Grace Episcopal Church October Vestry Meeting Minutes

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White, Jim Maniatis (Jr. Warden arrived at 5:52), Betty Case, Christina Reich, Josh Senn, Connie Towey, Stephanie Zichichi (left the meeting at 5:56 for her bocce playoff game), Marj Leeds (Clerk pro-tem)

Absent:  Lynda Dyer, Paula Menconi, Pat Hambly

Guests:  Walter Ramsey, Marj Leeds (Assistant Treasurer)

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

 Bible Study. Sharing your Faith: Peter Heals a Crippled Beggar

 Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Towey/Reich) to approve the consent agenda: Minutes of September vestry meeting; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report and Junior Warden’s Report.

 Insurance – Marj Leeds updated the group on the requirement that the Vestry determines annually what medical benefits will be offered to employees in the following year.  She recommended that the Vestry vote to offer the Kaiser EPO 80 medical plan, not pay for premiums for over-age children, not pay for medical/dental plans for part time employees, do provide EAP to part time employees, and not provide a Benefits Waiver Allowance to those who waive coverage.  It was M/S/C (Reich/Towey)

Morgan Stanley Account – Marj Leeds presented a recommendation from the Finance Committee.  The recommendation is to direct Marj Leeds to be added to the list of authorized users for the Morgan Stanley Account and then work to have the money currently in the Morgan Stanley account put into a money market, CD or some other very low risk investment option.  The precise investment will be determined by the Finance Committee.  M/S/C (Reich/Towey)




Stewardship (building and grounds)

Solar Presentation. Deb outlined some potential actions from “go now” to “full stop”.  Discussion followed regarding how to communicate regarding this issue with the rest of the congregation.  The email from Mr. Ilog was discussed.  The general consensus was that while the installation is a good project that would be valuable for God’s creation, it likely does not compete with other identified projects at this time.  However, the project information will be retained on file.


Marj Leeds brought up the potential to do a landscaping project that would reduce water usage.  Following discussion, a request was made of the Junior Warden to get an estimate to install a lock box on the sprinkler controls.


Education Wing Re-envisioning. On hold pending cost estimation.




Ministry Teams Update


Service (Outreach).  Walter and Christina reported that the group has been discussing our commitments to Winter Nights, a shelter program for homeless families.  We have also become involved with the work related to the homeless in downtown Martinez.  The Backpack project is finished.  Work continues on the Deacon’s Pantry with a particular need for meals that are ready to eat.


Worship.  The group meets tomorrow and will review our Season after Pentecost liturgies, the

Upcoming Advent season and new Tenebrae and Evensong services.

Education. The backpacks are in place and have been received well.  Rev. Deb continues to work on her podcast project.  Some delays have occurred due to family health issues. Curriculum for Advent Bible study has been set.

Evangelism/Welcome. The Welcoming Committee is working on new welcoming books.  One will be in the pews related to the liturgy.  The second will be broader information about our church.  Nametags are in our future!  The Welcoming Committee is developing a system to welcome/escort visitors and then follow up later in the week.

Pastoral Care. Connie Towey reported that the casserole supply is good.  And, four folks have volunteered to do deliveries.

Parish Life. Amy Eudy is working on Trivia Night

Stewardship Campaign. Rev. Deb is heading up the Stewardship campaign.  The letters are in production with volunteers standing up each Sunday to speak during announcements.

By-law Review Committee. No update at this time.

Nursery Hire. There have been a couple of false starts on this one as there is some evidence that people do not really read an employment ad prior to applying for a job. Barbara Brooks has the lead on hiring and is working on it.

Parish Administrator Hire.  A candidate has been identified.  Rev. Deb will be consulting the Treasurer regarding the expense.


Communicating and Supporting Parish Size Changes – Rev. Deb reminded the Vestry regarding this concept.

SWEEPS Ministry Fair Forum. In an effort to help people understand SWEEPS, Rev. Deb would like to hold a SWEEPS Fair on December 15 (as a Faithful Forum). The idea would be for each ministry area under SWEEPS to have a “booth” with information. Helping people understand the variety of opportunities will encourage them to volunteer.

New phone system. Rev. Deb reported that we bundled our phone and internet service (through AT&T). It has been difficult trying to set up the new system, so it’s not up and running yet. Once it’s set up there will be options when calling in to get directions, get service times, leave a message for the Rector, leave a message for the office, etc.

Time of Vestry Meetings.  Rev. Deb noted that a 5:00 start time for Vestry may be a barrier to working folks serving on the Vestry.  She suggested that everyone consider a later start time.

Vestry Recruitment Rev Deb reminded Connie Towey and Josh Senn that as the “middle class” of the Vestry they are responsible for identifying Vestry Candidates for the 2020 election.

 Closing Prayer and Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Marjorie Leeds, Clerk Pro-Tem

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