October Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, October 17, 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 Search Committee members Cindy Matlack and Mick Sutter.

The meeting opened with prayer and shared concerns and joys.


The September minutes were approved as presented.

Finance Committee

Senior Warden Karen Ruff said that the Finance Committee was beginning to work on the 2018 budget and sought guidance from the Vestry on any special initiatives or priorities. The Committee recommended a budget goal of 70 pledges and revenue of $265,000 based on the actual amount pledged in 2016. Vestry reviewed and accepted the September finance reports.

Search Committee Report

Search Committee Chair Mick Sutter and committee member Cindy Matlack reviewed the status of their search for a new rector. Three candidates were selected for final consideration and the committee was completing its visits to the candidates and collecting references. They anticipate beginning their final discernment next week and will submit the name of the candidate to the Bishop for approval before making a recommendation to the Vestry. Vestry is prepared to meet prior to its next scheduled meeting in order to receive the nomination.

Neighborhood Outreach Coffee

Junior Warden Mary Cushing confirmed that invitations had been distributed to neighbors within a block of the church to come by for coffee on October 21 from 9:00am—10:30am. Vestry members volunteered to bring refreshments and be available for informal discussions with whoever showed up. Follow-up steps were discussed, such as distributing the church brochure with highlights of upcoming activities and inquiring about a neighborhood listserv as a means of communicating with neighbors.

Stewardship Discussion

Stewardship Campaign Chair Tom Sheldon described plans for the 2018 campaign which would include distribution of pledge cards to parishioners, presentations at services throughout October and November, and articles in the Guardian. He distributed a draft letter to accompany the pledge cards, suggesting that it include revenue goals for 2018. Vestry discussed the 2018 budget goals recommended by the Finance Committee and voted unanimously to adopt them for the campaign.

Staff Position Descriptions

Rosemari distributed a draft job description for an Assistant to the Rector for Finance and Administration noting that this reflects the duties being performed by the current parish administrator. She explained that, as the church grows, St. Michaels may need to distribute the workload by establishing an additional office position with responsibilities for receptionist and other clerical duties.

Rosemari plans to assemble a briefing book for the new rector which will include the draft job descriptions being prepared.

Rosemari called attention to the exceptional service provided by Wil Harkins in his position as parish administrator, noting the management-level finance and building and grounds duties he is performing. She asked the Vestry, at its next meeting, to consider actions to recognize and reward Wil for his service.

Stained Glass Repair and Tree Pruning

Junior Warden Mary Cushing briefly reviewed the two contracts that had been received for stained glass repair and which the Vestry had considered since its last meeting. Both vendors had provided positive references but Vestry felt the cost, comprehensive coverage, and warranty from Cathedral Crafts was a better option for the church. After some discussion, Vestry voted unanimously to award the stained glass repair to Cathedral Crafts.

Mary also reviewed three estimates for tree pruning that had been distributed earlier to Vestry by email. All of the vendors had positive recommendations and offered comparable scope of work. Vestry voted unanimously to award the contract to Strictly Stumps which offered the most cost effective bid.

Building and Grounds

Junior Warden Mary Cushing announced that snow removal options are being considered in preparation for this coming winter. She also mentioned her continuing interest in care of creation activities and volunteered to keep St. Michael’s informed of ideas that are generated from a Diocesan Task Force on Care of Creation.

Vestry Liaison Reports

Fall Festival. Dwight Denson announced that plans for the November 4th Fall Festival are proceeding under the direction of Helen Hines and indicated that Vestry would again be invited to serve as greeters on the day of the event.

Senior Warden Report

Senior Warden Karen Ruff expressed appreciation for Rosemari’s guidance and the contributions of Linda Denson and her committee on the occasion of David Donaldson’s retirement. Noting that transitions can be challenging for a parish, she invited patience and understanding as St. Michael’s welcomes its new rector.

Interim Rector Report

Rosemari expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve as Interim Rector at St. Michaels and paid compliments to the congregation for its many initiatives and accomplishments this past year. With plans on track for welcoming a new rector, she announced that she would retire from the Interim Rector position effective November 5, 2017. She explained that supply clergy would be available as needed until the new rector arrived and said that Arthur Roach had agreed to serve as organist through the end of November.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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