Highlights of recent Vestry meetings

Meeting Virtually: Your Vestry has been meeting virtually since the SARS-CoV-2 (aka COVID-19, aka Novel Corona Virus) pandemic forced most of us to self-isolate. Here are some highlights of the March and April meetings that were conducted using Zoom. If you would like to virtually attend a Vestry meeting, contact Linda Klimach for a Zoom web address link.

Deacon Endorsement: In March, the Vestry voted unanimously to endorse our Deacon Intern, Kelly Scheu, for ordination as a Deacon in the Diocese of Michigan. The endorsement by her congregation is a necessary step in the ordination process.  Unfortunately, due to the Diocese’s pandemic restrictions, all ordinations are on hold until further notice.

Money 1: The April meeting addressed the issue of parish finance. While Saint Clare’s current financial situation is, shall we say, “comfortable,” the fact that the congregation is not meeting in church each week may lead to a future budget crunch. The Vestry agreed prudence was proper. Prior year pledge income was greater than anticipated and the Diocese has offered to defer monthly collection of parish assessments and loan payments. The Vestry decided to move some funds from the 2019 pledges paid in 2020 and diocesan assessment lines to the operational reserve. The Diocese holds a mortgage on Saint Clare’s Charles Street house, but rent income covers the monthly payment, so the Vestry voted to continue to make monthly payments on that loan.

Money 2: Saint Clare’s treasurers have applied for a CARES act Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Administration Loan to maintain staff salaries. If the application is successful and the loan used to pay salary costs, it will be forgiven at the end of its term.

CAT: Remember that survey we all took, back a while? It was called a Congregational Assessment Tool (or CAT), and it was designed to help St. Clare’s Profile Committee (yet to be established) prepare a parish profile for use in seeking a rector for St. Clare. An “executive summary” of the outcome has been prepared and will be distributed soon. The Vestry leadership will follow with two forums using Zoom. The forums are scheduled for Monday, April 27, at 7:00 PM and Saturday, May 2, at 2:00 PM. Participating using Zoom is relatively easy if you have a personal computer, tablet or smart phone.

Genesis Representative: No candidate to represent Saint Clare on the Genesis Board for a three-year term (July 2020 – June 2023) had been identified by the Annual Meeting in January. (The Genesis Board is made up of eight members, four each from St. Clare and Temple Beth Emeth.) The plan was to hold a special congregation meeting in May to vote on possibly revised bylaws and to nominate a person to be Genesis representative. Of course, that option is now out of the range of possibility. Both the Genesis and the Saint Clare’s bylaws are silent on a method of naming a Genesis representative, so, with her permission, the Vestry named Christine Modey to serve.