(Highlights of the full August 21, 2019 Vestry meeting. September’s Notes coming soon…)

Electrifying! Over the past several years Genesis, the corporation, made up of two members, Temple Beth Emeth and Saint Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church, that maintains and operates our building, has been making an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the operation. Examples include motion-sensitive light switches and low voltage lighting. The Genesis’s leadership would like to expand the energy-use-reduction effort by adding solar panels to the roof. Aye, but there’s the rub. Genesis is a non-profit corporation, so pays no taxes, so cannot benefit from the government’s thirty-percent tax rebate for installation of energy reducing solar systems. So, how to take advantage? Form a private, for profit organization to install the solar panels and sell the energy to Genesis. So….

Eastover Power, LLC was born. Eastover Power is a group of members of both Temple Beth Emeth and Saint Clare’s who have invested a minimum of five thousand dollars each to purchase shares in Eastover Power. The goal of the limited liability corporation is to install solar arrays (one or two, depending upon support from investors) on the roof of our facility, take care of all the technical and electrical interfaces with the municipality and current utility, maintain the system and sell the power generated to Genesis. The investors will be able to take advantage of the tax advantage in proportion to their investment. For the process to go forward the Vestry, the Temple Board, the Genesis Board, and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Michigan must agree to the Power Purchase Agreement. (The Diocese holds all church property within its boundaries in trust for The Episcopal Church.) At its meeting, the Vestry approved. If you want more information, contact Jack Petersen, Genesis President (contact information in the St. Clare’s directory).

Diocesan Pledge: Each church in the Diocese of Michigan is expected to pledge ten percent of a three year rolling average its annual budget to support the operation of the diocese. Because of the suddenness of membership decline, St. Clare requested and received permission to base last year’s Diocesan Pledge on just the current year’s budget. Similar permission was requested and received for this year’s pledge. The amount approved by the Vestry, $46,500, indicates a modest improvement over the previous year.

Deacon Intern – Kelly Scheu: The Vestry learned that the Diocese has assigned Kelly to intern at St. Clare’s. She will be joining the St. Clare’s staff on September 8. She is in training to become a vocational deacon, not planning on advancing to the priesthood. More on her background and aspirations will be forthcoming in a future edition of the St. Clarian.

Generosity: A member who wishes to remain anonymous stepped up to provide financial support for a family in the parish with extreme medical needs. In order to provide the donor with the greatest possible tax benefit, the treasurers plan to account the donation through the Rector’s discretionary fund. Another member made a $7,500 gift to St. Clare’s to help fund the church’s portion of much needed roof repair. More information about the roof repairs and grants received may be found here. The gift was made with the request that the balance of the funds beyond that needed for roof repair be donated to St. Peter’s, Detroit, for their “Corner Shower and Laundry” homeless support outreach program.

My Bible and Me: Even though agendas sometimes run into the wee hours, at every Vestry meeting time is always taken to focus on the real reason for the meeting. This month Vestry member, Mike Meyer, led the vestry in a discussion of two instances where Jesus found himself in conflict with the Jewish leaders for healing on the Sabbath. Mike focused attention on Luke 13:10-17 and Luke 6:6-11.