Minutes of December 21, 2020 Vestry Meeting
Present: Charlie de Kay, Cynthia Doucet, Kristin Jacobsen, Monique Austin, Penelope Boardman, Susan Cherco, Connie Conley, Bob Purse, Steve Steiber, Dave Turner, Melissa Warden, Allison Zidek, Jennie Woodring, Roberta Buchanan (guest), Kati Olson (guest), Anne Searles (guest)
Absent: none The meeting was held via WebEx.
Charlie opened the meeting with a reflection.
APPROVED – Vestry approved the November vestry minutes as amended.
Spotlight on Service – Kati Olson
Kati spoke about the Wednesday Lunch program, which started with 12 guests in February, 2015 as a joint ministry with St. Marks. It has expanded to normally serve 60 to 65 guests each Wednesday. While guests usually eat at St. Mark’s, the program has continued to operate during the pandemic by primarily distributing purchased lunches to go. Kati spoke passionately about the love between guests and servers, and her hopes to reinstate Tuesday sandwich making at St. Matthew’s when it is safe to do so.
There are funds budgeted to support this ministry, and St. Matthew’s intent is to maintain its fair share of expenses, which totals $220-$250 per week.
Church in our hands – Steve
The stewardship campaign has received pledges from 70% of expected pledgers, accounting for 70% of the amount anticipated. Steve will contact people who haven’t yet pledged.
Steve requested the creation of a digital open plate. It was agreed that Julie Hinz will put a link to giving on the website into the Sunday bulletin, and a designated person (e.g., wardens) will put the link in the chat during Christmas services.
Welcoming all in community – Cynthia and Kristin
Cynthia and Kristin have been counting attendees at Zoom services. They requested that each vestry member commit to counting on one Sunday during the coming months (each vestry member taking a different month), and that ushers could count the rest of the weeks. Information should be sent to Charlie, noting guests, people missing, and other thoughts about attendance.
With no vestry members volunteering for January, Kristin committed to create a signup list and secure a January counter.
Rector’s report – Charlie
The rector’s report was sent to vestry members by email prior to the meeting.
Inspire by Flowers has not yet made a final commitment to operate at St. Matthew’s. Charlie will get an overhead rate from Chris Motogawa, as St. Matthew’s will request this fee from the group.
Ongoing leadership – open positions
Charlie will talk to the current treasurers to determine if they will continue in the position, or if any new treasurer is needed for 2021. He is waiting to hear back from someone about their willingness to fill the open vestry position.
Antiracism vestry school – Charlie is working with the diocese to deliver a class Feb 13, 2021. He asked vestry members to mark their calendars for this event, planned for 9:00-3:00.
Antiracism Banner – Roberta Buchanan and Anne Searles
Kristin introduced the topic by recapping the recent incident at Northminster Presbyterian church, during which a “Black Lives Matter to God and to Us” lawn sign was vandalized. Northminster acquired several replacement banners, and offered one to St Matthew’s.
Anne and Roberta reported on the recent antiracism meeting, during which the group unanimously recommended that St. Matthew’s accept and display the sign. They commended Bishop Curry’s recent Black Lives Matter message as a compelling foundation for discussion and summarized themes that arose from the antiracism team discussion, including the sentiment that the sign is not political, but is rather is moral and ethical statement.
It was noted that several other churches planned to display signs before Christmas Eve.
APPROVED – to accept a banner “Black Lives Matter to God and to Us” from Northminster Presbyterian Church and put it up by Christmas Eve, 2020.
Melissa agreed to write a message to the parish explaining the decision.
Discussion regarding options for placement followed, concluding that Charlie and Jorge would display the banner in the most appropriate place.
It was acknowledged that action must accompany displaying the sign; the antiracism team will explore recommendations.
Finance report – Allison
Allison shared a written report, and summarized by stating that we are just about on target for the 2020 projected budget, which carries a $48K deficit.
Positive financial aspects of 2020 include people remaining faithful to their pledges and a successful gala. Jack Lerman sold his and Elise’s artwork as a fundraiser, and has offered to conduct another sale in 2021.
Current 2021 pledges total $268K; the projected final pledge income is $278K.
Though the timing is uncertain, the budget reflects returning to the church building in the 4th quarter. With increased expenses, the budget includes a $100K deficit. The finance committee will present the budget to the congregation prior to and at the annual meeting.
The finance committee doesn’t envision major reductions in expenses without long term ramifications; work has been done or is underway to reduce recurring costs such as copier and utility expenses.
While we are currently in a good cash position, we could run into cash flow issues in May or June. When funds are needed, vestry will take the second required vote to use up to $62K from Trust II.
It was noted that we should pass a virtual plate as often as possible – and that there are fees charged for any donation method other than a check to the church.
Sponsorship of particular projects to encourage donations was discussed, though it was noted that restricted gifts are difficult to manage, and that general use funds are more desirable.
No executive session: Cynthia will schedule an executive session January 4, 7:00-8:00.
Meeting ended at 9:18
Submitted by Jennie Woodring