Vestry Minutes-January 2021
Minutes of January 18, 2021 Vestry Meeting Present: Charlie de Kay, Cynthia Doucet, Kristin Jacobsen, Penelope Boardman, Susan Cherco, Connie Conley, Bob Purse, Steve Steiber, Melissa Warden, Allison Zidek, Jennie Woodring Absent: Monique Austin, Dave Turner The meeting was held via WebEx.
Prelude Charlie opened the meeting by asking vestry to consider gratitude for each other and St. Matthew’s. APPROVED – Vestry approved the December vestry minutes. Book discussion – Charlie Vestry discussed Chapter 4 of Healthy Congregations by Peter L. Steinke In considering the qualities of a clergy-focused versus a mission-focused church, as described in the chapter, it was noted that St. Matthew’s continues to intentionally move toward the desirable mission focus.
Mission Phone tree Vestry discussed the possibility of reactivating the phone tree, which was started early during the pandemic in 2020. It was suggested that Stephen Ministry could use their skills to connect with the congregation, or that the phone tree purpose could shift. No decision was made.
Sunday counting - vestry role - Kristin Kristin asked vestry members to take one Sunday a month to count Sunday Zoom attendees. Melissa reported on her positive experience counting in January, noting that it facilitated living into the mission of being welcoming by becoming more engaged with people.
Church in our hands – Steve Steve asserted that the act of giving, and not necessarily the dollar amount, is most important to stewardship, and expressed gratitude for the pillars of St. Matthew’s for contributing almost $22,000 in response to the 50% matching offer from anonymous donors. He stressed the advantage of a mentality of abundance rather than scarcity, and the importance of always thanking people and continuing stewardship every day. Steve would like to have more people to help keep people motivated to give throughout the year. It was noted that while open plate giving was non-existent during most of the year, a request during the Christmas services resulted in a collection of about $300.
Rector’s report – Charlie A summary was sent to the vestry prior to the meeting. Highlights noted during the meeting include:
Charlie mentioned the possibility of increasing musicians’ payment, as discussed at previous vestry meetings.
Vestry members serving in 2021 should plan to attend a multi-church workshop Saturday, February 13, 9:00 - 12:15, hosted by the deanery. The workshop will focus on ways vestries can engage in conversations about anti-racism and leadership around racial matters. The annual meeting will be the next step in kicking off St. Matthew’s next chapter of Canoeing the Mountains regarding mission, with more clarity as St. Matthew’s moves forward as a mission-focused congregation.
Charlie said he would like vestry to help St. Matthew’s be a thriving parish by focusing its mission.
Charlie is working to fill the last open vestry position, and is in conversation with a candidate. Co-treasurers Allison Zidek and Chris Motogawa have agreed to serve another year. Church music staff James Janssen and Mark Crayton worked throughout the summer in 2020 but their compensation was not increased. In previous years, they have taken the summer off from St. Matthew’s with other paying engagements during the season. There was discussion about how to avoid this situation in 2021, and it was noted that they should be encouraged to take time off during the summer. It was also noted that Charlie and Julie Hinz do receive paid time off.
Spotlight on service - Cynthia Cynthia shared information about Turkey Club, a service organization she and Damon founded in 1994. They and a group of supporters contribute funding of about $3,000 to $5,000 each year to support selected families with children, especially during Christmas. They also provide $25 gift cards which are occasionally distributed in random acts of kindness by select members.
Parish Business Finance – Allison Allison shared the financial stewardship report, which was sent to vestry prior to the meeting, and which will be shared with parishioners before the congregation financial meeting on Sunday, January 24. She expressed thanks to all who encourage people to live out their faith and values by contributing to St. Matthew’s. The Payroll Protection Plan loan is carried as a “below the line” item and is still recorded as a liability. It is not recorded as income, but it will fund the deficit, which currently stands at $50K.
While there was no draw-down during this first year of the new Trust, in future years vestry will determine in January the specific uses for available funds, which are to be used for projects that address St. Matthew’s mission.
Payroll and benefits constitute the largest portion of the budget; building expenses and building use fees are difficult to estimate because of uncertainty about when we might return to in-church services and use of the building. Our diocesan pledge will remain at $10K for 2021.
Allison observed that St. Matthew’s financial position is good, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. Prepayment of $40K of 2021 pledges puts the cash position at $90K. Following approval of the 2020 financial report and 2021 budget at the annual meeting, the finance committee will ask for vestry approval to apply for a second PPP loan in 2021. Vestry members were asked to think about who might be potential candidates to join the finance team in the future.
It was noted that the planned giving team is nearly ready to launch a campaign, after having been sidelined by COVID-19.
Charlie concluded the meeting by asking vestry members to share their appreciation for outgoing members and closed with a prayer.
The meeting ended at 9:40 pm. Submitted by Jennie Woodring