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.


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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