Parish Leadership

St. Paul’s Church in Brookline

Minutes of the Vestry Meeting

May 17, 2011

Present: The Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello, Rector; Georgia Smith, Senior Warden; Roger House, Junior Warden; Beverly Estes-Smargiassi, Treasurer; Benjamin Norton, Clerk; Jeff Brown,Edward Jacobson, Jim Margolis, Jean Moses, Fred Muehter, Linda Sanches, Madeleine Taylor, and Ginny Willcox.                                                                        

Not present: Lizbeth DeSelm,

The meeting opened with a prayer.



Agenda was moved and approved.


Building Committee Presentation

Solar Collector Update

Jim Batchelor of the Building Committee presented a brief history of the solar collection system and introduced the idea of upgrading or replacing the current system. The current “air circulation” system was installed in 19XX. The system was upgraded in 19XX with the ability to be controlled by PC. The remote PC control application was not implemented and the system is currently operated manually by Walter Mucha. The remote control system’s functionality will be evaluated and reported to the Building Committee.


The current system may be upgrade to a photovoltaic cell system, if the air circulation system’s operation proves burdensome. There are a number of incentives to change to the photovoltaic system. By law the utility company must buy a certain percentage of energy (SRECs) from renewable sources.


At current market values for SRECs, a bank of photovoltaic panels replacing the existing circulation system at the estimated cost of $56k would have a payback period of seven to ten years. There are rebate benefits that suit an installation the size of the existing system.


The possibility of an alternative location for the new photovoltaic collectors was introduced. In the event that the existing circulation system can be used to it’s potential, it may make best sense to keep the existing system and install the new collectors on the relatively flat roof over the middle room and choir room.


Fred Muehter and Jeff Brown volunteered to work with Jim Batchelor to look into a second quote on the work, and the possibility of the project being funded by a loan from the endowment. Visual Impact and Neighborhood Zoning were hot topics at the 2009 Diocescan Convention.



The agenda was voted and approved



The minutes were reviewed, voted and approved.


Rector’s Report

Holy week service attendance was encouragingly strong despite coinciding with school holiday week. The Walk for Hunger was a big success with 25-30 walkers in their newly printed St Paul’s t-shirts.

Clergy Conference Report

The Title 4 mandated shift from Military Code of Justice model to a Professional Licensure model is under way.

New Comers Brunch

The New Comer’s Brunch was held in the Rectory and attended by 40-50 parishioners. Mary Ann ???? and Kate Kelly helped to make the event a success.


Dean of Charles River Deanery

Jeff was appointed as the new Dean of the Charles River Deanery. Massachusetts is divided into twelve deaneries that are named after watersheds in their areas. In the primarily pastoral role, deans typically serve terms of five to six years. This is a great opportunity for St Paul’s to increase the possibility of securing financial support from the diocese for projects like the updated signage. Jeff will step down from his position on the Diocesan Council.


Rental Update

Discussions are underway with a new potential space renter. A French school is interested in renting the space used by the Sunday School and Clinton Path for two hour twice a week.


Episcopal City Mission

Bishop Katherine Schiori will give a keynote address on issues of economic justice on Tuesday June 7th.


Warden’s Report

Safe Church Update

Vestry members were encouraged to log in and complete the Safe Church training on line. Jeff noted the material covered may be daunting and offered that vestry members contact him for mentoring or encouragement in the completion of the sessions. Jean and Linda volunteered to support this initiative.


B-SAFE Update

In support of the B-SAFE program at St Augustine & St. Martin Church in Roxbury, St. Paul’s will provide lunches and snacks for the program on July 5th, 6th and 7th.


Clinton Path Planters

The flower and vegetable planters in the back yard will be relocated.


Honduras Mission Update

Plans are underway for a group to visit Honduras from August 25 to September 2nd. The target fundraising goal of $25k has been set. When shopping on line, by accessing through the el Hogar website, El Hogar mission earns a commission on everything you buy in that online session.


Annual Cookout

The annual parish cookout is scheduled for June 2nd. More details TBD.


Sacristy Renovation Update

A quote that included demolition, haz-mat removal, plumbing work etc was sent to the insurance company. Photographic documentation be provided to the agent reviewing the claim. It is hoped that the construction will begin over the summer.


Sunday School Update

Sunday School teachers and helpers are needed.

Vestry Covenant

Final Document Presented

The working group presented Fred Muehter’s summary of previous discussions. The document was approved with minor edits.


Treasurer’s Report

The implementation of the application to streamline book keeping (Quicken) is progressing well. Various budget questions were answered. Some expenses were reorganized. Fred Muehter volunteered to coordinate the advertising and showing of the parking spots


Future Discussion

Choir Appreciation Events

It was suggested that we look into ways to show our gratitude for the choir’s efforts.


Annual Yard Sale

The Yard Sale is scheduled for September 10th, the weekend after Labor Day. Donations will be accepted in the Great Hall starting September 3rd. Many volunteers are needed to ensure the events success.



The St. Paul’s community has committed to supporting the B-SAFE program at St Stephen’s in the South End.

B-Safe is an 8-week program combining academic enrichment and outdoor activities for inner city youth at seven sites throughout greater Boston. Our parish will contribute funds and volunteer making lunches and snacks for 80 people on the weekdays from July 5th to July 12th. The St Paul’s Youth Group will be invited to participate in the event. Madeleine and Ginny volunteered to head the steering committee. Funds of up to $1000 were approved by vote.


Vestry Shepherds

Special attention will be focused on learning the individual talents and interests of every parishioner in hopes of drawing everyone into existing programs, and providing the support to start new programs. Originally envisioned as a communication facilitator the idea needs tweaking. Introducing the discussion as an invitation rather than as an announcement, the importance of face-to-face contact, the six degrees of separation theory, and network mapping were suggested as ways to ensure that the talents of our parish are not unrealized or underutilized.


It was noted that it is the responsibility of the Vestry as church leaders to develop relationships with new members. A family event for families who have yet to connect and pre-service coffee hours hosted by each Vestry member’s group were discussed.


Georgia Smith volunteered to offer the opening prayer at the next Vestry meeting on June 21st at 7:30 pm.


The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30


Respectfully Submitted,

Ben Norton, Clerk


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