November Vestry Meeting Minutes

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Minutes, November 16, 2017

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

Senior Warden Karen Ruff opened the meeting with prayer and shared concerns and joys.


The October minutes were approved as presented.

Finance Committee

The October finance reports were reviewed and accepted. Vestry noted with appreciation how faithful the congregation has been with their pledges and commitments.

2018 Mission Spending Plan

Vestry reviewed the status of the every member canvas and agreed to continue its contribution of 10% of total pledges and offerings to the Diocese in 2018. Stewardship Campaign Chair Tom Sheldon described progress towards the 2018 goal of $265,000 and 70 pledges. As of week five, 46 pledges amounting to $187,770 had been received. Tom confirmed that Tim Matlack is sending weekly updates on campaign progress to the Vestry

Update on the New Rector

Senior Warden Karen Ruff commented on the various communications that had been sent announcing the selection of The Rev. Elizabeth (Beth) Magill’s as St. Michael’s rector. Vestry approved the letter of agreement signed by Rev. Magill, Karen Ruff as Senior Warden, and the Bishop. Vestry also approved the rector position description set forth in Canon III.9.6 of the Episcopal Church.

Karen noted that St. Michael’s would reimburse Rev. Magill for her moving expenses and provided the following timeline for her arrival:

  • Move to Arlington: 11/29/17
  • In office: 12/6/17
  • First service: 12/10/17
  • Attend Vestry meeting 12/14/17

The following actions to prepare the rectory for Rev. Magill’s arrival were approved:

  • Two estimates for painting the rectory were reviewed. Vestry approved the proposal from Mondo Improvements Inc .
  • The rectory will be cleaned and several remaining pieces of furniture will be removed.
  • Keys to existing locks in the house will be mapped. Dan volunteered to do this.

The Vestry agreed to recognize the work of members of the Profile Committee and Search Committee on Sunday, December 10th. Molly will obtain gift cards and Michelle will order a cake for coffee hour.

Committee to Facilitate Small Group Meetings

Karen indicated that Rev. Magill would like to meet informally with members of the congregation in small groups. Dan and Michelle volunteered to work with Beth to develop a plan for making this happen.

Building and Grounds

Junior Warden Mary Cushing announced that Wil Harkins is looking into issues with the current alarm system. He will meet with alarm companies on 11/18/17. He and Mary are investigating options to contract with a different company. Mary noted a number of items in the kitchen that need attention and said John Kelleher and Wil are addressing these. She indicated she is working with Julia Carter to secure a Powerpoint projector for the church. [Note: Following the meeting, Julia Carter indicated she was making a personal gift to the church of an Epson projector.]

Vestry Liaison Reports

Fall Festival. Dwight Denson expressed appreciation to Helen Hines for her work in organizing this year’s Fall Festival and said the event provided a warm and friendly environment for members to meet and greet one another.

Steps Along the Path. Dan invited Vestry to review the document in anticipation of discussions with Beth and to help inform budget and planning decisions for 2018.

New Business

Michelle described her conversation with a member of the congregation who was concerned about burnout among some individuals who support many ministries within the church. Vestry expressed sympathy for the concern but also appreciation for the dedicated service of so many parishioners at St. Michaels.

Dan indicated he would be attending a half-day brainstorming session sponsored by Region III to discuss ways the churches can get to know one another better. He invited others to join him if interested.

Tom called attention to the article “A Fair Day’s Work” in The Virginia Episcopalian and encouraged St. Michaels to be mindful of this when contracting for work to be done at the church.

Karen Ruff asked Vestry to consider meeting one week earlier in December. The meeting is tentatively set for Thursday, December 14. She noted that nominations would be sought in January for three candidates to fill positions being vacated on the Vestry and indicated that the Annual Meeting of the congregation would likely take place in February.

The meeting was concluded with prayer and blessing.

Respectfully submitted, Penelope Jones.

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