Grace Episcopal Church
Meeting by Video Conference
Minutes of Vestry Meeting
October 11, 2022
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
Guests: Lt. Patrick Salamid, Martinez Police Department; The Rev. Walter Ramsey; Emily Hyberg, Seminarian; Jennifer Sabroe; Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator
Absent: Chandra Damele, who was volunteering at Winter Nights
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 6:36 p.m. and led in prayer by Emily Hyberg.
Guest Presentation Lt. Patrick Salamid of Martinez Police Department gave a presentation on safety and security in the church setting.
Bible Study: Genesis 2:7, 18-22 and Genesis 1:26-27. The group read and discussed the two Creation stories.
Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Liz Charlton) to approve the consent agenda items as follows: Rector’s report, agenda, minutes of two September meetings, Treasurer’s report, Senior Warden’s report, Junior Warden’s report.
Outreach (Service) Dru reported that details will be coming out soon for Spirit of Giving, our annual opportunity to provide Christmas gifts for families in need. This is our week to handle Winter Nights, the cooperative shelter for unhoused families for which we provide dinner and breakfast for a four-night period. We have a good team of Grace volunteers covering the evenings, including some who are new to it this year. (Also see the Thanksgiving Dinner item below.)
Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that the committee meets next week, Family Sunday is coming up, and since it is the second half of the season after Pentecost, we have now changed from the Enriching Our Worship liturgy to the Book of Common Prayer.
Welcoming Ann reported that the committee is preparing a welcome gift to be offered to newcomers, consisting of a coffee mug with a bookmark and a written welcome that includes a QR code linking to information on church programs. (Also see the Thanksgiving Dinner item below.)
Education Rev. Deb reported on the season’s Faithful Forums:
October: Rev. Deb will give an explanation of the search for a new bishop.
November: Victoria Bevins will visit to talk about the training of service dogs for people with diabetes.
December: None (because of the Christmas season).
January: Rev. Walter will present on “Who wrote the Bible.”
All these are on the third Sunday of the month (which is also Family Sunday).
Godly Play is going well with robust attendance.
Parish Life See the Thanksgiving Dinner item below.
Pastoral Care Rev. Deb and Liz reported that Liz has been providing assistance to several parish families. Rev. Deb reported that the prayer list continues to get longer but she is managing to care for those in need with Liz’s assistance.
Buildings and Grounds
Trees – Two quotes via Dick Evans: One estimate for about $2500 (full service) and another for $1500 but did not include stump removal (seeking modification quote).
Lights – Gary replaced some items: More details to follow.
Labyrinth – Stamped concrete and crushed granite concepts have been considered but so far we have been unable to find a competent contractor. Rev. Deb will follow up with our gardener, Pat McNamara, who is looking for someone for us. We will need to look further ourselves as well.
Roof of parish hall – There is no imminent threat or leak, but eventually this roof will need to be replaced. (This is why we do not have solar panels: the solar companies said roof work would be needed first.)
Wall east side of the church near the sacristy – a professional visited to evaluate the settling, and determined that the building is not settling badly and so is not urgent. An estimate for shoring up the building, once we decide to do it, is $50,000.
Parish Workday – An all-church workday should be scheduled soon; there are several tasks to be done.
Kitchen – Someday we will need to bring the kitchen up to modern standards, somewhat closer to commercial kitchens. (We do not need it to be certified as a commercial kitchen, but if we would like to do ministry using it, we would have to do it. Rev. Deb recommends planning a Capital Campaign for the needed kitchen upgrades, as they will be expensive.
Upper Lot Update – Rev. Deb reported that the City of Martinez is interested in our project but we need a developer. The committee has one lead that they are pursuing and will continue to look for more. There is a City Council meeting tomorrow night, at which they will discuss the Housing Element of the city plan. We hope to be rezoned for development under this area of planning.Rev. Deb will attend. She invited other vestry members to attend as well.
Rectory purchase – The group had a brief discussion of the process and decisions related to our decision not to purchase a specific house for a rectory at this time.
Church bequest – An estate sale was held, and the house will go on the market soon.
Thanksgiving Dinner – The anonymous survey turned up four people who offered to help with co-chairing the Thanksgiving dinner. One was Liz Charlton, and we hope that the other three will come forward to assist. Before we commit to holding the dinner, we need to have at least one person in charge of publicity in the neighborhood and communicating with Loaves and Fishes and Camp Hope about getting our unhoused neighbors to the event. Amy Eudy offered to make door hangers to be used for this purpose. This week’s Grace Notes will appeal for help.
Stewardship – Jane reported that Rev. Walter will preach a stewardship sermon on Oct. 23. Liz is finding people to speak in church. Rev. Deb will write a stewardship letter. The office will produce pledge cards and send out the mailing. Rev. Deb asked Jane and Liz to please provide the timeline for the stewardship drive.
Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that, while donating to the church is needed, it is especially important to pledge, meaning telling the church what we plan to donate so that the church can make a realistic budget. She also reminded the group that pledging is a requirement of vestry service and encouraged everyone to pledge early. The amount is unimportant.
Columba Salamony’s Celebration of New Ministry
Rev. Deb will travel to preach at Columba’s Celebration of New Ministry in New York. She will miss Sunday, November 13. The Rev. Audrey Miskelly will celebrate the Eucharist. Emily will preach. Rev. Deb will return prior to Sunday, November 20.
DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:58 p.m.
Sarah Williams, Parish Administrator