• Jennie Webb Woodring

Vestry minutes - October 2020

Minutes of October 19, 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, Jennie Woodring, Chris Motogawa (finance)

Absent: Allison Zidek The meeting was held via WebEx.


Charlie opened the meeting with a prayer.

APPROVED – Vestry approved the September vestry minutes.


St Matthew’s Mission Statement parish vote – Melissa

Parish members were invited during the previous two weeks to vote on the four finalist mission statements, with two opportunities to attend question and answer sessions about the statements and process of discernment. Kristin sent the vote tally, which included two write-ins for the current mission statement, by email to vestry earlier in the week.

Vestry members discussed the statements and agreed to approve the statement that had received the most votes.

St. Matthew’s new mission statement is “Welcoming all in community, joyfully doing God's work in the world.”

The mission statement will serve as a message to the parish, and will guide the work moving forward.

A Celebration of Cultures gala– Cynthia

The Gala will be on Zoom, October 30, 7:00-9:00 pm, led by Cynthia and Susan Turner, with Susan organizing the auction items.

The invitation is on Eventbrite and parishioners will be able to get tickets.

Chris Motogawa suggested that a donate button could link directly to our account. The invitation could also include a donate option outside of Eventbrite.

We will use Bidding Owl for the auction, which charges 3% of the highest bid. The auction will open a few days before and remain open several days after the Gala.

Cynthia asked for further donations of buy-in parties or auction items and requested help by those who could supply music clips.

Stewardship update – Steve

Melissa, Dave, Penelope will assist. All parishioners will receive a mailing and personal contact, with a preference for Zoom over a phone call. Implementation will start soon, now that a finance goal ($366,000) and a mission statement (see above) have been determined.

It was suggested that the Gala could be the kickoff for the Stewardship campaign.

Antiracism – Kristin

The next meeting will be October 20. The group will explore using the Pathway to Reconciliation program endorsed by the diocese. Charlie is a program facilitator.

Mission project

Inspired Through Flowers approached St. Matthew’s about using space at the church. They collect flowers, arrange them, and take them to shut-ins and others.

The group is asking for space to work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, along with some storage space. Vestry discussed whether Inspired Through Flowers fits with our mission, and agreed that Charlie should engage in further discussions with the group.

Rector’s Report

Return to church taskforce

The taskforce will send a parish survey to get a sense of what people think about returning to worship in the building, but the sense is that there is little appetite for returning indoors for worship. The taskforce will go on hiatus. Charlie offered a thank you to the taskforce – Kristin (warden), Penelope (vestry), Kate Lauderbaugh (altar guild), Mark Crayton (music), Julie Hinz (staff) John Searles (building and grounds), Bill Widmer (8:00 service), Sandi McPhee (legal).

St. Andrew’s Pentecost partnership team

Charlie offered thanks to the partnership team for the Dear America book discussion, and for their continuation into the future.

Recent Sunday services

St. Matthew’s Day breakout room discussions following the service were heartening and joyful, as people offered remembrances of St. Matthew’s. The pet blessing day engaged members of the community who brought their pets to a 3:00 pm Sunday event held on the lawn.

Bishop candidates have been announced. Charlie encouraged vestry members to attend events designed to get to know the candidates. www.Chicagobishopsearch.org

Terri Morrissey has been approved for ordination. She is awaiting a date for Bishop Lee to ordain her late November, early December.

Worship team

Charlie invited interested vestry members to join a worship team tasked with exploring how to make liturgy most relevant and accessible for our congregation.

Mutual Ministry Review

Charlie and the wardens have decided to postpone the annual MMR process to summer 2021.


There will not be a retreat this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Youth include two from St. Matthew’s, two from St. Luke’s, one from St Mark’s. Charlie is looking for one man and one woman to pair with the confirmands from St. Matthew’s.

Christmas pageant

Charlie invited people to help work on a virtual Christmas pageant. The goal is to simplify and rewrite the script, and to recruit families to take videos of themselves acting out a portion of the pageant.

Annual meeting

Charlie invited those who are interested to volunteer to help plan the annual meeting in January, using spotlight on service as a theme.

Warden and vestry positions for 2021

A Nominations team has been formed.

Melissa Warden has agreed to be the new junior warden.

There are four vestry openings (three three-year terms and one two-year term), along with the clerk position.

Two new trustees are needed. Damon Doucet has offered to fill one of the open positions.

Finance Report – Chris Motogawa

Some expenses have been lower than expected, such as lower facilities costs, and fewer communications expenses for Race Against Hate, which was held as a remote event this year. With 85% of the budget in salary and benefits, the budget is as low as practical. Even so, both the 2019 and 2020 budgets included unfunded deficits. Recovery from the deficit will be helped, but not completed, by prepaid pledges and the Paycheck Protection Program loan, along with a new three-year energy contract that will reduce gas and electric rates.

The finance committee requested authorization to borrow up to $62,000 from Trust II over the next year to cover the deficit. Borrowing would be expected in June (if needed), as prepaid pledges could likely cover expenses for the first half of the year.

To recognize the source (consisting primarily of funds from a bequest by Fran Tennison) and purpose (to honor Fran Tennison’s legacy) of Trust II, vestry discussed and approved the following:

APPROVED – Vestry agreed to rename a portion of Trust II to create a reserve fund and to name it the Fran Tennison Guardian Angel Fund.

Withdrawals from Trust II are expected only in unusual circumstances and will require two vestry votes at least 60 days apart. With this year’s effects of the coronavirus pandemic deemed to be extraordinary circumstances, the motion below was made and approved, with the second vote to take place at the December meeting.

APPROVED Vestry agreed to authorize the withdrawal of not more than $62K from the Fran Tennison Guardian Angel Fund, not to be withdrawn unless necessary, for the purpose of meeting any budget deficit in 2021.

A brief executive session was held.

Meeting ended 9:30

Submitted by Jennie Woodring

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