Parish Leadership

St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

May 17, 2011

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Georgia Smith, Senior Warden; Roger House, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown,Edward Jacobson, Jim Margolis, Jean Moses, Fred Muehter, Linda Sanches, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox.                                                                        

Not present: Lizbeth DeSelm,

The meeting opened with a prayer.



Agenda was moved and approved.


Building Committee Presentation

Solar Collector Update

Jim Batchelor of the Building Committee presented a brief history of the solar collection system and introduced the idea of upgrading or replacing the current system. The current “air circulation” system was installed in 19XX. The system was upgraded in 19XX with the ability to be controlled by PC. The remote PC control application was not implemented and the system is currently operated manually by Walter Mucha. The remote control system’s functionality will be evaluated and reported to the Building Committee.


The current system may be upgrade to a photovoltaic cell system, if the air circulation system’s operation proves burdensome. There are a number of incentives to change to the photovoltaic system. By law the utility company must buy a certain percentage of energy (SRECs) from renewable sources.


At current market values for SRECs, a bank of photovoltaic panels replacing the existing circulation system at the estimated cost of $56k would have a payback period of seven to ten years. There are rebate benefits that suit an installation the size of the existing system.


The possibility of an alternative location for the new photovoltaic collectors was introduced. In the event that the existing circulation system can be used to it’s potential, it may make best sense to keep the existing system and install the new collectors on the relatively flat roof over the middle room and choir room.


Fred Muehter and Jeff Brown volunteered to work with Jim Batchelor to look into a second quote on the work, and the possibility of the project being funded by a loan from the endowment. Visual Impact and Neighborhood Zoning were hot topics at the 2009 Diocescan Convention.



The agenda was voted and approved



The minutes were reviewed, voted and approved.


Rector’s Report

Holy week service attendance was encouragingly strong despite coinciding with school holiday week. The Walk for Hunger was a big success with 25-30 walkers in their newly printed St Paul’s t-shirts.

Clergy Conference Report

The Title 4 mandated shift from Military Code of Justice model to a Professional Licensure model is under way.

New Comers Brunch

The New Comer’s Brunch was held in the Rectory and attended by 40-50 parishioners. Mary Ann ???? and Kate Kelly helped to make the event a success.


Dean of Charles River Deanery

Jeff was appointed as the new Dean of the Charles River Deanery. Massachusetts is divided into twelve deaneries that are named after watersheds in their areas. In the primarily pastoral role, deans typically serve terms of five to six years. This is a great opportunity for St Paul’s to increase the possibility of securing financial support from the diocese for projects like the updated signage. Jeff will step down from his position on the Diocesan Council.


Rental Update

Discussions are underway with a new potential space renter. A French school is interested in renting the space used by the Sunday School and Clinton Path for two hour twice a week.


Episcopal City Mission

Bishop Katherine Schiori will give a keynote address on issues of economic justice on Tuesday June 7th.


Warden’s Report

Safe Church Update

Vestry members were encouraged to log in and complete the Safe Church training on line. Jeff noted the material covered may be daunting and offered that vestry members contact him for mentoring or encouragement in the completion of the sessions. Jean and Linda volunteered to support this initiative.


B-SAFE Update

In support of the B-SAFE program at St Augustine & St. Martin Church in Roxbury, St. Paul’s will provide lunches and snacks for the program on July 5th, 6th and 7th.


Clinton Path Planters

The flower and vegetable planters in the back yard will be relocated.


Honduras Mission Update

Plans are underway for a group to visit Honduras from August 25 to September 2nd. The target fundraising goal of $25k has been set. When shopping on line, by accessing through the el Hogar website, El Hogar mission earns a commission on everything you buy in that online session.


Annual Cookout

The annual parish cookout is scheduled for June 2nd. More details TBD.


Sacristy Renovation Update

A quote that included demolition, haz-mat removal, plumbing work etc was sent to the insurance company. Photographic documentation be provided to the agent reviewing the claim. It is hoped that the construction will begin over the summer.


Sunday School Update

Sunday School teachers and helpers are needed.

Vestry Covenant

Final Document Presented

The working group presented Fred Muehter’s summary of previous discussions. The document was approved with minor edits.


Treasurer’s Report

The implementation of the application to streamline book keeping (Quicken) is progressing well. Various budget questions were answered. Some expenses were reorganized. Fred Muehter volunteered to coordinate the advertising and showing of the parking spots


Future Discussion

Choir Appreciation Events

It was suggested that we look into ways to show our gratitude for the choir’s efforts.


Annual Yard Sale

The Yard Sale is scheduled for September 10th, the weekend after Labor Day. Donations will be accepted in the Great Hall starting September 3rd. Many volunteers are needed to ensure the events success.



The St. Paul’s community has committed to supporting the B-SAFE program at St Stephen’s in the South End.

B-Safe is an 8-week program combining academic enrichment and outdoor activities for inner city youth at seven sites throughout greater Boston. Our parish will contribute funds and volunteer making lunches and snacks for 80 people on the weekdays from July 5th to July 12th. The St Paul’s Youth Group will be invited to participate in the event. Madeleine and Ginny volunteered to head the steering committee. Funds of up to $1000 were approved by vote.


Vestry Shepherds

Special attention will be focused on learning the individual talents and interests of every parishioner in hopes of drawing everyone into existing programs, and providing the support to start new programs. Originally envisioned as a communication facilitator the idea needs tweaking. Introducing the discussion as an invitation rather than as an announcement, the importance of face-to-face contact, the six degrees of separation theory, and network mapping were suggested as ways to ensure that the talents of our parish are not unrealized or underutilized.


It was noted that it is the responsibility of the Vestry as church leaders to develop relationships with new members. A family event for families who have yet to connect and pre-service coffee hours hosted by each Vestry member’s group were discussed.


Georgia Smith volunteered to offer the opening prayer at the next Vestry meeting on June 21st at 7:30 pm.


The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30


Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk



St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

April 12, 2011

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Georgia Smith, Senior Warden; Roger House, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown,Lizbeth DeSelm, Edward Jacobson, Fred Muehter, Linda Sanches, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox.   Not present: Jim Margolis and Jean Moses

The meeting opened with a prayer.



Agenda was moved and approved.



The working group of Jeff Brown, Roger House, Ed Jacobson, and Ginny Willcox presented the “What it means to be on Vestry” thoughts, gathered at the Vestry retreat and discussion in vestry meetings. Topics included being pro-active and encouraging the youth of the parish to be involved with the vestry. The working group plans to present the final draft at the May Vestry meeting.





The agenda was voted and approved

March Minutes

The March minutes were voted and approved as amended.


Rector’s Report

Jeff will be chaplain at the Barbara Harris Center in NH the week of July 17th. Gordon Schultz and Anoma Abeyaratne will be minister to the St. Paul’s parish and community in Jeff’s absence. Jeff’s vacation will likely be in August. Jeff plans to join the mission to Honduras.


Warden’s Report

Walter Mucha Recognition Bench Update

The bench observing Walter’s considerable contribution to the St. Paul’s community, will be dedicated Rogation Sunday (5th Sunday after Easter) on May 29th. Clara Batchelor has led the discussion regarding the bench’s location.


Sacristy and Tower Update

A second quote is required by the insurance company in order to move forward with the work on the Sacristy. Restoration or repair will begin as soon as the insurance company signs off.


Clinton Path Update

The agreement with Clinton will remain unchanged this year. Ben Norton volunteered as the CP liaison.


Newcomers Brunch

The Newcomers Committee is preparing for the event that will take place after the 10:00 service on May 15th.


- 1 -

Warden’s Report (continued)

Confirmation Update

On May 14th at 10:00 a.m., five members of the St. Paul’s community: Siena Fried, Grace McElroy Howard, Tess Jewell, Sophia Vos, and Sarah Wing will be confirmed at Christ Church in Needham. Bishop Bud Cederholm will preside over the service and this will be one ofhis last confirmation services before retiring this fall.


Sunday School Update

With enrollment in our Sunday school growing, the need for addition help is becoming more important. An announcement will be placed in the calendar to encourage anyone interested in helping out with the program.


Walk For Hunger

A group from St. Paul’s will meet on the Boston Commons on the morning of the walk starts out heading west on Beacon Street. When the group reaches St Paul’s street, some members will continue and complete the entire walk, another group will head over to the church for the Sunday service. T-shirts have been designed and will be distributed to the attendees. The possibility of retreat t-shirts was also introduced.


Honduras Mission Update

The mission plans to visit a day school and orphanage in El Hogar where the members will assist in general farm duties and possible construction projects. A one-week trip is planned. The dates will be announced as soon as they are finalized.


Stewardship Committee Update

The well-attended meeting was held to discuss strategies to encourage the sharing of our parish’s wide range of individual interests and talents. Matching individual’s passions and strengths with the community’s needs in events like the Ministry Fair and the Stewardship Pledge Drive to achieve synergy was a primary topic of discussion.


Rector’s Report

Pastoral Care Update

Jeff has had many one-on-one meetings planning a host of coming events including 5 marriages, 4 baptisms on Easter Sunday, and 4 baptisms at Pentacost. Jeff has been busy visiting members of the parish who are hospitalized or unable to attend services for health reasons.


Rector’s Report (continued)

Holy Week

Many services are planned for Holy Week. Detailed information is available in the calendar and on the website. Holy Week coincides with the public school holiday and attendance may be affected.


Yard Sale 201

The annual St. Paul’s Yard is slated for September 10th, the weekend after Labor Day. Donations will be accepted in the Great Hall starting September . The need for volunteers is highest during the week prior to the sale doing set up, in addition to the post-sale clean-up.


B-Safe Update

The Steering Committee with the assistance of Madeleine Taylor and Ginny Willcox are looking into various options for our parish to reach out to the greater community through the B-Safe summer program.


St Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Boston’s South End has developed a very successful summer program for inner-city youth. There are ten different programs at six geographic locations. The programs include time for academic support, physical activity, and many field trips.


St. Paul’s is considering teaming up with St Augustine & St. Martin Church in Roxbury who currently host one of a LEARN programs. Our level of involvement could range from preparing lunches for one of the field trips, to hosting an entire week of the eight-week program. The youth of St. Paul’s are invited to participate in this peer-to-peer community building opportunity. The period that we are considering is from July 5th to July 12th. Among the opportunities is the chance to read aloud one-to-one during the DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) sessions that happen every day after lunch in the program.


The vestry voted and approved up to $1000 of funding.


Vestry Liaisons (formally known as Shepherds)

As well as keeping each vestry member’s group members up-to-date on service schedules and major events, liaisons will try to learn more about their individual group members in search of untapped talent, and encourage everyone to join existing programs and form new ones too.


The shepherd program was conceived as a communication tool with successful results. Ideas to reach the program’s full potential were discussed such as:

The importance of face to face contact, introduce contact with group member’s as an invitation vis-à-vis

Introducing the meeting with the member as an invitaion vs. announcement.

The language used to describe the roles was updated to reflect the core intent.

A greater effort will be made to ensure that information about an individual parish member’s talent is kept on file for future reference when it is expressed to the liaison.


Setting achievable goals and an openness to theory such as the “Human Web” were suggested as ways for the vestry to reach out to their group. Quarterly reports back to vestry would ensure timely contact with one’s group and up-to-date parish talent information.


Summertime pre-service coffee hours with each liaison and their flock were considered.

Treasurer’s Report

Some expenses will be re-organized in the financial reports. The parking spots next to the rectory were discussed. Fred Muehter volunteered to advertise availability, act as the contact person, and show the spots to prospective users.


Georgia Smith volunteered to offer the opening prayer at the next Vestry meeting on May 17th at 7:30 pm.


The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30


Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk

St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

March 15, 2011


Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Georgia Smith, Senior Warden; Roger House, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown,Lizbeth DeSelm, Edward Jacobson, Jim Margolis, Jean Moses, Linda Sanches, and Ginny Willcox.                                                                         Not present: Fred Muehter and Madeleine Taylor

The meeting opened with a prayer.



Agenda was moved and approved.



A working group of Jeff Brown, Roger House, Ed Jacobson, and Ginny Willcox volunteered to summarize the discussion of what it means to be on Vestry. They will present the result at the April vestry meeting





The agenda was voted and approved

January Minutes

The January minutes were voted and approved

February Minutes

The February minutes were voted and approved


Rector’s Report

Jeff has been busy with an unusually active sacramental schedule. Reps from the Newcomer Ministry, the Stewardship Committee, and the Mission group met to discuss ways to foster synergy. The stewardship Committee will discuss the culture of stewardship at an upcoming stewardship luncheon. The Mission Group looks forward to returning to Honduras or another location. Church school enrollment is increasing and outgrowing the current classroom configuration. Dick Downes, Gordon Schultz and Anoma Abeyaratne are actively sharing in the liturgical leadership and pastoral care of the congregation.


Warden’s Report

The Children’s Steering Committee will meet to discuss various topics. The next Newcomers’ Brunch is scheduled for May 15th. The deadline for the quarterly newsletter is April 1st. Roger is getting quotes for the light restoration project. Clara Batchelor assisted in the siting of Walter’s Bench. Roger is liaising with the insurance company regarding the sacristy cleaning and restoration. The Altar Guild drywell is slated for repair.


Stewardship Team Meeting

The Stewardship Team met to discuss plans for the coming year.


Pulpit Swap Update

Details of the services and the pot luck dinner were presented.

Pastoral Care

Emily and Jimmy Besecher have greatly contributed to our community will be missed when they relocate.


Silent Auction

Donations and volunteers are being sought for the silent auction which will be held on May 21st. The event is a cornerstone in our annual fund raising, and an excellent opportunity to reach out and introduce the Saint Paul’s community to our neighborhood. Parishioners will be encouraged to invite their friends and colleagues. Ways to generate donations and maximize event buzz were discussed. Jim Bales and Gordon Shultz will MC the event. Posters, our website, Facebook , and Brookline Patch will be used to promote the event


Parish Retreat

The Parish Retreat will be held the weekend of October 21st at the Incarnation Center in Ivoryton, CT.




Diocesan Grant

Jeff proposed the Welcoming the Stranger grant to the diocese. Alan Fried assisted in the preparation of the proposal by advising on lighting and signage topics. Brett Dunham will be contacted for input. The grant will provide signage and display cases. The diocese agreed to provide $4000 of the $8500 sought. Jeff will follow up as the signage liaison.


Safe Church Compliance

Vestry members were encouraged to take the course which is now offered online. Church staff, and volunteers who work with the Youth Groups are required to complete the training. The Vestry Manual will be updated and implemented. Linda and Jean volunteered to be vestry liaisons.


Vestry Donation to Silent Auction

Vestry members were asked to contribute their favorite game (traditional or electronic) to contribute to the auction. Georgia volunteered as the contact person.


Treasurer’s Report

The Quarterly Report will be presented at the April vestry meeting. Management of bequests was discussed. Jeff will write a letter of gratitude to Sam Shaw’s family.


The Yard Sale was added to the April vestry meeting agenda.

Andrea Brue will be invited to make a presentation on the auction.

Ed Jacobson volunteered to offer the opening prayer at the next Vestry meeting on April 12th at 7:30 pm.


Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk


St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

February 15, 2011


Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Georgia Smith, Senior Warden; Roger House, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown,Lizbeth DeSelm, Edward Jacobson, Jim Margolis, Jean Moses, Fred Muehter, Linda Sanches, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox


Agenda was moved and approved.


Scripture Study and Reflection

The theme of this evening’s discussion was ways to recognize or draw out each parishioner’s gift or talent, combining the needs of the community with the desires of the individual, bringing ideas to fruition.



The minutes were tabled for review in the March Vestry meeting.


Rector’s Report

Jeff Mello expressed gratitude to the Vestry for the time off on short notice and generous support over the past few weeks. In Jeff’s absence, Reverend Gordon Shultz lead services, the wardens managed all administrative oversight and Bishop Tom Shaw provided Jeff with Pastoral Care. Jeff brought the Vestry up to date on his family’s health and situation.


Planning Calendar

The importance of a strong Vestry presence at events and services was reiterated. The calendar was distributed well in advance to reduce risk of schedule conflicts.


Vestry Retreat

The 2011 Vestry Retreat will be held in the library of Christ Church Cambridge on March 5 from 9:00am - 1:00pm. The focus will be ensuring that our actions are driven by mission not simply maintenance. Discussion points will include brainstorming ways to empower committees enabling greater mission, and alternate Vestry meeting formats drawing from Beyond Business as Usual: Vestry Leadership Development by Neal Michell.


Warden’s Report

Georgia Smith briefly explained Vestry protocol and the use of Robert’s Rules. Volunteers are needed to serve as Clinton Path Liaison and Vestry Shepherd Coodinator. Jeff and Liz will work on updating our tap into social media networks.


Treasurer’s Report

Bev introduced the computer software that is now being used. She gave explanations of various line item adjustments. She noted that the valuable assistance of Lydia Snover and Lucy Sewall has enabled her to concentrate on bigger structural changes and improvements to our bookkeeping system vis a vis bogged down writing checks and entering information. Lucy’s ability to cut checks also enables a more timely response.


The rectory Rental Unit Income is considered part of the endowment for bookkeeping because funds were drawn from the endowment to finance the renovation/conversion.


The amount for the required health insurance for the rector was questioned. The provider is dictated by the diocese.

New Business

Auction Update

A team of volunteers is being developed to support Andrea Brue in the planning and hosting of the St. Paul’s Auction. Ways to increase attendance, and a possible schedule change were discussed. Liz volunteered to develop an online survey to collect Vestry input on various ideas regarding the event.



The Annual Meeting was a success.


The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30

The next vestry meeting will be on Tuesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk

St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

January 18, 2011


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


Not present: Beverly Estes-Smargiassi and Madeleine Taylor




Agenda was moved and approved.






Minutes were moved and approved as amended.




Scripture Study and Reflection


Rev. Jeff Mello suggested that the vestry members take a moment during the next few weeks to express gratitude and appreciation to other vestry members.




Rector’s Report


Pastoral Update


The Pastoral Team has been busy looking after members of our parish and loved ones. Reports of Dick Downes’ and Warren Wacker’s continued improvement pleased all present.




Annual Meeting Update


With the dual focus on keeping ministry groups easily accessible to newcomers and digging deeper in our faith by offering opportunities for spiritual exploration and discussion, small groups are the theme of the Annual Meeting to be held on January 23rd. The Ministry Booklet that was compiled by Lucy will be printed in time for the meeting. In addition to spiritual enrichment, the Hospitality Committee with Ginny at the fore will provide nutritional enrichment.




Gift Update


Jeff Brown, Georgia Smith, and Liz DeSelm will come up with the copy for the plaque on the bench commemorating Walter’s ongoing contributions to the St. Paul’s community. Jeff will look into the restoration of the lamp and report back to the Vestry




Seminarian Update


Megan Vessel has decided not to return to complete her Field Education program at St Paul’s.




Vestry Role Update


The Vestry members were encouraged to be present and visible at major church events. In addition to the chance to enjoy wonderful events and services, we will also be ensuring accessibility to our newer and younger members as we tune into the pulse of the parish. The Taize Service was appreciated and well-received by the Mission Church monks - who assisted - and everyone else in attendance. Striving to be suitable stewards of this space, the Taize Service is an example of our widening spiritual horizons making our space welcoming to others as we have a chance to learn about a different type of service expanding our spiritual vocabulary.



Vestry Retreat Update


The Vestry retreat will be held on March 5th. Facilitator and location to be determined




Warden's Report


Steve Kelley reported that the Nominating Committee had contacted all of the candidates. Ginny Willcox volunteered to be the new Delegate to The Deanery. Saint Paul's Church is a member of the Charles River Deanery. Liz DeSelm volunteered to be the new Delegate to the Diocesan Convention. She will represent St. Paul’s at the annual convention and report back to the Vestry. This year's convention will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in Boston, and may revert to the two-day format of the past.




Capital Appeal Celebration Update


The event to honor the success of the Capital Campaign was a big hit for the over seventy in attendance including honorees Betsy Munzer and Nancy Madden. The hard work of Ginny and Roger House was clearly evident. The Youth Group's enthusiastic table-service earned them over $500 in tips which will be used to fund future youth programs and events.




Stewardship Update


Steve Morrissey reported that sixty-nine pledges had been received and effort was underway to encourage the fifteen former pledgers who have not yet pledged. The work of the committee has contributed to strong pledge per capita numbers.  Steve explained that most new pledgers start out with an amount drawn from the calendar, for example $520 per year. As pledging commitment and financial ability permits, some pledgers determine their annual amount by a percentage of income.




Treasurer's Report


Steve Kelley filled in for injured Treasure Bev Estes-Smargiassi introducing the proposed budget. He explained various line item adjustments and endowment guidelines. The planned amount drawn from the endowment each year is 4.5% of a three year average. Two years ago the draw was slightly high (4.7%), last year the draw was about normal.




Restricted Funds Update


The Budget Committee worked long hours to make the budget more program-driven, a transparent and accurate representation of our financial health and priorities. Restricted funds including the Robinson-Kraft Music Fund, the Flower Fund, and the Paine Fund will be included in the approval process. The Alter Guild will be listed as a fund. This is the shift will make our budget more program-based.




The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30


The next vestry meeting will be on Tuesday, Ferbruary15, at 7:30 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,


Ben 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