Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church
November 19, 2013
Amended at December 10 Vestry meeting
Attendees: Mother Leslie, Vicki Barnett, Dan Botticello, Molly French, Janet Hansen, Greg Hume, Pat Kennedy, Dean Scribner, Mick Sutter, Laura West
Greg Hume opened the meeting with prayer at 7:30 p.m.
1. The Vestry approved the amended minutes of the October 15 meeting and the treasurer’s report.
2. The Vestry approved an early advance from Mtr. Leslie’s 2014 continuing education budget for her tuition for the coming semester.
3. Dean Scribner is the prayer volunteer for the December 10 meeting.
Abundance, Cheers & Tears: We rejoiced in Mtr. Leslie’s upcoming blessing and the success of the harvest festival; vestry expressed special gratitude for the life of Ken Cook and his many contributions to St. Michael’s.
Minutes and Treasurers Report: The minutes were amended to specify that large gifts to the St. Michael’s Fund comprise “$1000. and above.” The minutes as amended and treasurer’s report were approved.
Finance Committee Report: The church insurance appraisal is correct and the deductible has been changed. Right now our income is steady (98% of pledged income), and the tax refund (health care benefit) of $3000. came in on Sept. 15. The Harvest Festival grossed $4800, and the final net will probably be ca. $4000. once all check requests are settled. There was some vestry discussion about the designation of proceeds from the Harvest Festival, but the recommendation was made to postpone the final decision until the December vestry meeting, when we will have a clearer idea of the budget and pledged income for 2014. The major maintenance fund is currently at $8300. This includes the $3000. tax refund credit; it does not yet include the roof repair costs of $2950.
Stewardship and Every Member Canvass: At the time of the November meeting $220,000. had been pledged (52 pledging units) and Tim Matlack was continuing to contact members who had not yet renewed. There was some discussion, with the clear sense that we want to grow and need to keep working at this. Mtr. Leslie agreed it would be good to reconvene the Welcoming Committee and will do so in the new year.
2014 Budget Discussion: Mtr. Leslie distributed the budget sheet and we reviewed it line by line. Other contributions (open plate) are estimated at $20,000, including a $11,000. transfer from the St. Michael’s Fund recommended by the fund board. There have been no new contributions to that fund in recent years, rather only increases from investment. Because it’s invested about 75% in equities, it has done well this year. The fund board will get reports from Mike Kerr and speak to him so they understand how fund and distributions are managed; Janet will also put together a report that shows rolling average for 36 months. The fund is managed by the Diocese; the current market value is $290,000. There was more discussion about the STAMP fund. Miscellaneous income (rental income) is budgeted at $5000. for 2014; most of that is from the children’s program that meets here on school holidays. We will be raising this rent; Mtr. Leslie is convening an ad hoc committee to discuss this, as well as an added cleaning fee.
Parish administration expenses: worship materials will be rolled into general office expenses, set at $13000. for 2014. There is $5330 budgeted for phone and internet expenses. We need new database software; Wil Harkins and Mtr. Leslie will review this issue. The postage budget will decrease because we’re dropping the postage machine and will use stamps.com. We’re also using online curricula, which has helped save money. The diocesan council meeting expenses went up this year; next year it’s in Richmond so we’ll need to add hotel costs. We continue to pledge 10% of our income to the Diocese. Mission and Outreach is adjusted to a percentage of our final budget.
The two largest areas are salaries and buildings & grounds. Mtr. Leslie is the only full time staff; David Bell is at 28 hours (salaried, not hourly). Other church staff (organist; Christian education staff; sexton; nursery workers) are paid hourly. Mtr. Leslie noted that canonically, the vestry decides on the finances and the rector decides on staffing, but we want to do those things in tandem. Mtr. Leslie suggested that vestry members write her directly with our thoughts on these issues. Mtr. Leslie will take job descriptions and annotate them. We decided to wait until the December meeting with presumably firmer pledge numbers so that we could see how best to proceed with the budget.
With respect to buildings and grounds: we changed the insurance deductible so the premium is lower. The utilities figures are probably on target; this year a donor paid the costs of a deep cleaning of the church. The rectory lawn service fee just covers the basics. With respect to fire/security, we’ve been under-budgeting; $1800 is now budgeted to cover inspections, the recharging of fire extinguishers, and elevator security. We need to allot more money for routine maintenance for both the church and rectory.
In the current draft budget a major maintenance transfer is not included, since we haven’t done this for several years. But the vestry agreed it needs to go back in as a line item, even if we don’t fill it; we will tell Scott and Helen to put it in.
The vestry agreed that the thorough review will help with our budget discussion at the December meeting; Mtr. Leslie requested that we please send her our ideas for next month.
Vestry Nomination Process: Mtr. Leslie requested that we send vestry nominee names to her. The bishop will be here on February 16 to confirm and receive people.
Vestry Liaison Reports: There are many activities for children coming up: the Christmas carol sing along, pageant, Salvation Army angels, and youth service. Fran Olsen is looking for additional volunteers for the welcoming ministry.
Rector’s Report: Mtr. Leslie reminded us that the next vestry meeting will be Dec. 10. The Finance Committee will be meeting on Dec. 9 so we’ll have the budget information. Mtr. Leslie noted that next week is her 11th anniversary with St. Michael’s (Thanksgiving Day service); her first service was attended by 100 people! She requested that the vestry consider advancing $1000. from her continuing education budget for next year to pay her tuition earlier since it’s her graduation semester. This was approved by the vestry approved this.
Senior Warden’s Report: Pat Kennedy thanked everyone for their stewardship.
Junior Warden’s Report: Mick noted that the unexpected slate/roof repair exceeded what the vestry had originally voted ($2800). The next big cost will be the tree removal; Mick will get several bids from tree firms.
Dean Scribner offered to lead prayers at the December meeting. The Vestry adjourned at 9:58 p.m., after Compline.
Vicki Barnett, Register