Vestry Meeting Minutes

Minutes of August, 2018, Vestry Meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m. and opened with a prayer.  Vestry members present included Marilyn Zimmerman, Carol Isphording, Chuck Dickerson, and Ed Ruffley.

Meeting Agenda: Marilyn distributed the Agenda and requested comments. Ed moved to approve the Agenda. The Motion carried.

Minutes of the prior vestry meeting: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on July 11, 2018, were reviewed. Carol moved that the minutes for the prior meeting be approved. The Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mike Fleishman was not present at the meeting. He previously distributed his financial report via email. His report included the Statement of Assets as of July 31, 2018, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the seven months ended July 31, 2018, to vestry members. A general discussion of the financial statements ensued. Vestry members discussed the fact that year-to-date pledged collections are below the budgeted level and year-to-date plate collections exceed the budget. Mike has previously stated that there is often a difference between the budgeted timing of pledges and the timing of actual pledges received. It was noted that year-to-date expenses are less than the budgeted level, partially offsetting the shortfall of collections. Overall, the Parish is in a sound financial condition. Ed moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried.

Rector Search Committee Report: Ed stated that an email discussing St. Christopher’s open rector position was sent to 25 Episcopal supply priests in the hope that one or more of them may know of a possible rector candidate. The email noted that we could offer a part-time position for an Episcopal priest, or full-time position to serve the St. Christopher’s/Bethany joint ministry. Ed noted that six responses had been received and he shared the contents of those responses. He noted that as of this date, no candidates have been identified.

Senior Warden’s Report:
– Supply Priests for the Remainder of the Summer: Marilyn noted that there are two Sundays, August 26 and September 30, that are not currently covered by a supply priest. Carol and Jill Foerster are currently contacting various supply priests to cover those two dates. Marilyn noted that a Morning Prayer service will be held in the event that a supply priest is not available. Marilyn noted that Rev. Thomas Guback will likely be available to serve as a supply priest beginning in October.
– Sunday Bulletins/Readings: Marilyn discussed the arrangement with the church secretary regarding the distribution of LEM readings and the preparation of Sunday bulletins.
– Building Rent: Marilyn noted that she signed the Licensing Agreement with St. Gertrude’s, which reflects the terms previously approved by the Vestry. She has not yet received a countersigned copy from Father Leonard.
– Payment to Canon Hallmark: Marilyn noted that she contacted the Diocese regarding the payment of a supply priest fee to Canon Hallmark for being our Celebrant on July 8. The Diocese informed her that this activity is part of Canon Hallmark’s responsibility and that no supply priest fee is required. Marilyn was informed that Canon Hallmark may have a Special Needs Fund to which a donation may be made. After a discussion, Ed moved that St. Christopher’s contribute $150 to Canon Hallmark’s Special Needs Fund if such a fund has been established. The Motion carried.
– Sylvia’s Funeral Service- Status and Updates: Marilyn discussed the planning for Sylvia Linde-Guback’s funeral service, scheduled for September 15.
– Marilyn’s Vacation: Marilyn announced that she would be traveling and away from the church from September 29 to October 15. Carol will assume the Senior Warden duties during her absence.

Committee Reports:
– Fellowship and Volunteers: Marilyn noted that Margie Beers is working to schedule a school choir for the St. Nicholas dinner. Chuck discussed an effort by Sharecare to make presentations to local churches.
– Building and Grounds: Chuck discussed ongoing problems with the new PA system.
– Ecumenical Relations and Service: Marilyn discussed Bethany’s 100th anniversary celebration on August 12. Ed agreed to arrange for a large card/poster to be signed by St. Christopher’s parishioners that congratulates Bethany.

Old Business:
– Parish Bylaw Revisions: Marilyn distributed a report on her review of the Parish Bylaws, comparing them to the requirements of Diocesan Canon Laws. Marilyn noted that there are a number of areas in which St. Christopher’s Bylaws could be modified to be more compliant with the Diocesan Canon Laws. After a lengthy discussion, the Vestry concluded that it is not practical for our small parish to make these changes at this time. The matter was tabled.
– Personal Property Inventory: Marilyn and Carol are planning to update the inventory before fall.
– Diocesan Convention – November 2nd and 3rd: Marilyn stated that Ed and Mary Ruffley have agreed to represent St. Christopher’s as delegates to the Diocesan Convention in November.
– Bill Cook Vacation Schedule: Marilyn noted that Bill Cook has revised his vacation schedule to be available for Sylvia Linde-Guback’s funeral service on September 15. He will be on vacation for the services on September 23 and 30. Marilyn and Carol discussed a substitute organist for those two Sundays.
– Upcoming Summer Gathering: Carol discussed arrangements for the scheduled gathering at her house following the service on August 19. The Vestry noted that significant expenses will be incurred by Carol to host this event. After discussion, Ed moved that St. Christopher’s issue an expense reimbursement check to Carol in the amount of $250. The Motion carried.
– Mission of St. Christopher’s and Thoughts about Implementation: Marilyn discussed several issues related to the refinement of St. Christopher’s Mission and its relationship with our Stewardship. She also discussed improving the recognition in the community of St. Christopher’s mission activities.
– Labyrinth Update: Marilyn discussed the labyrinth idea and issues that are related to the project. The matter is on hold until further 
notice.

No other business came before the vestry.
The next vestry meeting will be held on September 12, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley, Vestry Clerk

Minutes of July, 2018, Vestry Meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. and opened with a prayer.

Vestry members present included Marilyn Zimmerman, Carol Isphording, Margie Beers, Chuck Dickerson, and Ed Ruffley.

Meeting Agenda: Marilyn distributed the Agenda and requested comments. The report of the Audit Committee was added to the agenda.

Minutes of the prior vestry meeting: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on June 13, 2018, were reviewed. Chuck moved that the minutes for the prior meeting be approved. The Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mike Fleishman was not present at the meeting. He previously distributed his financial report via email. His report included the Statement of Assets as of June 30, 2018, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the six months ended June 30, 2018, to vestry members. In his written comments, Mike noted that certain 2018 pledges have not yet been paid by parishioners. As a result, year-to-date collections are below the budgeted level. Mike stated that there is often a difference between the budgeted timing of pledges and the timing of actual pledges received. Mike noted that actual year-to-date expenses are slightly below the budgeted levels. Carol moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried. A general discussion of St. Christopher’s future financial issues followed the review of the Treasurer’s report.

Report of the Audit Committee: Ed distributed copies of the Audit Committee Certificate, along with copies of the Statement of Financial Position as of December 31, 2017, and the Summarized Statement of Activity for the year ended December 31, 2017. Ed briefly discussed the procedures employed in the financial review. He noted that nothing came to the audit committee’s attention that would cause the it to believe that the cash basis financial statements do not provide a fair view of the financial position of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church as of December 31, 2017, and its cash flow for the twelve months then ended. Chuck moved that the Audit Committee report be accepted. The Motion carried.

Rector Search Committee Report: Ed discussed developing a network among the Episcopal supply priests to help find a priest for our parish; part-time for an Episcopal only priest, or full-time for a St. Christopher’s/Bethany joint ministry.

Senior Warden’s Report:
– Supply Priests for the Remainder of the Summer: Marilyn noted that supply priests have been engaged for the remainder of July and August, except for the last Sunday in August. She is looking for a priest to cover that Sunday. The Vestry also discussed the use of a Morning Prayer service in lieu of having a supply priest. Positive comments from the Parish were received following the Morning Prayer service in June.
– Building Rent: Marilyn noted that she and Carol met with Father Leonard and two members of St. Gertrude’s financial committee to discuss the rent paid by St. Christopher’s to St. Gertrude’s. Carol and Marilyn reported that following a lengthy discussion, the St. Gertrude’s representatives proposed that rent be increased by $100 per month, beginning in January 2019, under the provisions of the existing written agreement between the two churches. Ed moved that the Vestry approve the proposed $100 per month rent increase beginning in January 2019, in accordance with the terms of the written agreement. The Motion carried.
– Payment to Church Secretary: Marilyn noted that the Church Secretary was appreciative of the Vestry’s approval in June of a year-end bonus to cover the expenses incurred by her resulting from her work with St. Christopher’s.
– Call from Canon Hallmark: Marilyn noted that she received a phone call from Canon Rev. Anne Hallmark following her visit to St. Christopher’s on July 8. Marilyn noted that Canon Hallmark was very complimentary of our parish.

Committee Reports:
– Worship: Carol discussed the arrangement for the scheduled baptism on July 29.
– Building and Grounds: Chuck discussed problems with the PA system and the altar lights. He also discussed the need for door stops.

New Business:
– Bill Cook Vacation: The Vestry discussed arrangements to cover for Bill Cook during his upcoming two-week vacation.
– Parish Summer Gathering: Carol offered to host an “extended coffee hour” at her home following the service. It was noted that this event in 2017 was very popular with the Parish. A tentative date of August 19 was selected. Additional details will follow.

Old Business:
– Review of St. Christopher’s Mission and Mission Statement: Marilyn outlined her plan to review and develop an updated mission and mission statement. The Vestry discussed steps to make St. Christopher’s presence known in the community. Marilyn noted that a specific budget for outreach activities should be developed for 2019. The need for an improved sign on the exterior of the building was also discussed. The Vestry authorized Carol to arrange for St. Christopher’s ads in the Leelanau Enterprise during the summer months.
– Gift to the Parish: The Vestry discussed a possible gift from Steve Guback, brother of Rev. Thomas Guback. The possibility of building a Labyrinth Walk on the grounds of St. Gertrude’s was discussed.
– Parish Bylaw Revisions: Marilyn stated that additional work on this project is planned.
– Personal Property Inventory: Marilyn and Carol are planning to update the inventory during the next few months.

No other business came before the vestry.
The next vestry meeting will be held on August 8, 2018, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley, Vestry Clerk

Minutes of Vestry meeting held on June 13, 2018:

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m. and opened with a prayer.  Vestry members present included Marilyn Zimmerman, Carol Isphording, Margie Beers, Chuck Dickerson, and Ed Ruffley.

Meeting Agenda: Marilyn distributed the Agenda and requested comments. Two items were added to the agenda; the Parish Directory update and changes to the Parish pamphlet. Ed moved to approve the amended agenda. The Motion carried.

Minutes of the prior vestry meeting: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on May 23, 2018, were reviewed. Margie moved that the minutes for the prior meeting be approved. The Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mike Fleishman was not present at the meeting. He previously distributed his financial report via email. His report included the Statement of Assets as of May 31, 2018, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the five months ended May 31, 2018, to vestry members. In his written comments, Mike noted that the unbudgeted $2,500 gift to Leelanau Christian Neighbors, previously approved by the vestry, caused year-to-date expenses to exceed the budget. The previously approved $25,000 withdrawal from the Vanguard Fund was completed and, subsequent to May, the funds were invested in a Certificate of Deposit. Overall, the parish continues to be in sound financial condition. Marilyn noted that she discussed expenditures with Altar Guild Chairman Janie Neuharth and informed Janie that the Altar Guild is authorized to spent up to its budget $360 annual budget without additional approval by the Vestry. Carol moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried.

Rector Search Committee Report: Ed noted that a meeting is scheduled with Canon Anne Hallmark on June 15 to discuss the history of our rector search efforts and to discuss where we go from here. The Vestry had a brief discussion of the meeting goals. Various vestry members noted additional questions to ask Canon Hallmark, such as, (a) how many parishes in here area are currently seeking new rectors? and (b) can we obtain an updated list of supply priests?

Senior Warden’s Report:
– Supply Priests for the Remainder of the Summer: Marilyn stated that Rev. Guback will not be available to be our supply priest in July or August. She distributed a list of supply priests who are tentatively available to cover July and August services. She noted that some changes may occur to the supply priest schedule as individuals firm up their schedules. Currently, only the June 17 service is without a priest and will be covered with a Morning Prayer service.
– Sunday Bulletins: Marilyn noted that Dorothy Schobel will prepare weekly bulletins and will also mail readings to Lectors on a weekly basis.
– Morning Prayer Services: Marilyn discussed the Morning Prayer planning meeting held with Carol, Jill Foerster, Janet Dickerson, and Canon Hallmark. Marilyn then distributed copies of the Morning Prayer service bulletin which was prepared after the planning meeting. Marilyn stated that she will lead the Morning Prayer service on June 17. In the event that additional Sundays are without a supply priest, Carol Isphording will lead Morning Prayer services in July, Jill Foerster will lead Morning Prayer services in August, and Janet Dickerson will lead Morning Prayer services in September. She also stated that this group will meet to discuss service procedures.
– Updated Parish Directory: Marilyn stated that many of the updated Parish Directories have been distributed. The remainder of the directories will be mailed to absent members and friends.
– Parish Pamphlets: Marilyn noted that the St. Christopher’s Pamphlets have been updated using stickers to change the Senior Warden information.
– Our Mission: Marilyn stated that the mission statement in the parish pamphlet needs updating. She stated that the mission statement in the transition (rector search) documents may be closer to a desirable mission statement. Marilyn then distributed a booklet titled “A Time for Vision”. She requested that vestry members review the booklet and then consider revisions to our mission statement. This topic will be addressed at the next vestry meeting.
– Status of 2018 Summer Service/Picnic with Bethany: Marilyn announced that the Summer Service/Picnic with Bethany will not occur this year. Bethany is focused on its 100th Anniversary celebration.
– Bethany’s 100th Anniversary: Marilyn noted that Bethany Lutheran Church is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Additional details will be available shortly.
– Building Rent: Marilyn and Carol stated that they were approached last Sunday by Father Leonard of St. Gertrude’s. He told them that St. Gertrude’s wants to renegotiate the rent that St. Christopher’s pays for the use of the church building. A brief discussion ensued. Marilyn and Carol will arrange a meeting with Father Leonard to discuss this matter.
– Payments to the Church Secretary: The Vestry briefly discussed the status of Dorothy Schobel and certain yearend expenses that she incurs as a result of her work for St. Christopher’s. Ed moved that St. Christopher’s award Dorothy Schobel a $100 bonus to cover these expenses. The Motion carried.
– Potential Gift to the Parish: Marilyn stated that Father Guback’s brother desires to make a gift to St. Christopher’s. The nature of this gift has not yet been determined.

Committee Reports: Marilyn asked if there were any items to report from the various parish committees. Building and Grounds – Chuck discussed the placement of keys for the interior door bars. No other reports were presented.

Old Business:
Open Vestry Position: We continue to seek a volunteer to fill the vestry position vacated by Moonyeen Fitch.
Parish Bylaw Revisions: Marilyn stated that no additional work has occurred on this matter.
Personal Property Inventory: Marilyn noted that she and Carol will undertake the inventory update during the summer months.

New Business:
Replacement for Moonyeen Fitch on Vestry: Marilyn noted that the Rector Search Committee is in need of replacements due to the departure of certain members. Current members are: Ed Ruffley, Janet Crane, and Jill Foerster. Moonyeen Fitch and Edson Shepard resigned from the committee when they relocated. Additional members will be sought.

No other business came before the vestry.
The next vestry meeting will be on July 11, 2018, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley, Vestry Clerk

Minutes of April 25, 2018 Vestry Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m.

Vestry members present included Co-Senior Warden Marilyn Zimmerman, Margie Beers, Chuck Dickerson, and Ed Ruffley. It was noted that the seat on the vestry previously held by Moonyeen Fitch is now vacant due to her pending relocation out of the state.

The meeting was opened with a prayer.

Minutes of the prior Vestry: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on March 14, 2018, were reviewed. Ed moved that the minutes for the prior meeting be approved. The Motion carried.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Mike Fleishman was not present. Prior to the meeting, Mike distributed the Statement of Assets as of March 31, 2018, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2018, to vestry members by email. Mike noted in his report to the vestry that the parish continues to be in sound financial condition. He noted that collections were lower than the budgeted amount due to the absence of various parishioners during the winter months. He also noted that expenses were slightly lower than the budgeted amount due to the timing of the cash payments. A brief discussion ensued. Ed moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried. 

A brief discussion of how the parish funds were invested ensued. It was agreed that the vestry should discuss investments at the next scheduled meeting in May.

Rector Search: Ed opened the discussion with a review of the search activities and events, including our interactions with Bethany Lutheran Church, Lutheran Bishop Satterlee, and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. The vestry agreed that greater focus is needed in the direction of our rector search effort. The vestry noted that the new Canon in charge or our Northern Region of the Diocese will start in June and that the new Deacon in charge of transitions will be ordained in June. The vestry agreed that we should meet with both of those individuals to review the status of our rector search and our approach to finding a new rector. Decisions regarding a more focused search approach will be made following those meetings.

Senior Warden Items:
Upcoming Farewell Dinner for Moonyeen and Roger Fitch: The vestry discussed the details of the farewell dinner on April 30 at the Leland Lodge. The vestry agreed to pay for the dinners of the Fitches and Bill Cook. Chuck stated that the Dickersons are offering to pay for the cost of dessert, but Margie, who volunteered to make the dinner arrangements, stated that the cost of dessert is included with the dinner. Margie stated that she was headed to the Leland Lodge following the vestry meeting to make final arrangements.

New Canon in Charge: Marilyn reviewed the details of the Bishop’s announcement regarding the Rev. C. Anne Hallmark, the new Canon in charge of the Northern Region of the Diocese. Her appointment to this position begins June 1. She will be located in Traverse City.

Baccalaureate Service for Northport Class of 2018: Marilyn stated that a Baccalaureate Service will be held at Trinity Church on Wednesday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m. A notice will be posted in the
May-June Newsletter. She stated that St. Christopher’s may be asked to provide a reader for the service.

Keys to the Church: Marilyn reviewed her discussion with Father Leonard of St. Gertrude’s regarding keys to the church building. The arrangement will be reviewed in two months.

Revisions to the Church Directory: Marilyn stated that revisions to the Church Directory are necessary. Changes will be solicited and final revisions will be deferred until the new contact information for the Fitches can be obtained.

Upcoming Supply Priests: Marilyn stated that Rev. Guback is scheduled for May and June, except for May 13. Rev. McLean will preach on that date.

Bulletins and Inserts: Marilyn reviewed the coordination of weekly bulletins and inserts. Janet Dickerson will cover this in May.

Availability of the Church Secretary: Marilyn stated that the church secretary will be out of commission during May as she recovers from surgery.

New Committee Chairs Assigned: Marilyn reviewed the primary committees of the vestry and made the following assignments:
Worship – Carol Isphording
Ecumenical Relations – Marilyn Zimmerman
Fellowship and Volunteers – Margie Beers
Building and Grounds – Chuck Dickerson
Education – Ed Ruffley

Change in Sunday Announcements: Marilyn discussed providing a weekly bulletin insert to parishioners that summarizes the weekly announcements. Marilyn agreed to coordinate the announcement handouts.

By-law Changes to Reflect Current Status: Marilyn reviewed certain provisions in the current By-Laws of St. Christopher’s and noted that they do not reflect the current status of the congregation. Marilyn agreed to review the By-Laws and to suggest changes that must be approved by St. Christopher’s and the attorney for the Diocese.

Replacement for Open Seat on the Vestry: Due to the relocation of Moonyeen Fitch, there is an open seat on the vestry. The members discussed several possible candidates to replace Moonyeen.

Holy Week 2019: Marilyn stated that Rev. Guback would like to increase the scheduled events during Holy Week 2019.

New Structure for Leelanau Christian Neighbors: Marilyn discussed the new management structure for LCN, including a reduced, more active board that replaced a much larger board with broad representation from the supporting churches.

New Business:
Donation to Leelanau Christian Neighbors: Vestry reviewed prior  donations to LCN and discussed LCN’s current fundraising event. Ed moved that St. Christopher’s make a $2,500 contribution to LCN. The Motion carried.

Donations to Other Charities: The vestry discussed making contributions to charities other than LCN. Chuck suggested that we consider Munson House. He stated that members of the parish have used that facility. The vestry concluded that additional deliberations are needed.

Summer Picnic with Bethany: Marilyn noted that it is Bethany’s turn this year to organize the Summer Picnic.

St. Nicholas Day Dinner for 2018: Margie proposed that a St. Nicholas Day dinner be planned for a Thursday night in December 2018. She agreed to make preliminary inquiries at the Leland Lodge.

Harvest Dinner/German Fest: A brief discussion was held on the possibility of changing the old Harvest Dinner format into a charity German Fest. A fee would be charged for a ‘beer and brats’ event. The vestry concluded that additional discussion is required.

No other business came before the vestry.
The next vestry meeting will be on May 9, 2018, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley
Vestry Clerk