At its June meeting the Vestry bid farewell to Burr Ault, who is moving to Raleigh, and elected two new vestry members to fill the unexpired terms of Burr and Nathan Harpine, who was experiencing his High School graduation ceremony as the meeting was taking place. Don George, a regular attendee at the 8 AM service and Darren Hekhuis, a 10:30 service participant, will fill the unexpired Vestry terms until the next official vestry election at the congregational meeting in January. They will be eligible to “stand” (one of those special Episcopal church terms, meaning “be a candidate”) for election for a regular term at that point, should they choose to, when we will elect five new Vestry persons, four for three year terms (Nathan’s seat would have been up anyway) and one for the one year remaining in Burr’s term. The procedures for election of Vestry members (and the size of the Vestry based on numbers of members of the congregation) are spelled out in the Canons (church laws) of the Diocese of Virginia.
The Vestry approved the next significant step in the Renovations project, authorizing the expenditure of up to $150,000 to develop the schematic design documents, develop construction and related documents, and seek necessary approvals (for example from Arlington County) to prepare for the renovation of the St. George’s Nave and the Chapel used by San Jose in accordance with the priorities established by the Vestry last month. Based on the architect’s budget estimates which are very precise, but not necessarily very accurate at this point, the $1.42 Million available for the project should enable us to lower the floor and create a new altar platform further forward, replace the in-floor heating and flooring, and remove the HVAC towers in front and place the air conditioning in the chancel area under the floor, which will create more room for the choir and prepare the space for a future new organ. The Vestry asked the Renovations committee to make sure that GBR, the architect, prepares detailed enough schematics to enable the Vestry to make an informed decisions about the scope of the project in the fall before moving to construction, particularly in regard to removal of the HVAC towers in the rear of the nave, with alternatives for both doing it as part of the initial construction (which might be beyond our current budget capabilities) versus deferring that part of the project for later, along with other design alternatives such as sound and lighting systems and acoustic modifications, which might have to be done as discrete add-ons later if additional funds do not become available. St. George’s portion of the project will include structural work on the chapel, including reinforcing the foundation and enhancing the entry way off the parking lot, with San Jose responsible for the elements that are more directly related to the worship experience. A foundation has favorably reviewed a grant application to fund replacement of the flooring in the Chapel, but a final decision is still pending.
The Vestry approved the expenditure of $1500 for a hazardous materials survey (asbestos, for example) preparatory to the renovation, and an additional $1500 if need arises for additional sampling or testing as the renovation project progresses.
The Vestry modified its previous approval of funds to modify Sunday School rooms for the new Catechesis of the Good Shepherd room, to add carpeting for rooms 207 and 212 in addition to the now combined room 204-208, at no additional cost, since the demolition of the wall came in well under budget.
The Vestry also corrected a previous budget oversight, by approving the $1500 stipend required by the Seminary for our summer seminarian.
The Vestry heard reports of our successful booth at the DC Pride festival. We reviewed the joint St. George’s /San Jose Pentecost service Memorial Day weekend, with an eye to enhancing the important annual shared event by removing possible barriers to participation by families with young children and older members.
Two Vestry members, Melanie and Erik, with their respective spouses, are expecting the arrival of babies this fall.