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Vestry minutes - March, 2020

Minutes of March 16, 2020 Vestry Meeting

Present: Charlie de Kay, Cynthia Doucet, Kristin Jacobsen Monique Austin, Penelope Boardman, Susan Cherco, Connie Conley, Bob Purse, Dave Turner, Melissa Warden, Allison Zidek, Jennie Woodring (clerk)

Absent: Steve Steiber

The meeting was held via WebEx due to concerns about COVID-19.


Charlie opened the meeting at 7:37 with a prayer.

The minutes from the February meeting were APPROVED as corrected.


Church response to coronavirus – Charlie

Charlie followed diocese recommendations to suspend all meetings, including worship.

Sunday, March 15: 8:00 – no attendance; 10:30 – livestream with Mark Crayton’s help, as an experiment.

There was discussion about how to build upon livestreaming, including the possibility of reaching out to livestream attendees that are not regular St. Matthew’s members. The livestream was broadcast widely via Facebook Live. It was suggested that YouTube might reach a wider audience than Facebook.

Thursday , March 19, 7-8:30 There will be a Community Connections meeting to discuss how to move forward while staying physically separated. Vestry and others are invited to join Charlie and the wardens to discuss staying connected during this time of sequestering during the COVID-19 outbreak. If we put out a daily affirmation, for example, what is the best platform to deliver the content? Should St. Matthew’s own a WebEx account? Could it be used for morning prayer?

CDC recommends limiting large group gatherings for the next 8 weeks. How do we respond with regard to Holy Week and Easter – e.g., altar guild flowers (already ordered), extra musicians. Flower quantity could be reduced, and flowers could be donated to nursing homes. Lilies are ordered locally, and it was suggested it is good to keep the order in support of local business. Perhaps the service could be broadcast. Choir is not rehearsing, and will not prepared to provide the usual Easter music. Professional choir members might be able to perform some music.

Vestry Goals for 2020 – Cynthia

There was discussion about what goals vestry should set for the coming year.

It was suggested that vestry goals support the top issues raised at cottage meetings.

Facilities, building and grounds appear on both the vestry goals and the cottage meetings.

Cottage meetings also raised the desire to make connections and build community, particularly relevant during this time of enforced isolation. Vestry members also discussed the importance of determining how to use Trust II. Broadcasting the service can serve to help build connections and may provide an opportunity to keep people connected and supported during this time.

Goals in brief or 2020:

*Building connections, particularly via online services

*Trust II


Penelope and others will flesh out these ideas and present written goals at the next vestry meeting

Events update:

Race Against Hate – all four Evanston churches will join with us. $1000 has been pledged by the Aristotle Foundation – it is to be determined whether the funds will be used as a team donation or as part of St. Matthew’s sponsorship. The four Evanston Episcopal churches haven’t been approached regarding financial support, but the four churches will participate together as a team.

Vacation Bible Camp – First full week of August; looking for volunteers, and looking into whether it could be a shared ministry with other churches. St. Luke’s is interested in providing volunteers.

Gala - Susan Turner has offered to help

Missional Identity team kickoff – Kristin, Melissa

A small group will meet Wednesday, to plan a virtual meeting Sunday at 1:00. Melissa will lead the Sunday meeting.

Rector’s Report

The four Evanston Episcopal churches’ rectors met recently and set July 19 for Beachapalooza. There are opportunities to share resources, but merging congregations, while discussed, is not under consideration.

Handyman – a candidate has been identified, and the process of offering the position is in process. Discussion supported finishing the hiring process – this week if possible.

The building will remain open for AA and OA, with organizations making their own decisions about whether or not to meet.

Wednesday Lunch – Charlie offered a thank you to the Wednesday lunch program, which moved from a sit-down meal to a bag lunch, in order to continue the ministry during this time of physical distancing.

Parish Business

Finance update - Allision

Numbers are being reviewed/finalized, but it looks like we still have a significant 2019 deficit to fund – just over $49K, with a 2020 deficit of $48K.

The official pledge level is just over $300K.

We need to cut some, but also come up with other income source in order to achieve a balanced budget. The impact of not meeting at church remains to be seen. No in-person open plate offerings will be possible, but it was discussed if online donation opportunities could be created.

Allison will reach out to ministry leaders to be sure they know what their budgets are.

It isn’t anticipated that any monthly expenses will decrease – and income may be down if Wiggleworms and the ballet school don’t use the building. These entities pay based upon the number of classes.

April 14 – second Tuesday finance meeting – all are invited, ideas for raising funds are welcome.

Sound system – Kristin is working on this.

Ballet floor tiles – a quote will be presented next month.

Action Items

Penelope to write goals with others

There was no Executive Session

The meeting concluded around 9:15

Next meeting – April 20

Submitted by Jennie Woodring

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