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

Vestry Meeting

Monday, July 25, 2011 6:30 pm

In attendance: Connie Blackmon, Gene Demonet, Sheila Dixon, Lynn Hall, Dave Halmrast, Jeff Jackson, Katie Linney, Larry Nordin, Drucye Robinson


Vestry Process: Since not everyone was present, Jeff said he would rather wait on that discussion for the Vestry Process. Sheila spoke about ‘Where Do You See God’ and said through Caroline; Matthew 18. This lesson will be our formation for this evening.

Information: The June minutes were approved. Sheila made motion. Seconded by Drucye.

Strong for Life!: New member, Lynn Norris, does strength training classes for senior citizens and wants to offer Strong for Life on Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:30 starting August 2. No cost. Location still undecided, maybe the Sunday School room. Long-term plan is to hold it at the rec center.

Parish Picnic: August 7, signup sheet is up. St Nicholas will buy the ham, everyone else will bring sides. Remind people to bring a chair. Jeff will email it out.

Choir starts back August 10: Sam and Jeff talked about doing service out at the picnic, we’ll try to do it instrumentally with Jeff and Kenny Townsend and Mark.

Regular Sunday School schedule returns Aug 14 with Nancy doing Adult Formation and Nature Walk with John Brent August 28.

Mens’ Group went very well last week, Dave is hosting at Chef Lee’s on Aug 16th. Dave says 8-12 men have been coming and it’s a good fellowship. The men talked about taking on a project or two.

Youth retreat August 26-28 at Camp Mikell. So far, 7-8 kids have signed up.

Blessing of the Backpacks is this coming Sunday.

Newcomers: Robert and Holly Queener- daughter Caroline. The Barr family were members at St. Peter’s in Savannah. There was also a family at VBS – The Barnes.

Lobsterfest: Dave- Each Sunday we should stand up and encourage people to purchase Lobsterfest tickets and raffle tickets. We really need to make an effort on the raffle tickets. Linda sent Lobsterfest info- 48 reservations. Can count on 50 raffle tickets sold at this point, feels confident on the number of volunteers signed up for serving. We don’t plan on a “to-go” option.


Strategic Planning Committee Recommendation: we interviewed 4 and ended up coming down to who will make the best master plan for us at this point. One architect did beautiful work but we didn’t go with him because we needed someone to take us through a process of creating a master site plan, including how we get feedback from the congregation, how we balance our finances, balance the needs of the congregation. We chose Houser Walker architects out of Atlanta, it’s a small firm with maybe 5-6 people.. Hank Houser is the architect. His work is really good, he’s on the diocesan architectural committee, and he’s Episcopalian. The next step, after we hire him, he’ll meet with the committee again and design the process; probably will do that in the next month. At next vestry meeting we will present what that process will be. It’ll cost $6,000-$8,000.

First project that will be more immediate is building the sign, either concurrently or right after master site plan is done. This will require serious time with the vestry and possibly other group meetings. His proposal is rather specific; he’s benchmarked about 20 episcopal churches.

This recommendation does require Vestry approval. Larry made motion to approve, Seconded by Lynn. All approved.

Mutual Ministry Review– Dave- at last Vestry, we left this hanging. Dave contacted Rick Callaway to get feedback and obtain info on other episcopal churches have done, he was very helpful. We’ve had planning sessions where we look ahead 1-3 years, The Review is looking backward and we’d have to develop an agenda and see what questions/issues/subjects we want to talk about. Other churches have used questions like: “how have we been doing”, “have we lost sight of our mission”, “what kind of relationship has developed between vestry”, “is each vestry member meeting their mission/responsibility”, “are we fulfilling our mission with the community”, “how are we doing with developing leaders”, etc. We have to get together and talk through an agenda, build an agenda around some of those subjects, and fit the agenda to our church. I suggest we retain a facilitator, have someone from the outside do this, suggested Doug Hahn, priest of St Thomas. We should have one day full meeting to make it happen, then get together to review what we came up with to make it worthwhile. Many churches do this every year, could probably do it in 2-3 weeks, start to finish.

Concern- we are launching master plan and we have to be seriously involved in it. Do we have time to do both? If we do a vestry retreat, we could spend time on this-maybe next years’ retreat. We could include orientation part for new members as well as developing planning, goal setting, etc. and get a facilitator like Doug. Goal Setting is more important than doing this process (Mutual Ministry Review). We can move forward as part of our Vestry Retreat. The Review that the Vestry did on Jeff is a perfect example of this. It’s about finding our strengths, it isn’t to find fault or embarrass anyone; it’s thinking how things have gone and how we can do things better. Suggestion- Jeff and Dave will talk more about vestry retreat idea, how that would work, look at locations.

Vestry Preparations for 2012: Jeff- I want us to start thinking about who our next vestry members will be. Michelle, Drucye and Chris are leaving. One thing we did at St Peter’s was have a nominating committee (outgoing vestry members, heads of all major committees) and they would make suggestions. I was wondering if we could make a committee where we would brainstorm and make the recommendation. Michelle and Drucye agreed to be on it as well as Connie and Jeff.

Steward of the Month: Andy Butzon; Sheila made motion and Dave Seconded.

Treasurer Report: Gene passed out reports. Pledges $93,000. Includes prepaid $25,778. Donations $6,853. Loose offering ahead. Contributions is behind. Revenue is fine. Total expense YTD $94,902. “Big Ticket” items in the 2nd half, Audit $3,500. Teresa Young is auditor. Site Plan $7-10,000. Will separate Lobsterfest from Parish Events and re-budget it as a separate item. Michelle said she’ll transfer funds from Ed to Communications. Gene would rather leave them where they are. First half results will go in next bulletin. Budgets for next year-Stewardship will put together a draft budget in August for vestry to look at, use as a target.

Suggestion- want to come up with guideline for budgets and have draft budget for next vestry meeting.

Other thoughts/concerns: Potential Big Ticket item: Bill Caudill wants to paint the church fairly soon. Larry suggested the men’s group could take it on, but Bill wants to hire someone professionally. Also, review the termite protection contract.

Dave wants to stand up and speak to congregation about the budget report this Sunday.

Jeff got a request today, we have a convocational chapter of Integrity- the group that is committed to support and inclusion of LGBT-and they’re doing a movie night at St Thomas. Feedback about sending out a request/information about it– It was agreed to include it in our bulletin.

Katie’s office hours will be 9-1 Mon-Fri. She will work in the afternoons this week because of VBS. Her church email address is KatieLinney@stnicholashamilton.org

Remember what Bishop said, the Episcopal Church has brought in more members with Adult Education. Need more leaders, be thinking about those and send them to Lynn.

Jeff closed with a Prayer at 8:05.