Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
September 15, 2015
Attendees: Mother Leslie, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, Karen Ruff, Dan Botticello, Sandra Phaup, Molly French, Tom Sheldon, and Tad McCall; Absent: Alice Thomas
1. Vestry approved Minutes from our August meeting
2. Vestry approved the Treasurer’s Report with the August financial reports
3. Vestry approved entering into a five year preventative maintenance contract for the elevator
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by Mother Leslie, and Cathey led us in prayers.
Treasurer and Finance Committee Report
Pledge income continues to slightly trail projections. Miscellaneous income is significantly behind projection. For the 2016 budget, we need to consider a lower estimate for miscellaneous income. The Finance Committee is still awaiting input about insurance costs prior to drafting a preliminary budget for 2016. The Finance Committee asks the vestry to consider the source of the funds if the vestry approves the Care contract to maintain the elevator. The vestry discussed how to distribute the capital gains distribution, and how to source the funds for elevator maintenance.
Although not discussed at Finance committee in August, vestry further considered an item raised from the recently completed internal audit. The question that arises from the audit and Diocesan rules is whether St Michaels must prohibit vestry members from being Sunday counters of receipts. Mtr will raise the matter with the Finance Committee for further discussion and also seek advice from the Diocese.
MFIF Report & Financing
Mtr Leslie provided a status report on MFIF progress and future plans in Alice’s absence. The vendor will be removing and installing the stove and garbage disposal next week in September. All the equipment for outdoor lighting has been ordered. Work on the front steps and outdoor lights will be done together. We are awaiting an estimate from the painters. The question remains which bathrooms we will have money to refurbish. The parish hall bathrooms and children’s bathrooms rank as the first two priorities. Next steps in MFIF will likely occur in October. We are seeking a time to do self-help work in the yard, including the deck. No dates have been set for the volunteer cleanup.
Other matters: Mtr Leslie discussed the need to de-clutter by disposing of our large surplus of inventory of items that are not in use, and not likely to be used by the church. Turning to the harvest festival, Wil Harkins just acquired the last two new tables for the parish. All our old tables have been disposed of, and all our tables are new.
Task Forces Report
* Ministries and ministry fair-Preparations for the ministry fair proceed smoothly. The committee is making remarkable progress. This ministry fair will follow a mix and mingle approach to responding to the interest. The ministries will be divided into six areas, with each area nesting ministries that are related. A special coffee hour will be held in conjunction with the fair. The fair will be held after the 10 o’clock service on September 27, which is also St. Michael’s 70th anniversary. Mtr Leslie urged all vestry members to attend. Saturday will be the setup day.
* Volunteers-The Volunteers Task Force identified overlap with the Ministry Task Force. The Volunteer Task Force will look to the ministry fair as a springboard to recruiting and celebrating volunteers. Each ministry at the fair will have a POC identified for volunteers to contact, but the question remains about how and who accomplishes additional outreach. The welcoming committee provides one possible avenue for introducing ministries.One issue identified was the need to provide timely taskings once the volunteer is placed in a ministry. At the other end of the utilization discussion, burnout is an issue.
The Volunteer Task Force considered options for youth volunteers beyond the traditional church youth group, for example, being a volunteer in service in the community or in the parish, including service as LEMs. The next steps will be to call the Volunteer Task Force together after the ministry fair. Our youth have responded more enthusiastically to opportunities to serve, rather than the social roles provided in the traditional church youth group.
Stewardship Campaign (2016 church financial year)
The vestry reviewed the stewardship letter for the 2016 campaign and signed the letter that will go the parish requesting pledge commitments for the 2016 church financial year. Mtr. Leslie noted that St. Michael’s is moving forward on a schedule consistent with the Diocese stewardship calendar.
Ministry Liaisons Reports
The bridge group gained a new member. The Harvest Festival is scheduled for November 14. Helen Hines asks that vestry members be greeters at the fair. There was a meeting on hospitality this past week to gain an idea of interest in the Harvest Festival.
Monday Mugs moved to the Stray Cat and the meeting went well with eight people in attendance.The date may move to the third Monday in the month.
St. Michaels has filled up all its slots for the Shrine Mount weekend. 37 people are staying at Shrine Mount and 38 in total will attend. Children’s chapel starts this week. Sunday School starts the week after St. Michael’s week. The fall church calendar is very busy with events each weekend. The Blessing of the Animals occurs on Saturday October 3rd. The bishops’ schedule for 2016 is not set yet. The bishop asked the Deans of the region to consider alternatives to the bishops’ visit each year. There are 183 congregations in the Diocese.
Mtr Leslie asked the vestry to consider moving the date of the meeting to Wednesday, October 21 from October 20, and the vestry agreed.
Mtr Leslie and the vestry concurred that the effectiveness of the parish office is having a positive effect on the church.
Senior Warden’s Report
Matters that the Senior Warden intended to present, were already included in the meeting and are reflected in the minutes.
Junior Warden’s Report
The vestry approved entering into a preventive maintenance contract for the elevator with Kone Elevator U.S. The contract is called the Kone Care Plus service Agreement. The agreement provides 3 major maintenance services over the five year life of the contract in addition to normal maintenance and repair of failures (except failures due to acts of God or abuse). The contract will cost $285 a month. The last unscheduled maintenance repair cost $14,000 and the elevator was out of service for an extended period of time.
The vestry reviewed the placement of the St. Michaels signs on Washington Boulevard. In response to a driver’s complaint that one sign obscured vision of traffic on Washington Boulevard as the driver was attempting to enter the roadway, the Parish Administrator conducted a lengthy and thorough inquiry with both Arlington and VDOT. VDOT has jurisdiction over the issue because Washington Boulevard is a state road. The VDOT representative said we do not have to remove the sign and have the option of lowering its height 8 inches to be in conformance with signage rules, but remediation is not required. The VDOT representative requested that any future drivers raising issues about our sign be referred to VDOT. Separately, Mtr. Leslie indicated that will purchase new signs that will not corrode to replace our worn signs.
Mother Leslie informed the vestry of the need to investigate the source of mold in the rectory.The mold is putting high levels of mold spores in the ambient air inside the rectory. This condition poses a serious health issue. Inspectors are coming out next week to test for the source of the mold. A claim has been opened with church insurance, and the church will insurer will inspect also. After the investigations are complete, appropriate action will be recommended to remove the mold.
No new business was put forward. Dwight agreed to lead prayers at the October meeting (21st). The Vestry meeting adjourned at 9:12 and Cathey led us in Compline.
Respectfully submitted,Tad McCall, Junior Warden