Vestry Minutes for Oct. 17, 2022
St. Matthew’s Vestry Meeting
October 17, 2022, 7 p.m., Via Zoom
Present: Charlie de Kay, Damon Doucet, Penelope Boardman, Karen LaBranche, Molly Purse, Bill Siegfriedt, Steve Steiber, Melissa Warden, Bill Widmer, Curt Nilsson and Deborah Williams
Charlie opened the meeting with an introduction to Lectio Divina, which started with open prayer from the Book of Common Prayer and was followed by a passage from the Gospel According to St. Luke and a collect by Steve Shakespeare.
The September 19 minutes were approved with no changes.
TOOLS FOR MISSION: Parish Business
Upcoming Events with a Welcoming Focus
Oct. 22-Gala Fundraiser
Attendance numbers are up to 70. Charlie mentioned that any upcoming information sent out should mention that a scholarship for tickets is available.
Oct. 23-Reimagining the Ushers
Charlie opened the discussion by asking whether our ushers consider themselves as performing a ministry. He's looking forward to meeting with the usher team and other interested parties to ask this question and more. Ushers are the first to greet everybody. This provides not just a first impression for visitors but so much more. Charlie went on to describe the act of welcoming as a form of love, by losing oneself in the act of welcoming people leads us to lose ties and assumptions that keep us back. Steve Steiber spoke of the importance for the ushers to adopt new habits, such as literally keeping the outside doors open.
Oct. 30-S’Mores on the Lawn
The congregation is invited to gather around fire pits after the 10:30 service for treats and beverages.
Nov. 3-St. Matthews Book Club
The group will meet at Steve and Charlotte’s home to discusses Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other, and the Spirit of Transformation by the Rev. Stephanie Speller.
Stewardship Theme and Plans
Steve introduced the theme of this year’s stewardship push as rooted in Psalm 98. He described the stewardship challenge as getting people to think of giving not as a burden but recognition of how blessed we are. He asked for volunteers to call people and discuss these questions as a starting off-point: What do they feel joyful about in being a Christian? An Episcopalian? A member of St. Matthews? Melissa asked Steve to get back to the vestry with a start and end date for the campaign. Steve asked the vestry to send him a list of five things that people might be thankful about.
Charlie reported being very pleased with the Indigenous Peoples’ Day service. In recognition of the funerals taking place every weekend for the next few weeks, he expressed gratitude that people are coming to us for such an important service. Charlie described these funerals as some of the very best things St. Matthews can do, providing support and a service that is holy, special, and meaningful. Melissa mentioned attending one such funeral recently and acknowledged the real sense of welcoming present. Charlie reminded vestry members of the Lectio Divina offered weekly on Wednesday mornings at 7 a.m. He concluded his report with thanks to the vestry for answering the call for promoting the need for a parish administrator. He was happy to report that we are fully staffed with Julie Salako serving as communications position and Gregory Peebles stepping into the position as parish administrator.
Celebrating Our Partnership with St. Andrew’s Pentecost and Refugee One
Cynthia Doucet and Mary Jo Deysach attended as guests to report that during the past four to six months everything is going well with the family. The girls are in school, and Maua has a job albeit a tough one as a housekeeper for Holiday Inn working 10 hours a day. Cynthia praised Mary Jo along with Roberta Buchanan, Teri Morrissey and Sister Bonnie for liaising with Refugee One to troubleshoot the family’s challenges. Mary Jo told the vestry about the recent trip to Lincoln Park Zoo. The St. Matthew’s stitching group and Sister Bonnie’s Mother House members knitted and distributed hats and scarves to the family.
Language continues to be a barrier to communication although the family members are learning English. The family’s generosity with sharing items with their large social network has challenged some of our Western notions of ownership, requiring as Sister Bonnie noted a moment to step back and open your heart and mind to the family’s unique culture and situation.
Melissa thanked the group for all their efforts.
Karen LaBranche asked what happens to the relationship once the 6 months are up? Cynthia responded that RefugeeOne will keep in touch for up to 5 years. As for our part, we’ll leave it up to Maua as to how many visits she’d like, possibly once every three weeks but certainly once a month. Mary Jo responded to Melissa’s question about having the family attend one of our church services; she said that they seemed very involved with their regular church. Karen inquired whether we could gift them during Christmas. Cynthia said she’ll bring that idea back to the team. Penelope Boardman added that gift cards as we’ve done with the Cradle are empowering because they allow mothers to pick out their own gifts.
Charlie closed the meeting with Collects for All Saints Day from the Book of Common Prayer and by Steven Shakespeare
–Submitted by Ginny Voedisch