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Minutes of June 13 Vestry Meeting

Grace Episcopal Church

Martinez, California

Meeting by Video Conference

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

June 13, 2023

Present: The Very Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Amy Eudy (Sr. Warden), Shannon Kleinschmit (Jr. Warden), Dru Grissom, Sally Hanson, Jennifer Sabroe,

Absent: Liz Charlton, Bob Morano, Catherine Sumner

Guests: Iman Novin of Novin Development, Christina Alvarez, Executive Director of the Episcopal Impact Fund (also a member of our Upper Lot Committee), The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Deacon; 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: Genesis 6:11-22 The group read and discussed the passage.

Guest presentation: “Housing Development 101” by Iman Novin of Novin Development. Iman explained what is considered “affordable housing,” how it differs from market-rate housing, and what populations are housed in affordable housing. He briefly laid out the process for building low income housing, including explaining where developers obtain the funding for projects like ours. Christina Alvarez and Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that the church does not take part in raising funds for the development. We vet and choose a developer to partner with and they obtain the funding and take care of permits and other legal issues. We will have input into what the development looks like, how it is situated on our property, and whether we will house any Grace ministries there. You can watch the presentation at this link using this passcode: Passcode: 7C?^2dTv.

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



Outreach (Service) - Dru reported that there will be a committee meeting June 25, to discuss the upcoming Winter Nights project.

Worship and Liturgy - Sally reminded everyone about Arthur’s harpsichord concert this Sunday at 4 pm. Rev. Deb and Rev. Walter reported that Rev. Walter is no longer serving in the chancel. He will be performing his ministries as deacon from the main floor of the sanctuary. He is still our deacon! There will be a meeting of the Worship and Liturgy Committee this week on Thursday, June 15.

Welcoming - Ann Fisher was not present to give the report.

Education - Catherine Sumner was not present to give the report. Rev. Deb reported that Godly Play is not in session during summer months. She filled the vestry in on a discussion at the last Worship and Liturgy meeting about excess noise in worship. Rev. Deb reminded everyone that we are an intergenerational parish and everyone needs to work together to make all our fellow parishioners comfortable at worship.

Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that vestry liaisons are responsible for keeping track of specific ministries. Education includes Godly Play, adult formation, and youth. In order to rebuild the program, Catherine took on the job of Youth Leader, which has involved a great deal of time on top of her other duties. For this reason, Theo White-Spenik has agreed to be our new Youth Leader. He has been collaborating with the All-Deanery Youth Group leaders. There will be a Youth event at Grace this Sunday from 1-3 pm.

Parish Life - Amy reported that she is planning a trivia night. Rev. Deb suggested that we begin looking ahead to the Homecoming/Return to the Program Year party and consider whether to resume Oktoberfest. Amy said she will support any volunteers for Oktoberfest but cannot chair it herself.

Pastoral Care - Rev. Deb updated the vestry on various prayer requests, including the health of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, who is currently not allowed to travel.

Stewardship - Bob and Jennifer have been working with Treasurer Marj Leeds to put together a comprehensive year-round Stewardship Campaign. Bob shared a written plan with Rev. Deb. He will present it to the vestry at next month’s meeting.

Buildings and Grounds

Parish Workday - Shannon reported that several people showed up for the All-Parish Workday on Saturday, June 10. They mowed the lawn, trimmed some weeds, fixed a chicken-wire hazard, and cleaned the gutters. Shannon said that it is too difficult for us to trim the entire hillside on Muir Station Rd. He recommends hiring the goats for this project. Dick Evans is looking into this possibility and also speaking to the City of Martinez about where the city property line is and how much responsibility we have for maintaining the area next to the sidewalk on Muir Station Road.

There are still many maintenance items that need to be done. Rev. Deb asked for suggestions for making people aware that the church is in need of maintenance and we need more people to help with this.

Labyrinth - Rev. Deb reported that the Labyrinth project has stalled. Amelia Brooks provided her with the name of a possible contractor. Rev. Deb encouraged the group to think about who might take over employing a contractor as we have allocated the money for this project and it has been tabled for almost a year.

Doors - Rev. Deb reported that, like the labyrinth project, although there are funds to purchase new doors for the Education Building and Sanctuary, she has simply not had the time to find someone to manage the replacements. Rev. Deb noted that we need to make a decision about whether to buy non-standard doors to replace the current non-standard doors, or to rehang the door frame so that we can purchase standard doors. This is not her area of expertise. Once again, she asked the group to think of folks who would be willing to make phone calls to provide opinions and estimates for getting this done.

Upper Lot Update – The City of Martinez has sent the housing element of the City Plan, which includes a plan to rezone our property for low-income housing, to Sacramento for approval.


Ann Fisher has had to resign from the vestry for personal reasons. Through Rev. Deb, she apologized for not being able to complete her term and said she will miss everyone. Rev. Deb encouraged the group to support Ann during this stressful time in her life. The group prayed for our colleague.

Jennifer Sabroe announced she will be moving later this year but will remain on the vestry for the time being.

Rev. Deb outlined the process for replacing a vestry member. Possible replacements for Ann were discussed. Vestry members were encouraged to think of parishioners who might be willing to join vestry and to email the names to Rev. Deb.

Tim Baker’s Funeral is this Saturday at 2 PM.

Youth All Deanery Pizza Club hosted by Grace is at 1 PM this Sunday.

Arthur’s Harpsichord concert is at 4 PM this Sunday.

Bill Macan gift update – the Chancellor of the Diocese and the lawyer for the Frank Macan estate are in communication about how to achieve the vestry’s goal of offering a financial gift to Bill. These conversations are confidential and Rev. Deb has no details to share at this time.

Rectory committee - Rev. Deb would like to form a committee to handle this project, including deciding what we want/need in a rectory and keeping an eye on real estate opportunities so that we can act when a good option arises. Rev. Deb asked for volunteers to chair and find members for this committee.

DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the group and the meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator

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