Vestry Minutes April 19, 2020

April 19, 2020
Present:  Bob Bess, Keen Haynes, Bob Garrity, D.J. Mitchell, Kristy Pemberton, the Very Rev. Ron Pogue (Interim Rector), Linda Seeber, Chris Mullaney., Ben Taylor, Julie Sutton
Absent: Becky Snell
Also Present:  Gary Wilkenson, Rex Angle and Sue Mitchell, Co-Chairs of the Rector Search committee and Ayo Omoniyi our Deacon.
Such meeting of the Vestry of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church was held Sunday, April 19, 2020, virtually via zoom meeting. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Very Rev. Ron Pogue at 12:15 p.m.
Consideration of Vestry Minutes from previous meetings:
Minutes from the March 15, 2020 meeting were approved as distributed.
Finance Committee Report and School update:
No report presented; Gary Wilkinson addressed the school refunds considering the COVID-19 shutdown.  The teachers have established an online program for all students and will have its next meeting, Tuesday April 21st virtually.  Many parents will continue paying tuition even during the shutdown, some will pay only half, and a few can’t pay at all.  The great news is we haven’t lost any students yet.
Treasurer’s Report
All were given copies of the budget and treasures report.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, our church qualifies for the payroll assistant program.  We have applied for relief.
Treasurer’s Report Approved: The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Mitchell accepted and approved by all.
Rector Search Committee Report
Rex Angle and Sue Mitchell provided the update on the search committee.  Holy Cow, our choice for online surveys for the church, has suspended all activity due to the pandemic.  They feel and we agree that any results would be skewed by the situation of our country at this time.  It will resume once things return to the new normal.  The cost for the survey will be around $880.00 for a church the size of ours, ranging from 150-500 in attendance.
Father Ron is working on a survey that can be sent to the congregation regarding worship and how it will look like moving forward.
Angle is going to commission a drone to take aerial pictures of the church assets and grounds to add to our profile.
May 17th is the next scheduled virtual meeting of the committee.
Sue Mitchell brought us up to date on a tool called CAT (congregation assessment tool), she will bring more info in a future meeting.
Stewardship committee:
This is on hold for now.  New names are available to be added to committee when the pandemic is over.  Becky and Linda will meet soon to make sure this stays on task.
Junior Warden update:
Dick Seeber is continuing to do small tasks in the church while we are closed, recently he replaced the light covers.  The Boy Scout Eagle project is completed.  The Fence around the trash bin looks amazing.  Father Ron signed off on the task as completed for the Scouts.
The outdoor cross has been moved and the direction of the labyrinth has been corrected.
Christopher DeClerk’s son would like to do some landscaping around the labyrinth and wanted to know if the church has some funds to assist and we all agreed we did.  Christopher recently lost his job in California and the family will no longer be moving.  We all agreed we would like to ask him to resume his duties on the vestry and fill one of the vacant seats.  Father Ron will talk to him.
Senior Warden update:
The food pantry is in need of peanut butter and cereal donations.  Many members of the vestry offered donations and will work with Haynes for pickup.
Deacon update:
Ayo thanked everyone for the hard work on phone calls and praying for the congregation.  Paula Jefferson has received great feedback on the efforts.
Interim Rector’s Report
The Very Rev. Pogue assured the vestry that he will be staying here until we find a new fill time rector regardless of how long it takes.
Chuck Ambrose is continuing to come up with new ideas on how we can improve and take our online worship services to the next level.
The first congregation wide zoom meeting so we can catch up on one another is happening this Sunday at 11 a.m.
Father Ron reported the many ways the church is going forward in the pandemic.

  • The prayer ministry is continuing, HEB hospital, our church is praying for them on Thursdays.
  • Helping Hands, lots of people are offering to assist those in need. So far no major needs have been presented.
  • Liza is continuing church online for the smaller children and Hayleigh is continuing to reach out to the youth although she is not getting much reception from the kids or parents.
  • Anika is continuing to work on the update of the website
  • SOS is having zoom meetings and it is going well
  • The prayer shall ministry is still going
  • Christian formation and Pastoral care are on task
  • Paula Jefferson has been recommended as a candidate to be ordained.
  • The evangelical committee met and Ron Hitchcock wrote a letter regarding how others are sharing the online services.
  • Jo Henry our new music minister leased an apartment in Dallas and is due to start Mid May-Early June after his contract with Grambling University is complete.
  • We are starting to record music and sharing it on the churches FaceBook page.

Father Ron discovered that our church is not incorporated.  We need to move forward on this.  Bess motioned to proceed, and DJ Mitchell seconded.  Father Ron will check with the Bishops office to make sure this can move forward during the lawsuit.
Being incorporated helps with grants.  All of the Vestry approved this process.
Adjournment and Closing Prayer:
The Meeting was adjourned with prayer by The Vey Rev. Pogue at 12:35 p.m. 
Respectfully submitted,
Kristy Pemberton