Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

December 16, 2008


Present: Rev. Terry McCall, Andrea Brue, Steve Kelley, Liz DeSelm, Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Steve Estes-Smargiassi, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Georgia Smith, Nancy Sampson, Arlene Swan-Mahony, Madeleine Taylor and Ben Norton clerk

The meeting was opened with a prayer.


The November minutes were approved as amended.

Clergy Report Part 1

Emmanuel Church in Boston has decided to share the estate of Eleanor Konecy (former Saint Paul's parishioner) with us. The division of the trust is being tended to by Nancy Madden and Frederick C. Weber III Senior Warden of Emmanuel, with council from attorney Oliver Ames. The Vestry approved $8-10K for legal fees associated with the matter. The funds will be used for flowers in three services per year among other good uses.

Treasure's Report

Facing reduced income from the endowment, aggressive constraint of expenses is being undertaken. e-Calendar postings, Sunday service announcements, and steward to flock calls were all mentioned as ways to buoy lagging pledge income postings. Music use (rental income) was also off in November. $20k will be drawn for the endowment for Transitional Expenses associated with the search, relocation and collateral. Administrative costs are up slightly reflecting the audit, a requirement of the search process. Maintenance costs reflect an increase in maintenance calls. For the past several years, the 10% MOP budget calculation has included the endowment principal that should have been excluded. For 2009, therefore, that excess spending has been subtracted from the MOP budget. Our long-term plan is to continue to fund MOP at 10% of our revenue. All of the adjustments have reduced the endowment draw-down to 8%.

Bible Study

A reading from "Watch for Light"

Warden's Report

Preserving our mission as a faith community helping those in need is proving to be a big challenge. Staffing changes, MOP changes, and music changes are among the many ways that costs will be reined in. Specific hours and positions were discussed. Changes in staffing will necessitate an increase in the robust volunteer spirit that thrives at St. Paul's. The current endowment draw down of 8% is a good step on the path to the goal of 4% within a few years.

The number of Sunday services and it's effect on the Search Committee was observed. Support of the three-service format was expressed.

Building Committee

Revisions are being finalized that will preserve all of the essentials (rectory renovations, heat & vent work, basement refinishing, electrical and alarm projects) under a $1.1m budget. Special attention is being focused on work that will enhance safety and have the greatest (quality-of-life and visual) impact.

Clergy Report

Lay Preaching

People are encouraged to take part in the Lay Preaching program. One Sunday a month, any type of meditation is welcome including readings plays, or a homily. Share your thoughts or readings that have caught your spiritual eye or impacted your life.

The Nominating Committee is progressing well.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, Clerk

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