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

Vestry Meeting

Monday, August 22, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

Father Jeff called the meeting to order and Linda Sawyer opened with prayer.

In attendance:

Tom Cheatham, Gene Demonet, Lynn Hall, Dave Halmrast, Jeff Jackson, Katie Linney, Michelle Moody, Drucye Robinson, Linda Sawyer, Mike Sawyer, Anne Simpson, Nancy Snoots, Mal Underwood


Father Jeff introduced Mal Underwood who told us about the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program. He is on the Commission on Stewardship for the Diocese of Atlanta. The program is a spiritually-based financial stewardship program that arose out of the Methodist Church. Mal reported that there are two workshops a year on the program and that the Commission is promoting it. Seven parishes in our Diocese are doing the program this fall. It is easy to administer, needs a committee in each parish that is using it, and has step-by-step guidelines.

On All Saints Sunday, November 6, Mal will be the guest speaker and there will be a celebratory dinner or meal afterwards which will be catered; people will have to make reservations. This type of spiritual program never uses the word, “budget.” The actual budget for the following year is made after we receive the commitments from people.

The expenses for the program total $1,000. They include mileage for Mal for the evening of August 22nd, and then $100 and mileage for Mal each time he comes to St. Nicholas. This stewardship program has a softer, theologically-based approach; a person will be encouraged to give out of gratitude and not desperation. The ethos is one of celebration.

Mal commented that no parish receives 100 percent of pledges. His parish budgets 97 percent of pledges. Most parishes receive in the low 90 percent range of pledges.

The Vestry liked the idea of this program.

July Minutes – The July minutes were approved.


Youth Retreat – August 26-28. Thirteen youth have signed up to date. Father Jeff’s concern was getting people there. The Rev. Drew Downs will be here on that Sunday for Jeff. He was the Assistant Rector at St. Paul’s in Newnan.

Christian Formation Class – August 28th – Nature walk. Wear comfortable shoes.

Nominations for new Vestry members – August 30, Drucye Robinson, Connie Blackmon, Michelle Moody, and Jeff Jackson to meet.

Bishop’s Nominating Committee – Meeting at St. Nicholas on September 17. Father Jeff needs help from four or five people with setting up a continental breakfast and lunch. The parish will be reimbursed by the Diocese for the catered meals.

Men’s Group: Dinner at Cheddars in Columbus at 6:30 p.m. on September 20. Two projects: Painting the outside of the church building and the shed this fall. BBQ sale – November 19, presale tickets, pick up food on November 19. Tickets will go on sale after Lobsterfest.

Wedding at St. Nicholas – The wedding of Katy Gustashaw, the daughter of Linda and Dave Gustashaw, will be on September 24 at 4 p.m.

Next Vestry Meeting – The meeting will be moved from September 26 to September 19. Father Jeff will be going to a fall clergy conference the week of September 24-26.

Lobsterfest – As of today, there have been 140 reservations (135 adults and 5 children). Enough raffle tickets have been sold to cover ourselves. There will be a silent auction meeting on Wednesday and a whole-committee meeting one week before Lobsterfest.

Outreach – Father Jeff said that Connie Blackmon had sent her report to him. The committee met and went over what we’ve done (FOCUS, CVEM). Rebecca Crowley will be in charge of Relay for Life this year. One idea is to have a small collection box to take home, fill with change, and the money will go to the Episcopal Relief and Development fund (for children, too).

Newcomers – Anne Simpson’s email was hacked and she lost all of her information. Regarding Episcopal 101, attendees have been all new people, including Patty Grace and Bob Hamilton. If Father Jeff sends Drucye Robinson the newcomers’ info, it goes on the church contact list. Dave Halmrast reported that every new member has received letter and pledge card; he’s gotten one back. He said they will take the money part off of the pledge card so it will have just activities and ministries on it.


Strategic Planning Committee – Master Site Proposal: We have two options. Option one is that there will be a congregational town hall meeting where Hank Houser will make a presentation, solicit feedback, conversation, etc. The second meeting will be a week later with Hank and the SPC. The third meeting will be with Hank and the SPC to work out the details. The fourth meeting will be a congregational meeting with Hank where he presents the master plan. Option two is the same as the first option but Hank will meet with the ministry heads before the other four meetings.

The process can take about seven weeks. Option one and option two cost the same. Nick Simpson’s idea is to bring the Vestry together first with Hank. The congregational meeting will be between the two Sunday services. The cost will be $5,000 plus expenses.

Vestry wants option two. The first congregational meeting will be September 25. The Vestry will meet with Hank Houser on September 19 in the evening with SPC, head of Altar Guild, and heads of other committees – anyone with space issues.

Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class – Father Jeff has been thinking about how to help people be more financially responsible in this economy; people are drowning. He brought up the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class. It teaches people how to get control over their finances. It is scripturally-based; it has theological underpinnings. The cost for St. Nicholas is $300 for materials. The cost for each family who participates will be $100. The class is 13 weeks and each session is two hours. Dave Halmrast said it might be attractive to younger couples with credit card debt. Perhaps it will be good to do it after Christmas.


Vestry Retreat – Father Jeff suggested a Vestry retreat at Camp Mikell in the Retreat Village (least rustic) on the weekend of either April 13-15 or April 20-22 (Easter is April 8 and a big library book sale is April 13-15). Father Jeff said they would still do an orientation day at someone’s home to help new people get on board. At the retreat, the Vestry would look at long-range plans. Dave Halmrast said the group would arrive on Friday evening, work all day Saturday, and return home on Sunday. It would require a commitment from everyone on the Vestry. The cost would be $137 per person for a shared room and $187 per person for a private room. The cost includes food. Make decision by next Vestry meeting.

Steward of month – It was suggested and Vestry agreed that the Pastoral Care Committee as a whole would be the Steward of the Month for September. Linda Sawyer will ask Katherine Johnson to write a blurb about the Pastoral Care Committee for the newsletter.

Treasurer’s Report – Gene Demonet gave the Treasurer’s Report and said the overall financial position of St. Nicholas is favorable at this time. St. Nicholas is currently undergoing an audit.

Christmas, 2011 – Father Jeff said that Christmas Day will be on a Sunday this year. St. Nicholas has traditionally had a 5 p.m service and an 11 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. The Vestry discussed leaving off one of the two services. Most Vestry members did not think people would come to the 11 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. They thought people should come to either the 5 p.m. service on Christmas Eve or the Christmas Day morning service. Father Jeff had reservations because he said that the 11 p.m. Christmas Eve service has been an important part of many people’s traditions. It was recommended by and agreed upon by Vestry members to eliminate the 11 p.m. service this Christmas Eve.

Jeff ended the meeting at 8:00 p.m. with prayer.