Vestry Minutes: September 20, 2020


Present:  Bob Bess, Bob Garrity, D.J. Mitchell, Kristy Pemberton, the Very Rev. Ron Pogue (Interim Rector), Linda Seeber, Christopher DeClerk, Becky Snell, Christopher Mullaney, Keen Haynes

This special meeting of the Vestry of St. Martin-in-the-Field Episcopal Church was held Sunday, September 20, 2020 virtually via zoom meeting.  The meeting was opened with prayer by the Very Rev. Ron Pogue at 12:30 p.m.

Absent:  Ben Taylor and Julie Sutton

Also Present:  Paula Jefferson, Sue Mitchell and Gary Wilkinson

Congregational guests:  Linda Snow, Elke Tessnow, Jennifer Varley

Consideration of Vestry Minutes from previous meetings:

Minutes from the August 16, 2020 meeting were approved as distributed, with the minor change to add Keen Haynes, who was left off as attending.

Father Ron asked that all vestry members confirm email receipt of the piano gift and moving expense update.  All confirmed.

Treasurer’s Report

All were given copies of the budget and treasures report.  The focus was trueing up expenses and making sure they were in the right month.

Revenue, pledges are ahead of plan.  Expenses have increased and without the PPE loan, the conversation could be different.  The PPE loan continues to be in the budget as a liability and will stay there until the government decides if it will need to be repaid.

Finance Committee Report:

The committee met on September 19, 2020, the next meeting will be October 17th.

  • The audit was accepted by the diocese. The only recommendation from the diocese was that we have an outside audit vs a committee audit.  Snell mentioned that the external audit could be in the neighborhood of $8,000.00 and we need to be mindful of that in future budgets.
  • The cleaning contract has been reviewed and confirmed the 2021 budget will cover the rest of the years expenses. We need to be careful we do not ask the cleaning contractor to do anything above what is lined out in the contract so we can stay on budget.
  • Mullaney asked how much income has been generated from Amazon smile, YTD is $184.00.
  • Endowment fund update, the committee had been formed but due to COVID has caused this to be on hold. It was decided that we would wait until after consecration Sunday to reconvene on this.  It was brought to our attention that at least one member of the finance committee must be on the team.

Financial and Treasurer’s Report Approved:

Haynes motioned to approve the financial report and treasures report as presented, Pemberton seconded, all approved as distributed.

School update:

The only item to report was that Serin’s last day was August 31st and that there has been minor cleanup in the rooms. 

Rector search committee

Sue Mitchell reported that during the Thursday night meeting, the survey results were released to the public and the power point presentation was shown.

  • Website review is still underway and more changes are expected soon. They have over ten pages of proposed changes, some are minor.
  • The drone flyover was completed a few weeks ago and the footage showing the grounds is very impressive.
  • The profile is in draft form, edits still need to be made and the final draft should be available by the next vestry meeting.

All acknowledge the receipt of the rector search report.

Scout update

  • DeClerk reported that over 12,000 pounds of material to complete the labyrinth project. All agreed it looks beautiful and we appreciate the efforts that went into that task.
  • A new scout project has been proposed, Nathan Lane would like to refinish the outdoor benches. We all agreed this will be a good project and DeClerk will get with Father Ron further on this.  It is proposed that the benches be taken apart, sanded and refinished.
  • Snell recommended they walk the property and access each bench, especially the one around the labyrinth. Mullaney asked it the benches had rotting wood that it be replaced.
  • The are still looking for one more cub to complete the pack and recruiting is underway.
  • The scouts had a socially distanced kayaking trip and it was very successful. The scouts would also like to sell popcorn, is the possible with the social distancing and services are limited.  DeClerk also would like to get the word out that donations are accepted and appreciated.

All agreed that during the November 1st service flyers will be handed out.

Stewardship Report

The last meeting was held September 17th and consecration Sunday is still scheduled for October 4th.  Weekly updates will be given on pledge cards and so far over fifty families have confirmed for attendance and the meal.   Calls will be made for those families who have not responded yet.

The grow one step presentation given by DJ Mitchell will be given on September 27th.

Endowment committee

Father Ron met with the Episcopal Foundation and templates were provided for our use.  We need to set up a legacy society for those that want to include SMIF in their wills.  Father Ron noted that the verbiage calling this the “legacy” society could be viewed and exclusive and that the committee could choose to rename that at any given time.

Snell asked when the last policy for the endowment was reviewed and it is believed it was in 2015 but Father Ron will check.  We need to be prepared for this to be presented at the annual meeting.

Snell brought up VPIC assignments needed for October.  One Sunday was still needed, Pemberton agreed to fill that spot.  We will address this in next vestry meeting and get November taken care of.

Sue Mitchell also wanted to say thank you for all who work in the church office, the hard work is appreciated.

We all agreed that Chuck Ambrose has been amazing during the pandemic getting everything ready for services to be streamed, including running of necessary wires and cables.  The vestry extends our deepest appreciation to you Chuck.

Junior Warden update:

  • The roof was inspected and we need to get our insurance involved, both roofs need to be replaced.
  • We need to, replace the sign at the corner of Davis and Union Church road. Ron Hitchcock will assist with post replacement and standard.  The expense could be around $600.00.
  • It was asked if we could place a sign at the corner of 1709 and Pearson but the city of Keller will not allow that and it has already been denied.
  • Bess would like to donate a new tree between the memorial garden and the labyrinth, all approved.
  • Holy mowers, a new riding lawn mower is needed. The current mower is out of commission and the grounds are too extensive to be push mowed.  We need a donation or a budget item for this before the spring.  Mullaney will be recruiting for helpers, COVID has put a damper on normal recruiting efforts.
  • We need to check on the outdoor Wi-Fi antenna to make sure it is operating properly.
  • A new plug for the security cameras should be a simple fix. Father Ron asked why we couldn’t just look in the attic above the rectors office and add a junction box there.
  • Step one in getting the old security cameras up and running will happen this next week. People feel vulnerable when they are at the church alone.  We all agreed this needs to happen for not only comfort of our staff and congregants but also to watch for property concerns.  Step two will be a better system with a camera for recording and web/app access.

Senior Warden update:

Haynes reported that the executive council meeting reported an updated on the legal situation.  An appeal must happen before October 19th to see if the supreme court will hear the case.

Other notes from executive council:

  • The convention has been set for November 13, 2020
  • Delegates discussed
  • Church assessments based on parochial reports. Next year we could see an impact of the PPE loan, but will more than likely impact us during 2022.

Curate Report

Paula Jefferson reported on pastoral care, ministries are still under way and going great.

Other items of discussion:

  • Morning prayer going well and with new liturgy
  • Christian formation, considering guest lectures in the future
  • Lectionary series, Forward Looking starts this evening
  • EYC, DeClerk and Liza are planning an outdoor movie night to increase attendance. More info to come on this.
  • Light Fragility will begin after October 4th and the first lecture will be recorded. If anyone wants to attend please email Paula. 

Interim Rector’s Report

  • Father Ron asked the vestry to confirm congregational support of Paula Jefferson’s ordination to the priesthood, all confirmed.
  • Organizational charters are being looked at, one is missing and will be presented at future vestry meetings for approval.
  • Optional uses for school room spaces, include prayer shawl ministry and music room. We all agreed we need to put them to use.

In closing Mullaney asked about vestry member recruitment, we have a few names for consideration.  A meeting will be planned soon.

Adjournment and Closing Prayer:

The Meeting was adjourned with prayer by Haynes.  Additional prayers for Gay Pogue for hip replacement surgery and continued prayers for Linda Seeber’s brother and the entire family.


Respectfully submitted,
Kristy Pemberton