leaves his service with firm confidence in the healthy future of St. Michael’s.
  • Rector: At about 11:48, Mtr. Sullivan began her address by explaining her part-time status resulting from her commitment to her one-year-old grandson. Her office hours schedule will be posted each week, and she has a few commitments for extended absence. Her cellphone number is available whenever pastoral care is required, but she needs to be informed of the need: “Tell me that you’re in the hospital. I do not read minds.” She requested her contract contain periodic mutual-ministry reviews to ensure her part-time status is working out. She encouraged the church to seize this time to look at all it does, evaluate what has outlived its passion and what new areas might produce new vigor, and especially to present itself to the residents in the immediate vicinity. She extolled the current staff and volunteers. Rosemari explained that the profile of St. Michael’s that will be used by the Search Committee must be an honest one, and will be developed with parish input. When it is released, the Search Committee will receive many dozens of applications and work to discern the best candidate.

At 12:05, Mother Sullivan asked if there was a motion to adjourn the 2017 Annual Meeting. That being obtained, the meeting concluded and she led us in prayer with the General Thanksgiving on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Respectfully submitted,
Alice Thomas
Appointed Secretary

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January Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, The Rectory
January 17, 2017

Attendees: Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Tad McCall, Dan Plafcan, Karen Ruff, Tom Sheldon, Alice Thomas

Absent: Julia Carter

Actions Taken

  • Vestry approved Minutes from its December meeting.
  • Vestry approved Treasurer’s Report as relayed by Junior Warden and the 12/31/16 financial statements.
  • Vestry approved the Finance committee’s revised Mission Spending Plan for 2017 with changes noted below.
  • Vestry approved spending $2,344 of Mtr. Truitt’s gift to obtain replacement vestments for the “green season”.
  • Vestry approved sending $100 in thanks to St. George’s Episcopal for that church’s support with pastoral care and education of confirmands.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:30 led with prayer by Tom. A quorum of members was present.

Prior Vestry Meeting Minutes (7:35 – 7:40)

Since meeting in December, the Vestry had reviewed two versions of its Minutes from that meeting. Those Minutes were approved with no further changes.

Financial Information (7:40 – 8:15)

Until going into Executive Session at 8:15pm, the Vestry discussed priority areas of the church’s finances. When re-opening the meeting at 8:30, several other financial matters were discussed. In the interests of clarity, all financial discussions are summarized below.

Treasurer’s Report and Finance Committee Report

The 12/31/2016 financial statement showed receipt of 102% of the budgeted amount of pledged income – a great testament to members’ fondness for and faith in the future of St. Michael’s. “Other Contributions” from outside groups totaled 183% of budget. Total income for 2016 was 140% of budgeted amount. Because the church paid no Rector since October, expenditures were 89% of budgeted amount. The 2016 financial statement will not be closed until around mid-February when the bookkeeper has received any delayed information and assigned all expenses/receipts correctly. Nevertheless, a surplus clearly exists in 2016 and must be allocated since the church does not record profits. The Vestry approved this report from the Treasurer.

At the end of the meeting, the vestry moved to recommend to the finance committee that the surplus go into three areas: 1) fully fund the non-operating fund that will be used to refurbish and protect the stained glass windows; (2) send $1,000 to the Diocese’s capital campaign Shout It from the Mountain to repair/modernize Shrine Mont; (3) apply the remainder to a new non-operating fund to repair the slate roof.

“Mission Spending Plan” aka Operating Budget for 2017

Karen presented the Operating Budget for 2017 revised at the January meeting of the Finance Committee. The Vestry agreed to the stated final income amount, based on pledges of $232,500. The Vestry approved the 2017 Mission Spending Plan including the changes to the operating expense accounts listed below:

  • #5160 Rector’s car allowance decrease from $4,000 to $1,000 (the Rev. Sullivan concurs);
  • #5251 Lawn Service: change name to encompass church as well as rectory and double from $1,350 to $2,700;
  • #53xx Search Committee: decrease from $20,000 to $7,500
  • #5331 Rectory telephone: zero out
  • #5510 Hospitality: increase to $4,000 from $2,000 to accommodate new initiative to reach out to the immediate neighbors & neighborhood;
  • #5520 Music & Choir: increase to $1,500 from $500 to accommodate new subscriptions and plans;
  • #5530 Communications: increase to $1,500 from $400 to assist in updating website and outreach to neighborhood;
  • #5540 Senior Youth Group: increase to $500 from $200 to accommodate new initiatives.

These changes produce a final budget of $262,500 income and $258,557 expenses.

Audit

In revising the Procedure for the “Rector’s Discretionary Account” to comply with the Audit Committee’s recommendation, it was found that the existing bank account at United Virginia Bank holds funds that only Mtr. Leslie can access. Staff are working with her to zero that balance and close the account.

Other Business: After the Executive Session at 8:15-8:30 pm, the Vestry covered several other topics:

Preparation for the Interim Rector:

The Senior Warden made notes to communicate with Mtr. Rosemari the following items suggested by the Vestry: send a copy of the Parish Directory, provide login information to the website’s financial and vestry pages, have physical keys for her access to the building and its spaces, provide the format for the Annual Meeting, compile with her a list and then help arrange “office calls” for her to meet key individuals.

Preparation for Annual Meeting:

The Parish Administrator has alerted all committees needing to write reports about their 2016 activities. Via the Parish Administrator, the Senior Warden will convey to these individuals that Mtr. Rosemari requests that any verbal reports at the meeting be brief and not duplicative of the written report. We agreed that the Junior and Senior Warden will write text for the “Rector’s Report” section of the Annual Report document; that text will focus on the process of finding Interim Rector and then the search for a permanent rector. We as a Vestry will host the coffee hour following the Annual Meeting including a cake that Julia will order.

Altar Guild:

The decision was made last summer to contract for green vestments worn by the Celebrant to replace the extremely frayed ones. A tailor in Philadelphia, experienced at design & construction of religious vestments, has priced the creation of the new vestments in fabric matching the existing altar cloth at $2,344. The Vestry moved to approve this expense using part of the financial gift provided by Mtr. Anne Truitt as she suggested.

Committee Reports via Vestry Liaison:

  • Care of Creation: A video provided by Interfaith Power and Light will be screened on/around Earth Day (official date is Saturday April 22, 2017). Since parishioner use of existing recycling bins is spotty, the cost of wastebaskets with lid-openings tailored and labeled (“trash”, “plastic”, etc.) will be investigated.
  • Vision, Planning & Assessment: This group met in December, and their draft plan will emerge in February on/before a parish-wide forum engaging discussion on strategic planning for St. Michael’s.
  • Children & Youth Ministry: Invitations have been issued to form the Children & Youth Ministry Committee that the Vestry approved at its November meeting. An announcement will also be distributed in the bulletin and the Guardian. A forum will be held on Sunday, February 12th.
  • Newcomers (“Invite, Welcome, Connect”): With the new brochure printed and available, the Vestry will continue self-schedule to join the “official greeters” to welcome people arriving for Sunday worship.
  • Parish Weekend at Shrine Mont: The weekend beginning September 15 (Friday) has been reserved for St. Michael’s. As established in 2016, the cost for kids will be paid out of the operating budget. The Wardens will work with the Interim Rector to develop a theme and enlist and empower Program Chairs well before the weekend itself.
  • Lent: The Region 3 will again participate in the Stop Hunger Now For St. Michael’s participation in that activity, a new parish liaison is needed. Mary will draft an article on this for the Guardian.
  • Choir: Requests replacement of the water cooler by the Music Room.

New or Other Business:

After much discussion, the vestry moved to send $100 to the Flower Guild at St. George’s Episcopal from the Staff Development fund. This offering is witness to our gratitude for St. George’s rectors’ assistance in both pastoral care and preparation of the five confirmands and adult being received in the Episcopal Church during the visit by Bishop Goff.

Tending to the yard at the Rectory or the Parish cannot be left solely to the design discretion of the contracted lawn service. What to prune, what chemicals to use or not, needs to be monitored.

Wardens’ Reports: Both Karen and Tad’s official information is provided throughout these Minutes. They both expressed confidence and delight with their colleagues continuing on the 2017 vestry, profound faith in the 2017 vestry-activities with Mtr. Rosemari, overwhelming gratitude to God for the successful work of the Vestry in recent months, and delight in working with the vestry members and the parish: “that by caring about each other as a parish, we are the church.”

Adjourn:     Tom provided a closing prayer, and led the Vestry in Compline. The meeting adjourned at 9:30. Date of the February meeting is the 21st, and Mary agreed to be prayer leader.

Respectfully submitted,
Alice Thomas, Register

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December Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom, December 20, 2016

Attendees: Julia Carter, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Tad McCall, Dan Plafcan, Karen Ruff, Tom Sheldon, Alice Thomas

Actions Taken

  • Vestry approved Minutes from its November meeting.
  • Vestry approved Treasurer’s Report from 12/13/16 with the November 30th
  • Vestry approved three recommendations to the Finance committee involving the 2017 Mission Spending Plan:
    1. Add special funds to account for Stained Glass Maintenance and Slate Roof Replacement;
    2. Change the name of #14 Scholarship Fund to include funding children at VBS and the parish weekend at Shrine Mont;
    3. Increase and rename #5251 Lawn Service, Rectory to $2,700 and include servicing the Parish grounds.
  • Vestry approved Terri Katon again as the primary delegate to the 2017 Annual Diocesan Convention with Barb Adams as the alternate in January 2017 and primary in 2018.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:35 led with prayer by Alice. All members were present.

Prior Vestry Meeting Minutes (7:35 – 7:40)

Since it met in November, the Vestry had reviewed two versions of its Minutes from that meeting. Those Minutes were approved with no further changes.

Financial Information (7:40 – 9:00)

Treasurer’s Report and Finance Committee Report

The 11/30/2016 Treasurer’s report showed receipt of 98% of the budgeted amount of pledged income, and above-budget “Other Contributions” from outside groups using the building. Because the church paid no Rector since October, we are not expending at the rate budgeted, so likely will take a surplus into 2017. The Vestry approved this report from the Treasurer at 7:50.

Audit

Three deficiencies reported in September 2016 from the in-house Audit Report of 2015 financial procedures and practices have been corrected: 1) Bookkeeping accounts and procedures were (re)named and numbered to correctly manage and describe funds and expenses; (2) A Check Card Procedure was written, reviewed, revised, accepted, and recorded. (3) The Procedure for the “Rector’s Discretionary Account” was revised so that the bank statement for that account (which is separate from the church’s operating account) will be received and reviewed by the Treasurer rather than by the Rector. The new account will be opened at the TD Bank (Mtr. Leslie’s at United Virginia has been closed out.). These actions correct the reported deficiencies (all of which actually were first reported in the Audit of 2014’s procedures).

Stewardship for 2017

This time last year, pledges permitted a 2016 budget for pledged income at $260,000. To date, pledges for 2017 suggest budgeting pledged income at $235,000. While five new families made a financial pledge for 2017, six pledgers in 2016 did not make a 2017 commitment.

MFIF Construction Report & Financing (8:00 – 8:10)

Alice provided a written report updating the tasks accomplished under the Small Church Revitalization Grant. She noted that, while construction is complete, a written report on how the Grant was used is required to the Diocese by mid-May 2017 (six months after construction concluded). Financially, she is optimistic that when the pledge period ends on 30 JUN 2017, amounts paid by the parish will equal all expenses. While some pledges likely will not be filled, others are being increased “silently”.

“Mission Spending Plan” aka Operating Budget for 2017 (8:15-9pm)

The Vestry reviewed a preliminary Operating Budget for 2017 provided by the Finance Committee. We agreed with their “budget for growth” keeping the same amount for Rector’s compensation and most other accounts.

We returned the budget to the Finance Committee, recommending doubling the estimated expense for “#5261 Lawn Service – Rectory” (from $1,350 to $2,700) so that the Parish Administrator and Sexton would not be required routinely to perform this task at the church. Clarifying tasking and hours for these two staff members was discussed and proposed as a topic for the Vestry’s Annual Retreat.

Separate from this “operating budget”, the Vestry agreed to recommend establishing two new “special funds”: stained glass window preservation ($8,000 from the original MFIF and $2,000 from the MFIF-FP has been allocated to seed this work), and re-roofing the slate roof on the original church (any excess from MFIF will go to seed this account). The Vestry also recommended that special fund #14 “Scholarship” be renamed to include VBS and children at the parish weekend at Shrine Mont (money moved from the #9 Staff Development if necessary).

This Vestry had been unaware of a Diocesan capital campaign for Shrine Mont camps (ShoutItFromTheMontain.org) conducted for three years beginning January 2014: Shrine Mont is independent financially and receives no subsidies from the Diocese of Virginia. Funds raised in this campaign will help Shrine Mont upgrade the camp facilities and have an endowment to maintain them in the future.” A brochure and pledge form was provided. The August issue of Virginia Episcopalian indicated that the “over the top” goal of $2,500,000 was now in sight since $2,305,007 had been pledged. This campaign had been directed to individual households (rather than parishes) with an on-line pledge form also. The Vestry in its January meeting will consider how to support it; sending $3,000 from any 2016 operating overage was discussed.

Endowment Fund: The Vestry approved the Finance Committee’s recommendation that Mick Sutter be asked to serve the five year term beginning 2017. As nominee, he must be named officially by the Rector. Continuing terms are held by Barb Adams, Vicki Barnett, Greg Hume, Dean Scribner.

Other Business: The Vestry approved the nomination of Barb Adams as alternate delegate from St. Michael’s to the 222nd Diocesan Convention in January in Reston. The Diocese appoints lay delegates (later) for its 223rd Episcopal General Convention in July in Austin TX.

The Vestry went into Executive Session at 9 pm.

Adjourn:     The Vestry emerged from Executive Session at 10:10. Alice provided a closing prayer and we adjourned at 10:15. Date of the January meeting is the 17th, and Tom Shelton (via later email) agreed to be prayer leader.

Respectfully submitted,
Alice Thomas, Register

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November Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
November 15, 2016

Attendees: Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, Alice Thomas, Julia Carter, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, and Dan Plafcan; Guest: Cindy Matlack as member of prior Rector Search Committee

Not Present: Tom Sheldon

Actions Taken:

  1. Vestry approved Minutes from the October 2016 meeting.
  2. Vestry approved tasking the Altar Guild to research options to repair or replace “green” church vestments, and report findings for the December 2016 Vestry meeting.
  3. Vestry approved establishing a Children and Youth Ministry Committee.
  4. Vestry approved going into Executive Session for the last part of the meeting.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:33 p.m. led with prayer by Dan Plafcan. A quorum was present.

Search Committee Insight (7:34 – 7:58 p.m.)

Guest Cindy Matlack reflected on the Rector Search conducted in 2001-2002. She offered assurance that the process works! In August of 2001, Rev. Howard Humphrey announced he was leaving St. Michael’s. He left just after September 11th. The Search Committee convened on October 4, 2001. The Search Committee totaled nine members representing a mix of viewpoints. On average, they met once a week. At that time, the process was less streamlined. The Diocese suggested the Search Committee take 18 months to come to a decision. First, focus groups were conducted to gather input from the Parish. A Parish Profile was assembled and published. The Search Committee received over 75 applicants. The Bishop also sent candidates, one of whom was Leslie. The Search Committee reviewed these from October 2001 through April of 2002, and chose four candidates to interview and visit. The Interim Rector (Rev. Cox) did work with the Search Committee, but only attended two or three meetings, and stayed in contact with the Search Committee Chair. In September of 2002, the Search Committee took a first ballot. Cindy stressed that serving on a Search Committee requires a significant commitment of time. The Chair requires someone who “can listen and is a good communicator.” Ideally, the Search Committee Chair is someone intending to remain a member of St. Michael’s.

Minutes from September Meeting & Finance Committee Report (7:58 – 8:07 p.m.)

The Balance sheet reflects $124,863 in St. Michael’s TD Bank Checking Account (Line 1125). St. Michael’s receives from regular users of our building financial contributions that have become a meaningful amount of income. Recently, some groups are requiring Parish time and effort that may outweigh that income: issues with parking, event setup/break-down, trash. Dan volunteered to liaise with these groups, if necessary, to remind them of use agreement terms.

The Finance Committee has begun drafting a 2017 Mission Spending Plan, projecting likelihood of lower total income in 2017 than in 2016. The Altar Guild apprised the Vestry on the current status of church vestments. The chasuble, alb, stole, and altar vestments are in need of either repair or replacement. The silk brocade is frayed and worn. Mary mentioned a place in Alexandria that might be able to help. The Vestry voted to task the Altar Guild to research this matter further, and report back to the Vestry. The June 2016 Vestry Minutes state that a portion of Mother Ann Truitt’s gift to St. Michael’s could pay for this.

Actions Taken in Response to the Report of the Audit Committee (8:07 – 8:14 p.m.)

The Audit Committee’s report to the Vestry in September of 2016 included no new findings from 2015; however, three items from the 2014 Audit remain open: 1) Update “Funds Structure” and “Accounts Description,” to reflect new funds which have been added, and post these updates on St. Michael’s website; 2) Revamp and complete credit card procedures; and 3) Change the recipient of bank statements for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund to a person of trust other than the Rector, per Diocesan guidelines. The first item dealing with “Funds Structure” and “Accounts Description” has been completed, and was submitted to the Finance Committee last week. The second item, relating to check card procedure, is being addressed. Regarding the third item, future bank statements will go to a trusted person other than the Rector.

Stewardship Campaign (8:14 – 8:27 p.m.)

The 2017 Every Member Canvas (EMC) Report for Week Four (November 7, 2016) reported 26 pledges totaling $127,930. This number does not include the pledges received the following week on Commitment Sunday (November 13).

Last year’s pledges totaled $265,174. We anticipate approximately $3,500 of those pledges to be unfulfilled.

MFiF Report (8:27 – 8:36 p.m.)

Alice reported that the nursery has moved into its new space. Installation of the new Parish Hall floor is complete, with the exception of cleaning baseboards and walls. The Sacristy now has a new countertop and sink. 89% of the 2014 Capital Campaign pledges have been received. 54% of the Phase II 2016 Capital Campaign pledges (partially funded with a grant from the Diocese) have been received. An estimated $5,000 will remain from Phase II after some payments from recent work are made. We received an in-kind donation of LED lights in the Nave. More lights are on order. In the Rectory, the porch area has visible water damage around the windows. Two estimates provide conflicting opinions to resolve the leak. For now, we will caulk that area. A general contractor will repair a buckle in the basement flooring. Lucy has been asked to re-clean the floors.

Care of Creation (8:36 – 8:40 p.m.)

Eleanor Hodges of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) will visit St. Michael’s on November 20, 2016, after the 10:00 a.m. service. She will give a presentation on the “Energy Masters” program with the purpose of recruiting volunteers. St. Michael’s is currently scheduled to participate on December 3, 2016. St. Michael’s is asked only to help position supplies and provide lunch to the actual workers in the program. A volunteer sign-up sheet is already in the Parish Hall. The December 3rd volunteer opportunity will be mentioned in upcoming service bulletins.

Youth Ministry Update (8:40 – 8:53 p.m.)

Conversation regarding the establishment of a Children and Youth Ministry Committee was continued from the last Vestry meeting. The proposal specifies that the Committee would 1) be under the purview of the Rector; 2) be Co-Chaired by the Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth and a Liaison from the Vestry; and 3) review, revise, affirm, and carry out a Youth Ministry Plan. This effort will assist St. Michael’s to be program-driven. It will also provide clarity on processes, roles, and responsibilities. The Vestry approved the establishment of a Children and Youth Ministry Committee.

Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee (8:53 – 8:58 p.m.)

The work of the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee continues. A discussion took place about data collection, and the effort to solicit a wide variety of opinions in a positive way. These are the first steps, to be followed by more critical analysis. Current plans are to provide a box with blank index cards, and ask parishioners to write down what they most hold dear about St. Michael’s. It was noted that a Parish Survey, soon to be released, will give parishioners an opportunity to voice also what can be improved upon. The work of the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee will be a key component for the work of the Search Committee.

Newcomers: Invite, Welcome, Connect (8:58 – 9:00 p.m.)

The new brochures have been finalized, thanks to the talent and input of Cindy Matlack, Barb Adams, and Karen Ruff. We did get permission to use the photographs of those easily identifiable individuals. The brochure will go the printer, and at least 200 will be printed.

Volunteers (9:00 – 9:00 p.m.)

Nothing new to report.

Welcoming Congregation Listing (9:00 – 9:01 p.m.)

It was noted that Mary has written an article on People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV), an interdenominational group of faith congregations that support LGBT equality, for an upcoming issue of the Guardian.

Upcoming Bishop’s Visit (9:01 – 9:05 p.m.)

The Bishop will be visiting St. Michael’s on January 8, 2017. We have a visitation checklist to prepare. A notice will be printed in the upcoming Sunday bulletin. Anyone interested in being baptized, received, or reaffirmed will be asked to contact Mary. The Junior and Senior Wardens will meet later this week to discuss this further.

Ministry Liaison Reports (9:05 – 9:05 p.m.)

Nothing new to report.

Vestry and Search Committee Nominations (9:05 p.m. – 9:07)

Vestry members are asked to email at least three names to Alice for possible new Vestry members. Vestry members also are asked suggest names of possible Search Committee Chair and member candidates. These names should be sent before the December Vestry Meeting.

Annual Meeting (9:07 – 9:08 p.m.)

The Vestry needs to look ahead on when to schedule the next Annual Meeting.

Senior Warden’s Report: A request from a non-parishioner in need occurred. St. Michael’s requested that St. George’s help the individual, and St. Michael’s will reimburse them from our Rector’s Discretionary funds.

Executive Session (9:08 – 10:24 p.m.)

Adjourn

Alice volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. Dan led the Vestry in a closing prayer. The meeting adjourned at 10:24 p.m.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Cathey Dugan and amended, as instructed, by Alice Thomas.

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October Vestry Meeting Notes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
October 18, 2016

Attendees: Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, Alice Thomas, Mary Cushing, Julia Carter, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, Dan Plafcan, and Tom Sheldon
Not Present: Not applicable.

Actions Taken:

  1. Vestry approved Minutes from the September 2016 meeting.
  2. Vestry approved Treasurer’s Report with September 2016 financial reports.
  3. Vestry approved going into Executive Session for the last part of the meeting.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:33 p.m. led with prayer by Cathey Dugan. A quorum was present. Expressions of abundance were expressed by all.

Minutes from September Meeting & Finance Committee Report (7:39 – 7:47 p.m.)

September financial reports were good overall. We took in over $1,000 in donations toward the farewell dinner for Mother Leslie. Final cost for the dinner was $2,800. The August 16, 2016 minutes reflect the Vestry’s decision to draw from the Staff Development Fund (Line 9) to cover part of the cost. We only used $1,075 from that fund to help pay expenses. This was lower than originally anticipated. Our TD Bank Checking Account (Line 1125) has a September 30, 2016 balance of $123,023. The Elevator Savings Fund is up by 3%, and will be adjusted when we establish next year’s budget. On the Profit & Loss Statement, Pledges (Line 4100) for September came in at $15,595. Other Contributions (Line 4101) were at $1,721. Total Pledges were $17,316.

Stewardship Campaign (7:47 – 7:49 p.m.)

Commitment Sunday is November 13, 2016. Those who have volunteered to speak about Stewardship include Mick Sutter (10:00 a.m. service) and Dean Scribner (8:00 a.m. service). Dan Plafcan volunteered to speak, and it was noted that Tad McCall will speak closer toward the end of the Stewardship Campaign. More volunteers may be needed.

MFiF Report (7:49 – 8:00 p.m.)

The Hufcor room dividers have been installed. The carpet in the downstairs classroom and hallway, Nave, Narthex, foyer, stairs, Rector’s office, and administrative office are set to be cleaned on October 25, 2016. The cost totals $380. Volunteers will be requested to help move furniture out of the classrooms and offices the evening of October 24th. Volunteers will also be needed to help move things back. The storage area and Nursery are swapping places; this allows for more kid-friendly space that includes a sink. The Parish Hall floor will be replaced sometime in early November. Regarding the roof, the Senior Warden sent an email earlier in the day to John Hughes, Mick Sutter, John Kelleher, and Wil Harkins. The Junior Warden and the Treasurer were copied. We need two things, the first of which involves short-term repair to stop the leaks around the skylights and the portion of the roof which is flat. Funds from Major Maintenance (Line 3003) will be used to cover the patch work. We used Gutterman Services, Inc. work on our roof previously. We will obtain two estimates, and choose from those. The Vestry, along with guidance from the Finance Committee, will also begin thinking about the long-term roofing needs.

Care of Creation (8:00 – 8:05 p.m.)

Based on the conversations we’ve had with Elenor Hodges of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), St. Michael’s volunteered to help out with ACE’s “Energy Masters” program. Elenor will be in touch with Tom over what is needed, but likely the work will include providing lunch for the other ACE volunteers, and helping out where needed. There is no age requirement. Provided there is no conflict, December 3, 2016 was chosen as the tentative date for St. Michael’s to volunteer.

Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee (8:05 – 8:11 p.m.)

The Committee had their second meeting on October 16, 2016. The Committee is almost done assessing the Steps Along the Path document. The next meeting will address current goals to see how everything fits together. Once the Committee has developed a framework, they will reach out to the Vestry and Parish for input. The Committee will also work on developing an overall Mission Statement for St. Michael’s. They will continue their work, in conjunction with the Vestry.

Youth Ministry Update (8:11 – 8:23 p.m.)

It was noted that we are in need of a Sunday School teacher for the upper elementary age kids. Dan is currently teaching the middle schoolers, and Melanie is teaching the lower elementary age kids. Regarding addressing larger issues of Youth Ministry, Dan has been working in conjunction with Melanie Monahan. Dan provided the Vestry with both a Youth Ministry Assessment and Planning document, as well as a proposed Sunday School syllabus for 6th – 12th Graders. The planning document addresses the need for an overarching organizational structure and communication outreach strategies. A proposed Youth Ministry Committee would be comprised of five people, with Melanie as the Chair. One member of the Vestry, as well as the Rector, would provide liaison assistance. We would have to determine where such a Committee would fit into the organizational chart of St. Michael’s. This proposal is a culmination of the past year’s effort by Dan, Melanie, and the Rector. The Vestry agreed these documents should get the attention they deserve; therefore, discussion of Youth Ministry plans will be added to the November 15, 2016 Vestry Meeting Agenda.

Executive Session (8:23 – 9:21 p.m.)

Junior Warden’s Closing Remarks (9:21 – 9:23 p.m.)

The Vestry was thanked for all their hard work.

Senior Warden’s Closing Remarks (9:23 – 9:25 p.m.)

The Vestry was again thanked. Gratitude was expressed for the respect of all opinions. We will interview a second candidate for Interim Rector, and we will attempt to set that date for November 1, 2016.

Adjourn

Dan volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. Cathey led us in a closing prayer. The meeting adjourned at 9:27 p.m.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Cathey Dugan.

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September Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
September 20, 2016

Attendees: Mother Leslie, Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, Alice Thomas, Mary Cushing, Julia Carter, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, Tom Sheldon, and John Hughes (Audit Committee)

Not Present: Dan Plafcan

Actions Taken:

  1. Vestry approved Minutes from the August 2016 monthly (August 16) and special (August 30) meetings.
  2. Vestry agreed to approve the August Treasurer’s Report at a later date.
  3. Vestry received and accepted the 2015 Audit Report from the Audit Committee.
  4. Vestry approved that Dwight Denson would follow up on the three remaining open items from the 2014 Audit Committee.
  5. Vestry approved and signed the Stewardship Campaign letter.
  6. Vestry approved $2,500 from MFiF Final Phase funds for Sacristy improvements.
  7. Vestry approved listing St. Michael’s address on the People of Faith for Equality in Virginia’s website (POFEV), in conjunction with asking the parish for feedback on a statement, to be listed on POFEV’s website at a later date. The Vestry approved to hold forums at a date to be determined in the future.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:35 p.m. led with prayer by Mother Leslie. A quorum was present. Mother Leslie expressed gratitude for a wonderful weekend at Shrine Mont. Forty-five people attended, nine of which were children. She appreciated the gesture of champagne and cake. Vestry members gave thanks for newcomers at the 8:00 a.m. service and for the Altar Guild’s leadership in obtaining a reimbursement from the florist who’d originally overcharged St. Michael’s. Others expressed thanks for various personal reasons.

Audit Committee Report (7:48 – 8:09 p.m.)

Guest John Hughes reported on the Audit Committee’s efforts with the 2015 Audit. This year’s Audit Committee was comprised of John Hughes and Jason Herring. This Committee conducts its work per the Diocese of Virginia’s Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs. There were no new findings this year; however, three items from the 2014 Audit remain open. These include: 1) Update “Funds Structure” and “Accounts Description,” to reflect new funds which have been added, and to post these updates on St. Michael’s website; 2) To complete and post on St. Michael’s website a current Check Card Procedure; and 3) Change the recipient of bank statements for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund to a person of trust other than the Rector, per Diocesan guidelines. It was noted that four other findings from the 2014 Audit have been completed successfully. A final issue from the 2014 Audit involves insurance, but this matter is currently under the consideration of the Diocese. The Vestry thanked John Hughes and Jason Herring for their hard work.

Minutes from August Meeting & Finance Committee Report (8:09 – 8:18 p.m.)

The Vestry did not have the Financial Reports to review at the September 2016 Vestry Meeting. A verbal update was provided. The Finance Committee reported that, although pledges collected for August were down, we were still on track for 2016 overall. MFiF Phase One from 2014 has collected approximately $318,000 of the $362,000 pledged. MFiF Phase Two has received $18,364 of the $38,130; $7,900 of that came in the form of the grant from the Diocese of Virginia. We received the reimbursement from the florist who’d overcharged us. Elevator maintenance was bumped up by 3%. The TD Bank balance was high because we had some larger bills to pay. Regarding the farewell dinner for Mother Leslie, the caterer came in with a lower quote of $2,100. To date, we’ve collected $1,100 from the congregation. It was noted that we would therefore not need to utilize the entire $2,000 from the Staff Development Fund (Line 9), voted on by the Vestry in August of 2016.

Transition Planning (8:18 – 8:23 p.m.)

The Senior Warden asked the Vestry to start thinking of candidate names for both a future Selection Committee and Vestry. It was noted that we had the resume and portfolio for one Interim Rector candidate. The Senior Warden asked the Vestry to watch for more information via email. The Vestry was asked to meet for a special meeting on September 27th.

Stewardship Campaign (8:23 – 8:28 p.m.)

The Stewardship theme this year is “Living Generously.” October 9th will kick-off this year’s Stewardship Campaign. Rev. Canon Patrick J. Wingo, Canon to the Ordinary will be with St. Michael’s as Celebrant that day. Edward G. Keithly, Deputy Director of Transition Ministry for the Diocese of Virginia, will also be at church October 9th. The Junior Warden is working to line up those who will speak during announcements. Commitment Sunday will be November 13th. The Vestry will host a special coffee hour that day. The Vestry signed the Stewardship Campaign letter, to be be mailed to the parish the first week of October.

MFiF Report (8:28 – 8:40 p.m.)

On August 31, HufCor conducted new measurements, and revised the track requirements for the accordion room dividers. HufCor revised their estimate of when they could complete the room project, putting off the date by one month. Regarding the Sacristy counter-tops, estimates were obtained from Home Depot. Corian countertops would cost $2,342; Formica would cost $1,513. There is also need for a new faucet. Estimates were also obtained from two carpet cleaners. COIT quoted $382 for wet/pressure cleaning. Heaven’s Best estimated $400 to clean with their dry method. Areas to be cleaned include: downstairs classroom and hallway; Nave, Narthex, foyer, and stairs; and the Rector and Admin offices. Nursery and storage areas will be transferred prior to carpet cleaning.

Care of Creation (8:40 – 8: 49 p.m.)

Care of Creation was the theme at Shrine Mont this year. Mother Leslie led everyone through the program. Discussions included the environment, technology, how we treat one another, and how these issues are intertwined. Discussions were lively, and provided opportunities to act. The program was well received. We will continue to work with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE). The recycling bins were discussed, along with how to educate the parish on proper use. Mother Leslie agreed to send a memo to Carlos regarding the recycling. Mary will work on drafting information on making coffee hour become a “palm oil-free zone for an upcoming Guardian.

Visioning, Planning and Assessment Committee (8:49 – 8:51 p.m.)

The Committee met on September 11th at 4:30 p.m. under Dan’s leadership. The Committee reviewed and discussed Strategic Plans from other churches, discussing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis). The Committee will meet in early October to review and discuss Steps Along the Path.

Newcomers: Invite, Welcome, Connect (8:51 – 8:52 p.m.)

There are no new developments. The brochure is awaiting new photographs. We may stage new photographs or choose from photographs to be taken at Mother Leslie’s going away dinner by Mother Ann Truitt.

Volunteers (8:52 – 8:53 p.m.)

Julia and Mary have exchanged lists, and will let us know of any ministries that need special help or attention.

Welcoming Congregation Listing (8:53 – 9:07 p.m.)

The Vestry discussed various concerns regarding listing St. Michael’s on the People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) website, and potentially listing their organization on St. Michael’s website. Mary will work on carrying the actions of the Vestry and congregational input forward.

Ministry Liaison Reports (9:07 – 9:14 p.m.)

Children’s Chapel will start October 2nd. The Monday book group has fewer members. The Choir needs more members. Women of Wisdom (WOW) continues to have good attendance. Mother Leslie hosted the last discussion at Monday Mugs with St. Mike’s. A review of this year’s Shrine Mont will be conducted to encourage participation and begin shaping the program for next year. The fact that kids were able to come for free this year made a difference to many families. The Harvest Festival will take place October 29th. Vestry members will serve to welcome visitors at 30-minute intervals. The Vestry will also to continue to serve as Greeters at the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Service. A push will be made for congregants to wear their name tags, so that visiting ministers and newcomers will know and remember names. The Junior Warden will coordinate this effort with the Welcoming Ministry.

Rector’s Report (9:14 – 9:24 p.m.)

Mother Leslie reported that Shrine Mont was a great experience, especially for the families, as kids could attend at no extra charge. She encouraged St. Michael’s to continue this incentive in the future, and to set aside funds to that purpose. Mother Leslie noted that her last Sunday at St. Michael’s would include baptisms at both the 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. services. Mother Leslie also stated there would be additional liturgy for an “official parting of our ministry” together. A litany, to be prayed by all, will also be included. Mother Leslie stated she continues to clean out her office. The Senior and Junior Wardens will do a final walk-through of the Rectory. A request was made by Rev. Williams of St. George’s Episcopal Church, for us to swap our January 8, 2017 Bishop’s morning visitation with their afternoon slot. Because St. Michael’s has had afternoon visitations for the past two years, it was decided to retain our morning slot. Mother Leslie agreed to let St. George’s know.

Senior Warden’s Report (9:24 – 9:24 p.m.)

The Vestry was praised for its work, and encouraged to keep up the good work, primarily by continuing to attend to daily issues.

Junior Warden’s Report (9:24 – 9:29 p.m.)

Father George will be with us for part of October. Mother Jackie will be with us on October 23rd. Rev. Sullivan will be with us November 6th and 13th. It was recommended that we post these dates to St. Michael’s website. The Senior Warden will draft something for the Guardian, and the Junior Warden will draft a list of visiting ministers for the Bulletin.

Adjourn

Cathey volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Julia led us in compline from the Book of Common Prayer. The meeting adjourned at 9:34 p.m.

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August Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom, August 16, 2016

Attendees: Mother Leslie, Alice Thomas, Mary Cushing, Julia Carter, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, Dan Plafcan, Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, and Tom Sheldon

Not Present: Not applicable.

Actions Taken:

  1. Vestry approved Minutes from the July 2016 meeting.
  2. Vestry approved July 2016 financial reports.
  3. Vestry approved motion to cater the main course of the September 24th dinner for Mother Leslie.
  4. Vestry approved a motion to draw money from the Staff Development Fund (Line 9), and to cap the amount at $2,000; this amount will be used to cover the catering the main course of the September 24th dinner for Mother Leslie.
  5. The Vestry approved a motion to allow Terri Katon to serve as this year’s Delegate at the Diocese of Virginia Convention.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:35 p.m. led with prayer by Alice Thomas. A quorum was present. Thanksgiving was expressed for the graciousness of St. Michael’s parish, Dr. Mary Thorpe (Director of Transition Ministry at The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia), Mother Leslie’s fourteen years as Rector of St. Michael’s, and Tad McCall’s leadership. One person asked for special prayers.

Minutes from July Meeting & Finance Committee Report (7:46 – 7:49 p.m.)

The Finance Committee didn’t meet in July, but July reports show Pledges (Line 4100), at $25,635. Together with rental income, we are over our projected budget by a total net income of $22,042. July 2016 Vestry minutes and Finance Committee reports were accepted.

Transition Planning (7:49 – 8:41 p.m.)

The Vestry discussed options for celebrating Mother Leslie’s fourteen years with the parish. A small, coordinated celebration will be planned for Shrine Mont, with Linda Kelleher as the point person. Tom, Mary, and Dan, who will all attend Shrine Mont, will help coordinate as well. The dinner of September 24th was also discussed. The Vestry decided to cater the main course of the dinner, leaving the side dishes and desserts to be provided as a parish potluck. Vestry approved use of funds from the Staff Development Fund (Line 9), to be capped at $2,000, to cover the partial catering, with donated funds to cover any remaining cost. It was agreed that a sign up list should be created for the potluck items, to ensure that a variety of foods and beverages would be included. There will also be a collection for the purse, and if people would like to contribute to the dinner as well, they may. It was mentioned that Linda Denson might coordinate details for the dinner. It was noted that she’ll be out of town from September 14th through the 20th. Once a coordinator has provided a total cost estimate for the dinner, we’ll know how much more we must cover. The Vestry then discussed the parish’s transition; it was requested the Vestry meet with Mary Thorpe and Ed Keithly (Deputy Director of Transition Ministry at the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia) before the next regularly scheduled meeting. This special meeting will last approximately two hours and will consist of two parts, including: the September 24th dinner and discussion with the Diocese regarding next steps. It is the Senior Warden’s responsibility to engage supply priests on behalf of the parish. Tad agreed to propose dates for this additional meeting to the Vestry. Mother Leslie stated that movers are set to arrive at the Rectory on October 1, 2016. She will have a professional cleaning service come, and will arrange to have both Senior and Junior Wardens conduct a final “walk through” the Rectory. Mother Leslie offered to leave behind some essential furniture such as a bed and dresser, for possible use by a visiting supply priest.

MFiF Report (8:41 – 8:49 p.m.)

It will take approximately three months to manufacture the flooring for the Parish Hall in the color we want with the padded backing. This pushes the timeline for replacing the floor toward the end of October or early November. The Vestry discussed the possibility of replacing the Sacristy counter-top using approximately $2,500 of the $8,000 surplus of matching funds originally collected for the Peter James Lee Small Matching Funds Grant. The Vestry decided to table the discussion until a later meeting.

Care of Creation (8:49 – 8:55 p.m.)

Tom reported on the meeting he and Mother Leslie had with Elenor Hodges of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE). St. Michael’s committed to ACE’s “Energy Masters” program, which is comprised of volunteers that make “hand-on improvements in affordable housing units that increase energy and water efficiency.” They would need volunteers from St. Michael’s to help provide lunches, waters, and other small tasks to the volunteers that handle the modest repair work. The program runs December through April, and provides us another local outreach opportunity. An additional way for St. Michael’s to get involved is through a collection basket of power strips, lightbulbs, and similar items, known as an “energy efficiency starter kit.” An ACE volunteer can visit St. Michael’s to discuss these opportunities in a forum session. More information to follow. Tad reported that, in connection with our StormwaterWise Grant from Arlington County, Helen Hines and Caroline Haynes will participate in (vice-conduct) a master gardener session. Mary had a suggestion pertaining to a documentary on how the global demand for palm oil hurts forests, and that we might think of declaring our coffee hours as a “palm oil free zone.” Mother Leslie expressed anticipation of St. Michael’s Care of Creation theme at Shrine Mont this year.

Visioning, Planning & Assessment Committee (8:55 – 8:58)

Dan reported that Mick Sutter has agreed to join the committee. The first meeting is scheduled for August 21st during the forum hour. Mother Leslie expressed the importance of this committee, as it will help us in the transition process.

Newcomers: Invite, Welcome, Connect (8:58 – 9:04 p.m.)

Karen provided a first draft of the new St. Michael’s welcome brochure, put together with help from Cindy Matlack. Wil is working to provide additional photographs. Feedback from the Vestry is requested. A question was raised on whether or not we must obtain permission from people to use their images in the brochure. Mother Leslie agreed to check into it, although it was noted that parents sign a permission of use waiver for Vacation Bible School photographs. Karen reported that the new signs for St. Michael’s have been ordered, and are under the original $1,100 by approximately $200-$300. The Vestry discussed continuing to assist with Sunday morning greeting at the 10:00 a.m. service. Karen stated that she’d set up a new schedule on SignUpGenius and send us the link.

Volunteers (9:04 – 9:21 p.m.)

Julia presented a comprehensive spreadsheet, put together with information from the Vestry and from going through the St. Michael’s Directory, to gain an overview of parishioner involvement. After some discussion, general consensus was that the value of such information comes in pinpointing which core ministries need more members and overall support.

Welcoming Congregation Listing (9:21 – 9:24 p.m.)

Because we approved a way ahead at the July 2016 Vestry meeting, Dan suggested we hold a forum some Sunday after October 1st. The Search Committee will not be formed yet, so October might be a good time to hold this special forum.

Ministry Liaison Reports (9:24 – 9:29 p.m.)

John Hughes and Jason Herring are currently conducting the work of the Audit Committee. They are scheduled to meet on August 21st. They should be done quickly. Maria Abbot reported that Bridge and Women of Wisdom (WoW) are continuing to meet, and are bolstered through outside interest. The Altar Guild should soon receive payment from the florist that previously overcharged the church. Dan is working in conjunction with Melanie Monahan on Sunday School for this fall. They are working on age brackets, advertising, and recruiting volunteers. A separate unit covering Advent will be implemented. Currently, our largest age bracket consists of middle school students.

Rector’s Report (9:29 – 9:37 p.m.)

Mother Leslie reported that a Diocesan Delegate and Alternate must be chosen for the Convention. Normally, Delegates rotate off after three years. Terri Katon is willing to serve at the next meeting to provide consistency during this time of transition. The Convention usually lasts two-and-a-half days, but that format will change after the upcoming 222nd Annual Convention, scheduled from January 26-28, 2017 in Reston. The Delegate’s role is to vote on issues on behalf of the parish. The Vestry approved Terri to serve as a Delegate again this year. Sign-up for Shrine Mont remains low, but it was acknowledged that not all those intending to attend have registered. Mother Leslie will send out a reminder email. Dan already sent out an email to families. We have space for 60 people. Mother Leslie will be traveling to Florida on September 1st, and will return September 3rd. She will look for housing while there. She will be back for Sunday, September 4th services.

Senior Warden’s Report (9:37 – 9:38 p.m.)

Tad reported that he will be traveling to Oregon later in the week. He is impressed with the Vestry’s commitment, and is aware of not over-burdening everyone. We are to let him know if we have any issues with upcoming meeting dates.

Junior Warden’s Report (9:38 – 9:42 p.m.)

Karen revised Vestry letter to the parish regarding this time of transition. The Vestry reviewed it one last time, and each Vestry member signed it. Karen also reminded us that the Stewardship Campaign will take place this October and November.

Adjourn

Julia volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. Alice led us in compline from the Book of Common Prayer. The meeting adjourned at 9:42 p.m.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Cathey Dugan.

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Following God’s Call One Step at a Time

As we enter this liminal space in the life of St. Michael’s, sharing this time of memories and parting, there will undoubtedly be anxiety as part of our mix of emotions. Certainly that’s true for me. “What will happen when Mother Leslie leaves?” you might be asking. “How do we find a new rector? Who will lead our worship? Will we be okay?” These questions are good ones to ask, but they both reflect and can exacerbate the anxiety that happens in a parish upon their rector’s leave-taking.

I wrote to you of answering a call to go to a new parish. I have accepted this new call knowing that it also means that God is calling St. Michael’s to new challenges as well, perhaps challenges that you need someone other than me to help you embrace and realize in your ministry. God is always working God’s purpose out, as a grand old hymn says. Call is the Holy Spirit leading us; our response is to follow wherever the Spirit leads.

The temptation is that we all want to see the map. We ask God, “Are we there yet? How much longer?” Abraham and Moses wandered without knowing exactly where they were going. They were called to trust God by putting one foot in front of the other. It takes faith to take those steps, and it is the only way we’ll make it to the place where God is calling us to be. God may not reveal the next step until we’ve taken the one preceding it. I have absolute faith that God is leading St. Michael’s to live into your call to be a vibrant parish where the Gospel is lived and loved. What that will look like with only be revealed as you explore the call together, one step at a time.

In this journey, St. Michael’s is blessed by an outstanding Vestry led by dedicated wardens. The Diocese of Virginia will provide guidance and support in your interim period. Most importantly, you have each other as companions on the journey. Remember that the church is shaped by much more than the rector whose name is on the sign. It is shaped in the baptismal reality that “there is one hope in God’s call to us.” (BCP p. 299)

My presence with you in the next month is to help us all to say goodbye well that we may all take the next steps in pursuing God’s call. That journey is only just beginning and requires faith. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” May God grant you grace, patience, and faith throughout your journey to be the St. Michael’s God is calling you to be.

With much love in Christ,
Leslie+

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September Outreach Offering

ChildFundThe September outreach offering will support the five children St. Michael’s sponsors through ChildFund International. We have engaged in five sponsorships for many years, and some of our previously sponsored children have graduated from the program. Our currently sponsored children are Gabriel in Brazil (7), Nicholas in Ecuador (8), Dery in Honduras (11), Mailyn in the Philippines (15), and Wihelmina in Indonesia (17). Our support helps to ensure that essential necessities (nutrition, health care, education, clean water, etc.) are provided to the sponsored children, their families, and the villages they live in.
This last spring, members of our youth choir wrote letters to Gabriel, Dery, and Nicolas, who are all about the same age as the choristers who wrote to them. The letters to Dery and Nicolas were written in Spanish, their native language, by Zoe Korejwo and Annabelle Monahan. Suzanna Monahan wrote to Gabriel in English. Letters were also sent to our two older sponsored children, Mailyn and Wihelmina. Letters are sent and received through ChildFund interpreters in the various countries so it takes some additional time for our letters to them and their letters to us to be delivered, but we have just received a reply to Suzanna’s letter to Gabriel, which will be posted on the outreach bulletin board downstairs.

Your contributions to this important outreach effort are much appreciated. For more information about ChildFund International, please visit their website or contact our Mission & Outreach Committee via Caroline Haynes.

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