Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

March 19th, 2009

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

Not present: Liz DeSelm, Nancy Sampson

The meeting was opened with a prayer.


The February minutes were approved as amended.

Warden’s Report

Vestry committee leaders update

Safe Church Training

A Safe Church Training course has been scheduled October 24, 2009 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM at St. Paul’s Church, Brookline. Safe church training certification is required by the Diocese of Massachusetts for all clergy and diocesan employees. The diocese also strongly recommends that parishes require Safe Church certification for all employees, elected parish officers, and most parish volunteers. Additional information about the program is available at


The Auction will be held May 9th, from 6:30 – 9:30. Donations are dancing in, and the call is out for more.


Ed Pease has been chosen and approved by the diocese to do the ’07 audit. Bev Estes-Smargiassi and Ed have met to go over the preliminary steps of the ’07 audit.  Genae Johnson and Jean Moses are wrapping up the ’06 audit, and will provide the figures to Ed by late March.  Work on the ’08 audit (due Sept.’09) will begin immediately following the completion of the ’07 audit.

On-line Pledges & Donations

The cost of implementing on-line pledges and donations was researched and presented to the Vestry. The on-line system would reduce the amount of accounting paperwork currently necessary.  However the fees charged by the service provider were considered prohibitive. The topic was tabled.

Updating the Book of Remembrance

For approximately the past 30 years, records of donations have been kept in a file, but not entered into the Book of Remembrance. Prior to that, donations were entered into the Book by a calligrapher. Nancy Madden has spent considerable time organizing the interim file. Madeleine Taylor and Steve Morrissey volunteered to help Nancy. After the information in the file has been organized and double-checked, it will be entered electronically. The final step of the update will be the hiring of a calligrapher to post the entries into the Book.

Vestry Shepherds

The master list will be cross-checked against the recently updated directory information, and the Vestry “flock lists” will be modified accordingly.

Honduras Mission

In lieu of sending a full crew of volunteers (as we have done for the past 5 years), a very small group will visit Honduras on a fact-finding mission. The original commitment was for 3 years. The previous project was completed in ’08, and the mission members want to ensure that the Chaguite community has an active role in determining the next project. Bishop Lloyd Allen, Diocese of Honduras will also be consulted with regard to future projects in Chaguite or another town.  Some fundraising will be done to offset the cost of the trip.

Clinton Path

The Clinton Path agreement has not been updated since 1978. As a step in the agreement review process, Andrea Brue and Steve Kelley attended a recent Clinton Path board meeting.  At the meeting they and the board reviewed a version of the document developed by Elizabeth Laurencot that identified areas that need to be updated or changed.  Jim Bales, who is one of the Clinton Path Move and Renovation Coordinators, led the discussion.  Jim then communicated the agreed upon changes to Elizabeth, who will be updating the agreement. 

The lead abatement was originally done according to standards set for pre-schools.  Clinton Path is officially a nursery school. As a nursery school accepts younger children than a pre-school, the abatement is more comprehensive (expensive).  The temporary fence (between the main church buildings and the rectory) was installed to meet the nursery school standard of abatement.

Clinton Path will submit a statement for outstanding payments and pest control costs to the Vestry.

Building Committee

Bid requests were sent to six contractors, and walk-throughs were scheduled for early March.

The building plans are posted on our website. Bids are due by Thursday, March 25. A vote was taken by email and a quarum of Vestry voted unanimously in support of the bid from Lambrian Construction Company. 

Tree Removal

Two large trees around the rectory are creating problems. The canopy of leaves is overshadowing the apple tree (donated by the Dewart family) and the root structures of the large trees are damaging the foundation of the rectory. The Dewart family has offered to pay for the removal of the large trees. The proposal was voted on and approved.

Incoming Vestry

Copies of the Vestry Guidelines and By-Laws were distributed to the incoming Vestry members. 

Clergy Report

Vestry’s Role in the Search Process

Georgia Smith presented a detailed timeline that is followed in the search process.  This clarified some confusion created by the visit of Bishop Bud Cederholm in early March.  Specifically it was made clear that rector candidate visits with the vestry are to be social gatherings rather than an opportunity to conduct interviews.  The salary of the new rector will be set according to the 2009 Compensation and Benefits Guidelines provided by the diocese.  The wardens will negotiate other aspects of the rector’s letter of agreement.

Worship Committee

The combining of the 9:00 and 11:00 services was discussed. Terry McCall has scheduled three Sunday opportunities for parishioners to discuss their desires and concerns about the change. Emphasis will be placed on making the transition a positive experience.

PA and Recording Equipment in the Sanctuary

Berred Ouellette will design a system that can be used to both amplify and record audio. There is a possibility that a bequest will provide funding for the system.

Treasurer’s Report

Reconciled figures for the year-to-date were presented.  Pledge Income, facilities use, and transition expenses were reviewed.  Pledge income is generally higher in Q1, and that trend is holding. The transition expenses will be easier to estimate after the new rector has been chosen.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk


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