Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

April 27, 2010


Present: The Rev. Jeffrey Mello, Rector, Steve Kelley, Senior Warden, Georgia Smith, Junior Warden, Bev Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer, Steve Morrissey, Acting Clerk, Jeff Brown, Roger House, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Fred Muehter, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox.

The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m. with a prayer.


The agenda was approved.


The March minutes were approved.

Church Growth Theory

Jeffrey Mello described church growth theory, where St. Paul’s currently stands, and the direction in which we are moving.

Warden’s Report

Clinton Path is planning a 10’ sandbox structure in the rear play area. The building committee will review the plans.

Jim Santagati will begin as our new sexton on May 3, working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings from 6 to 9, Saturday for two hours after 4, and Sunday from noon to 5. Walter Mucha will provide training.

Landscaping work will begin between the church and the rectory, as described in an e-mail message from the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

The new parish directory will be available by summer.         

Treasurer’s Report

The church’s financial situation is good, with increased pledges and plate offerings. We are taking less from the endowment than last year. Now that renovations are complete, we will assess utilities use and costs. Line-by-line treasurer’s reports will be distributed quarterly rather than monthly.

Parochial Report

The numbers of communicants and the church financials, operating and capital, were presented to the vestry, which voted to approve them, as revised, for the parochial report.

Rector’s Report

The diocesan Clergy Conference is scheduled for April 28 through 30.

It was agreed that the vestry item for the St. Paul’s Silent Auction will be a collection of movie DVDs. Each vestry member will contribute a favorite movie and the reasons it was chosen.

The Worship Committee is assessing the activities of Holy Week 2009.

Sacristy Update: an environmental cleaning service will be needed for the tower and the screened windows at the top. Until the tower has been cleaned, the sacristy will continue to operate from its temporary home in the chapel.

Upcoming Events

Walk for Hunger: interested parishioners will meet at the church at 7 a.m. or at the cathedral at 8 a.m. on May 2 and will walk from the Common to St. Paul’s, arriving in time for the 10 o’clock service.

The annual USPS letter carriers’ food drive is on May 8.  Help will be needed from 12:30 to 6:00 that afternoon to sort and store donations to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry.

On May 9, Rogation Sunday, we will process around the boundaries of the church property.

The annual Silent Auction will be held on May 15. Contributions are encouraged.

Pentecost Ministry Fair (May 23): Elizabeth Laurencot is coordinating the service and the fair, which will take place in the Great Hall after the service, with a table for each program or ministry at St. Paul’s.

Youth Sunday (June 6)

Church Picnic (June 13)

Yard Sale (September 11)

Homecoming (September 12)


Jim Margolis distributed pledge statistics for 2009 and 2010, highlighting the substantial increase we have seen this year.

Parish Retreat

Madeleine Taylor described the Incarnation Center in Connecticut, where we propose to hold our parish retreat on October 22.

Children’s Steering Committee

Georgia Smith discussed the new church school curriculum for the lower grades, a Bible-based program that we will purchase. The curriculum for the youth group and the confirmation group is being explored. Teacher recruitment is the next task; six or more new volunteers are needed. Georgia plans to institute formation days for church school teachers.

The meeting closed at 9:15 with a prayer.

The next vestry meeting will be on Tuesday, May18, at 7:30 p.m. Mutual Ministry Review will be discussed.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Morrissey

Acting Clerk


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

March 16, 2010

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Steve Kelley, Senior Warden; Georgia Smith, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown, Liz DeSelm, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Fred Muehter, and Ginny Willcox

Not Present: Roger House and Madeleine Taylor

The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m. with a prayer.


The agenda was voted and approved.


The February minutes were approved.

Rector’s Report

Vestry Retreat Review

The Rector facilitated a discussion of vestry members’ experiences at the Vestry Retreat.  People shared important “take-away” reflections and questions from the day such as: Where is God in your life? What door brought you to Saint  Paul’s? What doors do you hope your Saint Paul’s life will open for you?

Forming a connection with an urban parish was discussed, including re-establishing a relationship with St. Mary’s in Dorchester through the B-SAFE (Bishop’s Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment) Program. 

A desire to find ways to better articulate the many groups and ministries at St. Paul’s was discussed.

Church Size and Church Growth

The Rector began a discussion of Church Growth theory.  Specifically, how this theory helps us to understand how churches best operate for their given size. How do we foster ministry in the congregation without creating a ‘bottleneck’ at the leadership level?  As we grow, how might we staff for this growth? 

David’s Farewell Lunch

Ginny at the helm of the Hospitality Committee did an outstanding job hosting David’s Farewell Lunch. The event was well attended.

Interim Sexton

Walter is working very hard to minimize water damage from recent storms, in addition to covering all three positions introduced in the Warden’s Report.

Children’s Steering Committee

The group of 14 enthusiastic volunteers developed a mission statement. The enhancement of the support structure for the nursery, grade school, and junior/senior groups was discussed.

Holy Week Update

The refinement of the schedule, flyers and programs for Holy Week are moving along smoothly.

Ministry Fair at Pentecost

Continuing in the Pentecost tradition, we are planning an event to celebrate Pentecost as the church’s birthday. The Ministry Fair will include tables for each ministry area (acolytes, altar guild, Honduras, M.O.P., Sunday School, etc.) to introduce their respective activities to the parishioners first hand, and provide an opportunity for increased involvement in these ministries.

Warden’s Report

Staffing Update

The position of Sexton will be restructured to three positions Evening Sexton, Concert Coordinator, and Landscaper/Cleaner.

Clinton Path Update

At the annual March meeting, admission priority for St Paul’s parishioners’ children for Fall ’11 enrollment, and rent adjustments were discussed. Clinton Path will reply after their Board meets.

Capital Campaign Update

The Capital Campaign is beginning the final project review which will include the identification of outstanding projects. A strong third year will ensure parish-wide enthusiasm and participation.

Directory Update

Lifetouch Studios will be take photos for the directory on April 13th and 14th. Photo submissions will be accepted. Parish members will be able to securely access the directory online. Printed directories will be produced every three years.

Treasurer’s Report

A trainer is being sought to help Beverly, Genae, Lydia, Pat, and Lucy get up to speed on the new QuickBooks accounting software. Usher training, which will include the development and implementation of a checklist for handling the offertory, is needed to comply with diocese guidelines.


New Shepherd Lists were distributed by Elizabeth.

The meeting closed with a prayer.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk



St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

February 23, 2010

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Steve Kelley, Senior Warden; Georgia Smith, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown, Liz DeSelm, Roger House, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Fred Muehter, Madeleine Taylor, Not Present: Ginny Willcox.

The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m. with a prayer.


Junior Warden Georgia Smith, returning Vestry member Fred Muehter, and new Vestry members Jeff Brown and Roger House, were welcomed to the Vestry.


The agenda was voted and approved.


The January minutes were approved as amended.

Warden’s Report

Building and Grounds Update

Steve Kelley reviewed the structure and details of cost reconciliation from our architects, Donham and Sweeney, for the construction and remodeling of the parish hall and rectory.

Clara Batchelor has completed landscaping mock-ups. An arborist observed the large tree next to the playground, and voiced structural concerns. For safety reasons the tree will be removed.

Interior and exterior signage, dehumidification in the rectory basement, and re-sanding of the sanctuary floor, are in the works.

Clinton Path Update

Meetings are planned to determine the future rate structure. Clinton Path will be encouraged to set aside some spots for Saint Paul’s parishioners’ children. Storage space issues will also be discussed.

Treasurer’s Report

Software Update

A web-based version of Quickbooks has been introduced to integrate the efforts of the four people working on church finances, including Lucy’s take-over of various responsibilities. Training sessions are planned for those unfamiliar with the application.

Messiah Sing Update

Memorial funds were sought to cover some of the expenses of the Messiah sing. Voted and approved.

Rector’s Report

Vestry Retreat Update

The retreat on March 6th at the Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington will focus on spiritual and community growth and goal setting to help prepare for our mutual ministry review in June. Materials were distributed for participant review prior to the event. 

Parish Life Update

Everyone in the office has been very busy in the ramp up to Holy Week. Andy, Lucy and Jeff have been meeting often to plan and coordinated the extra services. There will be an early Good Friday service with material specifically chosen for its child-friendly content. Banners will be used to promote the services. Vestry “shepherds” will get the word out so all parish members will know about the service schedule. Eli will contact Arlene to arrange the hand-over of “flock” lists.

Jeff is doing six-month reviews with all staff members.

The meeting closed with a prayer.

Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk



St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

January 19, 2010

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Andrea Brue, Senior Warden; Steve Kelley, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Georgia Smith, Arlene Swan-Mahony, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox. Not Present: Liz DeSelm and Nancy Sampson

Also Present: Nancy Madden Konecy Estate Liaison


The meeting opened at 7:35 p.m. with a prayer.


The agenda was voted and approved. 


The December minutes were approved as amended. 

Warden’s Report

Sam Shaw Bequest Update

Jeff will write a letter of appreciation to the Sam Shaw estate. 

Building Committee Update

Jim Batchelor will step down and Steve Estes-Smargiassi will take over as Chair of the committee.

Ongoing projects include: upgrading the dehumidification system in the basement of the church, and installation of a dehumidification system and sump pump in the basement of the rectory. 

Rector’s Report

Courtesy Resolutions

To ensure that no parishioner’s effort goes unrecognized, and avoid even a smidgen of in-group/out-group polarization, the annual meeting agenda topic of Courtesy Resolutions was discussed.

Departing Sr. Warden A. Brue, and Jr. Warden Steve Kelly offered to develop the list and deliver the topic, continuing what was noted as a long-held tradition at St. Paul’s church. 

Sound System Update

Parishioner Berred Ouellette has overseen the installation, set-up, and testing of the new sound system, which has received very positive feedback from numerous parishioners. The new system’s ability to record can be controlled by wireless remote. Shelving for the electronics, mic stands, and wire-hider molding are in the next phase of the project. 

Newcomer Brunch Report

The brunch hosted by Jeff, Paul, and Ardani in the Rectory was well attended by 23 newcomers, members of the vestry, friends, and family. The newcomers were welcomed and introduced to the many facets of the St. Paul’s community.

Music Update-Choir members participation

It has been noted that the choir Section Leaders and other choir members are becoming more active in other parish activities. Ways to encourage this trend were discussed in a meeting with Jeff and Music Director Andy Clarkson. The development of a group for 20-30 year-olds was initiated partly with the choir members in mind. 

Music Update – Messiah Sing Movie, A Holiday Sing

“A Holiday Sing” is a movie that was made by local visual artist John Rich, at the St. Paul’s ’09 Messiah sing. The movie can be seen at: The movie will be featured on our website. See more of John Rich’s work at: 

Parish Retreat Update

Two retreats are in the planning. The first will be a daylong on-site spiritual/contemplative retreat in Lent. The second will be held in Advent. The final decision must be made soon as the Barbara Harris NH retreat center fills up quickly. 

Parish Day Picnic Update

Discussion focused on holding the “Sunday School Picnic” at Larz Anderson or on the church lawn. The Hospitality Committee will make the final decision. 

Konecy Estate Update

Nancy Madden, liaison with Emmanuel Church and attorney Ollie Ames of Casner & Edwards on the Konecy estate resolution, reports that under the oversight of the Attorney General’s Office and the Episcopal Diocese the matter is progressing. A portion of the 350k endowment’s income will be used by Emmanuel church to purchase flowers, and the remaining portion will be split with St. Paul’s. This is a discretionary act by Emmanuel and does not reflect an obligation. The funds will be designated as a gift in our financial records. Nancy will write a letter of gratitude to be sent to Emmanuel Church. She will also write a summary of the background story and current status with the assistance of George Chapman. There is a related attorney’s fee of $2000 (see Treasure’s Report). 

Brookline 2010 Event Planned

Joining forces to reduce carbon emissions. Mary Dewart of Brookline Community Access (with the newly opened studios in BHS’s Unified Arts Building) and Saint Paul’s (a founding partner of Brookline 2010) will team up to host a Green Event. 

Children’s Steering Committee Update

The nursery position was advertised with good response. The candidates are being vetted. Applicants have agreed to attend Safe Church and other training/licensing workshops as needed. February 3rd is the targeted start date. Child care for the Annual Meeting is being planned. 

Safe Church Update

Signs will be posted noting the location of the First Aid Kit. 

Vestry Retreat

On March 6th there will be a Vestry Retreat at diocese’s Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington. 

Pastoral Update

The recent days have been very busy pastorally, looking after our fellow parishioners in need. Our prayers are with Lorraine, Karol, Sue, and Chuck. 

February Vestry Time Change

The vestry meeting scheduled for February 23rd, will be a potluck dinner hosted by Jim Margolis. The start time has been shifted to 6:30. 

Treasurer’s Report

2010 Pledge Update

The considerable effort of the Stewardship Committee members was reflected in the 69 pledges totaling $150,000. Jim Margolis will prepare a summary of Stewardship ’09 for presentation at the Annual Meeting in January. 

Adjustments to Budget and Line Item Update

The logging of the attorney’s fees ($2000) associated with the Konecy Estate resolution have yet to be determined. Recently received bills for storage and removal fees related to the construction will be adjusted for on the Yard Sale line. Funds for the parish and vestry retreats will be added to the budget. 

Auditor’s Advice Update

Income from Irrevocable Trust (IT) income will be posted as Bank Interest, independent of endowment income. Two trusts are earmarked, one for music and another for Sunday School. In the past IR was posted in endowment, with drawn down targeted at 4.5%. IT may be added as a line item in ’10. Rectory unit rental income (less expenses) and Capital Campaign pledges received will be added to the endowment. 

MOP Contribution Formula

Revisiting the topic of MOP funding levels it was noted that MOP projects have historically been funded using the following formula: 

      Ten percent of previous year income, less Transfers from endowment over 4.5%, less MOP

      Expenditures           (In ’09, that would be:    $309,508.47   -    $7,070.77   -   $17700.00) 

Retreat Update

Details of the popular two-day all-parish family oriented retreat to the Barbara Harris Center in New Hampshire, the one day contemplative retreat in Lent, and the vestry retreat were discussed. 


Parking use will be cut back due to transition and landscaping issues.  Bev will hand over some week-to-week duties to Lucy effective February 1st

Budget was accepted as presented and passed. 

The meeting closed with a prayer.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

December 15th, 2009

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Andrea Brue, Senior Warden; Steve Kelley, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Ben Norton, Clerk; Liz DeSelm, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Nancy Sampson, Georgia Smith, and Ginny Willcox

The meeting opened at 7:30 p.m. with a prayer.


The agenda was voted and approved.


The November minutes were approved as amended.

Spiritual Reflection

Jeff led a brief discussion on the Magnificat, and Mary’s willingness to serve to God to benefit humankind. Her magnificent dedication is reflected (albeit on a much more humble scale) in our (the Vestry members and all parishioners) willingness to accept and embrace the challenges/opportunities to serve our church and the community at large.

Warden’s Report

Building/Rental Property Update

A potential renter has been located and the rental contract is expected to be signed in the near future. The Finder’s Fee will be split with the real estate agency. Carpeting has been added to the stairs of the rental unit to reduce noise transmission.

The sump pump in the rectory basement is in need of servicing or replacement. This will be addressed by the building committee. 

The renovation to the women’s bathroom is nearing completion.

It was suggested that the Building Committee be combined with the Grounds Committee as construction and renovation are in the final stages.

Clara Batchelor will design a yard plan to articulate the distinction of the yards.

The Rotary Club of Brookline contributed funds to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry for the construction of a fence around the trash & recycle area and the purchase of a storage shed.  Jim Margolis sent them a thank you note.

Nominating Committee

Andrea, Arlene, Georgia and Nancy have contacted most of the nominees.

Treasurer’s Report

Current Income Update and 2010 Draft Budget. 

Bev presented Current Income figures and the 2010 Draft budget for review. Budgeted expenditures and pledge income were discussed. Specific line items were discussed.   Storage for the Yard Sale, Parish Retreat, and Nursery Staff will be added as line items. 

Pledge income is close to the expected goal of $145k. Sixty-one parishioners have turned in their pledge cards. Owing to the generosity of our parishioners and the stewardship of Nancy Madden, Nancy Sampson, Steve Morrissey, and Jim Margolis, the pledge goal is within reach.

Replacement dishes will be purchased from the Memorial Fund.

Rental income will be managed as endowment income, similar to a bond.

It was moved and voted that Bev and Steve Kelley be designated as acceptees of a bequest from the Sam Shaw estate ($50k) which will be received soon. It was moved and voted that 25% go to Capital Maintenance, and 75% to the General Endowment.

The possibility of relocating the Annual Picnic to the church grounds was discussed.

Lucy is taking on more Accounting responsibilities.  New software will be purchased to assist in the delegation of duties.

Beth Chapman delivered the Auction logistical information to Andrea.

Ministry Outside the Parish (MOP)

The MOP’s goal of offering assistance to under-funded organizations with low administrative costs was discussed. Kate Kelley compiled a comprehensive list of recipients who combined have received a total of $17,750 from St Paul’s in 2009. The organizations include a school in Honduras, and Asiana a school in Kabul, Afghanistan. The MOP will establish a monthly speaker series featuring representatives of potential recipient organizations. The presentations will be held after Sunday services. The MOP’s funding history and original authorization is being reviewed and will be reported by Jeff at the January Vestry Meeting.  Pat Dunbar will be contacted for the Vestry minutes from the 1980’s, when the original MOP funding levels were established.

Rector’s Report

Annual Meeting

New Beginnings and Fresh Starts is the theme of the Annual Meeting on January 24.

Sound System Update

The new sound system has been purchased and will be set up within the next two weeks.

Charles River Deanery

The Deanery, clergy and Christian Education directors from twelve Episcopal parishes in our area, meets monthly to discuss future activities, which may include vacation Bible school in June. Past events that St. Paul’s Youth Group has attended include the Walk For Hunger, making apple pies to be given out by the food pantry with the annual gift of turkeys (hosted by All Saints Parish, Brookline), and a trip to the Heifer International’s Learning Center at Overlook Farm in Rutland, MA.

Retreat Update

Proposed plans include a one-day retreat in May at Bethany House of Prayer at the Sisters of St. Ann

in Arlington, and an overnight retreat in the fall. The events will feature both spiritually contemplative, and simply fun activities, to maintain the family-friendly theme of past retreats.

Pastoral Update

Eleanor Clark was very grateful for the musical visit by parishioners.  Karol Bibbs is recovering well.

Children in Church

There seems to be a desire for a Nursery during services. Liz set up a Google Doc to facilitate the coordination of volunteers, and distributed it by email.  However, it was noted that more volunteers are needed.

The hiring of two paid nursery staff, to be assisted by one volunteer, was presented as a possible solution to the scarcity of volunteers.  Jeff said he would get this started- putting out an ad and starting the CORI process.

Methods of notifying parents whose children are having considerable difficulties during the service were addressed.  Possible solutions included the installation of an LED display board, pagers (similar to those used at Panera Bread), and text messages via cell phones.

It was suggested that the ushers tell new visitors with young children about the nursery option. Also a note could be added to the service programs.

It was moved and voted that a committee be formed to oversee and review K-12 activities.

Moveable Feast Review

The movable feast was hosted by gracious hosts at five homes and attended by seventy people, including many new members of our parish. The event included a tour of the newly renovated Rectory and rental unit.

Parish Directory

Preliminary costing of producing a directory similar to the latest version has come up with a figure of $350. The alternative of soliciting photographers from within the parish, and creating the directory with software that we now have, was introduced. The portraits would be less formal, but the savings could be considerable. The logistics and cost of printing/binding will be looked into.


Andrea will work with Pat Dunbar regarding looking into a having a portrait or photo of George Chapman added to our collection of former Rectors.

Newcomer Breakfast invitations will be sent out for an event after the service on January 10th.

Andrea asked how Jeff and his family are finding life in the Rectory. Jeff reported that they are grateful to be settling down, and feel comfortable there.

The meeting closed with a prayer.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk

Click to login to St. Paul's Realm

Don't enter user/password below for Realm.

Below is for St. Paul's website login only

Website Login


Get weekly newsletter emailed to you each week!

catchme refresh