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.


Peter’s Vision


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.




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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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 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.


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.


Deacon Walter led the closing prayer.


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

Respectfully submitted,

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


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


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