December 2018 Vestry Minutes

Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, California
Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting, December 12, 2018

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Les Marks (Jr. Warden), Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Josh Senn, Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Ron Luttringer, The Rev. Walter Ramsey (Deacon)
Absent:   Sally Hanson, Connie Towey

Call to Order and Opening Prayer: The meeting was called to order at 5:01 p.m. by Rev. Deb, who led the opening prayer.

BIBLE STUDY: Old Habits

CONSENT AGENDA
It was M/S/C (Applegate/Marks) to approve the consent agenda packet.

OLD BUSINESS

UPDATE ON MINISTRY TEAMS (SWEEPS)
Stewardship: Rev. Deb reported that we have been letting pledges trickle in. Paula Menconi reported that we have received 45 pledges so far. This is 10 thousand dollars less than last year. Paula and Rev. Deb will review the names of folks who pledged last year and who have not pledged yet and
Vestry members will be assigned to do follow-up calls. All were agreeable.

Worship and Liturgy: Rev. Deb reported that the Worship and Liturgy will meet tomorrow. The committee’s suggestion not to have an all-parish meeting about noise in liturgy was respected. Instead, Rev. Deb educated the parish about sacred space. In addition, acolytes were asked (Lynda Dyer) to
bring the Godly Play children in a bit later and more quietly; and liturgical servers (Eucharistic Ministers, acolytes, clergy) will remain in the chancel during the peace to set an example. (Rev. Deb will ask John Lee to send out a request). This appears to have worked as the noise level at
both services has gone down.

Parish Life: Stan Applegate reported that Amy Eudy is doing a great job as Chair of Parish Life and the Pasta Dinner went well. The dessert auction raised enough money to cover the upcoming Trivia Night, which is all set to go.
Thanksgiving at Grace was a big success. Pat Hambly reported that there were approximately 40 people and lots of excellent food. The consensus seems to be to do it again next year as a potluck.

Buildings and Grounds: Rev. Deb reported that the easement agreement between Grace and Discovery has been signed. They now have 3 days to put $65,000 into escrow and 5 days after that to wire it to us. The fee is
non-refundable, regardless of what happens with the development.
Les Marks, Junior Warden, provided an update on Buildings and Grounds concerns:
Outside Pantry and corner foundation. A repair plan has been developed and Les has stabilized the kitchen and pantry doors. Dick Evans is getting an estimate from a contractor for insurance purposes.
Parish Hall sliding door/stairs. The sliding door at the northwest end of the Parish Hall is complete. Jim Maniatis did the work at cost. The outside stairs still need to be installed. Work is in progress. Lynda Dyer has approached several Boy Scouts working toward their Eagle status if they would be interested in completing Eagle projects at Grace.
Kitchen Floor. The floor at the entrance to the kitchen (from the parish hall) is cracked. The B&G committee does not recommend a full repair until the issue of the foundation under the kitchen has been dealt with.
Gutters. The gutters have been replaced. Rev. Deb is still working on the insurance claim. (
Parking Lot. Dick Evans is obtaining an estimate for sealing the parking lot.
Rev. Deb checked in about the Vestry Person of the Day (VPOD) schedule and duty list. Les found one typo, which Rev. Deb will fix.
Rev. Deb asked about lights for the foot of the driveway. Les indicated that the wiring already runs that far; we just need to put the lights in. Rev. Deb will check in with Jim Maniatis. Stan suggested that the Buildings and Grounds committee look at putting more stable fencing behind the Parish Hall as the sharp slope is a hazard with children playing there.

Service
St. Christopher’s Guild. Pat reported on St. Christopher’s Guild. She said that the recent Christmas Luncheon and White Elephant was a success. $1800 was earned. The group will meet Sunday to determine how the money will be disseminated to service organizations. Connie Towey reported (through Rev. Deb) that St. Christopher’s has a current balance of $5,914.31 in
their account. Paula will insert this figure into our budget reporting.

Outreach:  Rev. Deb reported that the Outreach committee had a very fruitful meeting, which included a discussion of the projects that happened in 2018 and plans for 2019. The group talked about making sure that the number and scope of projects was consistent with the size of the parish.
Evangelism: Rev. Deb reported that Jane Ramsey has been writing articles for the Martinez Gazette faith page. She is doing a great job. Rev. Deb has ordered new, more streamlined Grace brochures and welcome cards, as well as handbills for Christmas services. She reiterated that she would like to
see an Evangelism committee at Grace.

Education: The Advent Women Bible study has begun. Plans to expand Adult Education are currently on hold.

Pastoral Care: Leslie Kolesa is doing a great job coordinating the Pastoral Care Committee, which includes Casserole Patrol, Eucharistic Visitors, and communicating with Rev. Deb. The current Pastoral
Care list is at 37. The holidays are really hard for many people.

OFFICE UDATE: Online Directory and Online Giving
Parish Administrator Jennifer Sabroe is preparing the launch.

Hospitality: Hospitality Committee plans remain on hold because the chair has been incapacitated. Tina Reich is doing better, so we hope that this will be organized soon.

Annual Meeting: Rev. Deb reminded the Vestry that the Annual Meeting will be held on January 27, 2019. At that time, we will elect three new Vestry members. The “middler” class (Lynda, Pat, and Ron) reported that they have been talking to people about joining the Vestry and/or being Deanery/Diocesan Convention Representatives. There was some discussion. Rev. Deb reminded outgoing Vestry members that their term does not end until after the Annual Meeting, so they should plan to attend the January Vestry meeting. This is important because the budget needs to
be approved prior to the Annual Meeting.

NEW BUSINESS
Rev. Deb Housing Allowance: Rev. Deb introduced her 2019 Housing Allowance Resolution. Federal tax law allows Rev. Deb
to claim part of her salary as a housing allowance and the Vestry must approve the amount prior to year’s end. It was M/S/C (Hambly/Dyer) to approve the housing allowance.

Rev. Deb travel: Rev. Deb thanked the Vestry for granting her time to go to Connecticut to visit her mother, who is doing better. Rev. Deb will return to CT in January to help her mom move. The Vestry previously approved this travel request.

Budget: Rev. Deb reported that when the final pledge reminder calls are completed, we will have all of the components needed to assemble the budget. Marj Leeds is going to draft something, then the Finance Committee will meet, and then Rev. Deb will meet with the Finance Committee. The
budget will be presented to the Vestry at the January meeting.

Lynda Dyer requested $100 for new toys for the nursery. The old ones are neither safe nor attractive. It was M/S/C (Hambly/Senn) to budget $100 for new toys.

CLOSING PRAYER
Deacon Walter led the closing prayer.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 6:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
The Rev. Dr. Deborah White, Rector and Clerk Pro-tem

Christmas at Grace

Please join us for Christmas at Grace!

December 24, Christmas Eve: 5 PM Family Service with Christmas pagaent- Walk-in performers welcome!

December 24, Christmas Eve: 10:00 PM Christmas Concert; 10:30 PM Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist Liturgy with Choir

December 25, Christmas Day, 10 AM Christmas Eucharist with Carols

 

 

Advent at Grace

Christmas is coming, but in the church we will first celebrate a season of preparation for the birth of the Christ child. We welcome you to join us each Sunday in Advent, beginning Sunday, December 2, to hear and respond to the story of the coming Christ in word, song, and action. Our time of preparation includes both contemplative and celebratory activities, including:
Healing prayer at Sunday services each week;
“Advent Women,” a seasonal Bible study exploring the role of women in scripture, following our weekly Wednesday, 10 a.m. Holy Eucharist service;
Opportunities to help those in need during the holidays, such as participating in the Contra Costa Interfaith Housing “Spirit of Giving” program;
Our festive Holiday Luncheon and Country Kitchen on Tuesday, December 4, beginning at 11:00 a.m.
In addition, we encourage you to prepare for the Christmas season outside of church by participating in one of these Advent activities:
Celebrate Advent Using Your Camera Phones – Join Episcopal and Anglican churches around the world in celebrating Advent through prayer, meditation, and by contributing to a global Advent calendar on Instagram.
Advent Words – This Advent, our Jesuit brothers invite you to join them in looking clearly and honestly at our lives and taking action. Subscribe to Advent Words and every day a new gift will arrive, offering you a moment of solace and reflection on the true meaning of Advent and the coming Christmas season.
Makea Reverse Advent Calendar or an Advent Wreath with your family!
We will conclude our Advent season on Sunday, December 23 with a 10 a.m. Choral Eucharist and The Decorating of the Christmas Tree. Following the 10 a.m. service, children will be asked to help put ornaments on the Grace Christmas Tree in the Narthex while enjoying hot chocolate and treats!
Invite friends!

November 2018 Vestry Minutes

Grace Episcopal Church  Martinez, California  Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting November14, 2018

 

Present:       The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Les Marks (Jr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Sally Hanson,  Ron Luttringer, Connie Towey, The Rev. Walter Ramsey (Deacon)

Absent:        Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Josh Senn

Call to Order and Opening Prayer.

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Rev. Deb, who led the opening prayer.

BIBLE STUDY

Peter’s Vision

CONSENT AGENDA

Les Marks noted that the date of today’s meeting agenda was incorrect. It was M/S/C (Marks/Hambly) to approve the consent agenda packet with this correction.

OLD BUSINESS

UPDATE ON MINISTRY TEAMS (SWEEPS)

Stewardship

Paula reported that the stewardship campaign is drawing to a close. She said that we have received 31 pledges so far. There was brief discussion on the new format used for the campaign this year. Further discussion was tabled until next month when we have a tally of the pledges received.

Service

St. Christopher’s Guild. Pat reported on St. Christopher’s Guild. The recent meetings with Rev. Deb appear to have alleviated fears that St. Christopher’s Guild is being disbanded. The group has agreed to submit their financial status on a monthly basis for review by the Vestry. Paula reported that she has already received one statement.

Outreach. Connie reported on the November 4 Outreach meeting. There was discussion about Downtown Grace. Denise visited a program that another church does on two weeknights and was impressed. Rev. Deb opined that it would be best if we could use a model from our denomination and recommended Sacred Space.  Denise said she will set up a field trip to see what they are doing in Oakland/Hayward. Scott Williams will speak on homelessness in Martinez at the November Faithful Forum on Sunday. A second cart full of items for CORE was blessed on Sunday and will be distributed this week. The CCIH Season of Giving program is in full swing. All of the tags from the giving tree were taken and gifts are coming in now.

Evangelism  

Rev. Deb reported that Jane Ramsey has been writing articles for the Martinez Gazette faith page. She is doing a great job.

Worship and Liturgy

Sally reported on the most recent Worship and Liturgy meeting. The committee recommended against an all-parish meeting about noise in liturgy, suggesting instead that Rev. Deb seek to educate the parish about sacred space. Rev. Deb read an article she has written to go into Grace Notes and the bulletin. There was discussion. One suggestion was to move the announcements to the beginning of the service so that the Peace feels less like “intermission.” There was discussion. It was decided that we would not try this out yet. Instead, Rev. Deb’s article will run in GN and the bulletin; she will make an announcement about it at both services; acolytes will be asked (Lynda Dyer to speak to Don Dyer) to bring the Godly Play children in a bit later and more quietly; and liturgical servers (Eucharistic Ministers, acolytes, clergy) will remain in the chancel during the peace to set an example. (Rev. Deb will ask John Lee to send out a request). We can re-evaluate at next month’s meeting to see if there has been any change.

Parish Life

Rev. Deb reported that Amy Eudy is doing a great job as Chair of Parish Life and all is in readiness for Saturday’s Pasta Dinner. We are making it clear that there is a difference between Parish Life (free) events and fundraising events. We still don’t have a fundraising chair.

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

Buildings and Grounds

Rev. Deb reported on the easement.  Negotiations have continued with the added partners of the City of Martinez and the title company, which will hold the escrow. Rev. Deb hopes the easement agreement will be signed by year’s end, but she is most concerned with protecting the church. She has communicated to Discovery Builders that if the easement agreement is not finalized by the end of the year, we will probably need to re-negotiate as our legal fees are getting to be too much and we will have a new Vestry in January.

Les Marks, Junior Warden, provided an update on Buildings and Grounds concerns:

 Outside Pantry and corner foundation. A repair plan has been developed and Les has stabilized the kitchen and pantry doors.

Parish Hall sliding door/stairs. The sliding door at the northwest end of the parish hall is complete. Jim Maniatis did the work at cost. The outside stairs still need to be installed. Work is in progress. Funds for the stairs are already set aside.

Kitchen Floor. The floor at the entrance to the kitchen (from the parish hall) is cracked. The B&G committee does not recommend a full repair until the issue of the foundation under the kitchen has been dealt with, but Rev. Deb has asked for at least a cosmetic fix for safety reasons.

 

Gutters. The gutters have been replaced. Rev. Deb is still working on the insurance claim.

Parking Lot. Rev. Deb reported that Dick Evans strongly recommends that the parking lot be sealed before the rainy season. This was tabled at the last meeting. It was M/S/C (Luttringer/Menconi) to get an estimate for sealing the parking lot. The motion passed.

Les indicated that Vestry members would like a list of duties for the VPOD. Rev. Deb said she would put one together. Les recommended making sure it includes:

  • Turning off the light in the stained glass window near the chamber organ (this is done by shutting off Breaker #18
  • Making sure the doors near that window are secured.

Rev. Deb reported that there is apparently a rumor going around Martinez that Grace will be putting housing for homeless folks on our upper lot. She said she had assured the city that we are very early in our discernment process about how to develop that lot and that, regardless of what we decide to do, we will consult with the city first.

Education

Bible Study and Faithful Forums have been set up into early 2019.

Pastoral Care

Leslie Kolesa is doing a great job coordinating the Pastoral Care Committee, which includes Casserole Patrol, Eucharistic Visitors, and communicating with Rev. Deb.

OFFICE UDATE

Online Directory and Online Giving

Rev. Deb reported that thanks to hard work by Jennifer, Marj, and Paula, we have selected a company to use for an online directory. It does not have online giving itself, but works with a company that does. The cost will be $480 per year. Ron asked about the transaction fee for online giving.

Hospitality

Hospitality Committee plans have been on hold because the chair has been incapacitated. Tina Reich is doing better, so we hope that this will be organized soon.

NEW BUSINESS

Annual Meeting

Rev. Deb reminded the Vestry that the Annual Meeting will be held on January 27, 2019.  At that time, we will elect three new Vestry members. The “middler” class of the Vestry (Lynda, Pat, and Ron) serve as the nominations committee. We will also elect representatives to the Deanery/Diocesan Convention. Rev. Deb noted that there is an announcement in Grace Notes about the upcoming elections that encourages people to consider running for a position. There was some discussion. Rev. Deb reminded outgoing Vestry members that their term does not end until the Annual Meeting, so they should plan to attend the January Vestry meeting.

Goat Yoga

Rev. Deb reported that Goat Yoga has been put on hold because Don (our neighbor with the goats) is concerned that the goats could not be controlled to a safe extent. He will consider ways we might make it work in the new year.

Rev. Deb travel request

Rev. Deb reported that her mother, who is 91, is moving and is currently in the hospital so she would like to go see her in January to help her move. This would require Rev. Deb to take off two Sundays in a row, which she has never done.  The timing for this is good since The Rev. Molly Haws is available to supply when Rev. Deb is away. The Vestry approved her request by acclamation.

CLOSING PRAYER

Deacon Walter led the closing prayer.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

The Rev. Dr. Deborah White, Rector and Clerk Pro-tem

Addendum

Rev. Deb reports that she forgot to tell the Vestry that our attendance was 119 last Sunday.

 

October 2018 Vestry minutes

Grace Episcopal Church  Martinez, California

Minutes of Vestry Meeting October 10, 2018

 

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Lynda Dyer, Pat Hambly, Sally Hanson, Josh Senn, Connie Towey, The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk)

Absent:   Les Marks, Ron Luttringer

Call to Order and Opening Prayer.

The meeting was called to order at 5:00 p.m. by Rev. Deb who led the opening prayer.  

BIBLE STUDY  

How do you reconcile God’s promise of provision with the reality of the poverty of so many faithful Christians in the world? How do you see your own responsibility to those who are in need? Do you ever doubt God’s provision in your own life? Why? What usually changes your mind when you’re feeling that way?

CONSENT AGENDA

It was M/S/C (Hambly/Towey) to approve: the September 12, 2018 vestry meeting minutes; Rector’s report; Junior Warden’s report; Treasurer’s report.

OLD BUSINESS

UPDATE ON MINISTRY TEAMS (SWEEPS)

Service

Outreach. Connie reported on the October 7 Outreach Committee meeting: Kindness Kits discussion has been tabled until January; (Grace team) Loaves and Fishes continues every third Wednesday of the month; School backpacks for Martinez Jr. High students have been delivered, and next year Marj Leeds will track donations as they come in to provide updates on items still needed; Spirit of Giving will kick off on October 21, with Jennifer Sabroe and Dru Grissom coordinating; Downtown Grace is still in the long-term planning phase; Youth Group will provide dinner to residents of Garden Park apartments (a CCIH community) on October 11; Scott Williams will speak on homelessness in Martinez at the November Faithful Forum; there was discussion of a winter clothing drive run by Passion to the Streets Inc. with consensus that Grace Outreach this would not be an official project as it overlaps with other projects already in place.

St. Christopher’s Guild. Rev. Deb reported on her meeting with St. Christopher’s Guild, where she presented information, answered questions, and generated discussion about the changes we are experiencing as we transition from a family-sized parish to a pastoral-sized parish, covering the areas of:

  • communication
  • financial management
  • infrastructure
  • difficulty of change

There was discussion.

 

Rev. Deb had noted that St. Christopher’s is an organization of outreach, parish life, and fundraising. So it doesn’t fit under any particular SWEEPS category but there are a lot of gifts and talents in St. Christopher’s that would benefit the church’s committees in those areas. For example, in response to a question about fundraising earlier in the meeting, Rev. Deb indicated that she has asked members of St. Christopher’s who feel called to do Outreach to attend the Outreach Committee meetings, and bring their expertise. In the same way, there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise in St. Christopher’s for fundraising. We are still looking for someone to head up a Fundraising Committee.

It was also noted that Rev. Deb will be asking St. Christopher’s to report their finances regularly.

Education

Rev. Deb reported she is working on a plan to do an online Christian Education program, that can be streamed live. This would benefit people who are unable to attend a class or group session during the day due to work or other commitments.   

Stewardship

Paula reported that speakers will present information on several stewardship topics at each Sunday service through mid-November.  Rev. Deb added that the stewardship letter with pledge cards will be mailed out soon.

Evangelism  

Rev. Deb reported that Pat Corr has stepped down from publicity. Since then Rev. Deb has been writing articles for the Martinez Gazette faith page. Rev. Deb also noted that Goat Yoga is coming soon.

Worship and Liturgy

Sally reported that the Worship and Liturgy Committee will be meeting the next day at 1 p.m. All are welcome.

Liturgical change. Rev. Deb reported on the meeting with the 8 o’clock congregation, and other interested parties, between services on September 23. She provided information on how we do liturgy here at Grace, how it has been historically done, how the Episcopal Church thinks of liturgy and what the options are for the 8:00 service. She extended an invitation for individuals to respond to their Worship and Liturgy representative or to attend the next Worship and Liturgy meeting.

Service of Healing. There will be a Healing Service for victims of sexual assault and abuse on Saturday, October 13.

Baptism date change. The Kleinschmit twins’ baptisms have been moved from All Saints (Nov. 4) to October 21. Shannon Kleinschmit is being deployed.

Altar Guild is in dire need of volunteers. It has been added to the stewardship announcement.

Parish Life

Oktoberfest. Stan reported that Walter (Ramsey) and John (Heyse) are working on the menu. Set up will take place on Saturday morning. Help is needed for set-up and clean-up. To date there are 58 reservations/tickets sold.

Pastoral Care

Leslie Kolesa will coordinate the Pastoral Care Committee, which includes Casserole Patrol, Eucharistic Visitors, and coordinating with Rev. Deb.  Rev. Deb provided information on pastoral care needs.

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

Easement

The Diocese has approved the easement. We are now waiting on the developer to sign papers. Once that is done, the easement document and money will go into escrow. When the developer gives us the start date, the money goes into our bank account, and once the money is verified in our account, the developer can begin work. It has cost us $5K in attorney fees, and that amount was added on to the total due from the developer.

Dick’s List

On behalf of Dick Evans, Buildings and Grounds Committee, Rev. Deb presented a list of items (including cost estimates) that need to be attended to:

Outside Pantry and corner foundation $300

Parish Hall sliding door/stairs. The sliding door at the northwest end of the parish hall is complete. Jim Maniatis did the work at cost. The outside stairs still need to be installed. Work is in progress. Funds for the stairs are already set aside.

Kitchen Floor. The floor at the entrance to the kitchen (from the parish hall) is cracked. It will require repair. No estimate yet.  

Parish Hall. The parish hall is sinking. The foundation is cracked and starting to come apart, due to the slippage occurring on the north hillside – the building is responding. The ideal fix would cost $50K. Jim Maniatis and Dick Evans met with a consultant, and they have a plan for a temporary fix at a cost of $800.

Gutters. The copper gutters located on the north side of the kitchen were stolen a while ago. An insurance claim was never filed at the time. Rev. Deb is trying to file a claim now. Gutters need to be installed along that side of the roof. No estimate yet.

Parking Lot. Rev. Deb reported that Dick Evans strongly recommends that the parking lot be sealed before the rainy season. Estimate $800-900.

It was M/S/C (Towey/Hanson) to authorize up to $2K for fixes to pantry, parish hall, kitchen floor, and the gutters (if insurance doesn’t reimburse for stolen copper gutters). [Note: Does not include parking lot seal coat.]

OFFICE UDATE

Online Directory and Online Giving

Jennifer is still researching, and we are getting closer.

Facility Rentals

We have raised rates for facility use and are tightening up on documentation we are required to have from user groups, specifically the document needed for IRS 501(c) verification.  

Hospitality

Hospitality Committee plans have been on hold because the chair has been incapacitated.

VPOD redux

This item was tabled at the last meeting. There was discussion of a VPOD schedule. It was suggested that for those who attend 10 a.m., to check with Erik Wernes and Chandra Damele to confirm they will open the church. VPODs can arrange a delegate to do the physical responsibilities, but still responsible for ensuring it’s covered. Responsibilities are for opening and securing the church buildings. No moving furniture or cleaning floors. If there is a big mess, ask for help to clean up.  

Side note: Rev. Deb indicated that the cleaning service has been rescheduled from Fridays to Mondays.

It was M/S/C (Applegate/Dyer) begin a VPOD (Vestry Person of the Day) program.   

NEW BUSINESS

Welcome Molly Haws

The Rev. Molly Haws is a priest of the diocese and not associated with a parish, which the diocese requires. Molly lives in Martinez, and has asked to be associated with Grace. In order to keep up on her skills, she will preach every two months. She will be supply clergy when Rev. Deb is away. Molly’s title will be Assisting Priest. She will sit in the congregation when she is not serving. There is no cost for this arrangement.

All Parish meeting re noise

Rev. Deb has heard concern about noise in church (not just children). She will schedule an all parish meeting to talk about it, but at a time when our schedule is not so tight.

Diocesan Convention will take place October 19-20.

CLOSING PRAYER

Deacon Walter led the closing prayer.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

Vestry Minutes September 2018

Grace Episcopal Church Martinez, California  Minutes of Vestry Meeting  September 12, 2018

Present:       The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Stan Applegate (Sr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Pat Hambly, Sally Hanson, Ron Luttringer, Connie Towey,

Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk)

Absent:        Les Marks, Lynda Dyer, Josh Senn, The Rev. Walter Ramsey

 

Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 5:05 p.m. by Rev. Deb who led the opening prayer.

 

BIBLE STUDY. My Values.

 

CONSENT AGENDA. It was M/S/C (Towey/Applegate) to approve: the minutes of the July 11, 2018, Vestry meeting; the August 19, 2018, Vestry special meeting; the August 26, 2018, Vestry special meeting; Rector’s report; Senior Warden’s report; Junior Warden’s report; Treasurer’s report, as amended.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Update on Music. Rev Deb announced that we have hired a new Music Director, Arthur Omura. Arthur’s first Sunday with us will be September 16.

 

UPDATE ON MINISTRY TEAMS

 

Service (Outreach) Minutes of the last Outreach Committee meeting have been posted on the Outreach bulletin board in the Parish Hall, and a summary of the meeting will be in this week’s Grace Notes. Vestry liaison to the Outreach Committee, Connie Towey, reported on a number of the items discussed at the meeting: the blessing of the donations to CORE, the blessing of the backpacks from the recent backpack/school supplies drive, Denise Hansen will be talking to the Youth Group about Outreach opportunities, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing is beginning its Spirit of Giving program, in which we will be participating. Connie also noted an idea proposed by Denise to hold a bocce game, take up donations, and distribute coats to the homeless.

 

Education (Adult Formation) Rev. Deb reported that Godly Play is up and running for the season. She noted some improvements in the Education wing such as furniture rearranged in the Youth area, more games for teenagers, and the donation of supplies. Rev. Deb is working on Adult Education.

 

Evangelism  Rev. Deb reported on a plan to schedule a Bring a Friend to Church event.

 

Stewardship This year’s Stewardship campaign will begin September 30. The Stewardship Committee has designed flyers to be distributed every Sunday of the campaign, focusing on different aspects of ministry – Christian education, pastoral care, buildings and grounds, worship. Every Sunday during the Stewardship campaign, at both services, someone will do a Minute for Mission to talk about the way they have been touched by one of the ministries at Grace. On September 30 and the last Sunday of the campaign, the sermons will focus on stewardship. There will be a Pasta Dinner thank-you / fellowship event in November, before Thanksgiving. Rev. Deb noted that this is a particularly important stewardship year because we have so many new folks, and she challenged vestry members to be the first ones to fill out pledge cards, to set an example to the congregation on the first Sunday of the campaign.

 

Worship and Liturgy. There’s been discontent at 8am about changes in liturgy. At yesterday’s Worship & Liturgy meeting there was a conversation about it.

 

Rev. Deb provided some background. The planned change regarding Prayers of the People didn’t go into effect as soon as originally planned because there was one person who was very upset about it. Therefore, there were more conversations about it, which delayed putting it into effect. As a result, the liturgical change (change to Enriching Our Worship, Eucharistic Prayer 1) occurred almost simultaneous to the change to Prayers of the People. Because of that, some members of the 8 o’clock congregation apparently got the idea that Rev. Deb was just “changing everything.” At that point, Rev. Deb wrote a piece in Grace Notes about how we “do” liturgy at Grace, including how previous rectors did it. Another complaint was that the changes had not been announced. Rev. Deb explained the reason for this is because that had never been done before (by previous rectors), but people had the impression that it had.  Rev. Deb explained that she had talked to all available previous rectors and learned that was not the case. She agreed that in the future she will announce liturgical changes before they happen, and that she is always happy to explain to anyone who has a concern about them.  She indicated that the overall response to the format of the Prayers of the People has been very positive. It is in keeping with the spirit of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and what the larger church is doing. She indicated that she is considering making some liturgical changes before the end of this cycle of Pentecost.  She emphasized that she is very responsive to feedback, but on the other hand, that doesn’t mean because someone doesn’t like it (the liturgical change) that we’re not going to do it. We all have to try new things, challenge ourselves, and we have to see how it goes.

 

She noted that the meeting time of Worship & Liturgy might be changed to earlier in the day.

 

Rev. Deb has invited The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers back for another Faithful Forum, to talk about how the Episcopal Church determines how we do liturgy and what that process is.

 

There were comments, questions and discussion.

 

Rev. Deb shared what she said in her response to Elaine Quigley who had presented the concerns from the 8:00 congregation on their behalf. She appreciates and will listen to feedback when something new is introduced; respond to feedback in a systematic way; tell ahead of time when there’s going to be a liturgical change; and gave assurance that nothing will be switched suddenly – it always goes to Worship & Liturgy first. She pointed out that she is the first rector that has done that. Previous rectors made changes without conversing with anyone.

 

Parish Life.  Liaison Ron Luttringer had nothing to report, as there haven’t been any meetings. Rev. Deb indicated that Stan Applegate and Katie Reich have been working on Parish Life, but are not interested in being the chair. Amy Eudy has volunteered to be a “chair,” so between the three of them there are hard workers, an idea person and an organizational person. It is hoped with this shared load, it won’t be a burden on any of them. They have begun working on Oktoberfest planning.

 

Rev. Deb indicated that it has been her perception that there has been confusion between “fundraisers” and “parish life” events. There has been feedback not to make the ticket prices to events too high because not everybody can attend. We want everybody to be able to attend; however, we have not been raising money outside of pledging since she arrived last year. With that in mind, Rev. Deb is working to separate Parish Life from Fundraising. The steps she has taken so far are to get Parish Life up and running, and set up meetings to put in place a Fundraising Committee that focuses specifically on fundraising.

 

Pastoral Care.  Rev. Deb indicated that our parish is now growing to the point where we need a Pastoral Care Committee. Leslie Kolesa has stepped up to chair one. Under the umbrella of the Pastoral Care Committee will fall: Eucharistic Visitors, Casserole Patrol, Lay Pastoral Care group, and greeting cards (a task St. Christopher’s has been doing.)

 

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS

 

Buildings and Grounds The All Parish Work Day on Saturday, August 25, was a success. Much got done (refer to Jr. Warden’s Report).

 

Easement. We continue to work through this with our lawyer. Discovery Builders missed the deadline to get the paperwork in for the Standing Committee meeting in September. They have now sent us the proposal and Rev. Deb is in the process of “redlining” it.  The next Standing Committee meeting is in October.

 

OFFICE UDATE

 

Staff meetings. Rev. Deb, Marj Leeds (Godly Play), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), and Jennifer Sabroe (Parish Administrator) will begin meeting twice a month.

 

Online Directory and Online Giving. Rev. Deb explained that the reason for the staff meeting was because of the work being done to find an Online Directory and Online Stewardship (Online Giving). The staff has been looking for programs for each of those purposes, and discovered that many of the church management programs have both features, and it is cheaper to get them together rather than separately. By the time they figured that out they only had two to look at and one was the “Cadillac” and the other was the “clunker.” They now know much better what to look for in terms of features, cost and user-friendly attributes.

 

Facility Use – Outside groups. Jennifer gave an update on facility use. The agreement document has been revised, as well as the rates. Instead of a fee structure based on less than or more than 4 hours, the use rate is now hourly. Jennifer will be handing off the responsibilities of facility use to Dru Grissom, who has generously agreed to take on the task.

 

Hospitality. Rev. Deb reported on the formation of the Hospitality Committee that will be an umbrella covering: Greeters, and Coffee Hour, with the goal of welcoming new people into the church family. Christina Reich will chair the committee, with Susan Bremmer overseeing the Greeters.

 

Vestry Liaisons. Rev. Deb reminded vestrypersons to attend the meetings of the committees they have been assigned to as liaisons.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

VPOD (Vestry Person of the Day) Rev. Deb explained that as users of our own parish hall, we are lacking in consistent clean up/security on Sundays. There is no set person responsible to close up and check everything is in order as the last one out. With our previous cleaning person, as part of her work schedule, we arranged to have her come on Sunday afternoons/evenings to reset furniture, spot mop, check the bathrooms. With the new cleaning service we have hired, the cleaning crew comes once a week on Fridays. To add the Sunday spot clean to the schedule would be an additional $25 per week. Rev. Deb presented a proposal that many churches use –  a rotation of vestrypersons (Vestry Person of the Day), who would be responsible for opening and closing the buildings on Sundays, making sure that doors/windows are secure, heat and lights are off, trash (including bathroom wastebaskets) are emptied, floors are swept/spot mopped, and furniture is reset. Those with limited mobility could enlist one of the cadre of volunteers to take their turn. There was discussion, ending with consensus to table the idea to the next meeting, to allow time to think about it.

 

Clergy Conference.  Rev. Deb will be attending Clergy Conference at Bishop’s Ranch from Wednesday afternoon (9/19) through end of the day Friday (9/21). There will be Wednesday Eucharist and Bible Study on Sept. 19.

 

Deanery Meeting. We are hosting the Contra Costa Deanery meeting on Thursday, September 13.

 

Buck Cobb Memorial. Buck’s memorial has been scheduled for Sunday, October 14, at 2 p.m. There will be a reception following the service.

 

Hymn Suggestion Box. Connie asked if it would be possible to set up a suggestion box for hymns that people would like to sing. Rev. Deb will get one set-up. The Music Director will make the selections.

 

CLOSING PRAYER  Rev. Deb led the closing prayer.

 

ADJOURNMENT The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

End of Life Planning Project

The Grace Worship and Liturgy Committee would like to encourage all of Grace’s parishioners to complete their advanced healthcare directive, will or trust, financial planning, funeral arrangements, final instructions and memorial gift planning. Death and dying can be difficult issues to discuss, but it is a great blessing to our loved ones when we plan ahead for our own eventual death. This is especially true for families whose members are of different faiths (or no faith). To that end, we have developed resources about funerals in the Episcopal Church, advance directives, and memorial gifts to the church. These packets are now available in the Narthex and the Parish Hall. You can also find them below. It is our hope that each parishioner will complete a planning packet and provide a copy of it to the church office.

Advance-Directives Q and A Issue fnl

Family Records Organizer Review fnl

Grace Church and DioCal Planned Giving Options Issue fnl

Grace Church Funeral Service Planning Full Page (fnl)

ProbateCodeAdvancedHealthCareDirectiveForm

Five Scenarios to use in Advance Directive Section 2 expansion (fnl)