December 2019 Vestry Minutes

Grace Episcopal Church  Martinez, California

Unadopted Minutes of Vestry Meeting

December 11, 2019


Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Lynda Dyer (Sr. Warden), Betty Case, Connie Towey, Pat Hambly, Christina Reich, Stephanie Zichichi (left at 6:30pm)

Absent:  Josh Senn, Paula Menconi, Jim Maniatis (Jr. Warden)

Guests:  The Rev. Walter Ramsey, Jennifer Sabroe (Clerk), Jack Case

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 5:04 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

 Bible Study. Isaiah 42:5-12,16.  The group read and discussed the passage about change.

 Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Hambly/Towey) to approve the consent agenda: Minutes of November Vestry meeting; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report and Senior Warden’s Report.

It was noted in the Rector’s Report that Paula Menconi and Jim Maniatis have resigned from the vestry due to health reasons.


  1. Finances (Treasurer; Stewardship report, Rector and Music Directory Salary approvals; Rector’s Housing Resolution Approval and Proposed Budget)
    1. The vestry reviewed the proposed budget and the treasurer’s comments. Less money going out than we expected and more income coming in. Pledges up approximately $14K from 2019; preliminary agreement to rent upper lot to Las Trampas brings in $9600/year; Reverend Deb has deferred her 5 year longevity raise until 2021 budget (because she does not hit her longevity mark until December 2020); Diocesan assessment went down, when we anticipated it would go up; Parish Administrator position is funded for 10 months (new hire expected in Spring). Deficit is still at $16K.

Marj Leeds has agreed to be our Treasurer since Paula Menconi has resigned. She is still working on the budget to present for formal adoption at the January vestry meeting. It will then be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting on January 26, 2020.

The vestry approved The Rev. Dr. Deborah White’s annual salary, increased to $86,000. M/S/C (Reich/Towey)

The vestry approved Music Director Arthur Omura’s annual salary, increased to $16,800. M/S/C (Hambly/Dyer)

The vestry approved Housing Resolution as stated, and as appears below. M/S/C (Reich/Towey).

Housing Resolution for The Rev. Dr. Deborah White, Rector, 2020

WHEREAS the Rev. Dr. Deborah White is employed as a minister of the Gospel by Grace Episcopal Church, Martinez, California, which does not provide a residence for her, the vestry resolves that of the total compensation of $86,000.00 to be paid to The Rev. Dr. Deborah White during 2020, that $50,160.00 be designated a parsonage allowance within the meaning of that term as used in Section 107 of the IRS code of 1986.

  1. Updates on Ministry Teams
    1. Service (Outreach) – Pat Hambly reported on the December 8 Outreach meeting where our participation in the Contra Costa Interfaith Winter Nights Family Shelter program is being planned. Members of Grace will team with other faith partners to provide meals January 2-5 at First Congregational Church in Pittsburg. Leads are in place for dinner planning, but more helpers are needed to assist with prep, clean up and activities. Information and sign-up sheets will be available at December 15 SWEEPS Fair. Nate Brooks will represent Outreach at the SWEEPS Fair. The third Sunday special offering for the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for this month will be set aside to help cover the costs of our Winter Nights participation (non-perishable supplies and dinner supplies). It was reported that the next meeting of the Martinez Interfaith Housing committee will be on January 23, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. at Martinez City Hall. Deacon Walter reported on the Deacon’s Pantry. Jennifer Sabroe gave a recap of the Spirit of Giving drive.
    2. Worship – Worship and Liturgy will meet tomorrow to work on planning for Epiphany. Family Sunday this Sunday; Wednesday, December 18, 7 p.m. Evensong; December 24, Christmas Eve 5 p.m. pageant, 10:30 p.m. late service;  December 25, 10 a.m. Christmas Day; December 29 10 a.m. Lessons and Carols (Holy Eucharist at 8 a.m.)
    3. Education – Lynda Dyer reported that a cabinet with a lock is being considered for the Nursery to contain toys and supplies. She has reminded parents to clean up the room if it has been used. Lynda will help with the pageant, noting that costume changes should be minimal. Regarding the kids’ activity backpacks in the church, she has been keeping up with them but noted that a new person will need to step in once she and Don move. Rev. Deb reported on the current topic in Bible Study is using “Thrill of Hope: The Christmas Story in Word and Art” DVDs. Rev. Deb reported that she’s working on Faithful Forums for 2020.
    4. Evangelism-Welcome – Christina Reich reported the next meeting of the Welcoming Committee will be Tuesday, December 17, 4 p.m. She and Liz Charlton have been working on the welcoming packet as well as procedures to assist and support Rev. Deb with newcomers. Coffee Hour is going well, she will have a table at SWEEPS Fair.  Lynda reported that the nametags are ready, but a display board is needed to store them, and is working on a solution with the plan to “go live” in January. In response to a question about publicity, Tina offered to have information at the SWEEPS Fair about the need for a publicity and social media person.
    5. Pastoral Care – Connie Towey reported on current pastoral needs. Rev. Deb provided an update on pastoral care.
    6. Parish Life – No update.
  2. Stewardship (Buildings and Grounds/Jr. Warden) Deb reported on the resignation of the Jr. Warden, Jim Maniatis, and noted that Josh Senn has agreed to step into this role for the balance of his term.
  3. Nursery Hire Krista Stahlheber

The vestry approved the hiring of Krista Stahlheber as Nursery Attendant, at a rate of $20/hour, with a cap of $2,000 per year. M/S/C (Dyer/Towey)

  1. By-laws review. Working draft from Tina and Connie and working draft with Rev. Deb’s edits were reviewed by the vestry. Stephanie Zichichi noted a few clerical errors and offered to generate the final copy.

The vestry accepted the By-Laws with clerical changes only — no substantive changes. M/S/C (Hambly/Dyer)

  1. SWEEPS Ministry Fair Forum – Rev. Deb reported on the fair which will take place at the December 15 Faithful Forum, following the 10 a.m. service. (See other reports for mentions of SWEEPS Fair for more information.)
  2. Vestry Recruitment – Connie reported on progress regarding Vestry nominations for 2020. Amelia Brooks, Jane Ramsey, and Betty Case have agreed to run.  Connie has talked to Sally Hanson who has agreed to replace Paula. There was discussion of nominations and appointments for the various upcoming vacant seats.
  3. Thanksgiving follow-up. This year 50 people, from both Grace and the greater community attended. Will do again next year.
  4. James Beavore. Deb shared the good news update on James, our housing-challenged friend, who has been reunited with his family.
  5. Las Trampas rental. As noted in the Rector’s Report, Rev. Deb indicated that we have reached a preliminary agreement with Las Trampas Regional Center to rent our upper parking lot to them for $800 per month.


  1. Annual Meeting agenda.
    1. Discernment for upper lot. Rev Deb indicated she will bring up the discernment of the upper lot at the annual meeting.
  2. Thanks to retiring Vestry members. Deb expressed thanks to outgoing members, reminding that there is still one more meeting to attend! Lynda expressed her thanks and appreciation to everyone.

Next meeting January 15, 2020

Car on lot. Rev. Deb will forward the written agreement (between the vehicle owner and the church) to Lynda who will pursue further action.

Closing Prayer and Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 6:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jennifer Sabroe, Clerk

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