February Vestry Minutes

Grace Episcopal Church  Martinez, California, 

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting, February 13, 2019

 Vestry Present:          The Reverend Dr. Deborah White, Lynda Dyer (Sr. Warden), Paula Menconi (Treasurer), Ron Luttringer, Christina Reich, Connie Towey

Others Present:         Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk), Marj Leeds (Finance Committee Chair), Arthur Omura (Music Director)

Vestry Absent:          Jim Maniatis (Jr. Warden), Pat Hambly, Josh Senn, Stephanie Zichichi

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.


Leadership: Reflections on Exodus 18:13-26


Rev. Deb made one correction to the agenda, indicating that the minutes of the Annual Meeting are not included in the Consent Agenda. It was then M/S/C (Towey/Menconi) to accept the consent agenda items as amended: Minutes of January 9, 2019 meeting; Minutes of January 27, 2019 meeting; Rector’s report; Junior Warden Emeritus report; and Treasurer’s report.


Finance Committee Chair Marj Leeds presented the following items for information and action:

2019 Proposed Budget.  It was M/S/C (Luttringer/Towey) to approve the 2019 Budget.

2019 Parochial Report.  It was M/S/C (Reich/Towey) to approve the 2019 Parochial Report.

Funding request for paid soloist. Funding source: Music Fund (current balance $7,529.57). It was M/S/C (Reich /Menconi) to approve the Music Director’s request to hire a paid soloist until the choir (summer) recess, not to exceed $2,000, and then reassess.

The following points of information were provided during discussion: The paid soloist would be a member of the choir and serve as a section leader (tenor or bass). Rate of pay would be approximately $90/week, which would cover two calls per week (Thursday rehearsal and Sunday service).




Outreach. Rev. Deb reported on the February 3 Outreach Committee meeting, where there was discussion of Rev. Walter, in his capacity as Deacon, would convene and setting agenda for meetings. Rev. Deb reported that there is enthusiasm for Sacred Space. Currently there are parishes in the East Bay that have organized Sacred Space outreach and it has been suggested that we partner with Episcopal churches and Interfaith Council to organize a Sacred Space Contra Costa. The Youth Group will designate a delegate to Outreach Committee and plan to do two projects a year.


Lynda Dyer reported that a number of toys have been replaced in the nursery. Regarding the children’s space in the sanctuary (behind the piano), Lynda suggested installing hooks on the wall to hang small packs that would hold soft toys, coloring materials, etc. in an effort to tidy up the rug area. She indicated that they are working on refining the transition / movement of kids from Godly Play to the service.


Rev. Deb reported that the submission of weekly articles to the Martinez Gazette is going well. She and Jane Ramsey alternate writing the articles. Rev. Deb indicated that she may have found someone to help with the website.

 Pastoral Care

Rev. Deb reported that Leslie Kolesa has been a trooper, continues to help support families in need. Connie continues her great work coordinating the Casserole Patrol. Rev. Deb indicated her pastoral list is very long.

Parish Life

Trivia Night in January went very well thanks to coordination by Amy Eudy.

 Stewardship. Nothing to report.  

Worship and Liturgy

Rev. Deb reported that the Worship and Liturgy Committee would be meeting the next day, February 14, at 1 p.m.


Rev. Deb reported that Stephanie Zichichi has agreed to be the foundational chair and Vestry liaison to Fundraising. Lynda Dyer is spearheading the St. Patrick’s Dinner, delegating assignments and recruiting sign-ups for set-up, serving and clean-up.

LENTEN PANCAKE BREAKFASTS.  Lynda noted that planning needs to get started for Lenten breakfasts. Rev. Deb indicated this comes under Parish Life, but suggested it could possibly be organized jointly with Worship & Liturgy and asked her to connect with Marj Leeds, since she will be at the Worship and Liturgy meeting the next day. Lynda will check in with Amy Eudy, Chair of Parish Life as well.


Rev. Deb and Jr. Warden Jim Maniatis met and have reviewed current projects. She reported that the insurance company has refused our claim for the foundation work. She indicated that Jim will need to connect with the Boy Scout Council about the possible Eagle Scout project for the back steps to the parish hall (to kitchen). She also mentioned that as an extension of the Deacon’s Pantry, Rev. Walter would like to construct a small pantry at the foot of the driveway, which could be an Eagle Scout project. Lynda will talk to him.


Office Copier. Jennifer reported that the new Kyocera copier, leased through KBA Docusys, is working well. It was noted that the old copier was sold back to the person who donated it.


Vestry Liaisons to SWEEPS. The liaisons to SWEEPS Committees were updated as follows:

Stewardship: Finance – Paula Menconi

Stewardship: Buildings and Grounds – Jim Maniatis

Stewardship: Fundraising – Stephanie Zichichi and Ron Luttringer

Worship – vacant

Education – Lynda Dyer

Evangelism – Josh Senn

Parish Life – Christina Reich

Pastoral Care – Connie Towey

Service: Outreach – Pat Hambly

 VPOD Schedule. An updated schedule for Vestry Person of the Day assignments was distributed, along with the procedures.

 By-laws Review Committee. In researching election procedures in preparation for the annual meeting, it was discovered that there is language in the Bylaws that is both confusing and out-of-date. The Bylaws have not been revised since 1980. Rev. Deb recommended forming a committee to review the Bylaws and compare with the canons of the Diocese for possible revisions. Christina Reich and Connie Towey graciously volunteered for this task.

Whole and Healthy Church Training (aka Safe Church) Jennifer will be notifying those who are due to obtain or renew their certificate(s) that cover the Diocesan policies for various areas of volunteering and ministries. The certificate training may be done online or by attending the workshop at the Beloved Community event on February 23. It was clarified that background checks are done just once, and do not need to be renewed.

Beloved Community event. Rev. Deb provided information on the Beloved Community training event at Grace Cathedral on February 23, and noted some of the workshops that would be beneficial for vestry members, as well as other workshop tracks on outreach, formation, community, best practices, certifications.

Insurance and ministry groups at Grace. In an effort to be more vigilant regarding liability, Rev. Deb explained the decision to separate the church from People Feeding People. Rev. Deb has met with Paula Menconi, Marj Leeds, Susan Bremmer and Sandy Taylor. PFP will no longer be a ministry of Grace Church. The line item in the budget will be closed and the money from that line item given to St. Christopher’s Guild. St. Christopher’s Guild will then be able to disburse money to PFP, in the same fashion that they give money to other outside groups.


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

 Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk



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