Parish Leadership


St. Paul's Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

December 14, 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,Liz DeSelm, Roger House, Elizabeth Laurencot, Jim Margolis, Steve Morrissey, Fred Muehter and Ginny Willcox

Not present: Madeleine Taylor


Agenda was moved and approved.


The September, October, and November minutes were moved and approved as amended.

Rector’s Report

Bishop’s Visitation Review

A letter was received from the Rt. Rev. Bishop Bud Cederholm expressing his pleasure at Saint Paul’s energy and commitment. The recent visitation at Saint Paul’s was the bishop’s first since formally announcing his retirement and there was a nostalgic glow to the service.

In addition to discussing ways in which our community might strive to grow deeper as we grow larger, the question “Are we more clergy-driven or lay-driven?” was addressed. In response two scenarios were offered. One had the St. Paul’s community represented as a wheel with the Rector as the hub and the various missions as the spokes. Another had the Rector in the role of Master Switcher overseeing a number of wheels, at the hubs of which are lay people and perhaps the Rector himself. Also discussed were the concept of “Ministry Deliverer vis a vis Ministry Developer” and the focus our energy/activism.

Vestry members noted that it would be nice to have the bishops visit more frequently. Jeff noted that while the bishops would welcome the opportunity to visit the parishes of the diocese more frequently, it is unlikely due to financial and scheduling limitations.

Priest Advocate

At Saint Paul’s we are fortunate to have a number of supply clergy among our numbers. Dick Downes and Anoma Abeyaratnehave expressed interest in being called upon as celebrants for services such as the mid-week eucharist and women’s retreats. Dick and Anoma will be invited to be non-stipendiary Priest Associates. Priest Associates are affiliated with a parish for licensure reasons. The change would have no direct impact on Jeff’s workload. The topic was tabled until the January vestry meeting.

Spiritual Director

The possibility of finding a Spiritual Director (SD) for our community was introduced. The SD might hold monthly meetings to deepen and strengthen ones relationship with God, host the quiet days in Advent and lent.

Spiritual Director

Christi Humphreya new member of our parish is a graduate of the Spiritual Direction Institute and the Episcopal Divinity School.  An SD could be pictured as of a therapist for your relationship with God.

Annual Meeting

Growing Deeper is the theme of the Annual Meeting to be held on January 23rd. As our parish grows, small groups become even more important, the wheels that Jeff oversees and steers. Seating according to ones ministry affiliation or interest, and a Ministry Booklet (distributed at the annual meeting) were discussed as ways to keep the focus on introducing and drawing new parishioners to our various ministry options. As the Annual Meeting falls in the middle of the program year it is a perfect time to revitalize existing mission ties and create new ones. Lucy is currently gathering Purpose Statements from each of the missions for use in the Ministry Booklet. It was observed that the Annual Meeting is becoming a mission of its own.

Warden’s Report

Clinton Path Agreement Update

The New Agreement with Clinton Path has been approved and it is in place. Eli Laurencot and CWT were instrumental in the development of the final document.

Capital Appeal Committee Recognition Gift

Vendors are being contacted for quotes to repair the light in the vestibule between the central building and the sanctuary. The repair will be dedicated to the tireless work of the Capital Campaign Committee.

Nominating Committee

A short list has been developed and the candidates are being contacted.

Staff Gifts

Gifts of $100 cash for each employee were voted and approved.

Capital Appeal Committee Celebration

The event themed “Let Your Light Shine” is planned for January 8th. Ginny Willcox and Roger House are working on the invitations. The teens will be the wait-staff. All tips will be used to fund teen activities. Childcare will be provided.

Stewardship Drive Update

A good number of pledge cards have been received. More cards will be printed. The Stewardship Committee will continue to encourage all parishioners to participate.

Treasurer’s Report

Various line items adjustments in categories such as plate income, pledge income, and stipends were explained. The music budget has been reorganized to reflect the current conditions. The vestry voted and approved that up to $3000 be drawn from the Robinson Kraft Music Fund for music related expenses.

Budget Committee Update

The budget is being restructured for increased transparency and accurate representation on a foundation that is program-based. Ways to balance the budget without increasing the endowment draw were discussed. The budget will be voted on in the January vestry meeting and presented at the Annual Meeting.

Bell Tower Update

The cleaning and repair of the bell tower in the bidding phase. The work may be covered by insurance.

The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30

The next vestry meeting will be on Tuesday, January 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk

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