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

Vestry Meeting

Monday, May 23, 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, Michelle Moody, Drucye Robinson, Linda Sawyer, Anne Simpson


Jeff discussed the leadership style inventory Vestry members filled out and brought to the meeting.  The inventory measured four different leadership styles.  Jeff’s hope was that each person would learn more about his or her own leadership style, each other’s styles, and the strengths and challenges of each.   Most people have elements of each leadership style, with one style being predominant.  All four styles were represented on Vestry, although most Vestry members were the mediator style.

Jeff suggested some homework for Vestry members: 1) Name people with different styles and determine how to implement new approach with each person, and 2) Contemplate one’s own style and how to enhance strengths and change liabilities.

We can learn how to incorporate other styles throughout our lifetimes.


The April minutes were approved.

Strategic Planning Committee update – The SPC has interviewed two of the four architects.   It has been a good learning experience.  The two have thought of different ideas we haven’t thought of.  Next SPC meeting is on June 12 at 6:30 with Young Goldstein.  Vestry members are welcome to attend.

VBS – July 25 through 29 – we are in the midst of planning that.

Lobsterfest – Linda Sawyer has planned a meeting for June 5 after church.

Worship committee – Meeting this Thursday (June 2) at 2 pm.

Usher training – June 26 – possible date –if you are an usher and can’t be there, let Jeff know.

Newcomers – Anne put out list of newcomers.  In May there were a lot of newcomers; some have been there before.   So far this year, 52 people have signed up; 63 signed up in 2010.  Seven people are to be received into the church on June 19 when the Bishop is here.

BBQ fundaiser – Tony Cox has a friend named Danny who is close to the Goo Goo Car Wash owner.  The owner has a huge grill and allows Danny to grill meat for fundraisers.   Danny buys and grills the food. We need to do advertising, pre-orders, and have a pickup day.  We will set up a tent, put names on what people have ordered, and people pick it up; we pay expenses and commission.  It is not a come-and-eat, but could do it that way.  The point is to sell the ribs, butts, pulled pork, chicken, hams, turkeys; the estimated profit is good.  We need a minimum of $1500 of orders or we have to pay extra.

Different dates were discussed; July 4 out because of Fire Department fundraisers.  Labor Day is too close to Lobsterfest.  We decided to shoot for November for Thanksgiving.  Danny is willing to do a taste-testing for us, which will be a good time to do the first pre-sale.  There will have to be a St. Nicholas marketing group and we will need a small budget to get the word out. Vestry wants to do it and Jeff will tell Tony we want to do it.

We will encourage people to go online to sign up for order.

Covenant Congregation Program with Pastoral Institute – Jeff received favorable comments from Vestry about this program.   The first year is free, the second year is half-price, and the third year is the full price.  For our size congregation, there are two levels:  the enhanced level is $800/year and the comprehensive level is $1360/year.   All an individual pays is $25 per visit.  St. Nicholas can opt out at any time.

The Vestry had two questions:  Do you have to be a member of St. Nicholas to qualify?  When does the year begin?  Jeff will find out.  We do not know how many people in the parish will actually want to take advantage of it.  Jeff doesn’t know what burdens our parishioners have; some people are willing to talk to their priest and others are not, even though the priest won’t judge them.

Mutual Ministry Review – Tabled discussion for now.

New Vestry Member – Election of Larry Nordin to Vestry to replace Chris Butzon approved.  Jeff and Dave are having lunch with Larry on Wednesday.  Larry will complete Chris’ term but can be re-elected next time for another three-year term.  There will be an online signup to help Larry.

Webinar – – Jeff, Dave, Gene, and Connie attended Webinar that Sheila mentioned. More dates available –June, July, September, and October.  Jeff highly recommends knowing how the process works. You don’t have to be a money person to attend the webinar.  The more people know how it works, the better.  Jeff can set it up at church but one can attend webinar at home.  It is one hour from start to finish with time for questions.  There were at least 80 people who attended this webinar.

Bishop’s visitation – June 19 – Vestry and Episcopal 101 class want to spend time with Bishop. On Saturday night, June 18, there will be a Vestry and Finance Committee dinner with the Bishop at Connie’s house.  Everyone is to help with food.  In the morning before the service there will be an informal coffee with the Bishop and anyone who wants to attend.  After the service, there will be a cake and punch reception in honor of the Bishop and the newly received members.  The lunch after the reception is private.

He is the assisting bishop in the diocese and has all canonical authority.  He helps spread role of episcopacy out.  He is an excellent resource for growing our church and leading us in the next step.  Jeff said it is always good for the Vestry to meet with the Bishop to allow him to know Vestry and it allows us to see what is going on outside of our church and what other churches are doing in order to grow.   It was suggested that we list questions and a possible agenda ahead of time to send to him.

Administrative position – We are stuck on this issue, so Jeff wants us to be creative and lay out the issue and step away from the process we’ve been going through.  Jeff said what he has heard from Vestry and asked Vestry to agree or disagree with it:

Vestry agreed that Jeff needs more time for providing pastoral care to parishioners.  Vestry agreed that we need to hire an administrative assistant.  Vestry agreed that we need to find funding and cannot fund the salary out of current budget.

Vestry members pledged a total of $2650.  For the months of July through December, 2011, we need $4,000 more if we pay $10 per hour or $5,000 if we pay $12 per hour.  That amount includes computer, place for administrative assistant to sit and work, etc.

Vestry agreed that the administrative assistant should be a paid position rather than volunteer, but a volunteer position can be the back-up plan if we cannot hire an assistant.  Vestry agreed that we need to move forward and make the decision to get it done.  Gene said we have $20,000 in undesignated funds and that part of it can be used to pay for the salary for this year if we cannot find the money any other way.

Jeff reminded Vestry that God is bringing many newcomers to us and they take a significant part of Jeff’s time.  That is good news.  Jeff said that hopefully we can start talking about tithing and learning about that as a congregation together.

Dave moved that we go forward with the hiring of an administrative assistant for probably a six-month period and that the strategy for obtaining funding be through a well-thought out and designed letter to every participant of the congregation and a follow-up with personal calls.  Dave said he would write the letter tomorrow.

Michelle seconded the motion.

Vestry voted and agreed. (UPDATE: The day after this meeting, St. Nicholas received a sizable financial gift, and the Vestry decided to continue to pursue the hiring of an Administrative Assistant and forego asking the congregation to financially support the position since the gift was intended to go to the general budget of the church.)

Steward of month – For June:  Jeff suggested Gene Demonet and Larry Nordin for shed and mower.

Vestry agreed.

Michelle said Andy Butzon for VBS can be July or August.

Drucye asked people to send her articles for newsletter.

Jeff ended the meeting at 8:30 with prayer.