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Vestry Minutes: February 18, 2019

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

Vestry Meeting Minutes February 18, 2019 (Approved)

Members Present: Charlie DeKay, Kevin Goodman, Kristin Jacobsen, Connie Conley, Cynthia Doucet, Corky Siegfriedt, Bob Purse, Tim Patenode, Ann Searles, Susan Cherco, Alison Zidek

Members Absent: Monique Austin, David Turner, Dustin Vincent, Christopher Motogawa

Call to Order/Appointment of Clerk

Tim Patenode called the meeting to order at 7:33 PM. Charlie DeKay informed the vestry that no clerk has been appointed to date.

Short Prayer/Reflection

After introductions, Charlie led the vestry through the Early Evening Service from the Book of Common Prayer.

Approval of January Vestry minutes.

The January vestry meeting minutes were approved with corrections.

Trustees to discuss Trust III formation process (Don Churchill, Karen MacKay, Mary Clark)

As a first step in the Trust III development process the Trustees came to the Vestry meeting to initiate a conversation about the establishment of the new Trust III. Don Churchill began the discussion by identifying the issues that need to be decided before establishing the new Trust III, i.e., what is its purpose, what contingencies should be considered, how will the endowment grow, how should funds be invested and managed, what are the criteria for withdrawals, and then summarizing the process by which the Trustees plan to move forward toward gathering input from parishioners and building consensus. Don informed the vestry of the current status of the existing trust funds and recapped historical background information on St Matthew’s use of Trusts I and II to provide context for the discussion which followed. (See attached St Matthew’s Endowment: Current Status and Historical Recap, The Future Endowment/Trust III: Questions for Discussion, Trust III Development Process – Action Steps and Timetable)

The wide ranging discussion regarding establishment of Trust III that followed included potential uses of trust funds, such as, financial security, maintenance and grounds, support of mission. Questions were raised about whether or not there should be restrictions in the trust agreement over use of these funds, how the church will deal with unexpected events, the purpose and desirability of maintaining an endowment trust, as opposed to reserve funds, whether the church intends to grow these funds and if so, how.

Although no consensus regarding specifics of the new trust was reached at this meeting there was general agreement on the following goals and principals: St Matthew’s must continue to work towards financial sustainability by expanding pledge income to balance the budget; maintain a robust fund raising program and increase building usage; develop its planned giving program and initiate a capital campaign; that funds in the new trust III need to be more accessible than the current funds in Trust I but not too accessible; and that usage criteria need to be flexible but not too flexible.

The Trustees will continue to gather input from church members and outside resources through-out the first half of 2019. This information will provide the basis to establish the new Trust III which will replace Trust I and Trust II after approval by parishioners at the 2020 annual meeting next January.

Motion to Approve new bank signers.

At the request of Jeffrey Haden, Treasurer, Tim Patenode asked the vestry for a motion to approve the following individuals to be authorized to sign checks for St Matthew’s Episcopal Church, effective immediately, on checking accounts at Byline Bank, formerly, First Bank & Trust: Operating Fund Checking 4055770 and Campaign 2026 (Capital Campaign) Checking 4093523: Stephen Howard Carr, Cynthia A. Doucet, Jeffrey R. Haden, Sandra Ferguson McPhee, Timothy Patenode, R. David Turner.

The authorization request was moved and seconded. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

piscopal Migration Ministry

Cynthia Doucet informed the vestry about the upcoming Episcopal Migration Ministry presentation and workshop, Love God, Love Neighbor, that will take place on May 17th and 18th 2019. Sponsorship of the program is the result of the ongoing St Andrew’s/St Matthew’s collaboration. St Matthew’s Church has provided an advance of $747.20 for airfare for the 2 presenters. There was a question about whether it was necessary to pass a motion to ratify this disbursement. After discussion the vestry decided there was no need to pass a motion in this case. The expense will be allocated to Outreach. It is expected that the church will be reimbursed for the advance. Additional expenses may include rental of a venue and the costs of hosting the presenters. It is anticipated that other organizations and individuals will contribute to offset these costs.

Vestry approval of the 2018 Parochial Report

The Parochial Report goes to the diocese and then to the national church. It is used to look at trends in attendance and giving.

A motion to approve the report was made and seconded. It was passed unanimously by voice vote.

Check-in on Annual Meeting

There was broad consensus that the annual meeting was well run, productive and a good community building event.

Review goals from 2018

The vestry reviewed that goals from the January 2018 vestry meeting and agreed that most of them had been met. There is still a need to recruit more volunteers to the ministry teams.

Planning for Vestry school/retreat (3/8-9): vote on Techny vs. Maria House

The regular March Vestry meeting is cancelled. After some discussion the vestry opted to stay at Maria House. The retreat will kick off with a dinner at 6:00 PM followed by a meeting in the evening. Vestry School on Saturday runs from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Registration and payment for Vestry School is separate and in addition to the cost of the retreat. Vestry members who want to attend Vestry School were urged to sign up soon since space is limited.

Looking Ahead

Tim Patenode outlined some of the tasks/events in need of volunteers in the coming year: Gala and Stewardship chairpersons; Vestry participation in the Mutual Ministry Review; a farewell for Damian Barta and the launch of a Capital campaign.

Associate Rector’s Report

Kevin Goodman informed the Vestry that he will be meeting with the Personnel Committee to develop a job description for Damian Barta’s position. They will be reaching out to members of the church community for people to work on the transition.

Kevin asked the Vestry to again support St Matthew’s sponsorship of the Race Against Hate which takes place on Father’s Day, June 16th. The sponsorship itself is $2,500. The total cost of last year’s participation was $3,300 which came from the Communication line in the budget. The additional cost covers the tent rental, banners, brochures and other incidentals. Last year St Matthew’s raised $6,500 for the Race. This exposure was a factor in recruiting attendees for the bible camp last summer.

The motion to participate as a sponsor of the Race Against Hate at the $2,500 level was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously by voice vote.

Rector’s Report

Charlie DeKay passed out his report along with an updated calendar. He asked the vestry to think about whether St Matthew’s should develop emergency policies and procedures. This was precipitated by the church closing due to extreme cold weather on January 30th and 31st and by the fact the some other churches are inviting the Evanston Police to conduct Active Shooter Training.

Charlie and Fr Emeka Nwachuku are discussing whether the two congregations might run a joint program based on the “Legacy of Slavery Taskforce Report” over Lent.

The screening of The Long Shadow on February 13th, the Godspell special Music Sunday on February 17th and the VisionKeepers Dinner, celebrating Damian Barta were all successful events.

Other announcements: The midweek bible study group will read When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. Discussion starts Wednesday, February 27th; combined worship with St Andrew’s Pentecost is March 3rd at 11:00 AM; Kevin and Charlie are working on a schedule for a new Enquirer’s Class; Facilities Associate, Damian Barta will be leaving on the last Sunday in May and there is a need for a volunteer to organize a farewell; Beach Church starts June 23rd and runs through September 1st. A concierge is needed. Kristin Jacobsen offered to ask her daughter Maeve if she is interested and able to do this again this coming summer.

Executive Session

The Vestry decided there was no need for an executive session.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:52.

Respectfully submitted by Susan Cherco

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