October 14, 2020 Vestry Minutes

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden), Joshua Senn (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Connie Towey, Stephanie Zichichi

Guests:  The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Columba Salamony, Field Education Student, Jennifer Sabroe, Beth Ilog, Jim Ilog, Sarah Williams (Parish Administrator)

M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

 Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:06 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. Deuteronomy 10:17-19, Isaiah 43:18-21, Luke 9:23-25, Matthew 25:31-46.    The group read and discussed the passages related to our work at Grace..

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Towey/Kennedy) to approve the consent agenda items: Minutes of September 9, 2020; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report; Senior Warden Report

OLD BUSINESS

 Movie NighThe movie night was fun, and drew ten or eleven cars, many children, and included some neighbors who were not church members.  It was advertised on Martinez Patch and Martinez Rants and Raves.  Since we invited the general public, we had to pay for the rights to show the film, which in this case was $250.  If we show a movie only to our own group, meaning we can name every person we are inviting, then we can show it without paying for the screening rights.

 Ministry Updates

 Outreach  Walter reported that we plan to participate in Winter Nights again this winter.  Due to the pandemic, we can only provide food by buying food prepared in a professional kitchen.  This means we may not be able to do our usual four nights — maybe around $1000 to provide three meals/day for four days.  The Outreach Committee will need to decide whether to do all four nights.  We will need to seek donations to cover the cost of the meals, and Rev. Deb may be able to bridge any gap using the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

 

Jennifer and Dru are working with Hope Solutions, formerly known as Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, on their Spirit of Giving Tree for Christmas.  Understandably, due to the pandemic, they want gift cards this year instead of gifts.

 

Worship and Liturgy  The committee meets tomorrow.  We are waiting to hear from the county and the diocese regarding moving the in-person worship services indoors. Tina says there has been a bit of a spike in infections, so it will be two more weeks before the county moves to “orange” status.  If the county reaches “orange” status, that should lead to indoor worship being allowed.  The 8:00 (outdoors, in person) and 10:00 (livestream on Facebook) Sunday services are very successful.  We have many worship services on weekdays as well.

 

The responses to the survey regarding communion:  five people said yes, they would like to have communion, and five said no.  (Two additional responses came during the meeting, so it now stands at 6-6.)

 

Welcoming  Jane has a colleague who has been attending worship now and then, at Jane’s invitation.  Tina reports that she and Jennifer Sabroe have shared the hosting duties for virtual coffee hour, but would still like more help.  Barbara Brooks and Amelia Lytton may pitch in as well.

 

Education  Godly Play is wonderful on Facebook, and has between 20 and 50 views each week.  Marj is also working to figure out a Christmas pageant.  There is a Faithful Forum this Sunday.

 

Pastoral Care  Connie reports that the freezer needs more casseroles (not too spicy, please, and either vegetarian or not is fine).  The Deacon’s pantry is fairly full.  People continue to come by and visit, and Deb tries to track them.  Please continue to let her know if someone needs help.  Denise Hanson’s newest grandchild was born today:  Jaxon Flaskerud.

 

Parish Life  No immediate plans for an event, although some possibilities have been discussed. Rev. Deb asked Stephanie if she would consider expanding the group of folks who have been meeting outside in the church parking lot on Sunday afternoons and Stephanie said she would.

 

Stewardship  Rev. Deb deferred the discussion on stewardship until later in the meeting.

 

Buildings and Grounds

 

Back stairs off the kitchen:  They are in progress, with a code-compliant railing lacking.

 

Construction easement:  The vehicles owned by Las Trampas Regional Center, which pays to park them at Grace, have been moved down from the upper lot to the main lot, for the duration of Discovery Builders’ use of the easement.

 

Video and Sound System/Audiovisual Booth:  New equipment is about 70% installed.  There is a speaker in the atrium and a speaker in the narthex, so we can send the sound from inside the church to those places.  The future audiovisual booth off the choir loft is closer to ready, with a mixing board installed.  Video cameras not installed yet.  The company is expected to finish the work before the end of October.

 

Re-keying the church:  We want to re-key the whole church, partly in order to start over giving keys to people who need them now.  The pandemic is a good time to do it because the locksmith will not have to work around activities.  It was M/S/C (Reich/Towey) to approve the expenditure of $1500 for this purpose.  Connie comments that the main two doors to the parish hall also need some maintenance.

 

Upper Lot  No news to report from the past month.  The committee is chaired by Janet Kennedy, and members include Nica Kleinschmidt, Dick Evans, and Liz Charleton.

 

Return to church   The diocese is allowing up to 50 attendees outdoors and up to 10 indoors, but the county is not allowing indoor worship at the moment. Rev. Deb had thought of possibly conducting an indoor service at 8:00 and an outdoor service at 10:00, since the allowed numbers would correspond fairly well to our usual attendance pattern.  However, interest in attending in-person worship has been low.

 

The diocese has offered options for the Eucharist, and the option our Worship and Liturgy Committee believes would be best is the delivery or pickup of pre-consecrated bread, which would then be consumed together during a live-streamed or in-person service.  We would have one “spiritual Eucharist” at which Rev. Deb would consecrate bread that would not be consumed that day, and the following week we would have a service that was like Morning Prayer, except that at some point everyone would take the bread consecrated the week before.  (The service would be like a Good Friday service, like a “Deacon’s Mass,” or like when a Eucharistic Visitor takes communion to someone at home.)

 

Similarly, baptism is now allowed, with only the family and priest gathering in person.  We will baptize Andrew Senn on All Saints’ Day, immediately following the simulcast Holy Eucharist, so that the congregation can participate by watching from home.

 

Funerals and memorial services are also allowed now, and we have held two:  one (for Tom Taylor)  indoors with ten or fewer people, and one (for Pam Nave’s brother) outdoors with 25 people.  Both worked well.

 

We are still only allowed to conduct weddings online.

 

Re-branding, new logo   Grace staff has developed a new logo, using the traditional anchor and the tagline “Love in Action.”  It has red and blue like the Episcopal Church’s logo.  We will use the font and colors from the logo in Grace Notes, stationery, the website, and so on, to have a harmonious look.

 

We are adjusting Grace Notes to be shorter, especially by linking out to the website (“click here to read more”) instead of including the full text of each item in the email.  We hope to get the most important new information across to readers while also making it easier for readers to find the information that they want.

 

We are creating a new version of our website with Wix, and we hope to launch it soon.

 

Multi-format platform  At the moment we simulcast services using Facebook Live, because it’s free of charge.  For various reasons, we would like to broadcast from multiple platforms at once.  This may require spending some money, although not an amount that will require vestry approval.  We hope to be ready to do this before Christmas.

 

Stewardship Drive  Amelia volunteered to serve as stewardship chair. Jane, Connie, and Christina offered to assist.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

LabyrinthIrene Plunkett, labyrinth facilitator, would like to come talk to us about what other churches in the diocese have done with labyrinths.

 

Pandemic check-in

Rev. Deb reported that she is very concerned about the post-pandemic future of Grace. She referenced two articles she had sent to the vestry indicating that one in five churches are predicted to close by the end of the pandemic. She noted that many churches have not been able to adapt to having to use technology more to stay in community and took the opportunity to point out that Grace would not have been either were it not for Gary Spenik. Rev. Deb noted that Grace has risen to the occasion by instituting three more weekly services and continuing many fellowship and service meetings online. Staff has taken the opportunity of having fewer people accessing the property to take care of long-term projects like installing a new audio-visual system and rekeying the buildings.

 

Rev. Deb is very concerned, however, that people do not seem interested in taking advantage of these opportunities. As referenced in her Rector’s report, the numbers of people reading Grace Notes and attending the on-line service are consistently down. For example, at the beginning of the pandemic our Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) was approximately 100 across two services. It is now approximately half that. On the other hand, we are drawing folks from a broader geographical area to our on-line service, but it takes strategy and time to nurture those individuals and it’s hard to determine what these numbers will mean once the pandemic is over.

 

On a personal note, Rev. Deb voiced her concern that her general philosophy of leadership is that it should be shared and transparent and that the parish has worked hard to establish that model over the last three years. Since the pandemic, however, we have moved back into a model in which a handful of people are running the church with very little broad input from the congregation. Rev. Deb noted that a major rebranding project was an example of this trend. She also identified the Stewardship Drive as one area for which she has asked for help for several months and no one has volunteered to assist, even though this is a crucially important task during the pandemic and Rev. Deb is already feeling overwhelmed. She also noted that despite the fact that we are now able to have more in-person activities, few people have shown interest in hosting or attending them.

A lengthy conversation followed. Senior Warden Christina Reich offered helpful and supportive ideas and encouragement. Several vestry members volunteered to assist with stewardship. Stephanie volunteered to host an in-person fellowship event. Following the conversation, there was an overall improvement in determination and optimism in ensuring the future of Grace.

DISMISSAL  Rev. Walter led the dismissal and the meeting adjourned at 8:13 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

 

November 11, 2020 Grace Vestry minutes

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden), Joshua Senn (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Connie Towey, Stephanie Zichichi

 Guests:  Irene Plunkett; Columba Salamony, Field Education Student; Jennifer Sabroe; Sarah Williams (Parish Administrator)

 M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

 Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

 Bible Study. Matthew 61:24-34   The group read and discussed the passages related to our work at Grace.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Towey/Hanson) to approve the consent agenda items: Minutes of October 14, 2020; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report; Senior Warden Report

OLD BUSINESS

LabyrinthIrene Plunkett, labyrinth facilitator, spoke to the Vestry about different types of labyrinths and led a preliminary discussion about the possibility of Grace putting in a labyrinth in memorial to Michelle Lynch.

Ministry Updates

Outreach  

Winter Nights:  Winter Nights is a collaborative program among local churches to house families without housing during the Winter months. Grace has volunteered to provide the meals for the week of March 8-11, 2021. It will be more expensive this year because of COVID restrictions requiring that food must come from a commercial kitchen. This means that we will need to fundraise so we can buy food instead of preparing it ourselves.

The Spirit of Giving:  Jennifer reported that Grace agreed to take care of twenty people, providing gift cards for groceries and gifts, $75/person, so $1500 total.  Hope Solutions will get the cards; all we need to do is provide the money.  Deadline is early December, so we are working on it fast. Rev. Deb has agreed to cover any shortfall from her Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

Worship and Liturgy  

Sally and Rev. Deb reported that we are taking a big leap this Sunday, to limited attendance in-person, indoor worship.  There are many precautions being taken. All the details (the requirements, what will happen in church, and so forth) have been provided in an email from Rev. Deb to the entire mailing list and are repeated in Grace Notes. The W&L committee meets next week, so they will be able to discuss how the first indoor service went. Rev. Deb emphasized that we will continue to simulcast regardless of whether we continue indoor or outdoor in-person services.

Welcoming  

Christina thanked  Jennifer for her help with coffee hour.  Christina also hosts when she can be there. She plans to recruit more volunteers.

Education  

Amelia reported that the second part of the Braver Angels “With Malice Toward None” event takes place this Sunday.  Two sessions will be held on Sunday -one for those “delighted” with the outcome of the presidential election (by Zoom hosted by St. Paul’s Walnut Creek) and one for those “distressed” with the outcome (on Zoom hosted by Grace at 10:30).

Godly Play weekly recordings by Marj are going well with an average of 25-50 views on our Facebook page weekly.

Pastoral Care  

Connie reported that the casserole supply is replenished. Rev. Deb indicated that there haven’t been any coronavirus cases in Grace itself, but some parishioners have had family members test positive.

Parish Life  

Stephanie reported that the outdoor get-together drew sixteen people and was very nice.  It was easy to organize and if the weather warms up we can do it again.

Youth group had a masked, distanced, in-person Halloween party, which was very good.

Book club continues on-line.

Stewardship  

The committee is Amelia, Tina, Jane, and Connie.  Amelia reported that we will have a stewardship message from the committee in the service this Sunday.  The stewardship letter went out late last week.  We hope to wrap up the campaign by the end of November.

Buildings and Grounds 

Back stairs off the kitchen:  Railing has still not been completed. There is some confusion about who is completing the project. Rev. Deb will check in with Dick Evans and Jim Maniatis.

Video and Sound System/Audiovisual Booth:  The new system is installed!  Our insurance is paying for the new A/V equipment that was stolen.  

Re-keying the church:  Vestry members and other volunteers who need a key can pick it up on Wednesday or Sunday when Rev. Deb is there.

Break-in:  The thieves broke doors that had been fixed when the rekeying was done.  The insurance plans to pay for the doors.

Security system:  Rev. Deb reported that the police recommended we get a monitored security system.  Connie Towey motioned andTina Reich seconded a  motion to authorize Rev. Deb and Gary to take care of it.  Since Rev. Deb expects it to cost less than $1,000, it is not necessary for the Vestry to authorize the purchase, but the group agreed by acclamation that it should be done.

Garden:  The rose bushes are being taken out.  The cadre of people who cared for them is gone or needs to retire from it, and it is time-consuming and expensive to take care of them.  We are going to put in more water-efficient and less time-consuming plants.  Josh is heading this up.  There will be opportunities to adopt a rose bush (but you have to take it away to your place!)

Upper Lot Committee Status  Nothing to report.

Return to church   See Worship and Liturgy report.

Multi-platform software  We would like to simulcast on platforms other than Facebook. We have something we are going to try for free, and if we adopt it will be very low-cost.

Stewardship Drive  

Rev. Deb activated the phone tree:  When making calls please encourage people to send in their pledge cards and remind folks about the indoor, in-person worship service this week (see Worship and Liturgy report).

NEW BUSINESS

2021 Budget process  Once the pledge drive is done, we will see how it looks. Finance committee is Dick Evans, Marj Leeds, and Rev. Deb.  In December the vestry will receive a skeleton budget and will be asked to consent to next year’s salaries. The vestry will not approve the budget until January after which it will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting.

Annual meeting  Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that there will be an annual meeting regardless of the pandemic. It is required by our by-laws. It is likely that it will be held virtually on Zoom. Rev. Deb asked vestry members to begin to think of folks they feel would be good vestry members or deanery/diocesan convention delegates.

Thanksgiving dinner substitute The Annual Grace Community Thanksgiving Dinner has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev. Deb has asked folks to donate the amount they would have spent on a dish to share to an organization that is providing meals to hungry folks for Thanksgiving. Christina reported that Loaves and Fishes is providing full dinners on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Several other organizations are providing Thanksgiving baskets for delivery.

Website preview

Rev. Deb reported that she and Sarah have been working on the new website. She offered to provide a preview to the vestry but folks agreed that they’d rather wait until it was ready to launch.

DISMISSAL  Columba Salamony led the dismissal and the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

 Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

Grace Episcopal Church holds 150th Annual Meeting despite pandemic

Annual Meeting Summary

Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our atypical Annual Meeting a success. We not only had an online quorum on Zoom, but we had about the same number of folks as we had in person last year. Special thanks to our Parish Administrator, Sarah Williams, our former Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe, and our Treasurer Marj Leeds, who worked double-time to get things in working order. The following items of business were accomplished:

We elected three new vestry members: Liz Charlton, Amy Eudy, and Sally Hanson. Liz will serve as our new Junior Warden. Christina Reich will continue as Senior Warden.

We elected three Deanery/Diocesan Convention Representatives and one Alternate: Barbara Brooks, Pat Hambly, Jennifer Sabroe, and Jane Ramsey (alternate).

We reviewed the 2021 Budget and addressed with concern the projected $19,000 deficit.

We discussed the long-term future of Grace and recommitted ourselves to our mission to “Welcome, support, and serve all God’s people.”

We discussed the Upper Lot development project.

Reverend Deb honored Mary Canale, John Lee, Jennifer Sabroe, and Connie Towey for their long-term service to Grace.

You can find the power point for the meeting here.

Response to Attack on US Capitol

Brethren in Christ,

Yesterday on the Feast of the Epiphany, a day in which we as Christians look to the light of Christ, events of great darkness took place in the capitol of our country. Individuals attempted to use violence and intimidation to circumvent a process which was created and has been upheld by individuals of different parties and opinions for over two hundred years. Tragically, as such behavior so often does, this behavior ended in death and destruction. I recognize that many people are fearful and living in pain right now. It is in such times that we must remember that it is out of darkness that light shines and that Jesus is the light of the world. It is our responsibility as a community of Christ to pray for the people of our nation and I ask you to do so, using the words found in our Book of Common Prayer (p. 820):

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage:
We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.
Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners.
Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;
from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes
brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues.
Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust
the authority of government, that there may be justice and
peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we
may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.
In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,
and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;
all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Remember, sisters and brothers, that prayer works, but it does not relieve us of our responsibility to enact our civic responsibilities knowing that God’s will for us is justice, love, and peace.

For further wisdom and comfort, please view the wise words of our diocesan bishop, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Andrus, found at this link and those of our presiding bishop, The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, found here.

God is present.

With faith,
Rev. Deb

Minutes from December 9 2020 vestry meeting

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden), Joshua Senn (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Connie Towey, Stephanie Zichichi

Guests:  Marj Leeds, Treasurer; Columba Salamony, Field Education Student; The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Jennifer Sabroe; Beth Ilog, Sarah Williams (Parish Administrator)

M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:03 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. “Building Hope” Hebrews 6:10-11.   The group read and discussed the passage, distinguishing between hope and wishing, and talked about how to create hope in difficult times.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Reich/Towey) to approve the consent agenda items: Minutes of November 11, 2020; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report; Senior Warden Report

OLD BUSINESS

2021 Budget Preview:  Treasurer Marj Leeds presented a budget proposal for the coming year.

Marj presented a skeleton version of a 2021 budget.  The current draft was written with the assumption that in-person activities will resume around May 1, including both worship services and use of the building by outside groups.

Income:  Pledges are still coming in, so that is unknown.  Fees from outside groups will resume once groups can come back.  Las Trampas Regional Center’s use of the parking lot is ongoing, so that brings in fees even now.

Expenses:  Salaries, insurance, and diocesan assessment are the major expenses.  We are cutting expenses where it is possible.

Ministry Updates

Outreach

Winter Nights:  Winter Nights is a collaborative program among local churches to house families without housing during the Winter months. Tina attended a “Winter Nights summit,” a meeting of representatives from the various parishes that participate.  She reports that, since only people who test negative for coronavirus use the shelter (while those being tested and those who test positive are given hotel rooms), the shelter is housing fewer people than usual. Participating parishes can only provide purchased meals, rather than cooking it themselves, and we cannot visit the shelter to eat with the residents the way we usually would.

The Spirit of Giving (holiday gift project of the nonprofit Hope Solutions):  Jennifer Sabroe reported that Grace raised funds to provide gift cards for twenty people.  We look forward to next year, when we can enjoy choosing gifts for recipients and wrapping them, but it is good to have participated.

Worship and Liturgy

Live Streamed services continue.  Rev. Deb pointed out that Grace is conducting more worship services than most parishes, and we may be the only parish doing live streams rather than pre-recorded videos during the most recent shut-down.  (This is made possible by the White-Spenik family’s willingness to be the worship team and tech crew.)  She also reports that, due to the new stay-at-home order, Bishop Marc strongly urges all the parishes to stop outdoor worship services, despite the fact that they are legally allowed right now.

For Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will have three pre-recorded services that will be put out on Facebook at their designated times:  an early-evening family service with pageant and a brand-new Holy Eucharist liturgy written by Rev. Deb, a late-evening Holy Eucharist service with music, and Morning Prayer on Christmas Day at 10:00 am.  The Sunday after Christmas will be a Lessons and Carols service.

Welcoming

Christina has scheduled a committee meeting for January.  Among other things, they will address the question of how to engage the new participants who are attending Grace worship online.

Coffee hour attendance has gotten quite small.

Education

Amelia reported that Marvelous Marj is still doing Godly Play, and the book group is going strong.  The Faithful Forum featuring Columba Salamony will be Dec. 20.

Pastoral Care

Rev. Deb indicated that there are now COVID cases in other parishes in the Diocese; in that sense, it is getting closer to Grace. She has spent a lot of time on pastoral care lately, and the prayer list is getting longer. Rector’s Discretionary Fund was able to donate to several nonprofit organizations.  Deacon’s Pantry needs restocking. The freezer is full.

Parish Life

We are not allowed to have outdoor get-togethers like the ones we had before, due to the latest stay-at-home order.

Stephanie is thinking about how to connect people.  Men’s Breakfast group and St. Christopher’s Guild declined to meet by videoconference early in the pandemic, but perhaps it is worth approaching them again about it since this has lasted so long.

Stewardship

Many households that usually pledge have not gotten pledges in yet. Marj has asked to have first pass at speaking to folks. If there are remaining parishioners that need a phone call the vestry will be informed.

Buildings and Grounds

Back stairs off the kitchen:  Jim Maniatis is working on them.  The railing has still not been completed.

Video and Sound System/Audiovisual Booth:  The theft of our new sound equipment in the robbery led to the audio problems that we had in recent weeks.  The lavalier microphones that were stolen were not initially replaced, but after much work on Gary’s part, much creativity and jury-rigging, and the arrival of the replacement equipment, we hope that the system will work as intended beginning this Sunday.

Water bill:  It might be good if some of the lawn is replaced by the labyrinth, in order to save on watering.  Josh would love to get rid of the lawn entirely, due to the water use.

Garden:  Josh offered to head up the work of removing the roses, but Rev. Deb cautioned him to talk to Marj before proceeding as she has already developed some plans.

NEW BUSINESS

2021 Salaries Marj reported that Rev. Deb, Sarah, and Arthur will all get raises this year. Sarah and Arthur will get Cost of Living (COLA) boosts as recommended by the diocese and Rev. Deb will get a longevity raise because she has moved into a new experience category on the diocesan payment minimums.

Rector’s Housing Resolution  It was M/S/C (Reich/Towey) to designate $50,160 of Rev. Deb’s pay as a housing allowance.  This is a routine action that does not affect the church budget but brings a tax advantage to the clergy.

2021 Annual Meeting/Nominees for offices  At the annual meeting on January 24, the congregation needs to elect three vestry members.  The “middle” class of the vestry serves as the nominating committee, which this year is Tina, Stephanie, and David.  We also need to elect deanery representatives and diocesan convention delegates. There was some initial conversation about folks who have offered to run for various offices and Rev. Deb shared several names that have been submitted to her.

Upper Lot  Rev. Deb quoted the Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry as saying that if The Episcopal Church does not change, then it will cease to exist by the year 2050.  People need God more than ever, but most young people are not being raised to attend church.  Focusing on the things that we are accustomed to focusing on in order to bring people in are not bringing people in.  People like to get involved in an organization that allows them to help the community.  This gives people the opportunity to get to know church members and it might bring them to the congregation.  The upper lot project could be this thing, for Grace.  We still need someone who can take charge of this project.  We have not wanted to spend money for it, but if we choose to, we could use the benefit offered by the Episcopal Impact Fund, where they pay half the cost of a consultant to advise us on what we can reasonably do with the property.  There is some urgency, because once the development above us is finished and has residents living there, it will be harder to get permission to do what we want to do with the land.  Rev. Deb asked Vestry members to pray and consider this issue for discussion in January.

Phone tree:  Activating the phone tree again.  Remind people to get their pledges in, let them know we have a deficit still in the pledge drive.

DISMISSAL  Rev. Walter led the dismissal and the meeting adjourned at 7:52 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator