Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

January 19, 2010

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Andrea Brue, Senior Warden; Steve Kelley, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Georgia Smith, Arlene Swan-Mahony, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox. Not Present: Liz DeSelm and Nancy Sampson

Also Present: Nancy Madden Konecy Estate Liaison


The meeting opened at 7:35 p.m. with a prayer.


The agenda was voted and approved. 


The December minutes were approved as amended. 

Warden’s Report

Sam Shaw Bequest Update

Jeff will write a letter of appreciation to the Sam Shaw estate. 

Building Committee Update

Jim Batchelor will step down and Steve Estes-Smargiassi will take over as Chair of the committee.

Ongoing projects include: upgrading the dehumidification system in the basement of the church, and installation of a dehumidification system and sump pump in the basement of the rectory. 

Rector’s Report

Courtesy Resolutions

To ensure that no parishioner’s effort goes unrecognized, and avoid even a smidgen of in-group/out-group polarization, the annual meeting agenda topic of Courtesy Resolutions was discussed.

Departing Sr. Warden A. Brue, and Jr. Warden Steve Kelly offered to develop the list and deliver the topic, continuing what was noted as a long-held tradition at St. Paul’s church. 

Sound System Update

Parishioner Berred Ouellette has overseen the installation, set-up, and testing of the new sound system, which has received very positive feedback from numerous parishioners. The new system’s ability to record can be controlled by wireless remote. Shelving for the electronics, mic stands, and wire-hider molding are in the next phase of the project. 

Newcomer Brunch Report

The brunch hosted by Jeff, Paul, and Ardani in the Rectory was well attended by 23 newcomers, members of the vestry, friends, and family. The newcomers were welcomed and introduced to the many facets of the St. Paul’s community.

Music Update-Choir members participation

It has been noted that the choir Section Leaders and other choir members are becoming more active in other parish activities. Ways to encourage this trend were discussed in a meeting with Jeff and Music Director Andy Clarkson. The development of a group for 20-30 year-olds was initiated partly with the choir members in mind. 

Music Update – Messiah Sing Movie, A Holiday Sing

“A Holiday Sing” is a movie that was made by local visual artist John Rich, at the St. Paul’s ’09 Messiah sing. The movie can be seen at: The movie will be featured on our website. See more of John Rich’s work at: 

Parish Retreat Update

Two retreats are in the planning. The first will be a daylong on-site spiritual/contemplative retreat in Lent. The second will be held in Advent. The final decision must be made soon as the Barbara Harris NH retreat center fills up quickly. 

Parish Day Picnic Update

Discussion focused on holding the “Sunday School Picnic” at Larz Anderson or on the church lawn. The Hospitality Committee will make the final decision. 

Konecy Estate Update

Nancy Madden, liaison with Emmanuel Church and attorney Ollie Ames of Casner & Edwards on the Konecy estate resolution, reports that under the oversight of the Attorney General’s Office and the Episcopal Diocese the matter is progressing. A portion of the 350k endowment’s income will be used by Emmanuel church to purchase flowers, and the remaining portion will be split with St. Paul’s. This is a discretionary act by Emmanuel and does not reflect an obligation. The funds will be designated as a gift in our financial records. Nancy will write a letter of gratitude to be sent to Emmanuel Church. She will also write a summary of the background story and current status with the assistance of George Chapman. There is a related attorney’s fee of $2000 (see Treasure’s Report). 

Brookline 2010 Event Planned

Joining forces to reduce carbon emissions. Mary Dewart of Brookline Community Access (with the newly opened studios in BHS’s Unified Arts Building) and Saint Paul’s (a founding partner of Brookline 2010) will team up to host a Green Event. 

Children’s Steering Committee Update

The nursery position was advertised with good response. The candidates are being vetted. Applicants have agreed to attend Safe Church and other training/licensing workshops as needed. February 3rd is the targeted start date. Child care for the Annual Meeting is being planned. 

Safe Church Update

Signs will be posted noting the location of the First Aid Kit. 

Vestry Retreat

On March 6th there will be a Vestry Retreat at diocese’s Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington. 

Pastoral Update

The recent days have been very busy pastorally, looking after our fellow parishioners in need. Our prayers are with Lorraine, Karol, Sue, and Chuck. 

February Vestry Time Change

The vestry meeting scheduled for February 23rd, will be a potluck dinner hosted by Jim Margolis. The start time has been shifted to 6:30. 

Treasurer’s Report

2010 Pledge Update

The considerable effort of the Stewardship Committee members was reflected in the 69 pledges totaling $150,000. Jim Margolis will prepare a summary of Stewardship ’09 for presentation at the Annual Meeting in January. 

Adjustments to Budget and Line Item Update

The logging of the attorney’s fees ($2000) associated with the Konecy Estate resolution have yet to be determined. Recently received bills for storage and removal fees related to the construction will be adjusted for on the Yard Sale line. Funds for the parish and vestry retreats will be added to the budget. 

Auditor’s Advice Update

Income from Irrevocable Trust (IT) income will be posted as Bank Interest, independent of endowment income. Two trusts are earmarked, one for music and another for Sunday School. In the past IR was posted in endowment, with drawn down targeted at 4.5%. IT may be added as a line item in ’10. Rectory unit rental income (less expenses) and Capital Campaign pledges received will be added to the endowment. 

MOP Contribution Formula

Revisiting the topic of MOP funding levels it was noted that MOP projects have historically been funded using the following formula: 

      Ten percent of previous year income, less Transfers from endowment over 4.5%, less MOP

      Expenditures           (In ’09, that would be:    $309,508.47   -    $7,070.77   -   $17700.00) 

Retreat Update

Details of the popular two-day all-parish family oriented retreat to the Barbara Harris Center in New Hampshire, the one day contemplative retreat in Lent, and the vestry retreat were discussed. 


Parking use will be cut back due to transition and landscaping issues.  Bev will hand over some week-to-week duties to Lucy effective February 1st

Budget was accepted as presented and passed. 

The meeting closed with a prayer.


Respectfully submitted by

Benjamin Norton, clerk

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