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.


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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