November 11, 2020 Grace Vestry minutes

Present:  The Reverend Dr. Deborah White (Rector), Christina Reich, (Sr. Warden), Joshua Senn (Jr. Warden), Amelia Brooks, Chandra Damele, Sally Hanson, David Kennedy, Jane Ramsey, Connie Towey, Stephanie Zichichi

 Guests:  Irene Plunkett; Columba Salamony, Field Education Student; 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 6:03 p.m. and led in prayer by Rev. Deb.

 Bible Study. Matthew 61:24-34   The group read and discussed the passages related to our work at Grace.

Consent Agenda. It was M/S/C (Towey/Hanson) to approve the consent agenda items: Minutes of October 14, 2020; Rector’s Report; Treasurer’s Report; Senior Warden Report


LabyrinthIrene Plunkett, labyrinth facilitator, spoke to the Vestry about different types of labyrinths and led a preliminary discussion about the possibility of Grace putting in a labyrinth in memorial to Michelle Lynch.

Ministry Updates


Winter Nights:  Winter Nights is a collaborative program among local churches to house families without housing during the Winter months. Grace has volunteered to provide the meals for the week of March 8-11, 2021. It will be more expensive this year because of COVID restrictions requiring that food must come from a commercial kitchen. This means that we will need to fundraise so we can buy food instead of preparing it ourselves.

The Spirit of Giving:  Jennifer reported that Grace agreed to take care of twenty people, providing gift cards for groceries and gifts, $75/person, so $1500 total.  Hope Solutions will get the cards; all we need to do is provide the money.  Deadline is early December, so we are working on it fast. Rev. Deb has agreed to cover any shortfall from her Rector’s Discretionary Fund.

Worship and Liturgy  

Sally and Rev. Deb reported that we are taking a big leap this Sunday, to limited attendance in-person, indoor worship.  There are many precautions being taken. All the details (the requirements, what will happen in church, and so forth) have been provided in an email from Rev. Deb to the entire mailing list and are repeated in Grace Notes. The W&L committee meets next week, so they will be able to discuss how the first indoor service went. Rev. Deb emphasized that we will continue to simulcast regardless of whether we continue indoor or outdoor in-person services.


Christina thanked  Jennifer for her help with coffee hour.  Christina also hosts when she can be there. She plans to recruit more volunteers.


Amelia reported that the second part of the Braver Angels “With Malice Toward None” event takes place this Sunday.  Two sessions will be held on Sunday -one for those “delighted” with the outcome of the presidential election (by Zoom hosted by St. Paul’s Walnut Creek) and one for those “distressed” with the outcome (on Zoom hosted by Grace at 10:30).

Godly Play weekly recordings by Marj are going well with an average of 25-50 views on our Facebook page weekly.

Pastoral Care  

Connie reported that the casserole supply is replenished. Rev. Deb indicated that there haven’t been any coronavirus cases in Grace itself, but some parishioners have had family members test positive.

Parish Life  

Stephanie reported that the outdoor get-together drew sixteen people and was very nice.  It was easy to organize and if the weather warms up we can do it again.

Youth group had a masked, distanced, in-person Halloween party, which was very good.

Book club continues on-line.


The committee is Amelia, Tina, Jane, and Connie.  Amelia reported that we will have a stewardship message from the committee in the service this Sunday.  The stewardship letter went out late last week.  We hope to wrap up the campaign by the end of November.

Buildings and Grounds 

Back stairs off the kitchen:  Railing has still not been completed. There is some confusion about who is completing the project. Rev. Deb will check in with Dick Evans and Jim Maniatis.

Video and Sound System/Audiovisual Booth:  The new system is installed!  Our insurance is paying for the new A/V equipment that was stolen.  

Re-keying the church:  Vestry members and other volunteers who need a key can pick it up on Wednesday or Sunday when Rev. Deb is there.

Break-in:  The thieves broke doors that had been fixed when the rekeying was done.  The insurance plans to pay for the doors.

Security system:  Rev. Deb reported that the police recommended we get a monitored security system.  Connie Towey motioned andTina Reich seconded a  motion to authorize Rev. Deb and Gary to take care of it.  Since Rev. Deb expects it to cost less than $1,000, it is not necessary for the Vestry to authorize the purchase, but the group agreed by acclamation that it should be done.

Garden:  The rose bushes are being taken out.  The cadre of people who cared for them is gone or needs to retire from it, and it is time-consuming and expensive to take care of them.  We are going to put in more water-efficient and less time-consuming plants.  Josh is heading this up.  There will be opportunities to adopt a rose bush (but you have to take it away to your place!)

Upper Lot Committee Status  Nothing to report.

Return to church   See Worship and Liturgy report.

Multi-platform software  We would like to simulcast on platforms other than Facebook. We have something we are going to try for free, and if we adopt it will be very low-cost.

Stewardship Drive  

Rev. Deb activated the phone tree:  When making calls please encourage people to send in their pledge cards and remind folks about the indoor, in-person worship service this week (see Worship and Liturgy report).


2021 Budget process  Once the pledge drive is done, we will see how it looks. Finance committee is Dick Evans, Marj Leeds, and Rev. Deb.  In December the vestry will receive a skeleton budget and will be asked to consent to next year’s salaries. The vestry will not approve the budget until January after which it will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Meeting.

Annual meeting  Rev. Deb reminded the vestry that there will be an annual meeting regardless of the pandemic. It is required by our by-laws. It is likely that it will be held virtually on Zoom. Rev. Deb asked vestry members to begin to think of folks they feel would be good vestry members or deanery/diocesan convention delegates.

Thanksgiving dinner substitute The Annual Grace Community Thanksgiving Dinner has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rev. Deb has asked folks to donate the amount they would have spent on a dish to share to an organization that is providing meals to hungry folks for Thanksgiving. Christina reported that Loaves and Fishes is providing full dinners on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Several other organizations are providing Thanksgiving baskets for delivery.

Website preview

Rev. Deb reported that she and Sarah have been working on the new website. She offered to provide a preview to the vestry but folks agreed that they’d rather wait until it was ready to launch.

DISMISSAL  Columba Salamony led the dismissal and the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,

 Sarah Williams

Parish Administrator

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