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: Laurie Berry, of ReMax Real Estate; 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 6:39 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.
Bible Study. The group read and discussed the Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13:3-9.
Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Shannon Kleinshmit) to approve the consent agenda items as follows: Rector’s report, Agenda, Minutes of the August meeting, Treasurer’s report, Senior Warden’s report, Junior Warden’s report. Additionally, it was M/S/C (Amy Eudy/Shannon Kleinshmit) to approve the minutes of the vestry retreat and of the July vestry meeting.
Outreach (Service) Dru reported that the committee met and worked out the plan for Winter Nights, the cooperative shelter for unhoused families for which we provide dinner and breakfast for a four-night period in October. We have lead and backup hosts for each of the four nights, and need 2-3 more volunteers for each. The request will be in Grace Notes along with a signup sheet.
Worship and Liturgy Sally reported that, 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. There is a new COVID protocol from the Diocese which allows us to return to the common cup if we so desire. The Worship and LIturgy committee will be discussing this on its meeting this Thursday.
Welcoming There is nothing new to report. More will be coming in October.
Education Chandra reported on the season’s Faithful Forums:
August: John Lee led a well-received discussion on end-of-life conversations and planning
September: Liz Charlton will talk about growing orchids
October: Victoria Bevins will visit to talk about the training of service dogs for people with diabetes
November: Rev. Deb will give an explanation of the search for a new bishop.
All these are on the third Sunday of the month (which is also Family Sunday).
Godly Play began again this week after the summer hiatus, and many children were in attendance.
Parish Life Rev. Deb reported that there was a program kickoff barbecue Sunday and it went well.
Pastoral Care Rev. Deb referred people to her rector’s report.
Stewardship Jane reported that there will be some written pieces about stewardship in Grace Notes coming soon.
Building and Grounds
Trees – Shannon reported that the bids for tree work have gone astray, and he will ask for them again. There may be treatments that will save the still-living trees.
Labyrinth – The labyrinth committee met. The group reached the consensus that stamped concrete may be our best way to go. Rev. Deb volunteered to check in with her fellow clergy to find out what their labyrinths are made of and will meet with our current gardener, Pat McNamara, for his input. Gary Spenik and Shannon Kleinschmidt will follow up with estimates..
Upper Lot Update – The Martinez City Council is now very interested in low-income housing, and in helping us with our project. They are trying to put the new city plan in place this fall. As a result of time constraints, our zoning will likely not be changed under the Land Use element of the plan. However, when they take up the Housing Element, they will try to zone our property as “very high” density. Rev. Deb has joined and attended two meetings of the city’s ad hoc committee regarding unhoused people. She also attended the last city council meeting. The Executive Director of the Episcopal Impact Fund, Christina Alvarez, has some ideas for us, which she will pursue. Many possibilities are in the air, and Rev. Deb continues to attend meetings and engage with the city.
Bequest, and offer of purchase of a rectory
Note: This discussion was not held in Executive session, but because it involves donation information of parishioners she asked the vestry to hold confidential the names of the parishioners involved.
Treasurer Marj Leeds outlined the parish’s current financial situation, which involves a potentially large deficit in the 2023 budget. She then informed the vestry about two developments: a bequest made to the church by a late parishioner; and the offer of a house that the church could purchase from another parish family, at a reasonable price, to serve as a future rectory.
Senior Warden Amelia Brooks and Rev. Deb engaged a realtor, Laurie Berry, to consult with the church on the potential acquisition. Treasurer Marj Leeds estimated costs and income for buying and maintaining the house, which could be rented out until it is needed as a rectory. Rev. Deb has discussed the potential purchase with the diocese and consulted with the diocesan chancellor about the tax burdens associated with it.
Laurie, Amelia, and Rev. Deb visited the property.
The vestry expressed interest in pursuing the offer. Laurie will learn more about the offer, and next steps will begin from there.
The vestry discussed whether we want to hold a Thanksgiving event this year. It might need to be held outdoors, but Diocesan COVID rules seem to allow it at the moment. A chair would need to be found.
Rev. Deb and Rev. Walter will be away for the Clergy Retreat from September 27 through 29.
October 28-29 Rev. Deb will be at the convention. This meeting will mark the end of her term as Standing Committee president.
DISMISSAL Rev. Walter dismissed the meeting at 8:36 p.m.