Minutes from Vestry Retreat, April 28, 2018

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

Absent: Josh Senn, The Rev. Walter Ramsey

The meeting was held on the U.S.S. Potomac in Oakland


  1. Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 9 a.m. by Rev. Deb


  1. Morning Prayer


  • Review of Agenda


  1. Getting to know you exercise – “What’s in your wallet”?


  1. Review of Vestry responsibilities and calling

This is a spiritual calling based on our individual gifts and ability to contribute. The vestry is responsible for upholding the statues and rules (canons) of the church. We are invited to grow spiritually through this process.


  1. Where we’ve been


  1. The Work of the Search Committee

What were the characteristics of our parish at that time? What were our goals (pastoral/congregational closeness; outreach; financial independence; volunteerism)? How are we doing on reaching them? What did we want in a Rector (Pastoral Care and Leadership; Worship Leader; Preacher; Stewardship Leader; Administration Leader; Christian Education Leader)? Did we get it?



  1. Review of Mutual Ministry Review

What issues of importance were identified and what were our perceptions on how we are doing with them (Communication; Transparency; Presence in the Greater Community; Growth; Worship; Christian Education).


  1. Review of Church Size Theory

Prior to Rev. Deb’s arrival, we were a Pastoral-sized (50-150 active members) parish operating like a family-sized parish (fewer than 50 active members).  In the last year, we have made many changes that have moved us towards operating as a pastoral-sized church.  Our plan: continue trajectory. Goal: Program-sized!


  1. Discussion of Change

Ron Luttringer introduced the question, “Why do we have to change at all? The group talked about the decline in church membership across all main-line churches and the need to be welcoming to non-traditional Episcopalians. We discussed St. Giles in Moraga and its closure. Liturgical change was also discussed. We acknowledged discomfort with change and fear of it but there was general consensus that it needs to happen if growth and health are to be obtained and maintained.


  • Noonday prayer


  • Lunch


  1. Getting to know you exercise – “The Newly-vestried Game”


  1. Where are we going?


  1. Review of Mission Statement

Mission Statements describe who you are and what you do: Grace Episcopal Church welcomes, supports, and serves all God’s people


  1. Vision Statements

Create a hopeful picture of a future in which our mission is accomplished; plays a key role in making change happen by shaping our actions; symbol of our faith.


  1. Things to keep in mind for the future– growth: personnel, the upper lot


  1. Development of Vision:


Grace Episcopal Church Martinez Vision Statement:


Grace Church will be a God-focused community that embraces all seekers into the ways of Jesus Christ, is present, caring, and compassionate to all we encounter and has the ability to physically and spiritually minister to our fellow human beings.


  1. Discussion about the Upper Lot


Discussion of discernment for use of upper lot.  It was decided that it was too soon to begin this process, but that when we do DCG Strategies seems to be a good option for obtaining consultation and assistance with it.


  • Brief Business meeting
    1. Confidential personnel matter
    2. Buildings and grounds (Washer/Dryer proposal; playground fence; yard clean-up)


  • Holy Eucharist and Dismissal (4:45 p.m.)



Respectfully submitted, by


Rev. Deb (Clerk pro-tem)


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