Minutes of September 2021 Vestry meeting

Grace Episcopal Church,  Martinez, California

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

September 8, 2021

 Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich (Sr. Warden), Liz Charlton (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Amy Eudy, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Stephanie Zichichi  

Absent:  Chandra Damele

 Guests:  The Rev. Walter Ramsey; Columba Salamony, Seminarian; Joshua Senn; Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator. 

 M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

 Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. The group discussed Exodus 18:13-27, as it pertains to sharing the workload at the church.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Liz Charlton) to approve the consent agenda items: Agenda, Minutes of the August 11, 2021 meeting, Rector’s Report, Junior Warden’s Report, Treasurer’s Report.

OLD BUSINESS

Ministry Updates

Outreach (Service). Winter Nights event coming up.  This week’s Grace Notes will link to a signup sheet asking for help. Also need donations.

Worship and Liturgy. Vaccination against COVID-19 will be required for attending worship in person, and we will begin checking vaccination cards on September 12.  Church staff members are submitting copies of vaccination cards.  Those in the chancel at worship services are all vaccinated, and will also need to submit copies of proof. We will put a sticker on parishioner’s name tags so that they can show their cards (or electronic proof of vaccination) only once.

Welcoming.  People are using their name tags. 

Education: Godly Play starting up in person.  Book Club is meeting in person.  To celebrate the kick-off of fall programs, we may have a movie night or other activity.  Amelia will meet with Parish Life folks.

Parish Life:  See above for kick-off of fall programs.  It may be possible to hold some type of Oktoberfest, creatively, under COVID restrictions that we have in place.  We can even meet indoors and have food now. Stephanie and David to meet to discuss.

Pastoral Care: Rev. Deb reports that Ron Quigley died September 7.  She was able to administer last rites on September 5.  The new Senn baby arrived on September 8. Other pastoral situations occurred during Rev. Deb’s vacation.

Stewardship:  Discussion deferred to New Business.

NEW BUSINESS

Building and Grounds 

Steps off the parish hall:

This is an ongoing issue for which Junior Warden Liz Charlton asked for the Vestry’s input.  The history:  there was a deck before, and when it fell into disrepair it was marked off as unusable and access to it blocked. The church was sued by a woman who managed to get to the deck and fall off it, during a City of Martinez event at Grace.  As a result, the old deck was demolished. The insurance company asked that we build steps off the sliding glass doors where the deck had been. Costs for a new deck were prohibitive. Eventually then Junior Warden Jim Maniatis built a smaller deck and steps which were inspected. We were told a railing needed to be added. Liz would like to demolish the steps Jim built and have a larger deck built so they are not blocking part of the door. She would cover the cost. Otherwise, Gary Spenik has volunteered to reconfigure the steps and deck so that they fit the door and add a handrail, which Dick Evans would pay for. The Vestry requested sketches of the competing ideas prior to making a decision.

Piles of bark on the church grounds:

We have heaps of bark on the grounds that were dumped there by unknown persons. Josh Senn proposes renting a Bobcat ($600 for a day, delivered) and moving them to the upper lot to assist with weed suppression. Junior Warden Liz Charlton prefers to move it behind the education building. Reverend Deb expressed concern about putting the bark on the upper lot slope because it has been treated for erosion by the Discovery Builders people and she’s not sure if putting the bark on top of it is a good idea. Amy Eudy moved, Sally Hanson seconded, to table the discussion and ask Reverend Deb, Josh and Liz to provide more information (such as what the upper lot slope was treated with) about their suggested locations prior to having the vestry make a decision.

Stewardship Campaign

Tina Reich attended a diocesan workshop with support and ideas for running a stewardship campaign, and shared tips with the vestry.  Amy, Sally, and Jane agreed to chair the campaign this year.

DISMISSAL

Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:27 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

 Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

Vestry minutes for August 11, 2021 meeting

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich (Sr. Warden), Liz Charlton (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Amy Eudy, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Stephanie Zichichi

 Absent:  none

Guests:  Landis Graden, President and CEO, DCG Strategies; Kathleen Piraino, Executive Director, Episcopal Impact Fund; The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Jennifer Sabroe, Columba Salamony

M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

 Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. The group discussed Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:1-10)

Upper Lot Discussion.

The church contracted with DCG Strategies in June of 2021 to conduct a best-use study of the church property to determine what we could or could not do with the upper lot and make a recommendation.

Landis Graden provided an update on the work of DCG Strategies to date and recommendations for moving forward.

DCG Strategies had indicated that if they saw something during the process they would come back early and report. Landis indicated that they are now 25% into the process. He explained that the first thing they do is to determine what the land use of the site is – the zoning and the general plan. If those don’t match up with the desired outcome then it draws the questions: What is the probability of shifting land use to match the outcome? What does that process look like? Is there a pathway there? How difficult or simple? What do we need to do?

Part One. From their findings, constrained by the density allowable at the site, it allows one lot per 40,000 square feet, which equates to approximately 5-7 units with the current zoning. He noted that this was a “back of the napkin” calculation based solely on the available area – a civil engineer, trained to lay out legal lots, could do a deeper analysis, ingress/egress, setbacks, etc.

With that, DCG has determined that 5-7 units will likely not be enough to attract investment for affordable housing. The question then became, can we change the land use to get to a higher density? That, in DCG’s opinion, is going to be a political discussion in a political process.

Part Two. There are two ways to go about this.

  1. The church can step back and say it wants to pursue more density. The church would do this on its own by engaging policymakers. But because of the low density and the uncertainty of how many legal lots the church can get – because we haven’t gone that far in the process – the church just takes it on as its own to pursue a higher density and then attract a partner. The risk is spending time and political capital to wind up with no one stepping forward to develop the project.     Landis suggested that instead DCG can attempt to attract a development partner and then allow that partner to go with the church into a political conversation about getting to a higher density.

Kathleen Piraino stated Episcopal Impact Fund and the diocese agree that they would go with DCG’s recommendation for the church to issue a Request for Proposal. Landis and his team could come up with a set of requests and qualifications. Landis further explained that the church would be under no obligation, would be able to vet the partner, the program, etc. before making a commitment. Kathleen also stated that the church could share its vision for what it wants to happen there, and that’s not an expensive process. If we agreed to work with a partner, they would lead the process with the city, determining what kind of general plan amendment or zoning change would be necessary to get to the housing density that is required to make it dispensable. So that’s not on the church. The church would want to be part of it, because you’re an important moral voice in this conversation. But it would be on the professionals to get into the nitty gritty with the city.

Landis indicated that they don’t recommend doing any more work until there is an alignment with allowable density and the future density that will be needed and the demand for that level of density at the level.  The only thing at this point is the church has to solve is the land use constraint.

Landis, Kathleen, and Reverend Deb responded to questions from the vestry. Reverend Deb indicated that the plan is not being scrapped because of lack of space; the problem is that the City of Martinez hasn’t changed its General Plan in 50 years, and because of that, density ratios are 50 years old. The Seeno development up the road from us, was able to negotiate an exception to the density ratio from the City of Martinez. It took them three years. We need to get our own exception, but it would be for a different reason – affordable housing. There was discussion of RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation). Kathleen also noted that she wouldn’t view this as scrapping the plan, as Landis and his team have executed the plan by taking the first look at what’s possible.  They immediately identified the obstacle which makes it a not feasible project. So, this is work around the obstacle – to go out and market and have people in the best position to know what might be possible to bring a proposal back to the church.

It was clarified that the cost of working with DCG would not change. The contract will be reworked based on the new plan, but the cost will remain the same.

It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Liz Charlton) that DCG remain contracted with us for the process of upper lot development but move from the process of best use survey to solicitation of potential partners for said project.

Note: Before the meeting adjourned later in the evening, Reverend Deb mentioned that the RFP process would take approximately six weeks.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Christina Reich/Amy Eudy) to approve the consent agenda items: Agenda, Minutes of the July 14, 2021 meeting, Rector’s Report, Senior Warden’s Report, Junior Warden’s Report, Treasurer’s Report.

OLD BUSINESS

 Ministry Updates

 Outreach (Service).  Walter and Columba reported they are awaiting the results of a Doodle poll to determine a meeting time to assemble the teams for our Winter Nights co-host commitment September 27-30 at Friends Church in Walnut Creek. Tina noted that Winter Nights volunteers need to be vaccinated.

Worship and Liturgy. Sally reported that we are still doing in person worship and the Eucharist. Rev. Deb provided an update on the question of whether we will ask for proof of vaccination to attend worship. After consulting with the Regathering Committee and much discussion, Rev. Deb decided that we will not impose that requirement until the Diocese directs us to do so. At this time the Diocese strongly recommends it, but is not mandating it.  Sally also reported that attendance seems to be going up on Sunday; however, it may drop off due to the D variant. Rev. Deb noted that there would be no simulcast on August 15 because she and her family will be on vacation and the two people who are being trained to run the simulcast aren’t quite ready to go solo yet. Arthur is back-up, but he can only do it if the music has been prerecorded.  Arthur will be able to run the simulcast on August 29 when Rev Deb will be on vacation. September 12 will be return to Godly Play, parish BBQ, and movie. Liturgy will not be changing for the remainder of Pentecost, until All Saints Day. On All Saints Day, November 7, there will be a baptism.

Welcoming. Tina will schedule a virtual meeting soon. She needs someone to manage Coffee Hour schedule.

Education: Amelia reported that Godly Play is on hiatus, returning on September 12; Bible Study is hybrid; Grace Book Club is back to meeting in person. A meeting to brainstorm ideas for future Faithful Forums will be scheduled soon. Youth Group is down to one youth right now. Rev. Deb is having conversations with Rev. Steve Hassett (St. Stephens, Orinda) about a Contra Costa Youth Group, to provide robust opportunities for youth. All of the churches have been experiencing dwindling numbers of youth.  Rev. Deb indicated that plans are underway to start a Sacred Ground circle in September with other churches in the Contra Costa Deanery. Sacred Ground is the Episcopal Church curriculum for anti-racism. To learn more about it go to https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ and do a search for Sacred Ground.

Parish Life: There will be a “Back to Programming” event on the weekend of September 12 with a movie but no bounce house due to COVID.

 Pastoral Care: Rev. Deb reports that the prayer list continues to expand.  Eucharistic Visitors have returned to work.

Stewardship:  Rev. Deb noted that at September meeting we will begin planning this year’s stewardship drive.

NEW BUSINESS

Upward surge in coronavirus is of deep concern and we continue to keep an eye on it. In the most recent coronavirus update from the Diocese, they moved back to having the choirs be masked and greater distanced. That doesn’t affect us because our choir music is pre-recorded, with individual singers recorded at separately (at church but at separate times).  Rev. Deb noted that this has been a lot of work for Arthur, as it takes twice as long to do individual recordings than to have the choir together in a rehearsal.

Rev. Deb reported that there have been a couple of people interested in having wine at Eucharist again. There are ways to do this, but the Worship and Liturgy Committee feels it would be prohibitive and labor intensive for Altar Guild without more assistance.

DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe

Grace Church May Vestry Minutes

Grace Episcopal Church,  Martinez, California

Meeting by Video Conference

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting, May 12, 2021

 Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich (Sr. Warden), Liz Charlton (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Amy Eudy, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Stephanie Zichichi 

Absent: Jane Ramsey

Guests:  The Rev. Walter Ramsey; Jennifer Sabroe; Columba Salamony (Seminarian), Sarah Williams (Parish Administrator)

M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

 Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. Acts 3:1-16.  The group read and discussed the passage about talking about our faith.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Reich/Hanson) to remove the Treasurer’s Report from the Consent agenda and to approve the remaining consent agenda items: Agenda, Minutes of the April 14m 2021 meeting, Rector’s report, Senior Warden’s Report, Junior Warden’s Report.

OLD BUSINESS

Treasrer’s Report  Marj reported that pledge income is off by $6000.  This was somewhat obscured by a large donation for Easter.  Marj does expect some of the outstanding pledges to come in still. The final settlement of a parishioner’s estate came in, and was not listed on this month’s report as income in order not to obscure the fact that we are still far behind in pledges. To make the report more clear, she will write a new version for the vestry to approve next month.

Ministry Updates

Outreach (Service).  No official report, since chair Jane Ramsey was not present.  Tina reported that she continues to attend Winter Nights meetings as they set the calendar for next year, and she is willing to continue for now. Walter will convene an Outreach meeting.

Worship and Liturgy  Sally reported that the plan is still to open full-bore on June 13. It will be all hands on deck, and we should all try to recruit help to make the services happen. Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that Grace will participate in the Diocese-wide live streamed Pentecost service at Grace Cathedral on May 23, and will NOT hold a service at Grace Church that day.  

Welcoming (Evangelism): Tina reported that the committee will meet this coming Monday. First order of business will be planning for the in-person services.

Education:   Amelia reported that Godly Play is going fine; Faithful Forums are going well, and Columba will offer a Faithful Forum this Sunday. The Book Group continues to have healthy attendance on Zoom. The group studying “How to be an antiracist” has concluded. Rev. Deb says they will begin again in September as a Sacred Ground circle. Sacred Ground is the anti racism curriculum of The Episcopal Church. The Wednesday[Bible study is finishing up its Easter study on Resurrection and will begin a new topic for the Season after Pentecost.

Parish Life:  The committee is planning a parish picnic for June 13, after the worship service. The vestry discussed the possibility of the county still being in the “orange” tier on June 13, which might preclude having much of a celebration besides the service itself. The rules may allow children to use the playground that day; probably there will not be shared food, it will be “bring your own picnic.”  

Pastoral Care:   Rev. Deb reported that some parishioner situations have improved or resolved, and some have not. Rev. Deb is able to do some pastoral visiting now.

Stewardship

Assessment appeal:  Grace pays a diocesan assessment, which is set based on the size of the congregation and the size of our budget. Churches in financial difficulty can ask for relief from this assessment, and the diocese has been especially open to requests for relief due to the pandemic. After discussion, the vestry voted (Reich/Eudy) to apply for assessment relief from the Diocese of California.

Buildings and Grounds 

Labyrinth:  Tina reported that the type of labyrinth that we have in mind ought to cost around $15,000-$20,000.  Costs include grading and drainage as well as materials.  This figure assumes that major work would be done by volunteers in the church. Lars Howlett was extremely helpful, and went beyond the call of duty to consult with us.  It may not be financially feasible to do this project. Also, it appears possible that there is a water problem, under the quad. After discussion the vestry voted (Eudy/Brooks) to table the project for now, with the stipulation that Tina will occasionally remind us to assess the possibility of revisiting it.

There are several dead trees on the property that may be a safety hazard.  We obtained two bids for removal of them, the lower of which is to remove eleven trees for $5000. We will keep the wood chips for weed-reduction use elsewhere on the property.  Voted (Eudy/Charlton) to spend $5000 to remove the trees. Former Junior Warden James Maniatis will be in charge of managing the tree removal. Sarah will make sure our parking lot tenants move their trucks away from the trees to avoid possible damage to them.

Upper Lot: Amy Eudy reported that the Upper Lot committee has met with several contractors and recently met for a second time with one of them. She believes they are poised to vote for working with this second contractor, after which they will bring their choice to the vestry for approval for hire. The group should take several months to complete a report. Following receipt of the report we will hold an all-parish meeting to reveal the results and the vestry will then vote on how to proceed.

Discovery Builders/Easement: Rev. Deb reported that Discovery Builders has requested the deposit money that we have been holding against damage to our property while they installed the water pipe for which we granted an easement. Rev. Deb told them that she will need to use some of that money to repave the portion of our parking lot that was damaged by the contractors who repeatedly drove their heavy equipment up and down our property during the work on their project. The issue is pending at this time. 

Rev. Deb’s MMR 

The vestry began the process of conducting Rev. Deb’s Mutual Ministry Review (MMR). An MMR is a conversation among the leaders of the church reflecting on the life of the congregation, reviewing our previous goals, considering the current and future direction of our ministry together, and determining whether Rev. Deb’s leadership is leading us toward fulfilling our goals and our vision for Grace. The Mutual Ministry Review was led by Senior Warden Christina Reich.  The vestry began by reviewing some of the criteria used by the search committee which called Rev. Deb. They then reviewed the parish’s mission and vision statements. Our mission statement was developed in 2017 by the vestry and describes who we are and what we do: “Grace Episcopal Church welcomes, supports, and serves all God’s people.” Our Vision Statement was developed by the vestry in 2018 and describes our hope for the impact of what we do: “Grace Episcopal 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.” The vestry then discussed how well they feel we are fulfilling them. They began conversation about the church’s priorities, where the parish is now, and where it is headed. 

The MMR will continue at the June vestry meeting.

DISMISSAL  Rev. Deb dismissed the meeting at 8:59 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

 Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

A Litany for Peace in the Middle East

A LITANY FOR THE RESTORATION OF PEACE

May 14, 2021- Posted in GazaPalestine

Click here for a pdf of the litany

A Litany for the Restoration of Peace the Holy Land

God of peace, we pray for the people of Palestine and Israel in these perilous and dangerous times.

For all who are fearful for the safety of their loved ones and themselves, we pray that the assurance of unfailing love, even in the midst of danger, settles upon them. Shelter them from despair and protect them from harm.

For all who are wounded, we pray they find healing.

For all who have died, we pray they find rest.

For all who grieve, we pray they find comfort.

For leaders on all sides, we pray for a renewed will to lay down arms, for the strength to put the grievances and wrongs suffered by their people to rest, and for the conviction to embrace a path of reconciliation and peace that preserves the rights and dignity of all of your children.

God of mercy, help us to remember there is no border that can separate us from your great love and protection, no stone that can sound the well of your deep mercy.

God of justice, we pray with hopeful hearts that your beloved children of the Holy Land will be spared a future of sustained violence and unrest and that a recognition of the humanity of all people will prevail.

We ask all this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Unadopted minutes of the April 14, 2021 Vestry meeting

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Liz Charlton (Jr. Warden), Chandra Damele, Amy Eudy, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Stephanie Zichichi Absent: Amelia Brooks, Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden)

Guests:  The Rev. Walter  Ramsey; Jennifer Sabroe; Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator

M/S/C denotes motion made, seconded and carried. The names following M/S/C in parenthesis denote the persons who made the motion and seconded.

Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 6:39 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. Numbers 11:24-30  The group read and discussed the passage.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Eudy/Hanson) to approve the consent agenda items: Minutes of last meeting; Rector’s report; Junior Warden’s Report, Treasurer’s report.

OLD BUSINESS

 Financial:  Discussed the financial situation, including some strategies for dealing with the deficit.  Vestry members will do short announcements in worship, encouraging financial support of the church’s budget.

 Ministry Updates

 Outreach (Service) The Outreach Committee has not met since the last vestry meeting. Usual projects for this time of year are support of ministry to unhoused people and preparation for backpack ministry to school. Since Martinez schools will return to in-person instruction in September, vestry suggested that Outreach begin researching the need for equipping students with school supplies. Rev. Walter will touch base with Columba Salamony, Seminarian, who is currently convening the Outreach committee.

Worship and Liturgy  The Bishop had a meeting with clergy today and said that indoor worship will be allowed starting on Pentecost, although parishes need to submit a plan again and wait for approval from the Diocese.  The Worship and Liturgy Committee meets with Regathering Committee tomorrow, and will discuss plans.

Family Eucharist the third Sunday of each month will be like the 11:30 service on Easter.  We have created a heavy-duty, laminated, permanent printed bulletin for these Family Sunday services, rather than printing new ones each time.  The music for the service is very child-friendly.

Rev. Deb reported that there will be a baptism this summer. Since the family cannot do it on Pentecost, she is thinking of coordinating with the 150th anniversary committee and doing it for “The Feast of Grace” in July.

 Welcoming (Evangelism): No report as Christina was not present.

Education:  Godly Play continues online.  We might begin having outdoor Godly Play when in-person services begin again.

No Faithful Forum this month.

New Bible Study for the Easter Season.

Antiracism workshop continues.

Book Club continues.

Parish Life:   Stephanie has met with a small group some Sundays.  Rev. Deb would like to have a “Welcome Back” picnic when we start again.  (Our start date will depend on everyone having the opportunity to be vaccinated.  June may be more likely.)

Pastoral Care:  The list is long and keeps getting longer.  Casserole Patrol and Deacon’s Pantry are going fine at the moment.

Stewardship: Rev, Deb received notice of a Stewardship workshop from the diocese. Christina is unable to attend. Amy is interested. Rev. Deb will forward Amy the information.

Buildings and Grounds

Liz reported that she is working on getting the back stair project going.

 Labyrinth: Rev. Deb indicated that the vestry was supposed to vote on a budget for the Labyrinth project at tonight’s meeting. Tina was going to present several options in a range of prices, but since Tina is ill tonight this will be tabled until next month’s meeting.

 Upper Lot consultant update:  Amy reported that the Upper Lot committee met with three consultancy companies.  They decided that they need more information before choosing a company, and might seek referrals for more companies. As soon as the Upper Lot committee makes a decision as to which consultant they prefer they will make a recommendation to the vestry.

 Phone Tree:  Rev. Deb asked for a check-in on how the revised phone tree is working. Amy reported that she enjoyed doing her calls.  Chandra has one person on her list whom she wasn’t able to track down.  Some concern was expressed about some folks who are hard to reach and follow-up was discussed. Mostly it is going well.

Rev. Deb’s MMR: Rev. Deb noted that she is overdue for a Mutual Ministry Review (MMR), which is how the church conducts employee evaluations. It is done in this way because Rev. Deb shares her work with the leadership of the parish so they discuss their work together. Sr. Warden Christina Reich was going to coordinate this process at tonight’s meeting, but since she is ill, this will have to be postponed until next month.

 NEW BUSINESS

 Informational items to know: 

After the consultant on the Upper Lot gives us a report, there will be a congregational meeting at which the results of the report will be presented.  The vestry will not make a decision on what to do about the Upper Lot until after the whole parish has had the chance to hear the report. Rev. Deb asked the vestry to please spread the word.

The Canon to the Ordinary, Abbott Bailey, is leaving the Diocese for a job in her home Diocese of Virginia.  This means that Rev. Deb, as the president of the Standing Committee, will have more work during the transition period when there is a gap in the leadership.

Rev. Deb indicated she will be activating the phone tree. In the past she has done this at the vestry meeting, but since the structure has changed, she will do it by email.

DISMISSAL  Rev. Walter led the dismissal and the meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

Grace Episcopal Church March 6, 2021 Unadopted Vestry Minutes

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden), Liz Charlton (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Amy Eudy, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Stephanie Zichichi

Guests: Columba Salamony, Field Education Student; The Rev. Walter Ramsey

 Call to Order: Reverend Deb called the meeting to order at 4:26 pm.

This meeting took place at the close of the Vestry’s Annual Retreat.

No Rector’s Report. Rev Deb will be on vacation 4/5 – 4/12/2021. The Sunday, 4/12/21 service will be Morning Prayer will Columba presiding, Rev. Walter preaching, and Arthur Omura running the simulcast.

No Sr. Warden Report. Tina reported that the Items she needed to report are already included in this agenda.

Jr. Warden Report: Liz reported there is going to be a Buildings and Grounds workday prior to our return to indoor worship on 3/20/2021 from 9:30 am to 12 noon.

February Vestry Meeting Minutes: It was M/S/C (Liz/Amy) to approve the February Vestry minutes as corrected: Labyrinth site visit was in February not March.

Treasurer’s Report:

 Year to Date Feb 28, 2021

Actual Budget
Income Year to Date $ 26,729.48 $32,698.00
Expenses Year to Date $ 38,348.89 $37,210.50
Deficit $ 11,619.41 $4,512.50

 Income is $5968 below budget expectation (really bad).  All of the deficit is in pledge income.  $4000 of that $6000 is accounted for (pledgers let me know income would come in later in year).  The Treasurer believes that quite a bit of that pledge deficit is mail delays and is not yet in panic mode.  

  1. Expenses are above budget because the Treasurer intentionally paid an extra month of pension ($1290) to avoid future late charges with mail delays.
  2. Bottom line – We expected a deficit in 2021, but it is even worse than predicted.  We believe we know why, and it will work out that the deficit for the year is $26,882.

Since we are continuing to run a deficit budget, Gary Spenik suggested that we try a Facebook fundraiser to “Close the Gap.” It was M/S/C (Amy/Jane) to approve the Treasurer’s Report as presented.

Winter Nights: Tina reported that we are all set to host Winter Nights beginning this Monday through Thursday. Zandonella’s Catering in Martinez will provide four hot dinners:

  • New York Steaks, potatoes, veggies
  • BBQ chicken, baked beans, roasted corn
  • Roasted Pork loin, with a seasoned rice and veggies
  • Roasted Italian Chicken with pasta (creamy pesto) and Veggies.
  • All dinners with come with Dinner rolls, butter chips, side salad and brownies/cookies, silverware and napkins all wrapped up individually (COVID Compliant)

Shopping for breakfast and lunch items will be done Sunday afternoon and delivered early Monday morning. Chandra Damele and Pat Hambly will help deliver dinners to the church where the families are being housed.

 Labyrinth Report: Tina reported that the Labyrinth Committee is on hold until after the April Vestry meeting where we will vote on the amount of funds to devote to the Labyrinth. The site visit last week with the designer, Lars Howlett, went well. A water source runs under our lawn that may affect the design of the labyrinth. Jr. Warden Liz will determine where and how deep the water is. There are essentially three areas of the lawn to re-design: the labyrinth could go in the middle with the area close to the Parish Hall being used for outdoor events and the area near the parking lot for use by the children. We will be bringing three designs to the congregation for a vote once we determine the budget for the project.

Phone Tree: The new phone tree was shared, and one change requested: Michelle Coyle-Sweet will go on Liz Charlton’s list. The calls serve the following purposes:

  • Connect with parishioner – ask how it is going. Pass on any pastoral care concerns to Rev Deb.
  • Share special topics that are announced at Vestry meetings or in between by Rev Deb.
  • The phone tree is activated today for the following items:
  • Regathering: We are on track to have several Easter services as we anticipate approval of worship inside at 25% capacity by then and we hope to have some inside services for Holy Week as well.
  • Ask parishioners if they have questions about anything, i.e., upper lot, etc.
  • Regular check in

Upper Lot: Amy reported that the committee had a great meeting with Kathleen Piraino from the Episcopal Impact Fund (EIF). She recommended a consultant that will do a best use survey to determine what we can and cannot build up there. Consultant fees are $10,000 and the EIF will pay half. They want the congregation to pay half to show that we have a commitment to the project. It was M/S/C (Tina/Jane) to approve $5,000 for the hiring of a consultant for the upper lot project. Discussion: is this the most funding we will put out? Answer: the goal is to spend other people’s money and that is more likely if we do it the right way from the beginning. Passed unanimously.

Adjourn: The meeting was adjourned at 5pm.