June Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, June 20, 2017

In attendance: Rev. Canon Rosemari Sullivan, Julia Carter, Michele Casciano, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Penelope Jones, Dan Plafcan, Thomas Sheldon, Molly White and Search Committee Chair Mick Sutter.

Unable to attend: Karen Ruff

The meeting opened with prayer and shared concerns and joys.


The draft May 2017 minutes were approved as presented.

Finance Committee

During its review of finances, the Vestry emphasized its desire for funds to be seeded for stained glass repair and roof replacement as reflected in the February 2017 minutes. It was the sense of the Vestry that these projects are in need of attention and that estimates should be obtained so work can proceed.

Building and Grounds

Junior Warden Mary Cushing addressed the following issues:

  • Alarm Companies. Mary explained that the call list for the elevator and fire alarm systems needs to be updated. She also noted that when electricity goes out in the building, it triggers a call to one of the alarm companies, requiring someone to confirm that it is a false alarm. She will work with Wil Harkins to update the lists and discuss options for addressing false alarms.
  • Photo Policy: Mary called attention to the need to obtain permission when posting someone’s photo on St. Michael’s website or in its publications. She recommended adoption of the Diocesan guidelines on this topic. The Vestry concurred. Mary will follow up.

Harris Teeter Bag Advertisement

Vestry reviewed a proposal from Harris Teeter to advertise St. Michael’s on its prescription bags. In the absence of a plan guiding decisions on how and where to advertise, Vestry decided not to act on this individual proposal. Members noted the need for guidelines that specify how resources should be allocated to achieve a specified result and that take into consideration social and other media.

Search Committee Update

Vestry welcomed Search Committee Chair Mick Sutter and expressed appreciation to Michele Casciano for drafting and overseeing Vestry input on the Search Committee charge. The charge was reviewed and accepted with the following change: In 7a, replace “interview” with “meeting” and in 7b, replace “interview” with “meets.”

Vestry discussed expectations and protocols for discussing selection of a candidate. Dan Plafcan was asked to prepare some general guidelines to guide the Vestry’s deliberations.

It was the sense of the Vestry that, in making its recommendation, the Search Committee should explain how the candidate’s knowledge and skills align with:

  • Results of the Parish Survey
  • Elements of the Community Ministry Portfolio
  • Michael’s Steps Along the Path

Vestry noted that these documents reflect two significant themes–the need for providing pastoral care and thoughtfully growing the church–and that a strong candidate will have skills in these areas.

Vestry also acknowledged that, while it is desirable to have the new rector occupy the rectory, it would be open to other alternatives should the need arise.

Vestry will ask the Search Committee chair to provide regular updates on the committee’s progress and will keep confidential all information about the process. Vestry will receive the name of the Candidate at a joint meeting of the Vestry and the Search Committee during which the candidate’s qualifications are fully explored. Following deliberations, Vestry will decide if the candidate should move to the next stage which will include an informal meeting and salary negotiations.

Ministry Liaison Reports

Shrine Mont Parish Weekend: Tom Sheldon indicated he will form an ad hoc committee to define a theme and develop program ideas for the fall Shrine Mont weekend. The schedule and registration form will be distributed in August. Vestry confirmed that children will be invited to attend free of charge.

Hospitality. Plans are being made to hold an informal coffee this fall with Vestry members and immediate neighbors of the church to introduce neighbors to the church facility and activities, to hear any concerns, and explain who to contact at the church should issues arise.

Nursing Home: In its search for partners to help sustain the ministry, members of the Nursing Home Ministry have reached out to Christ Church’s pastoral care team and the Falls Church’s Stephens Ministry. Discussions are ongoing.

Vacation Bible School: Molly White reported that promotion is underway for this year’s VBS.

XYZ: Penny Jones noted that XYZ typically makes use of the church’s projector and computer for speaker presentations and that there may be a need to replace the current equipment. Vestry suggested this be taken up as part of the Buildings and Grounds Committee review of the church’s Internet and equipment needs.

Care of Creation. Julia Carter mentioned the ongoing discussion of reducing the use of styrofoam cups during coffee hour. Real cups could be placed in a tray to be loaded into the dishwasher following the Sunday services. Also, parishioners could be encouraged to bring their own cup. Other options will be explored.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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