Grace Episcopal Church
Meeting by Video Conference
Minutes of Vestry Meeting
November 8, 2022
Present: The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Amelia Brooks (Sr. Warden), Shannon Kleinschmit (Jr. Warden), Liz Charlton, Chandra Damele, Amy Eudy, Ann Fisher, Dru Grissom, Sally Hanson, Jane Ramsey
Guests: The Rev. Walter Ramsey; Emily Hyberg, Seminarian; Jennifer Sabroe; Noralea Gipner; 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 6:32 p.m. and led in prayer by Reverend Deb.
Bible Study: Luke 10:1-9. The group read and discussed the passage.
Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Ann Fisher) to approve the consent agenda items as follows: Rector’s report, agenda, minutes of the October meeting, Treasurer’s report, Junior Warden’s report.
Outreach (Service) Dru reported that our participation in the Winter Nights’ seasonal housing project went well. Spirit of Giving, which provides gifts to people who might otherwise not be able to afford them (through Hope Solutions) is underway and going well. Rev. Deb mentioned that Camp Hope has been disassembled; the residents have been offered other services. As a result, their shower program supplies will need to be moved. Noralea Gipner has requested that we put the containers at Grace. This was taken up under new business.
Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that the Worship and Liturgy committee conducted a survey to see if parishioners are inclined to change service times, specifically related to Christmas. Based on this data. The committee decided to leave the times of the Christmas services as they are. They are considering changing the Christmas concert to a day other than Christmas Eve and moving the late Christmas Eve service back a half hour. They also decided to add a monthly 8 am service to take place on Family Sundays. This will begin in January.
Welcoming Ann reported that the committee is deciding on a welcome gift for new people. They priced mugs and decided they are too costly. They are thinking about producing an attractive bookmark instead. Rev. Deb suggested the Welcome Committee be given access to the website so that they can read messages from “seekers” and follow-up with new folks.
Education Chandra reported that the November Faithful Forum (Canine Companions) is on for Sunday, November 20.
Rev. Deb shared some complaints she has received about the level of noise in the latter part of the Sunday service (after the children return). She reminded everyone that there is a process for the transition from Godly Play back to the service, which was designed to minimize disruption in the liturgy. Since the return from the pandemic, this process has been less smooth than we would like, so we need to remind service and Godly Play volunteers how it is done so that we can minimize disruption and maximize safety.
Parish Life Amy reported that she is looking for a Friday or Saturday evening in January for a Trivia Night. (November and December are too busy to add an event like that.)
Rev. Deb passed on a message from Marj Leeds. In recent years we have not held the Octoberfest or St. Patrick’s Day dinner, which has caused a loss of revenue to the church. She indicated that the current Parish Life committee does not have to resume these activities, but we need to have Parish Life events that are also fundraisers.
Pastoral Care Rev. Deb and Liz reported on recent pastoral care needs. Liz also mentioned that the Thanksgiving dinner will be a “pastoral care” event (among other functions).
Buildings and Grounds
Trees – The diseased trees have been removed
Lights for the parking lot – Gary Spenik reported that he will look for a company that can do the work.
Labyrinth – We have not been able to find a local contractor experienced with building labyrinths like what we have in mind. Gary offered to do some research to find an affordable solution.
Kitchen – The possibility of a kitchen renovation was discussed again. Reverend Deb said that we cannot afford to do it without a capital campaign.
Upper Lot Update – Rev. Deb reported that the results of the mayoral election may have some effect on our project, but in general the City is interested now in developing housing. Rev. Deb has met with a promising developer, Eden Housing. They are an experienced and known developer of low-income housing. Contra Costa County’s funds via Measure X are an interesting possibility, so Rev. Deb is attending county housing meetings as well.
Financial Update – Once the stewardship drive ends, Marj will look at the pledges and see which households that usually pledge have not done it yet. Vestry members will be asked to contact people in this category, to follow up.
Columba’s Celebration of New Ministry – Rev. Deb will attend and preach, and we can all watch the livestream (details in Grace Notes).
Thanksgiving Dinner – Planning is underway.
Showers (Noralea request) Parishioner Noralea Gipner joined the meeting. Camp Hope has closed, and the containers that house the shower program supplies need to be moved. Noralea Gipner asked if Grace will store two 40-foot containers on Grace property. Discussion was held.
It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Dru Grissom) to conditionally approve the storage of containers for homeless action coalition, pending measurement of the site and confirmation that the containers will fit in the space we have available.
Stewardship – Jane reported that the “Why I pledge” talks in church have gone well. Stewardship letters have been mailed. Ten households have used the online pledge card. Jane appreciates the QR codes in the pews, making it easier to find the online pledge card.
Nominating committee – The nominating committee that recruits new vestry members is made up of the “middle” class of vestry members, which this year is Sally, Amy, and Liz. Amelia, Jane, and Chandra are at the end of their terms. Reverend Deb reminded them that they need to have a potential slate of candidates for the December meeting as our by-laws state that we have to provide their biographical data to parishioners several weeks before the Annual Meeting in January.
DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:46 p.m.
Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator