At its July meeting, after opening devotions and routine business approving minutes and treasurer’s report and checking in on San Jose, spent some time getting to know two new members, Don George and Darren Hekhuis, elected to fill the remainder of terms vacated by Nathan Harpine and Burr Ault.
The Renovations committee reported on the status of the project. The architect is working on the schematic designs now. The current schedule calls for the committee and Vestry to review those preliminary designs late this summer and select a general contractor in early September. Rather than using a traditional design, bid, build strategy, the general contractor we select will work closely with the architect during the development of the detailed construction documents. This will ensure that there are fewer surprises and change orders after we proceed to construction and will allow for more accurate budgeting when we determine the final scope of the project. The preliminary working schedule anticipates that construction will take about six months, beginning after Easter and being completed before Christmas 2016. The renovations committee will be communicating further with the congregation later this summer and conducting check-in sessions in September. While many details of the project remain very general at this time, at each phase of the project design, more and more granularity is added to design, budget and schedule. The project is on target, but there are still several decision points before the design is approved and construction begins. The schedule for “First Fruits”, when those who have pledged to the capital campaign will be invited to contribute at least a third of their pledge, if they have not already, has been pushed forward to later this calendar year, to be coordinated with the annual stewardship campaign. Sufficient funds are already on hand to support design work currently being done by GBR, the architect, and Robert Mahoney and Associates, the acoustician. August vestry meeting has been moved to September 1, at which time the committee will recommend the selection of a general contractor.
In other business, the Vestry elected 2016 Diocesan Delegates. Jill Nusbaum will be the senior delegate and Toby Walter the junior delegate. Allison Otto will move up toe first alternate (from second), and Bradford Hardin will become the new second alternate.
The Vestry approved the expenditure of up to $400 to construct a “Little Free Library” outside the Food Pantry, to come from Food Pantry Endowment income. You may have seen the Little Free Libraries cropping up around Arlington and other areas. They look a little like a giant birdhouse on a post and hold books which people may freely borrow or take (or donate) with no paper-work or obligation. This is a creative new offering beyond food for our food pantry clients, and other neighbors.
In leadership reports, Senior Warden Crystal commended the exemplary work done by parish administrator Joel and building manager George. Associate Rector John obtained approval for advance payment for 2016 participation in Credo, a clergy well being program (for which, coincidentally, former rector Ron Crocker was a participant and leader). He also provided information for adult and child misconduct prevention training which all Vestry members are required to complete. John will be out of town next week of continuing education, participating in a Millennial Leaders program at Union Seminary, and for two personal trips for weddings later this summer. Rector Shearon advised the Vestry that Amanuel, the Ethiopian congregation that uses our space, will be moving on after July, having found a new space better suited to their needs. During their 16 years with us they grew from 15 to 200 congregants. Summer seminarian Kristine is completing her eight weeks with us this Sunday. Meditative coloring with the food pantry clients and leadership of the racial reconciliation forums with Lynn Crawford were highlights of her experience. The Vestry enacted a resolution thanking her for her work with us. She thanked us for welcoming her in to what she described as “a healthy, vibrant, loving Christian community,” a compliment that echoed Don George’s observation earlier in the meeting that he found us by Googling “open and affirming Episcopal Church.”