Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

February 17th, 2009

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

Not present: Steve Morrissey


The meeting was opened with a prayer.



The January minutes were approved as amended.


Warden's Report

Leadership Expectations and By-laws

In our time of transition and renovation it is hoped that everyone will pitch in to share the many responsibilities. This willingness to volunteer will be modeled by the Vestry members. A list of specific responsibilities was circulated among the vestry and everyone signed on to help or coordinate various duties (see below). The St. Paul's by-laws were distributed to the new vestry members.


Vestry Shepherds

The current flock lists will be updated and redistributed among new vestry members.


Safe Church

St. Paul's has applied to host a one-day seminar in the program (in fall '09) addressing the issue of youth safety and ways to prevent abuse. The topic was originally introduced to us by our insurance provider.


Audit Committee

The Audit Committee has been working very hard to complete the '06 audit and highly recommends that the '07 audit be outsourced. The '07 audit must be completed as part of the new rector hiring process.   It was suggested that Ed Pease, a retired priest, who has done many audits might be eligible and willing to do the '07 audit.


Space Committee

The Space Committee will edit and update the current rental policy.


Parking Spot Rental Update

When the topic was first discussed in '07, concerns regarding resulting tax exposure pushed the project to the back burner. Recently revisited as a potential income source, letters from neighbors and other documents are being gathered. A site plan has been drawn, and the permitting process has begun.  The building committee will be consulted to determine if parking spaces will be available during construction.


Clinton Path

We continue to negotiate a new lease agreement with Clinton Path.  As with the old agreement, we want the new agreement to reflect St. Paul's desire to have the preschool as a service to the community.



Letters were sent to most parishioners noting the pledge short fall which currently stands at $8.4k.


Building Committee

The first phase of the lead abatement has been completed on schedule. The second phase of the project will begin in late February.


Clergy Report

Music Budget

Due to budget cuts, the music in the services has been scaled back. The desire to have music filled services has pushed the number-of-services-question to the forefront. Concerns about the child-friendliness and specific service content had previously driven the discussion. The decision not to have the choir sing at the 9:00, in order to allocate resources, has turned the balance of opinion in favor of a single 10:00 (with choir).


10:00 Service

The vestry voted to merge the 9:00 and the 11:00 services to one 10:00 as a one year experiment to begin on April 19, the Sunday after Easter, and to continue through the academic year of 2009-10.

On March 15 and 22, there will be opportunities to discuss ways to implement the change positively. Combining the services will hopefully enrich what's desirable (content, music, community) and reduce what's not (expenses).


PA/Sound Equipment

This investment would help in two important ways. Soft-spoken readers could be heard by all, over the vitality (pitter-patter of little feet) in the combined service. The purchase and installation of mics and a PA system would increase demand for concert and recording space rental.


Children's Programs

Terry, Maria, Julie Starr, Andrea and Georgia met to discuss the impact of combining the services on the Children's Programs.  The idea of implementing the Rotation System, which is being used in many other parishes, was discussed. The group decided that we would give the system a trial run in the '09-'10 school year.  The System will be presented to the parish later in the spring. 


Mission to Honduras

The feasibility of continuing the Mission to Honduras (MTH) is being reviewed. The group wants to continue service without a break. Concern was voiced that should the mission stop this year, it might

be very hard to get the ball rolling again. This year the trip will be scaled down to one week. The MTH representative asked the Vestry for support of its fundraising efforts.


Search Committee

Bishop's Visit

Bishop Cederholm has requested to meet with the Search Committee and Vestry on Tuesday, March 3rd at 7pm.  He has called this meeting to pray and talk together about discernment, the role of the Vestry and the Bishop's office in the final stages of the process, and to answer any questions or concerns that we may have.


Choir Appreciation Sunday

The reinstitution of this tradition was discussed favorably, and will be revisited.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton clerk



*Vestry committee leaders/liasons:


Vestry Shepherds: Arlene Swan-Mahony

Building Committee: Andrea Brue, Steve Kelley

Finance Committee: Bev Estes-Smargiassi

Childcare: Liz DeSelm

Safe Church Policies: Ginny Willcox

Parking: Madeleine Taylor

Space Users Policies: Steve Kelley, Andrea Brue

Clinton Path: Elizabeth Laurencot

Stewardship: Nancy Sampson

Church School: Georgia Smith

Adult Education: Andrea Brue, TBD

Rector Search Committee: Georgia Smith

Worship Committee:  TBD

Fundraising (Auction): Andrea Brue, Liz DeSelm

Fundraising (Yard Sale): Ginny Willcox

Memorials: Steve Morrissey, Madeleine Taylor (both to be confirmed)

Admin. Support: Terry McCall

Audit Oversight: Jim Margolis

Website: Steve Kelley, Ben Norton

Mission: Arlene Swan-Mahony

M.O.P.: Liz DeSelm


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