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Grace Vestry Minutes, May 9, 2023

Grace Episcopal Church

Martinez, California

Meeting by Video Conference

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

May 9, 2023

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Amy Eudy (Sr. Warden), Shannon Kleinschmit (Jr. Warden), Liz Charlton, Ann Fisher, Dru Grissom, Sally Hanson, Bob Morano, Jennifer Sabroe, Catherine Sumner

Guests: The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Deacon; Marj Leeds, Treasurer; Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator

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

Call to Order and Opening Prayer. The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. and led in prayer by Reverend Deb.

Bible Study: Micah 6:6-8 The group read and discussed the passage.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Ann Fisher/Amy Eudy) to approve the consent agenda items as follows: Agenda, Minutes of the April meeting, Rector’s report, Senior Warden’s report, Junior Warden’s report.



Outreach (Service) Dru reported that the committee did not meet last month and she has nothing new to report. Rev. Deb reported that she and Gary attended the Hope Solutions fundraiser “Ruby Boots.”

Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that Pentecost is coming. Rev. Deb reported that her upcoming absences will be covered as follows: On May 21 we will have the Very Rev. Rebecca Goldberg, and on June 11 the Rev. Sally Bingham, who is a major figure in the environmental movement in The Episcopal Church, will cover. Rev. Deb suggested that Sally Bingham be asked to present a Faithful Forum on the church and the environment.

Welcoming Ann reported on the welcoming workflow for newcomers: Ann will write to them; Jennifer will call them. The greeters may be able to send Ann photos of the guest book each week. Rev. Deb noted that we have several new members, including a baby born on Monday.

A big discussion of wearing name tags, pro and con, was held. Rev. Deb said that Sarah was correct in her counsel that the wearing of name tags begins at the top, so Rev. Deb will begin wearing her name tag and encouraging members of the altar party to do the same. She will also put a reminder about wearing name tags in Grace Notes.

Education Catherine reported that Emily’s “Episcopal 101” series went very well. Catherine proposes repeating the series this fall, and especially making sure new members have the chance to attend. Rev. Deb suggested that “Episcopal 101” be included in a newcomer welcoming series and encouraged Catherine to work with the Welcoming Committee to put this together.

We are collecting responses for the Deanery youth “Pilgrimage to the Cathedral,” which is set for May 21, when Rev. Deb will be absent from the diocese. The June Deanery Pizza Club will take place at Grace in June.

Godly Play continues to go well.

Parish Life Amy reported that Aisling’s Girl Scout cookie sales in coffee hour during March and April were well received. Suggestions for the next parish life event were discussed. We usually have an end-of the-Sunday-School-year party. Rev. Deb encouraged the committee to think about whether they want to bring back the Octoberfest. Gary offered to do a drive-in movie.

Pastoral Care Liz reported that she has worked on documents for tracking pastoral care at Grace, and she is ready to do some more recruiting for lay pastoral care providers. Rev. Deb reported that she has made several pastoral visits recently.

Stewardship Bob reported on progress toward a stewardship drive plan. There was some conversation about approaches that have been used in the past or recommended by the diocese. Once plans are firmed up he will give a written plan to the vestry. Rev. Deb suggested that Bob contact Davey Gerhardt, Canon for Stewardship of the diocese, to come to Grace and give a sermon and presentation on giving.

Buildings and Grounds

Parking Lot Lights - This job is done.

Vegetation - There is extra growth because of the abundant rain. Shannon will work to find a good manual solution that volunteers can do at a church work day. Liz offered to share how vinegar works as a natural weed killer.

Kitchen - Rev. Deb would like to see a kitchen renovation done with a grant if possible.

Labyrinth - There was a recent “National Labyrinth Day,” in which Grace Cathedral participated. Rev. Deb is going to recommend to Amelia that she contact the resources identified in the write-up of that event to find a contractor to put in our labyrinth.

Landscaping- There have been many improvements in the borders at the church, particularly around the Education building. This work was donated by a parishioner.

Garbage/Driveway - It was reported that paying the landscaper to move our garbage bins to the street prior to pick-up day in order to keep the garbage trucks off our delicate parking lot pavement has been working well.

Doors - Rev. Deb reported that she has a donor for new doors for the Education Building but needs someone to head up the project. We need to determine if we should rehang the frame for a standard door size or pay the money for a replacement door at the current odd size. She is also talking to potential donors about replacing the front doors of the church.

General - Rev. Deb reported that she met with Dick Evans, who provided her with a timeline of all major construction at Grace. This was extremely helpful. She also reported that she is allowing our neighbor to let his goats graze on the upper lot as long as he is responsible for cleaning up.

All-Parish Work Day - Shannon reported that there will be a Buildings and Grounds Committee meeting on May 16 at 7 pm on Zoom and an All-Parish work day on June 10.

Upper Lot Update Rev. Deb reported that the new Upper Lot Committee (Kathleen Piraino, former head of the EIF; Christina Alvarez, current director of the EIF; Christina Reich, former Senior Warden; and new parishioner Donna Colombo), have sent out a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to developers known for working with churches to develop low-income housing. After we have those responses, we will send a Request for Proposals. Soon we will need a wish list of elements that we want included. The vestry discussed options.


Treasurer’s Report – Marj Leeds reported that finances are doing better than she had expected. There was a question about why checks were not deposited in her absence. Rev. Deb responded that she believes that you have to be on the account to make deposits. Bob said he will ask Marj to check with the bank about this.

8:30 pm: Catherine Sumner leaves the meeting

Frank Macan estate update After discussing a request from Bill Macan, Frank Macan’s nephew, and Susan Bremmer, Executor of Frank’s estate, the vestry M/S/C (Eudy/Fisher) to give $25,000 of our inheritance from Frank Macan’s estate to, Bill Macan. Rev. Deb will confer with Marj and the diocesan financial canons about how to do this legally and wisely.

Personnel question Rev. Deb asked the guests to leave at 9:04 pm so that the Vestry could discuss a personnel matter. No action was taken.

DISMISSAL Rev. Deb dismissed the group and the meeting was adjourned at 9:42 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator

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