August Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, August 15, 2017

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

Unable to attend: Michele Casciano

The meeting opened with prayer and shared concerns and joys.


Rosemari requested an edit to her report and the minutes were approved as edited.

Finance Committee

Senior Warden Karen Ruff mentioned that some parishioners had made contributions to the stained glass and roofing funds through the yellow envelope collection. She explained that the Finance Committee will act on the Vestry’s request to make funds available in the amount of $16.000 each for stained glass and roof repairs.

Karen distributed a summary of the Capital Campaign which showed total income to date of $398,256 and expenses of $406,492 and noted that, with several outstanding pledges, some or all of the difference ($8236) may still be covered.

Karen announced that St. Michael’s audit would be completed by the end of August and thanked Michael Pilot and Mary Thorne for agreeing to conduct the audit this year.

Vestry reviewed and accepted the August Finance reports.

 Search Committee Update

Mick Sutter reported that all but 6 of the candidates had been released and that the final 2-3 candidates would be selected from the remaining pool. Background checks are being done and site visits will be conducted with the finalists. The committee hopes to have a nominee selected by early October. A special meeting of the Vestry will be called to consider the nomination once it is made.

Shrine Mont Parish Weekend: September 15-17, 2017.

Tom Sheldon reported that registration for Shrine Mont was now open. The fee for adults is $160 and children 18 or under may attend for free. Dr. Richard J. Jones, from the Virginia Theological Seminary, will address the program on how we can seek opportunities to love our neighbors. Activities are being planned for adults, children, and older youth. St. Michaels will celebrate Eucharist during a service at the Shrine at 11:45am on Sunday.

Fall Schedule

Vestry reviewed the following activities to be held at the church this fall:

  • Saturdays (10:30—11:45am) in the fall: Yoga
  • September 10: Children’s chapel will begin.
  • September 15-17: Shrine Mont.
  • September 24: Sunday school will begin and a walk for ASPAN will take place.
  • September 24: St. Michael’s Day will be celebrated.
  • October 15: Celebration of the ministry of David Donaldson. Vestry discussed plans to honor David for his dedication and many years of service.
  • October 21 (tentative): Vestry will invite neighbors living within a block of the church to join them for coffee to introduce them to St. Michael’s and listen to any concerns they may have.
  • November 4 (tentative): Fall Festival.

Staff Position Descriptions

Molly White distributed a draft job description for the Sexton and indicated that additional clarification was needed. She suggested that a checklist of tasks should accompany the job description. Updates are in progress for the Office Administrator and Director of Christian Education positions.

Building and Grounds

Junior Warden Mary Cushing addressed the following issues:

  • Stained glass windows. Three companies submitted bids with estimates ranging from $16,200 to $27,000. Mary will compare the bids and get references before submitting a recommendation to the Vestry at its next meeting.
  • Trees: Two companies submitted bids for pruning and removing dead wood on 14 trees and replacing damaged cabling on one tree. Mary will compare the bids and review references before submitting a recommendation to the Vestry at its next meeting.
  • Audiovisual Projector. Mary is investigating costs for a projector to support PowerPoint presentations at the church. She will provide more information next month.

Interim Rector Report

Rosemari announced that while she will be on retreat (August 17—22) and vacation (September 24—October 7) Tim Malone will celebrate Sunday services at St. Michaels. She anticipates continuing to serve as interim rector through the end of October when, if the Search Committee stays on schedule, St. Michaels will be making plans to welcome its new rector.

Rosemari noted that a letter from the Virginia Bishops addressing the violence in Charlottesville would be distributed to the congregation and asked that we pray for peace and racial understanding.

Rosemari invited comments on a draft letter which she planned to send to the Congregation announcing the celebration of David Donaldson’s ministry.

Liaison Reports

Youth Ministry: Dan Plafcan provided an update on plans for the youth program. He indicated that times for Sunday School are being reviewed, that a schedule of fall activities for youth is in progress, and that volunteers are being sought to help teach and facilitate the activities. Vestry noted that volunteers would need to complete the Safe Church Curriculum available through the Diocese in order to work with youth. Dan said a Facebook page would be created to promote community and keep parents and youth informed of plans.

Altar Guild: Dwight Denson called attention to the new vestments worn by Rosemari during service the previous Sunday. He recognized Ann Truitt whose monetary gift paid for the vestments.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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