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Vestry minutes - September, 2019

Minutes of September 16, 2019 Vestry Meeting

Present: Charlie de Kay, Tim Patenode, Bob Purse, Cynthia Doucet, Monique Austin, Allison Zidek, Corky Siegfriedt, Connie Conley, Dustin Vincent, Dave Turner, Susan Cherco, Kristin Jacobsen. Trustees: Mary Clark, Karen MacKay, Don Churchill. Choir Leaders: James Janssen and Mark Crayton.

The meeting began with Charlie leading a prayer reading.

The August Vestry minutes were APPROVED AS CORRECTED: Allison Zidek was absent from the August meeting.

Discussion with music leaders (Mark Crayton and James Janssen):

James and Mark provided a presentation (available upon request) detailing the choir history and future plans. Per Mark’s research with choral conductors in the city of Chicago, our St. Matthew’s choir is known as one of the top 10 in terms of reputation, in the Chicago area. New music or requests receive 6 – 8 weeks of planning and practice, four special music Sundays are planned (for example, one with a Broadway theme), and larger works are incorporated into liturgical services (Good Friday, Christmas, etc.).

A subset of the choir are paid professionals, with the remaining being volunteers. Members’ tenures have generally been long, for example 5 years to 15 years or longer. The Finance committee budgets for a total of about 600 “person-calls” per year for the paid members. For context, James and Mark estimated that in all-professional choirs, calls may be approximately $95-$100 per person. As we plan the 2020 budget, Tim noted that any approved budget changes (for example, for paid member compensation increases) should be done to match the timing of the annual budget cycle.

Presentation of Trust III report (Don Churchill, Mary Clark, Karen MacKay):

The letter of August 7, 2019 entitled “Trustees’ Summary of Findings and Recommendations re: Creating of a new ‘Trust III’” was discussed, and approval would come from a parish-wide agreement. The Trustee team will present specific recommendations to the Vestry at the October meeting, and the agreed recommendations will then go to the congregation.

Specific areas of discussion included finding the balance for a Trust that is a welcome home for planned giving, designed for perpetuity/ grown over time/invested in way to help fund special and compelling projects (requiring congregation vote). Discipline will be required, and trust language will need to be specific about what the funds can be used for.

Bishop Lee mentioned two schools of thought: 1) those who value the importance of an “endowment” as noted above, and 2) those who may question whether endowments are an idea from the past and may not hold as much interest/applicability in future paradigms

Request by Citadel theatre for use of church

APPROVED unanimously, to accept request for rehearsal space on select open dates between October 6th and November 12th upon verification of insurance.

Use of church space

APPROVED unanimously pending insurance confirmation and no calendar conflicts with the church: will allow Evanston Chamber Opera (EChO - Francis Lynch) to use the church space for performance(s) in addition to the request previously approved for a fundraising event.

Discussion of personnel issues arising from departures of Damian and Kevin (Charlie)

With Rector and Warden agreement, Julie Hinz is now working 30 hours/week including Fridays (she was previously working 20 hours/week). In addition to her previous role, Julie has taken on many of the Communications efforts as well as managing logistics for approved outsourced maintenance needs. This is an interim solution while personnel decisions are made regarding staffing needs/job description(s), etc. with the Personnel team. The Associate Rector replacement will be discussed in October, in context of budgeting and the discernment process.

Confirm discernment Cottage Meetings

Leslie Pendleton of ECF recommended 6 cottage meetings. Facilitators have been identified and their training will be Saturday October 12th. Need 6 hosts and Kristin, Allison, Susan, Ann, and Connie have volunteered (hosts’ role is to open their homes; no facilitation or scribe work is asked of them). The plan is to host meetings over the course of several weeks, starting October 20th.

Update on ballet school floor

The school added underlayment to their flooring request, which was not previously included in the approved investment of $4,000 - 6,000. Underlayment is several hundred dollars not including labor. Vestry agreed that if cost stays in agreed range, it remains approved to proceed.

Rector’s report

Report available upon request, and includes details and dates regarding staffing, stewardship, formation, events and pastoral issues.

Next meeting will be October 21, 2019.

Submitted by Cynthia Doucet

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