June Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
June 28, 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 May 2016 meeting, with one small correction.
  2. Vestry approved Treasurer’s Report with May 2016 financial reports.
  3. Vestry approved spending $1,100 from the Memorial Fund to replace four exterior St. Michael’s signs located on either side of Washington Boulevard.
  4. Vestry accepted the Peter James Lee Small Matching Funds Grant by signature from Rev. Mother Leslie and Sr. Warden, Tad McCall.
  5. Vestry approved a motion that would ensure kids can attend Shrine Mont for free.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:31 p.m. led with prayer by Tad McCall. A quorum was present. Thanksgiving was expressed for the response to MFiF, as well as the turnout to the Wednesday evening Care of Creation series. Expressions of thanksgiving were also voiced for the recent service attendance of Anne Jacoby and Gen. Jack Babcock. Before the meeting began, two people asked for special prayers for people in their lives.

Minutes from May Meeting & Treasurer’s Report (7:50 – 7:59 p.m.)

2015 closed with a net income/surplus of $22,756. We were $37,495 over what we originally budgeted, which put us 154% over the estimated budget total. The May 2016 Balance Sheet shows St. Michael’s General Fund (Line 1531) at $7,775 and the STAMP Fund (Line 1532) at $228. As money comes in from the Capital Campaign, these funds will go back into St. Michael’s General Fund. Since 2015 has closed out, we need to start the audit this August. This is discussed under the Finance Committee Report below. Cathey was asked to make a last-minute edit to the May minutes. The Profit/Loss Budget showed that May was a good month for Pledges (Line 4100) coming in. We took in $24,165 are back at 97% of what we’ve budgeted for Pledges. Other Contributions (Line 4101) has taken in $6,699 Year-to-Date. These funds come from people who give but have not officially pledged. Miscellaneous Income (Line 4520) is currently at $9,419 Year-to-Date. We budgeted that at $5,000, so we are 452% over what we originally budgeted. Overall, we currently have a net income/surplus of $12,152.

Finance Committee Report (7:59 – 8:15 p.m.)

The Finance Committee approved to present the Final Phase of MFIF to the parish. The committee recommended the use of money from the Memorial Fund to cover the replacement of the exterior St. Michael’s signs on either side of Washington Boulevard. There is a company that replaces many of the signs for Episcopal churches in the area. Two of the double-sided signs cost $400 each; two additional signs on the church-side of Washington Boulevard cost $150. Replacing all four signs totals $1,100, which does not include shipping or other costs. The existing pillars would be kept; new, rust-free hardware would be used. Arlington County has confirmed that the sign at the church side of Ivanhoe and Washington Boulevard may stay where it is. The Memorial Fund gets its income by gift donations, designated or otherwise, over which the Vestry has authority. Currently, the Memorial Fund is at $23,314. $2,500 of that (originally as part of a total $15,000 gift from Mother Ann Truitt) will pay for new green vestments. The Memorial Fund also pays for things like the upkeep of Memorial Garden or a new altar book. The Finance Committee also noted that fire security expenses increased. This was due to an Arlington County fire safety inspection that required equipment replacement. This expense should decrease next year. The Finance Committee reported that insurance will pay all but the $1,000 deductible of the contracted $14,185 to cover damages sustained during the February 2016 snow storm. James R. Walls Contracting Co. will soon begin repairs to the gutters. Regarding our StormwaterWise Grant, Caroline Haynes is checking with Arlington County to ensure we are compliant in our plans to use those funds. These plans must be submitted by July 29, 2016. The need for adjusting the Endowment Fund was also raised. It was discovered that the Diocese continued to send us $10,500, although this amount should be lower. The Finance Committee is working with the Diocese to correct this matter. The next quarterly payment from the Diocese will therefore reflect a lesser amount. The Finance Committee also asked the Vestry to accept the Peter James Lee Small Matching Funds Grant as we have raised funds over the required match amount. The Finance Committee suggested using the overage match amount to start a Roof Fund. The annual audit is approaching this August. John Hughes and Terry Dinan were on the Audit Committee in August of 2015, but Terry will rotate off for 2016.

MFIF Construction Report & Financing (8:15 – 8:33 p.m.)

We just signed the Peter James Lee Small Matching Funds Grant, and will receive the $7,950 check from the Diocese. With this grant, we have exceeded our $30,000 total project goal. As soon as Lance receives the contract and down-payment from us, he’ll begin work on the Nursery wall. Space must be made for work to take place in the upstairs room. Therefore, that room must be cleared out prior to work being done. It will also require a childproof doorknob on the outside of the door that is code compliant. The wooden playground needs to come down; we may be able to get volunteers for that. It was suggested that a large “do not use” sign be placed on the structure before VBS. Mother Leslie will check with Sandra Phaup to find out who donated the Memorial Gift that paid for the wooden play structure so that we can inform them about the structure coming down. We received 55 votes on the four Armstrong Tile choices for new Parish Hall flooring. The two lighter choices received two-thirds of the vote. Another manufacturer (FloorFolio), has vinyl plank flooring with rubber backing. It is flexible and designed so that sound vibrations are not transmitted. With the rubber backing, it will be better for yoga and heels. The lightest one is different from the light hue the parish voted on earlier. It is more gray in hue, but does not come “ready-made.” Alice will research colors similar to the selected Armstrong ones, checking on textures to prevent slippage, yet not so grooved as to retain dirt. The cost for the contract using FloorFolio is $14,416. Using Armstrong Flooring, the contract is $13,586. Both have a ten year warranty. Both choices caution against the floor becoming too wet, as puddling will cause the laminate to separate from the backing and pucker. Both prices are good through September. We need to order the flooring four-to-six weeks before the replacement start date. It will then take approximately two days to replace the floor.

Care of Creation (8:33 – 8:40 p.m.)

Our StormwaterWise Grant from Arlington County has been discussed during the Wednesday night Care of Creation sessions. Attendees at this session on the theology behind Care of Creation has fluctuated, but has been well received. Music is part of each program. There are other options, and Mother Leslie will check into these. Care of Creation will be our theme at Shrine Mont this year (September 16-18), and Mother Leslie is working on securing the Crenshaw building for St. Michael’s. Mother Leslie invited Dean Markham to present at Shrine Mont this year, but he is currently on sabbatical. The cost of Shrine Mont was discussed. Cost should not be a deterrent, especially for families with children. The Vestry approved the motion to ensure kids can go free, as this is a cost we can cover. Mary noted that we now have a separate Web-page on our site dedicated to Care of Creation. It contains links to various resources.

Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee Proposal (8:40 – 9:17 p.m.)

The Vestry reviewed and discussed documents from Dan and Julia, including: outlined noted on the possible duties, membership, work plan, schedule, and parish outreach; a proposed Vestry resolution for Dan and Julia to continue work on establishing such a committee; a “kick-off” description of the proposed committee’s duties and responsibilities; and Dan and Julia’s questions before the Vestry on this proposed committee. The Vestry discussed these items at length, mainly: how would we recruit committee members; how many parishioners should make up the committee; what should their meeting schedule be; what should their terms of reference and length of service look like; and what, if any, deadline and follow through should be given to them? Mother Leslie suggested that we recruit a cross-section of potential members while concurrently requesting volunteers within the parish. It was also proposed by Dan and Mary that the committee might include a young adult. Mother Leslie also suggested that the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee be done with a new strategic plan draft by March 2017, and that they should meet “at least monthly” in the months leading up to next March. After that time, the Vestry will review the document at our next Vestry Retreat, and decide on the next steps to take. The Vestry may need an executing partner to help implement the goals of the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee. Their plan should include Care of Creation. The committee should examine “Steps Along the Path” and update it to fit our current needs. The committee will be comprised of six persons, two of which will be Vestry members. Dan and Julia volunteered for this work. Julia will write up something to go out to the Parish regarding this initiative.

Newcomers: Invite, Welcome, Connect (9:17 – 9:20 p.m.)

Vestry members are reminded to use SignUpGenius to help greet at the 10:00 a.m. services. Karen Ruff has been in touch with Barb and Fran about working together on a brochure this summer. Karen hopes to have one in print this fall. Mary took a photograph of the visitor’s welcome table at Falls Church Episcopal. The table included a wide array of information: brochures, forms, and flyers. This might be something we’d want to do in future, although on a smaller scale. Mother Leslie mentioned that we are still getting visitors to the church, so Welcoming Ministry is important.

Volunteers (9:20 – 9:22 p.m.)

Mary has worked on matching the list of parish members with “who does what.” Her findings are that everyone seems to be engaged with some group or ministry. There doesn’t seem to be much surplus availability. Mother Leslie mentioned that a new parish directory is forthcoming. Julia mentioned that all groups express a need or wish for more members. The Altar Guild was mentioned, and the fact that Linda Denson has recently been using both her own flowers, as well as those from our garden, as flowers for St. Michael’s Altar.

Welcoming Congregation (9:22 – 9:26 p.m.)

Mary will draft a paragraph for Vestry review on what it means to be a welcoming congregation. We will plan a forum around this initiative to introduce it to the parish. The Vestry will readdress this issue at the July 2016 meeting. We will also discuss what Web-sites to list on our church site.

Ministry Liaison Reports (9:26 – 9:35 p.m.)

VBS is July 11-15th. Children’s Chapel held its last service on June 26th, and will pick back up in September. A program for Youth Ministry is still being planned. Women of Wisdom (WOW) is doing well. Bridge is slowly growing, thanks to “PR” help from Linda Denson and Maria Abbott. Care of Creation is doing well, with the Wednesday night programs led by Mother Leslie. Tom and Mother Leslie will meet with Elenor Hodges of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) after VBS. Vicky Barnett is working on a program during Epiphany season on the Holocaust and Christian theology. Wholly Knit and Whine continues to do well. We are low on Acolytes this summer; Mary has volunteered to fill this gap. Rebecca Guild continues to do well. Nursing Home Ministry was discussed. It was decided that a copy of our Sunday Bulletin and a print-out of The Guardian should be placed in the bag that goes out on Nursing Home Ministry visits. Wil Harkins and Linda Denson will help in this effort.

Rector’s Report (9:35 – 9:37 p.m.)

Regarding our Diocesan Delegate and Alternate, we are late with submitting this list. Mother Leslie will be gone the weekend of July 24th and the second week of August. She is unsure if she will miss a Sunday in August. If so, coverage must be found. The parish office will be closed on Fridays during the summer, but Wil is continuing to provide coverage for any group that meets regularly on Fridays. This temporary change has not posed any issues.

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

The Senior Warden deferred his report to the Junior Warden.

Junior Warden’s Report (9:37 – 9:47 p.m.)

The arts-based camp Creative Differences needs to have an Arlington County “use permit” to utilize church space. The onus is on them to fill out the application; however, we will have to work with them on it. St. Michael’s neighbors will have to agree as well. Not everyone has to sign off on it, but the application will require a letter of support from the Bluemont Civic Association. Parking may be an issue. Also, the wooden playground area wouldn’t meet county code standards, but if any requirements are issued by the county, we will work with J. Jaye Steen to ensure that Creative Differences meets any costs associated with any findings. Karen and Mother Leslie will meet with J. Jaye Steen to discuss all this. It will take the summer to work on the application, and it will take Arlington County 68 days to process the application. Once we have a plan in place, we will approach the church’s neighbor that made a complaint in the past. The damaged gutters will be repaired end of June/early July.


Karen volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Tad led us in compline from the Book of Common Prayer. The meeting adjourned at 9:47 p.m.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Cathey Dugan.

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