Vestry Meeting Minutes (approved)
R.E. Lee Episcopal Church
March 17, 2014
The regular meeting of the Vestry of R.E. Lee Memorial Church was held on Monday, March 17, 2014 at
5:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall of the church.
In Attendance: John Burleson, Dennis Cross (Senior Warden), Jim Farrar (Junior Warden), Bob Glidden,
Julia Grossman, David Hansen, Amy Holston, Diana Kenney, Elizabeth Knapp, Mo Littlefield, Holt
Merchant and Anna Crockett (Clerk); Guests: Sharon Massie (Program Director) Absent: George Brooke,
Myra Brush, Carole Elmore and Frank Settle.
Opening Prayer: Dennis led the meeting with a Celtic prayer from the First Millennium, appropriate for
the meeting on this St. Patrick’s Day.
Approval Of Minutes: Minutes of the February 17 meeting were accepted as distributed.
Parochial Report: Dennis noted that the Parochial Report, requested annually by the diocese and
prepared this year by Kay Horner, contains important elements, and encouraged Vestry members to read
the full report. Bob’s motion to accept the report was seconded by Julia and approved unanimously.
Dave offered to send Elizabeth Oliver (Finance Committee Chair) the report so she can update graphs
she recently prepared that shows trends in the reported areas in the past decade.
Election of Diocesan Council Delegates: Sharon presented a slate of nominees for the appointment of
four delegates and two alternates for the January, 2015 Diocesan Council weekend. The Vestry
recommended as delegates: Doug Cumming, Judy Glick, Anne Shroer-Lamont and Sharon Massie, and as
alternates: James Keane and Melissa Cox. Sharon will ask these individuals and Buster Lewis (additional
Vestry nominee) if they are willing to serve. (update from Sharon: final slate of delegates: Buster Lewis,
James Keane, Melissa Cox, and Doug Cumming; Alternates: Sharon Massie and Judy Glick)
Financial Update: Dave distributed an outline summary of end-of-February financial statements,
Endowments and Pledge Update. He reported that end-of-February financial statements indicate that
we are basically on track, investments have increased, and that the Finance Committee added a line item
for the Organ Committee, since the music budget will be unable to cover anticipated costs in the organ
area. Dave also reported that the significant increase in the Free Will Offering income line is due to a
recent $9000 offering in that category.
Endowments Committee: Dave further reported that he and Elizabeth Oliver plan to meet with
Jeff Grossmann (Endowment Committee Chair) about the merger with that committee and the
Finance Committee approved at the February Vestry meeting. Jeff will draft a policy statement,
which the Finance Committee will complete. Financial statements have been received from
Edward Jones, and a meeting is scheduled with Dan Vance to review investment statements.
Since it was recommended to have a Trustee representative on the Endowments Committee.
Farris Hotchkiss, Trustee Chair, may periodically attend Finance Committee meetings. Dave
anticipates quarterly FC updates on endowments, and explanations from Dan Vance twice a year.
Vestry Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2014 (approved)
Pledge update: With the recent addition of $5000 in pledges, the new pledge total is $406,930.
The Vestry had previously deferred a decision on use of additional pledges, pending updated
information on needs. Dave noted on the outline he distributed several areas that the Finance
Committee has identified as options for use of the additional funds.
 The Property Committee needs approximately $4000 for tree removal and repair. John
Burleson (Property Committee chair) clarified that a consulting arborist had recently
pointed out safety issues related to several trees. John will have firm estimates for the
next FC meeting. Bob asked about the possibility of replacing trees that are removed.
John noted that the Property Committee has discussed and will determine sizeappropriate replacement trees. Additionally, Sarah Lanford will consult with Jim
Osborne about the maple tree removal and a size-appropriate replacement in the Saint
Francis Garden.
 The Organ Committee has incurred some expenses, including a consultant to examine
our organ and make recommendations.
 Other miscellaneous unbudgeted property expenses. John commented that the
property issues would be prioritized, and that the electrical issues may have a higher
priority than the tress. He stressed that safety issues cannot be deferred.
Dave explained that the Finance Committee recommends holding the funds rather than using them to
increase our Diocesan Pledge. Bob observed that the additional funds are likely not substantial enough
to make a difference to the Diocese. Jim added that the property issues are alarming, and concurred
with the FC recommendation to use the additional funds for the most pressing issues. Although the FC
does not have final cost estimates, we can anticipate that these will likely exceed $5000. Bob moved
and Holt seconded holding the additional pledge funds in contingency for the most pressing property
needs. The motion passed unanimously.
Monthly Committee Presentations: Dennis observed that the monthly reports describing each
committee’s work have been well received and that the Endowments and Green Committees are
scheduled next. This will complete the first round of reports. After brief discussion, the Vestry agreed to
continue the communication by beginning monthly committee reports in the Cross and Crown. Julia will
work with Kay Horner and the committee chairs to schedule these reports. Jim suggested also posting
them on the parish website. Sharon will add more detailed committee descriptions to the “Parish
Ministries” as they are made available to her.
Property Committee: Diana reported that the curtains for the Parish Hall are being made, and that
there is not yet a date for installation. In response to George’ question at the February Vestry meeting,
the price range for a lined stage curtain would be $1700-$2100 for lined stage curtain. Dennis
recommended that the Property Committee consider options for use of the stage, and asked for the
sense of the Vestry regarding the importance of a stage curtain. Sharon commented that the stage is
used occasionally but could be used more frequently if it were cleaned, but that curtains were not
needed. There was general agreement that foldable screens are more durable and flexible than curtains,
and could be stowed away when not needed. Bob suggested asking parishioners who are knowledgeable
about presentations (e.g. Shane and Lacey Lynch and Tm Gaylard) for ideas about possible stage uses.
Dennis concluded the discussion by pointing out the need for continued de-cluttering of the stage area.
Vestry Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2014 (approved)
Diana has asked Kay Horner and Angie Clark for recommendations on improved signage in the Parish
House and expects a response in two to three weeks. Test use of signs is planned before purchasing
permanent ones.
John concluded the report with several items: the committee is waiting for bids on electrical items; a
urinal in the men’s room has been shut down due to flooding caused by valves that cannot be replaced
due to the age of the fixture; the water fountain in the Parish Hall is electrically unsafe and runs
continuously, and has also been shut down. Older light bulbs are being replaced with more energyefficient ones. Finally, John invited Vestry members to demonstrate leadership by participating in a
planned Lenten Vestry outdoor cleanup. He will follow up on this with an email.
Stewardship Committee Mo reported that twenty-five parishes had been contacted about best
practices, and that there are tentative plans for two brunches between worship services to inform
parishioners about need, provide opportunities for conversations and distribute handouts. The
committee is exploring possible themes for this year’s Every Member Canvass. The committee also
discussed how it might interface with the Hospitality and Welcoming Committees and broaden the
latter’s approach beyond the Sunday Morning Greeters.
Christian Outreach Committee: Jim reported that the committee had withheld $1000 for emergencies
and reserved $6000 for further allocation. Additionally, representatives from Love, Inc. attended the
recent COC meeting to explain the organization. It acts as a clearinghouse to help churches provide
assistance in their community, but joining the organization would require approximately $2000 in
administrative fees. The committee will continue to discuss this matter and bring recommendations to
the Vestry. Jim noted that there were three COC votes in favor and three abstentions on a motion to go
forward with the discernment process. Two key questions are whether Lexington is large enough to
benefit from membership in the organization and how it would interface with existing outreach.
Administration/Personnel Committee. Dennis reported that the committee will meet on March 27 and
is already working on an inventory of parish property.
Higher Education Committee: Elizabeth reported that a meeting is scheduled for April 3.
Christian Education Committee: Julia has been in contact with Holly Pickett about a meeting. Sharon
plans to call one before Easter.
Church Security; Mo distributed copies of a newspaper article reporting recent cases that demonstrate
the need for churches to have security procedures. Jim noted that plans are already underway for
training ushers in use of the defibrillator and moving that instrument to an open location, and the
Worship Committee has discussed training ushers in CPR. Sharon commented that there have been
three emergency events in recent years, two during services and one outside on the patio, and that
physicians have been present at the services during both. Several community resources were suggested
to provide guidance in the matter of safety precautions and emergency procedures. Mo proposed
gathering representatives from the Property Committee, Worship Committee and Vestry to study this
matter further. At Dennis’ request, Mo agreed to follow up.
Comments from the Wardens: Jim reported that he has been attending committee meetings, and that
this has been helpful in gaining a global understanding of the strengths and needs of the church.
Vestry Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2014 (approved)
Comments from the Program Director: Sharon reported the following:
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The “Happening” front team visited R.E. Lee to look at our space. Six parish youth are planning
to participate in the event and shower facilities have been arranged with Washington & Lee
University
Seventeen R E Lee youth and adults gathered Saturday, March 15, with DIOSWVA’s Aimee
Bostwick in the Parish Hall for pizza and games
Youth Forum on Sunday Morning – Aimee Bostwick presented diocese programming for youth
Four youth, the Rector and Sharon plunged for the Polar Plunge, which raised approximately
$2000. Sharon will apply for a Millennium Development Goals Grant to make up the amount
needed for the Stop Hunger Now food pack on April 27, 2014
ACTS is going strong; James Keane and Sharon are taking communion to homebound
parishioners approximately every two weeks
“Safeguarding God’s People” program is scheduled for April 12 from 1:00-4:00 in Hillel House
Vacation Bible School will be held in the first or second week in July
There will be a Parish Breakfast on March 23
Dennis noted that the weekly email updates from Sharon describing upcoming parish events are helpful.
Executive Session: The Vestry went into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters.
Dave offered the closing prayer.
Meeting adjourned at 6:50. Next meeting is April 21, 2014 at 5:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Anna Crockett, Clerk
Vestry Meeting Minutes – March 17, 2014 (approved)
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Vestry Meeting Minutes (approved) R.E. Lee Episcopal Church