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.  


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?


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.




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.


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.   


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.


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.



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.]


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 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.   


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.


Deacon Walter led the closing prayer.


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

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

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