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Vestry Minutes for May 10, 2022

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Grace Episcopal Church

Martinez, California

Meeting by Video Conference

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

May 10, 2022

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

Absent: Shannon Kleinschmit

Guests: Marj Leeds, Treasurer; The Rev. Columba Salamony; Jasmine Tarkoff, Consulting Director, Strategic Initiatives, Hope Solutions; 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 6:35 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

Bible Study. The group read and discussed John 10:11-15.

Consent Agenda. Amelia Brooks noted that the consent agenda was missing the Junior Warden’s report and Amy Eudy reported that the minutes of the April Retreat meeting minutes were also not included. It was M/S/C (Amelia Brooks/Amy Eudy) to approve the consent agenda items as follows: Rector’s report, Senior Warden’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Agenda



Outreach (Service) Dru reported that the committee met and went over past projects and laid plans for the coming year. Tina Reich will chair the Winter Nights project. Denise Hansen agreed to keep up with the deacon’s pantry and the donation basket for Camp Hope and CORE. The Outreach budget has $2000 remaining in it, and the committee plans to reserve $1000 of that for Winter Nights. Denise is interested in exploring whether Grace could support Passion to the Streets. Spirit of Giving is also planned for this Christmas

Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that “We aced Easter,” everything went very well through Holy Week. We are in the Easter Season now, and Pentecost comes next.

Rev. Deb reported that the memorial service for Natalie Austria and Savanah Fagundes (granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Elaine Quigley) will be Saturday, July 2; on Sunday, July 3, we will baptize a baby that is now expected by Natalie’s other daughter, Sarah.

Welcoming Ann reported that both permanent and single-use name tags are being replenished; new namestags have been made for newcomers, including for the Sturgeon family. We have several new families. Rev. Deb thanked Ann for stepping in to head-up this committee in addition to being the vestry liaison to it.

Education Chandra reported that she and Marj have teamed up for Godly Play. For Faithful Forums, there will be a Faithful Forum this Sunday, May 15, on Bishop Marc’s book. Chandra is seeking presenters to fill some gaps for the summer.

Parish Life Amy, Ann:

Amy reported:

  1. Trivia Night: Hope we have enough signups for this Friday, May 13, so we will not have to cancel.

  2. She still hopes to have a barbecue/baking competition this summer and invite the new neighbors to attend.

Rev. Deb mentioned that a going-away event for Columba needs to be planned.

Pastoral Care Liz, Jane.

Liz reported that a group of volunteers helped with a parishioner’s recent illness.

Liz is working on a spreadsheet for Rev. Deb to share her pastoral care to-do list for the committee to handle.

Stewardship Jane reported that Liz has agreed to help. Jane plans to begin the communication about it this summer, with notices in Grace Notes and so on. Rev. Deb reported that she has a book for Jane that outlines a program that guarantees a 10 percent increase in pledges if you follow it. She will leave it in Jane’s Grace box.

Building and Grounds

Per a text from the Junior Warden to the Senior Warden, the back steps have been completed and passed city inspection.

Upper Lot

Jasmine Tarkoff of Hope Solutions (formerly Interfaith Housing) described the nature of the housing crisis in Contra Costa County and discussed the agency’s work.

She described “micro-housing,” which can be built in roughly a fifth of the time and a fifth of the cost of regular housing, and which might be possible on our Upper Lot.

This might require giving up our hope of an income stream from use of that property, but we have been having trouble getting any developer interested in developing the lot due to our restrictive density ratio..

Hope Solutions secures the funding and handles everything for a project, from permitting through building, selection of tenants, and ongoing management, including supportive services.

Grace would lease the land to Hope Solutions.

She answered questions from the vestry members.

After Jasmine left the meeting, Rev. Deb summarized our current position regarding the upper lot development. She reported that the City of Martinez is especially interested in the category known as “very low income housing.” The City is likely to work with us on the zoning if we find a developer but developers will not work with us unless the density ratio is changed. Rev. Deb has been working with our consultant, DCG, to liaise with the city to see if we can facilitate an early-stage meeting to facilitate that change. It may still be possible to create an arrangement that produces an income stream.

The consensus was to work with the City of Martinez a little longer before giving up the idea of a revenue stream from the project. Rev. Deb will let Jasmine know that we are interested in the Hope Solutions’ project but do not wish to ask them to start specific work on a project with us until we have exhausted our possibilities of doing a low-income housing development.


Grace has received more money from Michele Lynch’s estate, and is ready to pursue the labyrinth again.

Amelia and Rev. Deb did some exploring. The vestry discussed some options for creating a labyrinth inexpensively, perhaps by buying a kit and installing it ourselves.

The vestry wants to move forward with it, so we will form a labyrinth committee to pursue it.

Safe Church

Jennifer Sabroe reported that she has contacted everyone who needs to do training (people who missed the in-person training last fall). If you didn’t hear from her about it, then you are current on your training.

Jennifer also points out that the video trainings can be interesting even if you did attend the in-person training, and they can be a bit more in-depth.


Field Education update

A new Field Education student named Emily Hyberg will be with us for the coming school year. Her lay committee has been formed. Columba will be with us until he gets a job!

May vacations

Rev. Deb will take vacation from May 15 through May 22.

Marj will also be away this month.

The Vestry moved into Executive Session at 8:35 pm in order to discuss two personnel issues. Executive Session was closed at 8:45 pm.

DISMISSAL Rev. Columba dismissed the meeting at 8:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

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