December Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, December 14, 2017

In attendance: Rev. Beth Magill, Julia Carter, Mary Cushing, Dwight Denson, Penelope Jones, Dan Plafcan, Karen Ruff, Thomas Sheldon, and Molly White. Unable to attend: Michele Casciano.

The Rev. Beth Magill opened the meeting with prayers for our parish family and then introduced Dwelling in the Word. Vestry participated in this exercise which involved reading a selected verse then pairing off and sharing thoughts on an element of the passage with partners. Individuals then explained to the group what they heard their partner say.


The November minutes were approved as presented.

Finance Committee

Stewardship Report: Tom Sheldon summarized the results of the every member canvass as of week 7 noting that 62 pledges had been received for a total of $227,444. Beth commended the parish on its response, noting that about 60% of households had pledged with the average pledge at about $4100. Vestry is hopeful that further progress will be made towards its goal of $265,000.

2018 Mission Spending Plan: Karen Ruff invited Vestry to give further consideration to the draft plan prepared by the Finance Committee last month in preparation for approval in January. Beth agreed to resend the draft budget to Vestry members and asked that we keep in mind how the mission of St. Michael’s is represented by its financial resources and be prepared to make incremental changes over the next few years in order to align financial spending and parish priorities.

The November finance reports were reviewed and accepted.

Senior Warden Report

Karen noted that Vestry terms were ending for Dwight, Tom and her and she described the process for identifying candidates to be elected at the next parish annual meeting. Vestry members were asked to keep in mind the skills needed on Vestry including ministry experience, institutional knowledge, and a willingness to serve and to come to the January meeting with recommendations. Vestry tentatively agreed to hold the annual meeting following a single 9:00am service on February 11.

Junior Warden Report

Mary Cushing summarized work done on the rectory prior to Beth’s arrival and noted the following:

  • She will contact Cathedral Crafts to settle a start date for repair of the stained glass windows.
  • Tree pruning and maintenance began last week.
  • She is investigating options for handling snow removal this winter.


Beth explained that she is working with Michele and Dan to come up with a plan for holding small group meetings with members of the congregation during January– March.

Vestry reviewed and approved a housing resolution stipulating an amount of money Beth can deduct from her taxes for her expenditures on maintenance or furnishings at the Rectory.

Music Director/Organist

Beth indicated that Arthur Roach had agreed to serve as interim organist while a careful search is conducted for a permanent music director. Beth indicated she planned to meet with members of the choir and congregation in order to prepare a job description and identify individuals to serve on a search committee. The goal is to receive applications, conduct interviews, and make a selection by May/June.

Christmas Schedule

Beth reviewed the following plans for Christmas celebration:

December 24, Christmas Eve

  • 9:00 am service in the Parish Hall
  • 5:30pm service in the Sanctuary
  • 10:30pm service in the Sanctuary followed by reception. Vestry is invited to help greet at this service.

There will be no child care on 12/24.

December 25, Christmas Day

  • 10:00am service in the Sanctuary

End of Year Staff Recognition

Vestry agreed on monetary bonuses to be given to staff in thanks and recognition of their service.

New Business

Vestry will meet on Tuesday, January 16, 2018. Plans will be made for a Vestry retreat in March.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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