An interested parishioner attended the monthly Vestry meeting on October 18, 2015, just to observe the meeting and hear the repot of the renovations committee. Those present at meetings of the Vestry usually include members of the Vestry, clergy, and representatives of any committee or group making a presentation to the Vestry or requesting or supporting action on a particular decision to be made by the Vestry, such as a request for funding. However, all monthly vestry meetings are open to any member of the parish interested in attending (with the possible very rare exception of a meeting, or portion of a meeting, where a sensitive personnel issue might be discussed). In addition, members of the parish are always encouraged to bring to the attention of the Wardens or individual members of the Vestry any particular issues of concern and to suggest actions the Vestry should take (or not). Anyone in attendance may speak, though only elected Vestry members may vote. If you have a topic you want to address, it is helpful to raise it with the Senior Warden or Rector a week before the meeting so that it can be incorporated into the agenda and provide any written background information that would help the Vestry prepare for the discussion since the meeting generally lasts only one and a half hours and the agenda is scheduled to the minute (always leaving flexibility for the winds of the Holy Spirit to blow, of course.)
Discussions are underway with San Jose and Food Pantry volunteers about accomodations during the renovations. The Food Pantry may move permanently into the alcove outside the Rhodes Room
The Renovations tri-chairs (two of them) reported on the check-ins held the previous Sunday and the Vestry engaged in substantive discussion of the seating furniture in the renovated nave. All views are being considered and no decision has been made yet. The possibility of a hybrid pew/chair arrangement was suggested.
As the designs are refined, every effort is being made to maintain the transparency of the process and provided opportunities for feedback. The committee and the Vestry recognize that major changes can be difficult even when they are desired and necessary, and changes to our sacred spaces are particularly charged emotionally. There will be opportunities to provide reminders of our valued heritage within the functional renovated space, and core visual elements such as the stained glass and the basic high ceilinged structure of the nave will be preserved.
The baseline budget has been revised to include three items that were previously to be funded outside the scope of the primary capital project: the actual furniture for seating, a new covered entrance for San Jose, and new doors from the Narthex to the Nave. The estimated baseline budget is now approximately $1.5 Million, about $40,000 more than the amount pledged to the capital campaign to date. In addition there are several high priority options which the Vestry may decide in coming months should be added to the baseline, as it would be impractical or cost-prohibitive to add them at a later date. In addition, there are several aesthetic elements that could be presented as occasions for special gifts, over and above current pledges to the campaign.
In other actions, the Vestry approved the provision of short and long-term disability insurance for our three full-time non clergy staff (clergy are already covered.)
The Vestry also approved the commissioning of a Saint George’s hymn, for which an anonymous donor has provided funding. Both hymn text (poetry) and melody will be created especially for us, for use for special events in our parish life, starting with the service of dedication/consecration for our renovated nave.
The Vestry also approved the formation of a new Flower Guild, which will support the Altar Guild by taking care of the altar flowers. This ministry is intended to be self-supporting through individual donations for flowers in memory or honor of special persons or occasions.