Vestry News & Meeting Minutes
Vestry News - December 2022
The Vestry’s December 14 meeting, the last of this calendar year, began after an opening prayer with a meditation by Ted Cage on the ways in which science programs available on YouTube have reinforced his faith. To contemplate the astonishing and utterly improbable ways in which the universe came into being serves, for Ted, as a path toward faith in God and gratitude for Creation and our home within it.
The Treasurer’s monthly report revealed that pledge income fell sharply below budget for the month of November and is running 5% below budget for the year to date. On the other hand, operating expenses for the first 11 months of 2022 have come in 4% below budget. It is hoped that December pledge income will be strong, in keeping with the historical pattern. At November 30, the endowment stood at $5.25 million, having recovered modestly in line with the market from this year’s low point.
Work proceeds on the 2023 operating budget, a task that necessarily continues into January and sometimes beyond. After accepting the Treasurer’s report as submitted, the Vestry passed a resolution extending authorization for continued spending at levels approved for operations in 2022 until the 2023 budget has been finalized and approved. The Vestry also approved housing allowances elected by the Associate Rectors so as to make available to them tax benefits provided by the Internal Revenue Code.
Matt Cunningham, Co-Chair of the annual stewardship campaign, reported that as of December 14 we had raised $953,438 in 173 pledges for 2023, including 11 from first-time pledgers. These numbers compare to our goals of reaching $1,350,000 with 260 pledges and 20 new pledging households. It will take a robust response from parishioners in the closing days of the campaign to reach these goals. To that end, Vestry members were assigned parishioners to contact again from a list of past pledgers who have not yet responded to the current canvass.
The Nominating Committee, led by Rachel Colson and Lisa Garnett, recommended Katie Wilson and Anton Vanterpool be nominated to run for Vestry membership in the January 29, 2023 election along with those previously recommended – Gloria Manzo, Armis Sadri, Dustin Shade, Melanie Williams, and Amie Vandersluis. The Vestry unanimously approved these nominations and complemented the committee on the strength of the slate it has mustered. Also on the committee’s recommendation, the Vestry formalized the addition of Amanda Gilman to the Memorial Lecture Committee.
Gloria Manzo presented a written report that she and Yoimel González Hernández prepared on our Latino ministry. The Latino group within our parish includes members from many different Latin American countries. This community benefits from formation classes offered in Spanish during particular seasons of the year and has enjoyed volunteering for parish events such as the farewell celebration for Geoffrey Hoare and the Thanksgiving community dinner. Leaders of the Latino congregation are considering potential strategies for increasing the number of its participants.
Ted Cage reported on preliminary efforts undertaken by the working group charged by the Buildings and Grounds Committee with thinking through alternatives for rehabilitating the Rectory. In addition to Ted, the working group includes Stephanie Curcuru, Bob Pinkard, and Lucy Cage. The possibilities include rededicating the building for occupancy by a rector or offering it for rent to other institutions on the Close so as to generate an income stream for servicing a mortgage and funding maintenance costs. The next step is to formulate a proposed budget for the Vestry’s consideration to fund the initial professional consultations and research that would be necessary to scope out design alternatives and estimate a range of construction costs accordingly. As Ted wrote, “The committee believes that prudently spending relatively modest amounts, especially during the preconstruction phase, will allow for more informed and smarter decision-making throughout the process, will ultimately be the most cost-effective approach, and will save money in the long run.” The Vestry was favorably impressed by the report and awaits the proposed budget for planning expenses. This complex project will proceed step by step with careful deliberation and oversight at every stage.
Our Associate Rectors each updated the Vestry on their respective areas of primary responsibility. Especially notable was Jim Quigley’s observation that in this season of Advent, emotions of happiness and loneliness are both intensified and that, as a corollary, the church’s phones and emails “are filled with messages from happy people who want to volunteer and sad people seeking help.” Many pastoral visits are underway, the staff responds to emergency calls virtually every day (nearly always from non-parishioners), the WeCare network is busy serving parishioners in need, and our Stephen’s Ministry is being bolstered by three new lay ministers who have completed training, namely, Amanda Gilman, Virginia Schofield and Linda Vitella. The reopened OpShop is doing brisk business under manager Courtney Cunningham, a most welcome addition to the church staff.
In my own monthly report, I reminded Vestry members that the January 2023 Vestry and Junior Warden election will be conducted digitally. It is important, therefore, to let Charles Porter, Mery Montenegro, or me know of any parishioners who lack computer access or do not use email, so that we can make alternative arrangements for such persons to vote.
I noted that, in the course of the work upgrading the HVAC system in Satterlee Hall, it became clear several months ago that work outside of the approved budget for capital projects needed to be undertaken (1) to address mold and other damage from past water infiltration, and also certain lighting issues, in the Satterlee basement, and (2) to install new wiring and lighting fixtures in the OpShop so as to put that space in good condition for reopening. With qualified contractors already on the scene for the HVAC work, and given the need to resume OpShop operations as soon as possible, management considered the circumstances exigent and decided to issue change orders for the work and request Vestry ratification in arrears. Upon motion of the Executive Committee, the Vestry ratified the spending of $16,134 for the first of the above-mentioned categories of work and $13,889 for the second category. The Vestry also authorized charging the sum total of these expenses to the Reserve Fund, but directed the Treasurer to discuss with the president of Workers of St. Alban’s (WSA) and other representatives of WSA and clergy, as appropriate, the question of whether the Reserve Fund should recoup the amounts spent for improvements to the OpShop out of future profits of that operation.
Vestry News - September 2022
The vestry received a panoply of reports reflecting the start of a program year chock full of offerings for learning, service, and growing in faith. Sunday School/Godly Play, Children’s Chapel, Youth Class, Sunday Bible study for adults, Enquirers’ Class, Grate Patrol, the Backpack Program, and The Leadership Roundtable are all gearing up. (Godly Play and Children’s Chapel are fully staffed but more volunteers are needed for the Youth Program.) Several new recruits have signed up to be trained as Stephen Ministers. The choir has begun the new cycle in marvelous fashion, and a reconstituted handbell ensemble are commencing regular rehearsals. Emily Griffin, Mary Kostel, and Yoimel González Hernández will provide interesting forums this fall, and Jim Quigley will host occasional coffee hours via Zoom. Truly, St. Alban’s is abuzz with abundant life!
Several Latino parishioners will be confirmed at the Cathedral on October 5. At vestry member Gloria Manzo’s suggestion, a more suitable cross is being acquired for use in Spanish services. Formation opportunities will be offered after Spanish services.
The goal of better serving young adults is receiving considerable attention. Yoimel is leading this ministry in tandem with parishioner Kara Schmidt. Parishioners studying the book Growing Young will soon present the vestry with suggestions, and St. Alban’s has joined a year-long program of the Fuller Youth Institute that aims to equip churches for this vital mission.
In his final report, after noting routine business, Geoffrey Hoare wrote: “All that remains is for me to say how very blessed my family and I have been to be with you in ministry these past years. St. Alban’s is a happy, confident parish and with good reason.”
Just before the close of the meeting, the vestry surprised Geoffrey by announcing and adopting by acclamation the Resolution in this link.
September 28, 2022
Vestry News - March 16, 2022
After an opening prayer recited by the Rector and a lovely meditation delivered by Carol Aschenbrener about Bishop Steven Charleston’s book The Four Vision Quests of Jesus, the Vestry’s meeting of March 16 turned to financial business. Upon motions by the Budget & Finance Committee, the Vestry first approved a budget for 2022 and then allocated an extraordinary gift among several non-recurring uses outside of the budget. The Vestry then turned to an in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of moving away under current circumstances from mandatory mask-wearing in worship and commissioned a working group to plan parish events for the near term with the goal of reinvigorating our common life.
The budget calls for $2,095,518 in revenue and an equal amount in expenses, continuing our healthy practice of balancing our annual budgets. That figure represents a significant increase over last year’s actual revenues and expenses of $1,712,172 for 2021. The increases contemplate the reopening of Satterlee Hall as we approach the fall as well as realistic cost-of-living increases in staff salaries, aligning associate rectors’ compensation with diocesan guidelines, funding the recently created position of Communications Director, covering expenses connected with our search for a new rector, and paying for necessary upgrades to computer equipment. The budget also maintains our outreach expenses at $247,000, divided in equal amounts, as has been our custom, between Christian Social Ministries and Anglican Episcopal Institutions (notably including the Bishop Walker School), on the one hand, and support for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, on the other hand. To meet all these needs, the Budget & Finance Committee recommended as prudent, and the Vestry approved, that we make a 6% draw on the Endowment this year, on a one-time basis, up from our normative 4%.
An extraordinary gift of $75,000 came in gratitude for St. Alban’s online services from a couple who no longer live in the Washington area. As recommended by the Budget & Finance Committee, the Vestry allocated this generous donation as follows: $10,000 to support Emily Griffin’s upcoming sabbatical; up to $17,500 for a study of the possibility of adding a sprinkler system to the existing fire-protection system in Satterlee Hall; $30,000 to equip Satterlee Hall with furniture for accommodating parish activities we are moving there from the Rectory; and $17,500 to provide for potential staffing needs. The Vestry also authorized our Director of Operations to enter into a contract for the sprinkler study once the Executive Committee is satisfied with the documentation of the agreement and to compensate Gary Baker at a reasonable hourly rate for his services in procuring the contract.
The discussion of our policy on masks was a lively one. Carol Ashenbrener, who is a retired physician and follows the news about the Covid pandemic very closely, summarized the currently low incidence and mortality rates associated with the virus in Washington, emerging evidence of its potential long-term health effects, and the risk that our region will experience a new surge in the disease like those now occurring in Europe and in China. It was noted that the Washington National Cathedral has recently made mask optional for services there. Almost all Vestry members as well as our Youth Representative then offered comments. What emerged was a strong consensus that the parish should adopt a mask-optional approach at this stage. The consensus, however, emphasized the need for each of us to be considerate and nonjudgmental towards those whose choice differs from our own. The Vestry also recognized that we may have to revert quickly to a mask mandate if conditions deteriorate and recommended that parishioners be forewarned of this possibility when the mandate under which we have been operating is suspended.
Vestry member Megan King has kindly agreed to head a working group tasked with coming up with a recommended set of parish gatherings aimed at revitalizing the parish’s sense of community – and fun! This planning group should include a mix of Vestry persons and other parishioners. It will need to work quickly so as to get some activities on the calendar for this spring and summer that will channel toward our church a goodly portion of the energy and enthusiasm that many people are feeling after months of being hunkered down in the pandemic. If you are interested in joining in this effort, please get in touch with Megan or with me.
ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - January 19, 2022
by Junior Warden Ted Swett
The final meeting of the 2021 Vestry was convened by Zoom on Wednesday, and the main business of the evening was bidding farewell to those whose terms on the Vestry are ending on January 30. Accordingly, we heard reflections on their time of service on the leadership team from Paul Brewster, Susan Morris, Josepha Musabyemariya, Dudley Winthrop and myself.
In his Treasurer’s report, Hollis McLoughlin reported that we ended the year with a balance of income and expenses. While some administrative issues with the third-party business who handles the sale of stocks donated to the parish, and an unrelated delay in a contribution from a foundation, resulted in an inability to report as receipts approximately $180,000 in income for 2021, this was balanced out by a reduction of expenses of approximately the same amount. Moneys not expended in 2021 on outreach, owing largely to a reduction in activities associated with our feeding ministries due to the pandemic, will be rolled over for outreach spending in 2022. The church endowment ended the year at $6.3 million. In other financial business, the Vestry approved a continuing resolution that authorizes the spending levels for fiscal year 2021 operations be extended into fiscal year 2022 until such time as the Vestry approves an operating budget for fiscal year 2022 in February. Hollis also gave notice that at the February meeting the Vestry will be asked to accept the results of the 2019 and 2020 financial audits of the parish finances by an outside accounting firm.
Regarding the Annual Appeal, Lisa Garnett reported that the end is in sight for closing out the stewardship campaign to generate pledges to support St. Alban’s 2022 budget; however, we still expect a number of pledges will come in as this is usual in January. The campaign has generated $1,232,729, 93% of our aspirational goal of $1,325,000. The trend line for 2022 so far is that, while we are currently down as to the total number of pledgers as compared to 2021, the contributions by the households who have given have increased in amount, and we added a number of new pledging households. The amount pledged so far is still up 4% over what was pledged in 2021. The Vestry thanked Lisa Garnett for the great work she has done heading this campaign, and Geoffrey is already working with Lisa’s successor, Matt Cunningham, on planning for the 2022 Annual Appeal.
As part of the Rector’s report, we discussed a recent break-in to the office of the Finance Director. To date, no losses from the break-in have been discovered. We are taking a number of steps to improve security, including changing of lock codes, exploring separately locking the staff corridor, and working closely with a cooperative security force from the Cathedral to increase the police presence around Satterlee Hall. On a related note, the security camera system funded by the 2021 Capital Campaign has been installed and should be up and running very soon. The Vestry was assured of the protection for vital church records in a safe, and Geoffrey discussed plans to re-locate church archives now that Satterlee halls basement rooms are again safe from water infiltration. In another building-related news, a required City re-inspection of electrical upgrades in the kitchen has delayed the full use of the kitchen temporarily, and Susan Morris reported that Op Shop volunteers are excited about the re-opening of the Op Shop after construction that will hopefully be complete in February.
To all of you, please don’t forget to vote in the Annual Meeting election on January 30, which as you know will be conducted electronically. All eligible voters who have provided the church a current email address will receive an email from St. Alban’s at approximately 12:01 AM on January 30 and the “polls” will be open until midnight that day. Also, to those who have not pledged, I would like nothing better than, at the Annual Meeting, to hear the Treasurer report that we have made our full goal.
This is the final Vestry News I will pen. I will save farewells and expressions of gratitude for the Annual Meeting, but want to thank you all for reading these notes over the years, and for loving St. Alban’s like I do. It has been a distinct privilege and honor to be your Senior Warden.
Ken Patterson, Senior Warden
ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - January 12, 2022
by Junior Warden Ted Swett
As reported in the all-Parish email sent Wednesday evening, January 12, the Rectorcalled a special meeting on that date at which he requested that the vestry affirm his long-considered decision to step down from his position as our Rector, effective September 30, 2022. This decision comes after 40 years in parish ministry and at a time when he is approaching age 65 and a transition is timely for his family. The second matter considered by the Vestry was whether the Parish should begin a search for the new Rector immediately after the Annual Meeting and Parish election on January 30, and thus while Geoffrey is still in place as Rector. The Vestry unanimously approved motions by the Senior Warden, as recommended out of Executive Committee, to affirm Geoffrey’s intent to step down and to commence a search under current Diocesan guidelines as soon as possible after the new Vestry is convened.
Since the last search for a rector, the diocese has simplified and streamlined the search process and determined that a search, whenever it occurs should be conducted by the vestry rather than a separate committee.
Following these actions, vestry members expressed their gratitude for Geoffrey’s ministry and service to date, reaffirmed their support for his leadership in the coming months as we continue to work together on the business of St. Alban’s, and discussed that we anticipate a joyous “sending” celebration in the fall.
Geoffrey reminded us that, at the Vestry’s regularly-scheduled January meeting on the 20 th, those whose terms on the parish leadership team that are stepping down (myself, Paul Brewster, Susan Morris, Josepha Musabyemariya, and Dudley Winthrop) will be asked to give reflections on their service.
While not “Vestry News,” I would be remiss as your retiring Senior Warden if I did not urge all Parishioners to acquaint themselves fully with the candidates for election on January 30, whose written statements were shared by email on December 16, 2021 and whose videos were shared by email on January 13, 2022. The candidates for Senior Warden are Tom Gustafson and Ted Swett. The candidates for Vestry, from whom we will elect four, are Michele Armitage, Erin Bowers, Ted Cage, Brian Glosh, Tom Roth, and Jessica Vermooten. Given the important role the Vestry plays in the selection of our next Rector, I ask for your thoughtful consideration of who will join Ted Swett (either as Senior Warden or continuing as Junior Warden), Carol Aschenbrener, Rachel Colson, Matt Cunningham, Stephanie Curcuru, Lisa Garnett, Megan King, Suzy Mink and Karina Rodriguez to comprise your leadership team.
Senior Warden, Senior Warden
ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - December 15, 2021
by Junior Warden Ted Swett
Our Vestry meeting this month began with Matthew Cunningham’s reflection on this season of the year as one of remembrance, generosity, and gratitude, and on how these themes relate to his experience at St. Alban’s. Matt shared a favorite Christmas memory illustrating his mother’s loving care for him and his brother. He spoke of his involvement in “Movember” fund-raising for men’s health causes, a way of honoring his father, who died of prostate cancer. Having lost both parents while he and his brother were still quite young, Matt has found at St. Alban’s some friendships so close and strong as to form what amounts to an extended family, and for this he is deeply grateful.Our Vestry meeting this month began with Matthew Cunningham’s reflection on this season of the year as one of remembrance, generosity, and gratitude, and on how these themes relate to his experience at St. Alban’s. Matt shared a favorite Christmas memory illustrating his mother’s loving care for him and his brother. He spoke of his involvement in “Movember” fund-raising for men’s health causes, a way of honoring his father, who died of prostate cancer. Having lost both parents while he and his brother were still quite young, Matt has found at St. Alban’s some friendships so close and strong as to form what amounts to an extended family, and for this he is deeply grateful.
Turning to the business portion of the meeting, Dudley Winthrop, a member of the Finance Committee, summarized the monthly financial report in the absence of the Treasurer, who was unable to attend. Overall, the report showed a healthy state of affairs. Although income from pledges and other sources for November and for the year to date have fallen modestly short of budget, expenses have also come in lower than budgeted, so the overall results of operations are not unreasonable. To achieve the budgeted revenue, we will need to collect in December about $250,000 against outstanding 2020 pledges, which history would suggest is an ambitious but quite achievable amount. The capital campaign to fund our HVAC, kitchen, and security upgrades has already collected 61% of the amounts donors have promised to contribute over a three-year period. The endowment is in good shape, having enjoyed growth of 9% so far this year.
The Vestry adopted resolutions proposed by the Executive Committee to authorize the opening of a new brokerage account at Lincoln Financial Services. The function of this account will be converting to cash any gifts of securities that the parish receives from time to time and routing the proceeds to the parish’s operating accounts or its endowment accounts, as appropriate. Lincoln has fulfilled this function in the past, but a change of internal procedures there has made it necessary to create the new account. Douglas Dykstra and Hollis McLoughlin are each designated as authorized signatories on the Lincoln account. Only one authorized signature will suffice for transactions on the account, but both Doug (as Director of Finance) and Hollis (as Treasurer) will receive Lincoln’s regular statements of account.
Upon the motion of the Governance Committee, the Vestry also resolved to submit two proposed bylaw amendments to a vote by members of St. Alban’s at the Annual Meeting to be held on January 30, 2022:
- An existing bylaw provides that only persons who have previously served on the Vestry for at least two years may stand for election as Senior Warden. The first proposed amendment would eliminate that requirement.
- Other existing bylaws contemplate that Vestry members whose terms are expiring shall serve on the Nominations Committee and that members of that committee may not stand for election as Junior or Senior Warden. The second proposed amendment would make clear that a departing Vestry member who wishes to be considered as a candidate for Junior or Senior Warden may decline to serve on the Nominations Committee.
The Vestry’s rationale for these proposed changes is straightforward: Although prior Vestry service is a factor the Nominating Committee may weigh as it sees fit in recruiting candidates, it is not desirable as a mandatory criterion, does not prevail as such in this diocese, and tends to restrict the pool of potential candidates unnecessarily. In an abundance of caution, furthermore, it seems desirable to make clear that any outgoing Vestry member who wishes to be considered as a candidate for Junior or Senior Warden may decline to serve on the Nominating Committee and thereby avoid what would otherwise be a disabling conflict of interest.
Lisa Garnett, co-chair of the annual stewardship campaign, provided an oral report on the progress of the campaign. The overall response to the campaign has been a little sluggish. The number of pledges received is lagging somewhat, so our goal of adding to the ranks of pledgers in comparison to last year will depend on a robust response in the final stages of the campaign. In monetary terms, however, the campaign is doing well, because of a healthy 9% uptick on average in the dollar amount of pledges received so far – a testament to the generosity of the faithful minority of pledgers who have chosen to increase their donations. As a result, we are about three-quarters of the way toward our goal of raising $1.3 million in pledges for 2022. We will likely reach that dollar goal if the historical pattern of end-of-year pledging holds true.
In regard to the ongoing capital projects, it was reported that the new HVAC equipment serving the church and Nourse Hall has restored heat to those spaces and that anti-microbial technologies built into the upgraded system are also operating. The HVAC contractor has therefore shifted most of its forces to Satterlee Hall, where the installation of a totally new system is underway, including in the OpShop, which accordingly has shut down temporarily. The new kitchen range and range hood are fully installed and ready to be placed in service in time for the Christmas dinner St. Alban’s will host for IONA folk. Significant progress has been made in the ongoing project of enhancing the security of our premises by means of new security cameras and other protections.
The Vestry, it should be noted, was pleased to welcome as observers to the December meeting several of the candidates who will stand for election in January: Michele Armitage and Ted Cage, who have been nominated for Vestry membership, and Tom Gustafson, a candidate for Senior Warden.
Ted Swett, Junior Warden
ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - November 17, 2021
by Senior Warden Ken Patterson
The Vestry conducted an abbreviated meeting for November in order to allow the Vestry members time to place calls or other contacts to parishioners who have not yet pledged to annual appeal. We were pleased to be introduced officially to Mery Montenegro, the Parish’s new Communications Director. Mery has a marketing and branding background, and her last job was with the 2020 Census focusing on outreach to the Latino community. She will be taking on a number of Charles Porter’s responsibilities, and is the lead on livestreaming services.
Treasurer’s Report. Hollis McLoughlin reported that we are track with pledge income for 2021, especially given a reduction in some expenses and our history of receiving a surge of income in December. We see nothing to suggest that won’t happen again this year. Our cash situation is very strong; we have now dispersed over $250,000 toward the HVAC project. The Finance Committee is still formulating a recommendation on how we bridge the gap between capital-campaign pledged amounts and the amount of those pledges we have in hand (we offered three years to pay pledges). The Vestry approved the second of two required motions to support withdrawing up to $300,000 from the endowment as needed to address the deficit between the pledged amounts of the capital campaign and the eventual final costs. That draw can now be made when necessary. The endowment is doing well at $6.6 million as of this writing.
Lisa Garnett, chair of the Annual Appeal, reported that we have received pledges from 117 households (our goal is 286) toward our 2022 budget, and a total of $653,000 toward our goal of $1.35 million. Parishioners are urged to get their pledges for 2022 in as soon as possible. There are two weeks left in the public phase of the campaign, as we will turn our focus inward during Advent.
Nominating Committee. The Vestry voted to accept the slate of candidates proffered by the Nominating Committee for the January 2022 election. For Senior Warden the candidates are Tom Gufstafson and Ted Swett. For the Vestry election, to fill four upcoming vacancies, the candidates are Michele Armitage, Erin Bowers, Ted Cage, Brian Glosh, Tom Roth and Jessica Vermooten. Nominating Committee members are Paul Brewster, chair, Josepha Musabyemariya, Dudley Winthrop, Laura Ingersoll, Joe McLean and me.
During the Rector’s report, Geoffrey sought the sense of the Vestry about how we should respond to the likely relaxation of the mandate in the District of Columbia to wear masks. The Diocese is deferring to individual parishes on how to react. A number of factors were discussed by Vestry members including: the current incidence of new cases in DC is above the CDC guidelines for when to stop masking; the percentage of children who have been vaccinated is low; our HVAC improvements in the church building that will better filter the air are not yet complete; and, it is likely that holiday gatherings and travel will increase infections. The general sense of almost all the Vestry members who spoke is that we should maintain the requirement of masking at our services through the holidays, regardless of what the Mayor does. The Rector will notify the Parish of this continuation of our requirement.
In the Senior Warden’s report, I was pleased to announce that the kickoff for collecting (and taking) photos and confirming contact information for a new online Parish directory is January 9, 2022. Mery Montenegro will take the lead on the project, and Stephanie Curcuru and Deborah Potter have been kind enough to agree to assist. My thanks to all!
As required by the Bylaws, the Vestry will approve the voting procedures for the January 2022 election at our December meeting. I informed the Vestry that my recommendation, and that of the Executive Committee, would be that we once again conduct the voting online using ElectionBuddy.com; this will allow more people to vote regardless of ongoing concerns they may have about gathering indoors.
Junior Warden’s Report. Many aspects of Ted Swett’s thorough report were covered in Geoffrey’s detailed parish-wide email earlier this month describing the plans and impacts of the capital improvements to the HVAC, security and the kitchen. Ted highlighted the generous gift from John Nickum and Linda Lear that enabled us to replace all the chandelier lighting in the church with LED lights, brightening and cheering up the space.
In his report, Jim Quigley informed the Vestry that he and Megan King (Parish Life lead on the Vestry) are in conversation with the director of IONA Senior Services about St. Alban’s hosting a small Christmas Day dinner for the vaccinated members of the IONA community who use our church reach week. This smaller event will enable the parish to serve a group who will welcome this holiday food and fellowship, but do so in a way that is safer in Covid times and requires only a small number of volunteers. Instructions on how to contribute will come out soon. Jim also reported about the recent gatherings of the “We Care” group, our dedicated group of lay pastoral caregivers, and cited in particular Marcy Fisher for her extra efforts leading this group while her co-chair Margie Delaney is assisting husband Paul as he rehabilitates from an accident.
Ken Patterson, Senior Warden
ST. ALBAN’S VESTRY NEWS - October 27, 2021
by Senior Warden Ken Patterson
In her meditation opening the October 27 virtual meeting of the St. Alban’s Vestry, Lisa Garnett talked of finding our “true north,” that thing that if we keep our eye on it will guide us through the storm to a life well lived. She described an aunt she recently lost as someone who lived by a set of principles and simple actions (like always having coffee ready for whomever came to her door, or having a joke at the ready when someone needed to laugh, or knowing whose dog liked which kind of treat) that together caused her to be surrounded by loving friends and family. The combination of all these “little” things resulted in her aunt being “aligned with who she was,” and left a positive mark on Lisa’s life.
Treasurer’s Report. Hollis McLoughlin reported that we continue to be in good shape on both an income and expense basis. Though the third quarter was weak in terms of pledge income and we accordingly will proceed cautiously, there is no indication that suggests that we won’t receive all that was pledged for 2021. Hollis also offered a motion to accept the 2018 Audit Report; as a governance matter the Vestry just “accepts” the audit. Our outside auditor already presented the audit to the finance committee who reviewed it. It was a clean audit with no material weaknesses, but there were a couple of recommendations relating to how we post credit card expenses and how we document the wishes of a donation to the endowment by a living donor. The Vestry accepted the report on the Treasurer’s recommendation. Hollis also reported that the Finance committee is currently reviewing how the endowment is being managed, and at their next meeting will meet with our representative from Vanguard, our endowment manager. The committee also is formulating a recommendation about how to handle the cash flow for the capital improvements, as we secured pledges of $2.1 million but, as anticipated, have to date received only approximately $1.1 million in cash from those pledges. Even with the endowment draw not to exceed $300,000 (noticed to the parish last month), funding the capital work apace may require that we take a short-term loan, or borrow the differential from the endowment to be paid pack when full pledged income is realized. Finally, as required as a matter of financial governance, the Vestry approved one of two sequential votes required to withdraw from the endowment the $300,000 draw referenced above.
Adult Formation. Suzy Mink reported that, even in the face of pandemic, adult formation is going strong. Fall offerings are ongoing in Education for Ministry, Adult Enquirers, Sacred Ground, Way of Life and Growing in Faith Together. There are also plans underway that, should they come to fruition, will bring James Alison, British author and theologian, for a Memoriallecture in March 2022. Writings by Mr. Alison are currently being used in two of the adult classes.
In her first report of the Annual Appeal season, Lisa Garnett reported that we have received pledges for 2022 from 46 households totaling $265,056; the campaign goal is $1.325 million from 286 households. Lisa was pleased to report that, of those households pledging for 2022 that also pledged in 2021, pledges are up by an average of 4.9%.
Nominating Committee. Paul Brewster, chair, reported that the committed is on target to present a full slate of candidates for Senior Warden and four Vestry positions at the November meeting.
From his thorough written report on the state of the capital improvements, Junior Warden Ted Swett highlighted for the Vestry a delay in the kitchen-range hood replacement caused by a failed inspection; the Project Manager for capital improvements is on top of resolving the issue.
Highlights from clergy and staff reports included: previously-funded upgrades to the organ are
underway; the move from recorded services to livestreamed ones will be made for the Spanishlanguage service this Sunday, and for the English services the change will come in mid November; on November 7 we will celebrate All Saints Day in a multi-cultural way, as Yoimel will lead a forum on the background and symbolism of the Day of the Dead, and after the 11:15 services we will have an outdoor gathering in the Columbarium with potluck food (family favorites that can be picked up by tongs requested) and will read aloud the names of those we love and see no more.
As to the Christmas community dinner, the Vestry began discussions led by Jim Quigley and Megan King about what we should do about our holiday tradition of serving a community dinner as we continue to live in times of the Delta variant(s). Options being explored range for having a smaller event, perhaps targeted at the patrons of the IONA Senior Services we host each week, to channeling parish resources toward some other more Covid-19-friendly way of providing food for the holidays to those in need. The volatility of Covid-19/variant situation, which could affect both attendance and availability of volunteers, may dictate against an inperson gathering. More to come.
Ken Patterson, Senior Warden
|May 1 2021|
|May 10 2021|