Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

October 20th, 2009

Steve Morrissey (acting clerk), Georgia Smith, Arlene Swan-Mahony, Nancy Sampson, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox

The meeting opened with a prayer.

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved.                                                                       


The September minutes were approved as amended.

Spiritual Reflection

Jeff described (with props) the three-legged stool of scripture, reason, and tradition, lit a vestry candle, read from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, and discussed the concept of unceasing prayer.

Warden’s Report

The furniture order for the parish house, which is ready to be placed, was discussed. It totals approximately $7000, as budgeted. A parallel order for church school furniture (totaling between $1000 and $2000, as budgeted) is also under way.

Steve reported on a successful diocesan meeting of churches with new or interim rectors that he and Jeff attended.

Rector’s Report

Building update: Construction is now concentrating on the rectory and the rental unit, after which final work will be completed in the parish house. We discussed when we will be ready to rent out the new unit and parking spaces.

CREDO report:

Jeff described the program in which he and two dozen other clergy participated earlier this month and his work on a spiritual, financial, vocational, and medical plan.

Sound system:

A recording and amplification system is scheduled to be installed in the sanctuary this week.

Vestry calendar:

Jeff distributed a vestry calendar and described the December 20 Advent Processional, a service of lessons and carols. The Christmas pageant and dress rehearsal, the greening of the church, and the annual meeting were added to the calendar.

Children in community at St. Paul’s:

Jeff underlined the importance of allowing the whole church community to be together. He suggested that in making policy decisions, we look first for a guiding principle and then apply it, determining at the outset what we want to achieve so that we’ll know what to measure our ideas against. He described a brochure he has written with tips for parents and children and asked how we can make children full participants while teaching them that church is a different space. The vestry discussed the new children’s area in the sanctuary and whether those sitting nearby had trouble hearing the service (a problem the new sound system may solve), as well as how child care should be staffed and whether it can be brought back into the church budget. There was a general desire to maintain options for parents and children, letting them choose to be in the sanctuary throughout the service, in child care throughout, or a mix of both. Jeff will set up a nursery steering committee to consider the issue further.

Safe Church Training

A training session will be held at the church on Saturday, October 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Celebration of a New Ministry

Jeff will be installed as our new rector on Wednesday, October 28, at 7:00 p.m.

Moveable Feast

The annual moveable feast is scheduled for Saturday, November 21, with dessert at the rectory. Sign up will start on November 1, and Georgia is looking for dinner hosts.

Electronic Pledge Payment

Discussion was tabled, although it was noted that the stewardship committee recommends that electronic payment not be used for pledges.

Stewardship Update

Ingathering Sunday is November 22. Activities during services and at adult education will focus on stewardship on the 8th, the 15th, and the 22nd. On the 8th this will include the blessing of our renovated buildings. The stewardship committee plans to mail a letter to the parish on November 2 and pledge cards on November 16. (The blessing was moved to a later date.)

New Business

Arlene passed out shepherds’ lists. We were asked to think about suggestions for the nominating committee, the development of the 2010 budget, and a possible parish retreat.

The meeting closed with a prayer.


Respectfully submitted,

Steve Morrissey

Acting Clerk

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