2011 VestryBelow are the approved minutes of March’s Vestry meeting. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask one of our Vestry members.

Vestry Meeting

Monday, March 28, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

Father Jeff called the meeting to order and Connie Blackmon opened with prayer.

In attendance:

Connie Blackmon,  Gene Demonet, Sheila Dixon, Lynn Hall, Dave Halmrast, Jeff Jackson, Drucye Robinson, Anne Simpson, Nancy Snoots


Jeff presented the question: “Is St. Nicholas a Five-Star church?”   He listed eight areas in which we each rated St. Nicholas and then we discussed our responses.  Overall, the responses indicated that we feel favorably about our church, but we feel we have areas in which St. Nicholas can improve.

We discussed that the people whom we serve include the community at large, our missions, and people of all ages. Dave made the point we are responsible for how children who attend St. Nicholas form their idea of what it means to be a church member.


Lenten series: Jeff said the Lenten Series is going well.   About 30 people have been attending the Series this season and we have had great food, excellent speakers, and very appreciative attendees.

Out and About Group:  Anne Simpson is leading a group outing to the Bible Antiquities location in LaGrange in April.  The dinner is at 4 p.m. followed by a Christ Walk.

Strategic Planning Committee:  Jeff said the SPC heard from three architectural firms (Young Goldstein, CDH Partners, and Cole & Cole) and are waiting for a response from a fourth.   At the next SPC meeting, it will be decided which architects to invite to St. Nicholas for interviews.  The Vestry is invited to be at the interviews.

Newcomers: Jeff is having lunch with some newcomers.  Jeff reminded everyone to be on the lookout for newcomers and to help them to feel welcome.  Anne is trying to get more nametags.  Lynn suggested magnetic; Jeff said it’s up to Hospitality.

Summer Chapel Band:   Jeff said that the Summer Chapel Band will be here on May 8th; one service at 10:00 a.m.  We will publicize the event and hold it in honor of Cason Callaway.  Connie Blackmon suggested putting invitations to that service in the thank you notes that are going out for Cason’s memorial service at St. Nicholas.

Summer Schedule Services:  Jeff said we will be going to one Sunday service over the summer and asked if we want a break from Sunday School and breakfast.  Vestry members said yes.  St. Nicholas will start back to the two-service schedule on August 14th.

The Parish picnic will be at the Callaway home at Blue Springs on August 7th. Connie suggested that the service be short because it will be hot.  Jeff agreed and said we would commission the Sunday School teachers on the Sunday before.

Ministry Fair learning:   Jeff asked if anyone who attended the Ministry Fair at the Cathedral would share about their experience.  Gene and Nancy shared their experiences.  Dave said the Cathedral has a great library with sources on all possible ministries.  He and Jeff both said the people at the Diocese are great resources for our ministries, also.

Relay for Life:  Connie Blackmon is in charge of it this year and suggested having a cookie with each BBQ meal sold instead of having a bake sale.  Vestry agreed.  The St. Nicholas walkers will carry a banner.   Survivors’ Sunday is scheduled for May 1st.  Trish Wehrle wants to do a basket sale and, because of space reasons, the sale table will outside unless it’s raining.  The events will be publicized through website, newsletter, and announcements.


Parish Secretary:

Dave said that Jeff has put together a job description for the Parish Secretary position.  Gene said he has been able to find about $650 per month by rearranging allocations to various ministries.  Dave said that could pay for about 12 to 16 hours per week, depending on the hourly rate.  Dave and Gene are going to investigate any tax liability to St. Nicholas and whether the person can be classified as an independent contractor.

Jeff was asked to determine how much it would cost to set up a workspace for a Parish Secretary.   Dave said that Jeff has an excellent person in mind for the job.  The Vestry agreed that St. Nicholas needs a Parish Secretary, especially as it would free Jeff to perform all of his duties as our Priest, but that all Vestry members need to be present and involved in the decision.  It was mentioned that most of the Parish thinks that Dorothy is our secretary (she is not) and that most Parish members probably do not realize that we need a Parish Secretary and how that would help the Parish.

The Vestry will discuss this again at the April meeting.

Braves Tickets as a Fundraiser:  There was a mixed response to the suggestion because of the number of tickets involved (150 minimum) and the distance to the game.  Sheila is going to do a Braves game as an Out and About event this summer.   It was agreed that the response to that event may indicate how much of an interest there would be in doing a Braves Tickets sale as a fundraiser for St. Nicholas.

Steward of the Month:   Dave said that Steward of the Month would not be enough of an honor for Cason Callaway and suggested that we have an “In Memoriam” for Cason with a description of Cason’s life and his contributions, including one or more pictures of him.  Jeff said he would talk to Phebe about what to write.

Sheila suggested that all of the people who helped with Lenten Series this season be honored as Stewards of the Month.  Vestry agreed.  Jeff said that although having groups of people mentioned as Steward(s) of the Month has  been good, he wants to go back to having individuals honored in that way.

Treasurer’s Report:    Gene reviewed his report.  He reminded us that by the next Vestry meeting, we will have completed one quarter of this year.  Dave will write a blurb to put in the newsletter concerning stewardship.  He is also going to write a blurb concerning the need for a Parish Assistant.

Other Discussion:

Jeff said that Katherine Johnson will chair the silent auction at Lobsterfest this year.  The raffling of cash prizes at last year’s Lobsterfest was not very profitable for St. Nicholas.  Jeff suggested we need to have ideas for what to raffle at this year’s Lobsterfest.

Dave asked for the name of a locksmith in Harris County for the rekeying of some locks at St. Nicholas.

Jeff was elected to be on the Diocesan nominating committee to search for the next Bishop.  It will involve a few Saturdays of his time.  Jeff said that he has dropped two committees that he was on and that he is trying to divest himself of the Zion Church responsibility.

Lynn said that Michelle asked for people to begin contributing plastic Easter eggs and non-chocolate candy for the Easter Egg Hunt that is coming up.

The Vestry agreed to go past the allocated hour and a half meeting time because of the number of issues to be discussed.

The February minutes were approved.

Jeff ended the meeting with prayer at 8:45 p.m.