September Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, September 19, 2017

In attendance: Rev. Canon Rosemari Sullivan, Julia Carter, Michele Casciano, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Penelope Jones, Dan Plafcan, Karen Ruff, Thomas Sheldon, Molly White and Christian Education Director Melanie Monahan.

The meeting opened with prayer and shared concerns and joys.


The August minutes were approved as presented.

Finance Committee

Senior Warden Karen Ruff confirmed that funds were moved from the operating budget to special funds for stained glass and roof repairs. Vestry reviewed and accepted the September finance reports.

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

Tom Sheldon reported that Shrine Mont weekend was a success with 50 people attending. In addition to the presentation by Dr. Richard J. Jones, social activities included a hayride, bonfire, and piñata party. Tom expressed appreciation to the planning committee and indicated they were preparing a checklist to help with next year’s planning. Reservations have been made for the 2018 weekend.

Children and Youth Ministry Report

Melanie Monahan and Dan Plafcan summarized the following plans for Christian education of children and youth at St. Michaels for the 2017-2018 year. They recognized contributions of the Children & Youth Ministry Committee in reviewing curricula and shaping direction of the ministry.

  • Sunday school will be conducted from 9:00am—9:45am.
  • A private Facebook page has been established to help communicate schedules and activities.
  • Children’s chapel is fully staffed and began on September 10.
  • A “one room school house” approach will be used with elementary school-aged children. Three teachers will implement the Dig In curriculum with this group beginning September 24.
  • Middle and high school youth education will be planned around the theme of The Kingdom of God in the Making which will use the Sunday lectionary readings as inspiration. One core teacher is confirmed and efforts are being made to identify a second regular teacher and guest assistants.

Neighborhood Outreach

Junior Warden Mary Cushing described plans for a coffee to be held October 21 from 9:00am—10:30am with neighbors within a block radius of the church. The schedule will include a tour of the building, review of St. Michaels’ history and upcoming activities, and time to discuss issues of concern to neighbors. Mary will send a draft of the invitation to Vestry for review.

David Donaldson Ministry Celebration

Vestry reviewed plans to celebrate David Donaldson’s ministry at St. Michael’s following his retirement at the end of September. His last service as organist will be September 24th. The celebration on October 15 will include coffee on the South porch and a catered luncheon with music in the Parish Hall. David will be honored with the title Director of Music Emeritus and granted privileges pertaining to the title. Vestry agreed to submit a resolution to the Diocese of Virginia in appreciation for David’s 38 years of service and approved the use of up to $3000 from the Staff Development Fund to cater the luncheon. Substitute organists will be used throughout the fall.

Staff Position Descriptions

Updates are in progress for the Sexton, Office Administrator, and Director of Christian Education positions.

Senior Warden Report

Senior Warden Karen Ruff reminded Vestry members to complete the online training related to misconduct in the church and submit certificates of completion to the Parish Administrator by September 30.

She indicated that this year’s stewardship campaign chair would be selected soon and said plans are to launch activities at the October 8th service.

Karen encouraged Vestry members to support the welcoming ministry by serving as greeters on Sunday.

Building and Grounds

Junior Warden Mary Cushing compared costs, specifications, and references received from two companies to do the stained glass repair.   Vestry decided to give the information further consideration and will make a decision on how to proceed at its October meeting. It is expected that work will begin in the spring.

Interim Rector Report

Rosemari noted that the Rector Search Committee would complete its interviews by the end of October and was expected to submit its recommendation to the Vestry in early November. During her remaining time at St. Michael’s, Rosemari indicated her priorities are to assist the Vestry in selection of a new minister, make progress on updating job descriptions, and launch the stewardship campaign.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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