Grace Episcopal Church

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Vestry Present: Lyn Ballard, Mike Johnson, Tim Engelbrecht, Becky Coulter, Kurt Feigley, Rebecca Harrison, Joe Heggie, Mike Heyer, Sue Nixon

Vestry Absent: none

Clergy Present: The Rev. Todd McDowell

Guests: Shari Bonham, Director of Development and Ministries Coordinator

The meeting was called to order at 7:02.

The opening prayer was given by Lyn Ballard. The opening prayer at the November meeting will be given by Kurt Feigley, and the opening prayer at the December meeting will be given by Rebecca Harrison.

The evening’s devotional was a continuation of the discussion of the brainstorming ideas that were generated at the Vestry retreat. This month’s discussion was of ideas that fell under the category of “To Respond to Human Need by Loving Service” from the Five Marks of Mission.

The evening’s agenda was approved as written.

The minutes from the September 13, 2016 Vestry meeting were approved by acclamation.

Father Todd announced that Mike Johnson has agreed, if elected, to serve as Junior Warden through the January 2017 annual meeting. Rebecca Harrison moved, and Mike Heyer seconded, that Mike Johnson be elected to serve as Junior Warden through the January 2017 annual meeting. Passed.

Five Marks of Mission:

Teach, Baptize and Nurture New Believers: Invitation: Shari Bonham reported that more young families have been visiting Grace.

Kirkwood Church Tours: Shari reported that the church tour organized by SPROG for October 23 will likely not take place due to lack of interest.

Rebecca Harrison wondered of Grace uses Instagram or Twitter, which are effective tools when trying to reach millennials. Todd will ask Janis Greenbaum if either is used.

Ministries of Governance, Administration, Stewardship and Facility: Realm: Shari Bonham reported that the computer system needs an upgrade. Installation of the Realm software upgrade would cost about $800.00, and, beginning in May, the monthly charge for computer services to Grace would decrease by about $100.00. There is free training being offered if installation is accepted by October 31. The upgrade will save the staff significant time. Tim Engelbrecht made the Vestry aware of cash flow issues and wondered if billing could be delayed until January 2017. Mike Heyer moved, and Becky Coulter seconded, that the Vestry approve the conversion to Realm with payment not being due until January, 2017. Passed.

Potential Use of Facility: Shari Bonham distributed a report about prospective rental income for the building. Potential income for rental of each room on the lower level was calculated. Currently, the Lab School is the only tenant with a long term lease. Any change to the rent charged to the Lab School must be negotiated in October. Lyn Ballard moved, and Kurt Feigley seconded, that correspondence be sent to the Lab School requesting that the Lab School make themselves available to meet in October to negotiate a rent increase of 8%. Passed.

Financial  Report: Treasurer Tim Engelbrecht presented the financial report for the nine months ending September 30, 2016:

Pledge Income for the month of September was $22,631, which was $8,209 below budget. YTD Pledge Income was $297,401 versus the budgeted amount of $320,589. Total Revenues for the month were $48,308, which was $7,345 below budget. YTD Total Revenues were $453,185, which was $15,918 below budget. Total Expenses for September were $46,612 which was $665 above budget. YTD Expenses were $466,731, which was $11,713 below budget. Net Revenue for September was $1,696 which was $8,010 below the budgeted amount of $9,706. YTD Net Revenue was ($13,546) or $4,206 above the budgeted amount of ($9,340). Our current cash reserves would cover an estimated 1.88 months of the budgeted 2016 expenses. The finance committee recommends that cash reserves equal at least three months of the yearly budgeted expenses.

Tim noted that some of the pledge income shortfall is due to death or transfer of parishioners. Pledge statements for the third quarter of 2016 will be sent to parishioners soon. Pledgers will be encouraged to keep up their commitment up to date.

Spending restrictions: The finance committee has been meeting monthly. Because of the pledge income shortfall, the finance committee will ask all committees to hold off on spending except for necessary items. Tim noted that the church staff and committees do a good job of keeping costs contained.

Joe Heggie moved, and Rebecca Harrison seconded, that the financial report for the nine months ending September 30, 2016 be accepted. Passed.

 Tim reported that over $21,000.00 has been received in donations to offset the cost of the new boilers and the roof replacement. All memorials not designated to the Legacy Fund will be used to pay down the principal on the White Fund loan.

Budget requests 2017: In recent finance committee meetings, the committee determined that there is a risk to pledge income for 2017 of $46,000.00. A recently received pledge of $8,700.00 lowers that to about $37,000.00. The finance committee is exploring ideas for cutting costs and for generating income. The budget process letter will be sent to all committee chairs soon. Committees will be asked to trim their requested amount by 20%. Tim noted that there will need to be a Saturday morning budget meeting with the Vestry and finance committee, the date as yet undetermined.

Father Todd shared with the Vestry the Energy Star Portfolio Manager report which showed that energy consumption and cost have decreased significantly since 2011 as a result of the new windows and HVAC. The new boilers should add to the savings.

Father Todd extended thanks to Tim Engelbrecht and the finance committee for their hard work and expertise.

Junior Warden Report: Mike Johnson reported that Murphy’s cost for moving the HVAC units during the roof replacement project will be $2,200.00 higher than projected because the structure of the supports for the units wasn’t visible prior to roof removal, and what was revealed upon removal was not sufficient to support the units when put back on the roof. Rebecca Harrison moved and Mike Heyer seconded, that the Vestry approve paying up to $2,200.00 to Murphy for the additional cost to reset the HVAC units. Passed.

Shari Bonham filed an insurance claim for the damage to the stage ceiling that was caused by the roofing company.

The City of Kirkwood will discontinue trash and recycling for commercial buildings. A new service will need to be found.

Mike Johnson extended thanks to Bill Cadwallader and Shari Bonham for their help as he takes on the role of Junior Warden.

Senior Warden Report: Lyn Ballard reported that she has not yet made contact with the City of Kirkwood to discuss installation of the “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” sign.

Lyn shared the schedule for the Stewardship campaign, noting the Bishop’s October 30 visit and the ingathering of pledges on November 6.

There will be a Vestry meeting on October 30 at 11:30 with the Bishop. Vestry members are encouraged to ask the Bishop questions. Some topics to be discussed are: clergy deployment; trends in the church; and inquiring whether the Bishop supports the Invite Welcome Connect program.

Father Todd extended thanks to Debby Pidgeon for her work heading up the Stewardship Committee.

Report of the Rector: Father Todd reported that the Musikgarten program is in its second week at Grace. There are two classes, and the program is working well.

Chris Mars is stepping down from her position as Grace’s financial administrator. Father Todd noted that her work has been much appreciated by the church staff, a sentiment echoed by church treasurer Tim Engelbrecht. Chris is willing to help train her replacement.

A letter has been received from Towers and Associates requesting a change in the payment schedule for the roof replacement work. Payment had been scheduled so that 1/3 of the cost would be due at the beginning of the project and 2/3 of the cost due at the time of project completion. The first payment (1/3 of the cost) was made when the work began. Towers would like to be paid 1/3 of the cost now, with the remaining 1/3 to be paid at completion. Lyn Ballard moved, and Mike Heyer seconded, that Grace pay Towers and Associates 1/3 of the cost of the roof replacement ($24,850) now, with the remaining 1/3 to be paid upon project completion. Passed.

Joe Heggie moved and Mike Heyer seconded, that the meeting adjourn. Passed. Meeting adjourned at 9:28 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sue Nixon

Secretary of the Vestry

Grace’s Vestry meets on the second Tuesday of each month.