Parish Leadership



St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

September 21, 2010

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Steve Kelley, Senior Warden; Georgia Smith, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown, Roger House, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, and Madeleine Taylor

Not present: Liz Deselm, Fred Muehter, and Ginny Willcox


A motion to approve the agenda was voted and passed.


A motion to approve the minutes was voted and passed.

Rector’s Report

Newcomer’s Brunch

Jeff Brown and Jim Margolis have agreed to organize the Newcomer’s Brunch to be held at the Rectory on October 17th. This will be hosted by the vestry and all parishioners who have started attending St. Paul’s during the past year will be invited.

Bishop’s Visit

The bishop’s visit has been rescheduled to December 5. The bishop is especially interested in the topic of the reception and role of newcomers in our parish. After the service there will be a short Q & A opportunity at coffee hour. The Vestry will then host a luncheon for the bishop.

Professor Mello

Rev. Jeff Mello has been hired as Adjunct Professor of Liturgics at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. He will teach a course in Liturgics that focuses on the history and construction of pastoral rites in the church.

Seminarian Update

Meghan Vesel, our seminarian for this year, introduced herself to the Vestry. She will be helping with many facets of our community. She will assist in the further development and implementation of church school programs. She also works as a CPA.

Thursday Morning Seekers

This discussion group is being well-received by all who attend and is expected to continue to grow as the word gets out.

Adult Bible Study

A group of interested parishioners met with Leah Rugen to decide on a time to meet. The group will meet on the 4th Tuesday of every month.

Third Sunday Family Potluck Supper

The monthly event was enthusiastically attended by more than 30 people.

Treasurer’s Report

The draft forms of the budget vs. actuals through July were discussed. Some categories will be changed. The format of the new budget will match that of Steve Kelley’s annual meeting figures.

Walter Mucha Appreciation

Jeff Brown introduced a discussion about the significant contributions that Walter Mucha makes to the Saint Paul’s community. Walter was especially helpful in the period between sextons. The feeling of gratitude was echoed by a number of other vestry members. The vestry moved and passed a motion to recognize his effort appropriately.Up to $1500 was authorized to spend on memorializing our appreciation.

Food Pantry Working Group

Vestry permission was sought to develop an advisory council to help with financing, fundraising, and program development.

Warden’s Report

Building and Grounds Update

The landscaping of privacy hedges and paths has begun.

Church School Confirmation Update

Fifty children are currently enrolled in the church school program. There are two confirmation groups. One group is on the fast-track (one year program).  The other group will follow a newly adopted three year preparation process which is now offered to 6th, 7th and 8th graders.

Movable Feast

The next Movable Feast is scheduled for October 2nd.

Apple Picking Event

Continuing the focus on developing and promoting events for inter-generational fellowship in the parish, this activity is slated for September 26th.

Directory Update

The directories are in and are being distributed free to those who had their photos taken or who submitted photos for the directory.  A contribution of $5 is being asked from those who do not have photos in the directory as the church had to purchase these extra copies from the publisher.

Tax Update

A PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) plan is being developed to address the payment of taxes on income from the rental unit in the rectory.

 Budget Committee

The committee of Steve Kelly, Jeff Mello, Steve Morrissey, Lisa Zarikarian, Georgia Smith and Megan Vesel will address policies, procedures, and personnel issues to complete the budget. The committee is meeting regularly. The discussion focused on how we can grow deeper as we grow in size, and ensuring that our budget reflects the goals and aspirations of our community.  Steve Kelly explained that we are undergoing a bottom-up review which will give representatives of each ministry an opportunity to identify their specific goals and needs.

Mutual Ministry Review

The increased parish size at the 10 o’clock service (as a result of combining the services and increased attendance) has made the coffee hour a bigger expenditure of funds for those who volunteer to host. Discussion touched on the adding a Coffee Hour Fund to the budget. It was noted that avoiding “shop talk” at the coffee hour will also make conversations more casual and welcoming.

Communication improvement is another target area. Within our parish there could be a greater effort to increase awareness and encourage participation in the many ministries we host.  Weekly Tab articles, ongoing website tweeking and updating, and Facebook were all noted as effective tools.

Welcome notes and the establishment of Foyer Group or Newcomer Mentor Program were suggested as good ways to reach out to the newcomers. The Quarterly Calendar has been well-received and will serve as a model for other communication reform.

The Vestry will make renewed efforts to acknowledge the contributions of the Youth Group and support its adult staff. Perhaps a social event (lunch or bowling) will be scheduled with the Vestry and Youth Group.

Parish Retreat

The annual parish retreat is planned for October 22-24. The planning and preparation are well under way for the retreat. Trip information and a brochure and being prepared and will be emailed soon. There will be regular services at St. Paul’s on that day, but Sunday School and Adult Education will be not be offered.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee has begun considering candidates. An announcement will be placed in the Quarterly Calendar.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk


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