November Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Meeting of the Vestry
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Upper Classroom
November 15, 2016

Attendees: Tad McCall, Karen Ruff, Alice Thomas, Julia Carter, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Cathey Dugan, and Dan Plafcan; Guest: Cindy Matlack as member of prior Rector Search Committee

Not Present: Tom Sheldon

Actions Taken:

  1. Vestry approved Minutes from the October 2016 meeting.
  2. Vestry approved tasking the Altar Guild to research options to repair or replace “green” church vestments, and report findings for the December 2016 Vestry meeting.
  3. Vestry approved establishing a Children and Youth Ministry Committee.
  4. Vestry approved going into Executive Session for the last part of the meeting.

The Vestry meeting opened at 7:33 p.m. led with prayer by Dan Plafcan. A quorum was present.

Search Committee Insight (7:34 – 7:58 p.m.)

Guest Cindy Matlack reflected on the Rector Search conducted in 2001-2002. She offered assurance that the process works! In August of 2001, Rev. Howard Humphrey announced he was leaving St. Michael’s. He left just after September 11th. The Search Committee convened on October 4, 2001. The Search Committee totaled nine members representing a mix of viewpoints. On average, they met once a week. At that time, the process was less streamlined. The Diocese suggested the Search Committee take 18 months to come to a decision. First, focus groups were conducted to gather input from the Parish. A Parish Profile was assembled and published. The Search Committee received over 75 applicants. The Bishop also sent candidates, one of whom was Leslie. The Search Committee reviewed these from October 2001 through April of 2002, and chose four candidates to interview and visit. The Interim Rector (Rev. Cox) did work with the Search Committee, but only attended two or three meetings, and stayed in contact with the Search Committee Chair. In September of 2002, the Search Committee took a first ballot. Cindy stressed that serving on a Search Committee requires a significant commitment of time. The Chair requires someone who “can listen and is a good communicator.” Ideally, the Search Committee Chair is someone intending to remain a member of St. Michael’s.

Minutes from September Meeting & Finance Committee Report (7:58 – 8:07 p.m.)

The Balance sheet reflects $124,863 in St. Michael’s TD Bank Checking Account (Line 1125). St. Michael’s receives from regular users of our building financial contributions that have become a meaningful amount of income. Recently, some groups are requiring Parish time and effort that may outweigh that income: issues with parking, event setup/break-down, trash. Dan volunteered to liaise with these groups, if necessary, to remind them of use agreement terms.

The Finance Committee has begun drafting a 2017 Mission Spending Plan, projecting likelihood of lower total income in 2017 than in 2016. The Altar Guild apprised the Vestry on the current status of church vestments. The chasuble, alb, stole, and altar vestments are in need of either repair or replacement. The silk brocade is frayed and worn. Mary mentioned a place in Alexandria that might be able to help. The Vestry voted to task the Altar Guild to research this matter further, and report back to the Vestry. The June 2016 Vestry Minutes state that a portion of Mother Ann Truitt’s gift to St. Michael’s could pay for this.

Actions Taken in Response to the Report of the Audit Committee (8:07 – 8:14 p.m.)

The Audit Committee’s report to the Vestry in September of 2016 included no new findings from 2015; however, three items from the 2014 Audit remain open: 1) Update “Funds Structure” and “Accounts Description,” to reflect new funds which have been added, and post these updates on St. Michael’s website; 2) Revamp and complete credit card procedures; 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. The first item dealing with “Funds Structure” and “Accounts Description” has been completed, and was submitted to the Finance Committee last week. The second item, relating to check card procedure, is being addressed. Regarding the third item, future bank statements will go to a trusted person other than the Rector.

Stewardship Campaign (8:14 – 8:27 p.m.)

The 2017 Every Member Canvas (EMC) Report for Week Four (November 7, 2016) reported 26 pledges totaling $127,930. This number does not include the pledges received the following week on Commitment Sunday (November 13).

Last year’s pledges totaled $265,174. We anticipate approximately $3,500 of those pledges to be unfulfilled.

MFiF Report (8:27 – 8:36 p.m.)

Alice reported that the nursery has moved into its new space. Installation of the new Parish Hall floor is complete, with the exception of cleaning baseboards and walls. The Sacristy now has a new countertop and sink. 89% of the 2014 Capital Campaign pledges have been received. 54% of the Phase II 2016 Capital Campaign pledges (partially funded with a grant from the Diocese) have been received. An estimated $5,000 will remain from Phase II after some payments from recent work are made. We received an in-kind donation of LED lights in the Nave. More lights are on order. In the Rectory, the porch area has visible water damage around the windows. Two estimates provide conflicting opinions to resolve the leak. For now, we will caulk that area. A general contractor will repair a buckle in the basement flooring. Lucy has been asked to re-clean the floors.

Care of Creation (8:36 – 8:40 p.m.)

Eleanor Hodges of Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE) will visit St. Michael’s on November 20, 2016, after the 10:00 a.m. service. She will give a presentation on the “Energy Masters” program with the purpose of recruiting volunteers. St. Michael’s is currently scheduled to participate on December 3, 2016. St. Michael’s is asked only to help position supplies and provide lunch to the actual workers in the program. A volunteer sign-up sheet is already in the Parish Hall. The December 3rd volunteer opportunity will be mentioned in upcoming service bulletins.

Youth Ministry Update (8:40 – 8:53 p.m.)

Conversation regarding the establishment of a Children and Youth Ministry Committee was continued from the last Vestry meeting. The proposal specifies that the Committee would 1) be under the purview of the Rector; 2) be Co-Chaired by the Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth and a Liaison from the Vestry; and 3) review, revise, affirm, and carry out a Youth Ministry Plan. This effort will assist St. Michael’s to be program-driven. It will also provide clarity on processes, roles, and responsibilities. The Vestry approved the establishment of a Children and Youth Ministry Committee.

Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee (8:53 – 8:58 p.m.)

The work of the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee continues. A discussion took place about data collection, and the effort to solicit a wide variety of opinions in a positive way. These are the first steps, to be followed by more critical analysis. Current plans are to provide a box with blank index cards, and ask parishioners to write down what they most hold dear about St. Michael’s. It was noted that a Parish Survey, soon to be released, will give parishioners an opportunity to voice also what can be improved upon. The work of the Visioning, Planning, and Assessment Committee will be a key component for the work of the Search Committee.

Newcomers: Invite, Welcome, Connect (8:58 – 9:00 p.m.)

The new brochures have been finalized, thanks to the talent and input of Cindy Matlack, Barb Adams, and Karen Ruff. We did get permission to use the photographs of those easily identifiable individuals. The brochure will go the printer, and at least 200 will be printed.

Volunteers (9:00 – 9:00 p.m.)

Nothing new to report.

Welcoming Congregation Listing (9:00 – 9:01 p.m.)

It was noted that Mary has written an article on People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV), an interdenominational group of faith congregations that support LGBT equality, for an upcoming issue of the Guardian.

Upcoming Bishop’s Visit (9:01 – 9:05 p.m.)

The Bishop will be visiting St. Michael’s on January 8, 2017. We have a visitation checklist to prepare. A notice will be printed in the upcoming Sunday bulletin. Anyone interested in being baptized, received, or reaffirmed will be asked to contact Mary. The Junior and Senior Wardens will meet later this week to discuss this further.

Ministry Liaison Reports (9:05 – 9:05 p.m.)

Nothing new to report.

Vestry and Search Committee Nominations (9:05 p.m. – 9:07)

Vestry members are asked to email at least three names to Alice for possible new Vestry members. Vestry members also are asked suggest names of possible Search Committee Chair and member candidates. These names should be sent before the December Vestry Meeting.

Annual Meeting (9:07 – 9:08 p.m.)

The Vestry needs to look ahead on when to schedule the next Annual Meeting.

Senior Warden’s Report: A request from a non-parishioner in need occurred. St. Michael’s requested that St. George’s help the individual, and St. Michael’s will reimburse them from our Rector’s Discretionary funds.

Executive Session (9:08 – 10:24 p.m.)


Alice volunteered to lead prayers at the next Vestry meeting, to be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2016. Dan led the Vestry in a closing prayer. The meeting adjourned at 10:24 p.m.

These minutes respectfully submitted by Cathey Dugan and amended, as instructed, by Alice Thomas.

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