Vestry Meeting Minutes

Monthly Vestry Meeting – 2nd Wednesday of Every Month – 9:20 AM, Parish Hall.  All are welcome!

Minutes of November, 2017, Vestry Meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.  Vestry members present included Janet Dickerson, Margie Beers, Carol Isphording, Moonyeen Fitch, and Ed Ruffley.

Opening Prayer: Janet Dickerson led the vestry in a Noonday Prayer Service, a service from the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan.

Minutes of the prior Vestry: Minutes of the October 11, 2017 meeting were reviewed. Janet 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 October 31, 2017, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the ten months ended October 31, 2017, to vestry members by email. Mike noted in his report to the vestry that the parish continues to be in sound financial condition. A discussion of expenses and pledge revenue ensued. Ed moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried.

Financial Review Report on 2016 Financial Statements: Ed presented the Audit Committee’s report on the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2016. Ed discussed the financial review procedures performed. The committee report concludes that “nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the accompanying financial information does not provide a fair view of the financial position of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church as of December 31, 2016, and its cash flows for the twelve months then ended, utilizing the cash basis accounting method”. Ed also discussed certain internal accounting control issues. Carol moved that we accept the Audit Committee’s Report. The Motion carried.

Rector Search: Ed stated that no candidate is currently being considered. Ed discussed his recent conversation with Margie Tropf of Bethany Lutheran Church. He distributed a letter that Margie Tropf distributed to the Bethany congregation regarding the installation of Ruth Overdier as their interim half-time pastor.

Ronnie Alf’s Book Request: Ronnie Alf, church librarian, requested that the vestry consider purchasing a book called Cancer-Now What? by Kenneth C. Haugk, Ph.D., as a useful resource for the congregation. Ed offered to acquire and donate the book to the church library.

Altar Flowers: The vestry discussed the need to budget funds to purchase altar flowers from a florist, particularly in winter months. Ed moved that $1,000 be included in the 2018 budget for altar flowers. The Motion was approved.

Convention Report: Carol, who attended the Diocesan Convention with Marilyn Zimmerman, presented a detailed report on the Convention. She also presented the Diocesan budget for 2018. Janet asked that this budget be attached to the vestry meeting minutes.

Annual Meeting Date: Carol moved that the annual meeting be held on January 21, a date on which the largest number of vestry members will be available to meet. The Motion passed.

Annual Committee Reports: Janet requested that all committee reports be forwarded as soon as possible to the church secretary, Dorothy Schobel.

Planning for Lenten Soup Suppers: Janet expressed a concern that the number of new tables in the fellowship hall may not be sufficient to accommodate all of the anticipated Lenten Soup Supper attendees. She stated that she will discuss the issue with St. Gertrude’s and with Bethany Lutheran.

St. Nicholas Dinner: Margie discussed plans for the St. Nicholas Dinner. The event will be held at the Leland Lodge. Cocktails (cash bar) will be at 5:30 PM. A special menu dinner will be held at 6:00 PM (separate checks).

Winter Call Chain: Janet reviewed a plan for a winter call chain in the event that weather causes the cancellation of a service.

Representation at Leelanau Christian Neighbors: Margie noted that she is St. Christopher’s designated representative at LCN meetings. Due to personal commitments, she is unable to attend many of the scheduled LCN meetings. The Vestry noted the value of Margie’s service as our representative with LCN and concluded that no changes were necessary.

No other business came before the vestry.

The next vestry meeting will be on December 13, 2017, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley
Vestry Clerk

Minutes of Vestry Meeting held in October, 2017:

The meeting was called to order at 9:40 a.m.
Vestry members present included Janet Dickerson, Carol Isphording, Marilyn Zimmerman, and Ed Ruffley.

Minutes of the prior Vestry: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on September 13, 2017, were reviewed. Marilyn 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 September 30, 2017, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the nine months ended September 30, 2017, to vestry members by email. Mike noted in his report to the vestry that the parish continues to be in sound financial condition.  A discussion of expenses and the downward trend in annual pledges ensued. Marilyn moved that we accept the Treasurer’s Report. The Motion carried.

Rector Search: The vestry discussed the lack of rector candidates. Ed agreed to communicate with Canon Spaid regarding the lack of progress in modifying the language for St. Christopher’s rector position posting on the Diocese website. Ed also agreed to arrange a meeting with the Bethany Lutheran Church search committee to address and clarify all issues regarding our joint
rector search.

Church Operations: Marilyn opened a discussion on the possible need to amend the parish ‘model’ that St. Christopher’s is following. This is a follow-up to a previous discussion regarding the operation of St. Christopher’s. The vestry noted that out of necessity, parishioners are performing administrative and other tasks that are traditionally performed by a rector. It was also noted that there are few parishioners available during the winter months, resulting in low attendance at the annual meeting and low attendance at vestry meetings. Changing the timing of the annual meeting to the mid-year, when parish attendance is at its highest, would likely necessitate a change in the fiscal year end for the parish because attendees of annual meeting review the annual financial statements and approve the operating budget for the subsequent year. Amendments to the parish by-laws may be required to address such changes. Marilyn agreed to review the parish by-laws and the procedures to amend the by-laws to see if such changes are allowed.

Senior Warden Items:
Stewardship: The vestry established November 12 as Stewardship Sunday. A discussion followed regarding communications with the parishioners (the stewardship letter and statements in church) on the importance of pledging. Ed agreed to follow up with Dorothy Schobel and Mike Fleishman regarding the preparation of pledge cards.

Christmas Service Schedule: Janet Dickerson stated that a Christmas Eve Day (December 24) service will be held as usual. No Christmas eve evening service will be held, but parishioners will be advised that Bethany Lutheran Church will have a Christmas eve service. Arrangements for a Christmas Day service have not yet been finalized.

Lessons and Carols Service: Janet Dickerson will follow up with Rev. Thomas Guback. 

2018 Vestry Candidate: The Vestry members discussed the lack of a candidate to fill the 2018 opening when Janet Dickerson leaves the vestry. No willing candidate has been identified. 

Surgery for the Church Secretary: Janet Dickerson announced that Dorothy Schobel will be having knee replacement surgery. The timing of the surgery is not known. The vestry discussed taking certain steps to insure that certain things required of Dorothy are covered in the event that she cannot perform her work for a period of time.

Diocesean Convention: The vestry discussed the importance of sending a representative to the convention to be held on November 3 (Friday) and November 4 (Saturday) in Kalamazoo. No one has yet volunteered to attend the convention.

Other Items:
Parish Website Information: Marilyn prepared a summary of website instructions/information for the parish. She distributed the summary to the vestry and brief discussion ensued. Paper copies will be prepared for distribution to the parish and the summary will also be included in the
next parish newsletter.

Rick Strauss Memorial Service: Janet Dickerson provided an update on plans for the memorial service planned for November 11. No additional actions are required by St. Christopher’s at this time.

St. Nicholas Dinner: Margie Beers indicated by email to the vestry that she is continuing to work on a St. Nicholas Dinner for the parish. Additional details will follow.

No other business came before the vestry.
The next vestry meeting will be on November 8, 2017, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.

Respectfully submitted, Edward Ruffley, Acting Clerk

Minutes of Vestry Meeting held in September, 2017:

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

Vestry members present included Janet Dickerson, Carol Isphording, Marilyn Zimmerman, Moonyeen Fitch, and Ed Ruffley.

Minutes of the prior Vestry: Minutes of the prior meeting, held on August 9, 2017, 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. Prior to the meeting, Mike distributed the Statement of Assets as of August 31, 2017, and the Statement of Revenue and Expenses for the eight months ended August 31, 2017, to vestry members by email. Mike noted in his report to the vestry that the parish continues to be in sound financial condition. A brief discussion of expenses and the budget ensued. Ed moved that we accept the Treasurer’s
Report. The Motion carried.

Rector Search: Ed stated that no new candidates have been identified. Ed discussed a recent meeting with Canon Bill Spaid. Ed agreed to follow up with Bishop Hougland regarding the Bishop’s recent meeting with Lutheran Bishop Satterlee. Ed also stated that he will communicate with the Bethany leadership regarding their current search status.

Senior Warden Items:
Donation to Episcopal Hurricane Fund: The vestry discussed making a donation to the Hurricane Fund of the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund. To date, individual parishioners have donated a total of $355 to the Fund. Ed moved that an additional $500 donation be sent to the Hurricane Fund from St. Christopher’s. The motion was approved.

Christmas Service Schedule: Janet Dickerson noted that Christmas Eve falls on the 4th Sunday of Advent this year. The vestry concluded that a Sunday service will be held at 9:00 a.m. on December 24. A decision regarding services Christmas Eve (p.m.) and Christmas will be made at a later date and appropriate announcements will be made at that time. Parishioners should consult the upcoming November/December Newsletter and the calendar on St. Christopher’s website for scheduled services.

2018 Vestry Candidate: The Vestry members discussed the need to find a candidate to replace Janet Dickerson who is retiring from the Vestry in January 2018. After a discussion, a potential vestry candidate was identified. Carol agreed to contact the candidate to determine if that person is willing to serve on the Vestry. Ed agreed to serve an additional year on the Vestry.

Other Items:
Parish Directory: Marilyn noted that a number of changes should be made to the Parish Directory. She agreed to lead the effort to update the directory.

No other business came before the vestry.

The next vestry meeting will be on October 11, 2017, at 9:30 AM.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Edward Ruffley
Vestry Clerk