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Minutes of Grace Vestry Meeting, January 10, 2023

Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Amelia Brooks (Sr. Warden), Shannon Kleinschmit (Jr. Warden), Liz Charlton, Amy Eudy, Ann Fisher, Dru Grissom, Sally Hanson, Jane Ramsey

Absent: Chandra Damele

Guests: Jennifer Sabroe; Marj Leeds, Treasurer; The Rev. Walter Ramsey; 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 6:35 p.m. and led in prayer by Reverend Deb.

Bible Study: Genesis 32:24-30. The group read and discussed the passage.

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


BudgetTreasurer Marj Leeds presented a proposed budget for 2023, which will also be presented at the Annual Meeting on January 22. Overall, her opinion of our current financial position is optimistic. She answered questions, and the vestry discussed ways to increase income and reduce expenses. Marj reminded the group that the actual approval of the budget will be the work of the new vestry.

Part of the discussion about increasing our income centered around facility rentals. We lost a great deal of money when Las Trampas stopped renting our parking lot. Dru reported that we are looking into a website call “thisspace,” which connects renters needing space and churches that have space to rent. We hope this might increase our rentals and our income.


Outreach (Service) Dru reported that Grace contributed welcome baskets for residents at Hope Solutions who are newly entering housing. This week Rev. Deb sent an urgent extra email to the parish requesting help for those harmed by the storm, via Hope Solutions. Rev. Deb also reported that she suggested that our Outreach Committee partner with the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County on service projects.

Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that the Worship and Liturgy committee met last month to plan the current Epiphany season liturgy. She reminded us that Lent is coming up and instead of giving something up, we could consider giving something. The committee meets again next week. This coming Sunday will be the first of our new monthly 8:00 AM services. We will hold this service on the third Sunday of each month, and will evaluate as we see whether the attendance at the service merits its continuation.

Welcoming Ann reported that Jennifer and Dru suggested a new way to organize coffee hour hosting. This Sunday’s Faithful Forum will be an organizing meeting with a “Coffee Hour 101” how-to. She also reported that the Welcoming team is working on ensuring that new or visiting worshippers fill in the guest book so that we can follow up with them after their visit(s).

Education Rev. Deb reported on behalf of Chandra, who couldn’t attend the meeting. She said that Godly Play is going fine with good attendance numbers and no problems with the transition back to the worship service. Walter is scheduled to present “Episcopal Church 101,” - hopefully in February. As Chandra is rotating off the vestry, planning for Faithful Forums will resume with the new liaison.

Parish Life Amy reported that 2022 was a good year for parish events, and 2023 looks to be even better. We have had trivia nights and brunches and many other events. The St. Patrick’s Day Dinner is being planned for 2023, as well as another Trivia Night and more child and adult events. Rev. Deb suggested that a Parish Life committee be reformed so that different folks can help with various events. Amy said she is planning this..

Pastoral Care Rev. Deb and Liz reported on recent pastoral care needs. Liz proposes forming a Pastoral Care committee, which could include the Eucharistic Visitors and others. Rev. Deb reported that John Heyse’s cats have both been adopted and thanked everyone for their efforts on his behalf.

Stewardship The Treasurer’s report detailed the results of the stewardship campaign. Rev. Deb, Liz, and Jane will be writing thank you notes to all pledging members. Marj is preparing a list for them.

Buildings and Grounds

Lights for the parking lot – Rev. Deb reported the lights were supposed to be installed last week but, due to the rain, will be installed on Thursday. The temporary lights will remain up until the new lights are installed.

Junior Warden/Building and Grounds Committee – Rev. Deb and Shannon want to rebuild a Building and Grounds committee, which should offer some organizational support and a structure for the many volunteers who are willing to help with maintenance and repairs at the building. There is already an existing Google Document for this purpose but folks seem unaware of it.

Labyrinth Committee – Amelia plans to continue as committee chair. At the moment there is nothing new to report on the plans for the labyrinth.

Rev. Deb reported that the door to the Godly Play area would not close on Sunday. Because that door has been repeatedly shaved, it is likely it needs to be replaced, as do the front doors of the church. Rev. Deb has donors for that purpose but measurements need to be taken. The possibility of reframing the doors to fit more standard doors was also discussed.

Upper Lot Update – Rev. Deb and Amy reported on a meeting that they held with a consultant today. Rev. Deb indicated that at this point in the process we have two major tasks: to find a developer to be our partner, and to find funding. One possible source is Contra Costa County Measure X. To that end, Rev. Deb is going to Contra Costa County meetings to find out if this is possible for us. The consultant (Daniel from Simpara) recommended that instead of updating our RFLI to an RFP (as was suggested by our previous consultant, DCG), we instead approach individual developers one on one and one at a time. On Monday, Rev. Deb met with Christina Alvarez, Executive Director of the Episcopal Impact Fund (EIF). Christina is working with CCH on developing the St. Anna’s property in Brentwood. She is going to check in with them to see if they are interested in our property. If we work with them, they will want primary control of the development and we will basically just collect a fee for the land lease. The vestry members indicated that seemed acceptable. Daniel suggested other developers we might pursue if things don’t work out with CCH.


Annual Meeting – Rev. Deb exhorted everyone to write and submit their annual reports. We have a good slate of vestry and deanery/diocesan convention candidates. The Annual Meeting will be hybrid this year.

Farewell to outgoing vestry members – Outgoing vestry members Amelia, Jane, and Chandra were recognized. They previously received gifts and Amelia and Jane opened theirs at the meeting. Amelia was reminded that she’s still Senior Warden until a new one is appointed. Ditto Shannon!

DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator

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