All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island, SC
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting
Sunday, January 13, 2019
[Print version (PDF)]
Immediately following the 9:00 a.m. Eucharist service, parishioners convened in Gordon Mann Hall for a light brunch. Music Director Jason Wright led the group in singing the Doxology.
Joyce Emmett, Senior Warden, called the meeting to order at 10:31 a.m., and presided over the meeting. She noted that a theme of this year’s meeting, beyond the necessary business portion of the meeting, would focus on introducing some of the Vestry members and giving some sense of what they do – besides attending Vestry meetings.
Opening Prayer: The Reverend Mark Brinkmann said the opening prayer.
Registrar: Joyce Emmett appointed Kerry Grant as Registrar, without dissent.
Preschool: Joyce introduced Bonnie Fick, the new Preschool Director. Bonnie briefly presented her own background as a teacher and gave some history of the All Saints Preschool and its regular activities.
Vestry Elections: Joyce identified the nominees for new Vestry members: Brenda Hand, Robin Jordan, and Samantha Nochitta. There were no nominations from the floor, and the slate of nominees was approved by unanimous vote.
Foundation Trustee: Joyce identified the Rector’s nomination to have Bop Moore continue for an additional three-year term as a Trustee of the Foundation Board. This was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the congregation.
Foundation: Board Chair Paul Ostergard gave a brief report of the All Saints Foundation. He noted the purpose of the Foundation – to secure the long-term financial security of All Saints – and he described the types of funds and ways one might give and described the Pelican Society. He introduced the trustees present at the meeting and acknowledged the service of Michael Jordan, who recently resigned from the Board and who has been replaced by Lesley Gilbert, by vote of the Vestry.
Rector Search: Joyce noted the absence of the Very Reverend Rick Lindsey, who retired December 31, 2018, after 16 years as All Saints Rector. Mike Binford, chair of the Rector Search Committee, reported to the congregation that the search process is moving along well: the parish survey is complete, and the parish profile is finished and will be published online next week, identifying the characteristics sought in the next rector and the future parish goals. (See Attachment 1 for details contained in Mike’s slide-show presentation.) He reported that the position will be advertised beginning next week, and applications (via the diocesan office) will be accepted through the end of February 2019. Phone and Skype interviews will begin in March and top candidates will be invited for in-person interviews following that. His expectation, although not guaranteed, is that the new rector will be called by September 2019.
Garden Tour: Vestry member Karen Reuter spoke briefly about the Garden Tour, noting that:
This outreach ministry has been an annual staple at All Saints since 1988;
The Garden Tour typically enjoys participation by many parishioners;
All proceeds from the event are distributed to local area charities, with the total distribution over the years now in excess of $500,000.
Courtyard Project: Karen Reuter presented the background and current status of this project. (See Attachment 2 for details contained in Karen’s slide-show presentation.) Her presentation noted that:
Improvements to the courtyard was one of the goals of the “More Than We Can Imagine” Capital Fund Campaign;
Other parish priorities, the Hurricane Matthew aftermath in particular, pushed this project “to a back burner”;
In 2018, a generous anonymous donor provided funds to cover the cost of preliminary design studies and some of the construction;
The improvements would clearly be beneficial to All Saints, but the projected cost would require significant additional funds – probably a capital fund drive – and this might well compete with the needs of the annual operating budget, which is facing a deficit last year and this.
Karen concluded with a question to the congregation, “What do you think? Shall we launch this project?”
Vestry: Mark Brinkmann spoke briefly on the background and history of the concept of “Vestry”, the addition of lay involvement to the management and direction of a church, a formal part of Episcopal structure only since 1904.
Spiritual Question: Deacon Sandy Grant spoke briefly about “Spiritual Questions”, a feature of All Saints Vestry meetings for the past couple years. She prepares a spiritual question – based, for example, on something from the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, or the liturgy – several weeks before each meeting. Each Vestry member prepares an answer, anonymously, in writing, and the answers are read and discussed for 20 to 30 minutes at the beginning of a meeting.
Connection Station: Vestry member Lisa Ghessie spoke about the Connection Station, a feature of the Coffee Hour following the Sunday 10:15 service, which is volunteer-staffed each week with verbal and written information to help parishioners learn about and get involved in one or more of the many ministries supported at All Saints.
Dominican Republic Mission: Lisa Ghessie reported on activities of the Dominican Republic Mission Group over the past few years – Medical Mission, Construction Missions, Vacation Bible School, support of School Scholarships, the “Happy Feet” Shoe Ministry – with special thanks to Steve Tabor who is stepping down after several years of leadership of that group.
Adult Education & Parish Life: Joyce, filling in for Carol Coonley, highlighted some of Carol’s activities, particularly the initiation of the Coffee Guild and the start of a new Women’s Book Study Group.
Deanery & Diocese: Vestry member Carol Grish reported on the deanery structure in the diocese – there are four deaneries, with the Southern Deanery the most active, meeting monthly at the Church at Okatie. Clergy and lay members at All Saints have been very involved with diocesan activities, with Rick Lindsey, Mark Brinkmann, George Moyser, Pam Fahrner, and Carol Grish serving at one time or another on the Diocesan Council or the Standing Committee. Joyce Emmett shared the very recent news that Bishop Adams has appointed Mark Brinkmann as Dean of the Southern Deanery, filling the vacancy created by the retirement of Rick Lindsey.
Finance: Vestry member Jack Case presented some background – the Vestry has the fiscal and fiduciary responsibility for parish finances, but the ongoing handling of the many details is handled by the Finance Commission, which meets monthly to review revenues and expenses, then make recommendations to the Vestry for its consideration and action. Copies of an abbreviated financial report (see Attachment 3) were available at every table. Jack drew attention to the “bottom line” for the 2018 year-end operating fund – a deficit of $23,099 – characterizing it as “good news”, at least compared to one month earlier, when the projected deficit stood at $95,000. He noted that the budget for 2019 currently looks to be even more problematic than for 2018, with additional one-time expenses related to the rector transition and with projected pledge revenues about $100,000 short of what is needed. He identified that the church’s cash position is strong, which should enable the parish to survive the lean years of 2018 and 2019 before starting to rebuild reserves in 2020, which promises to be better as the parish hopefully returns to “normal”.
Stewardship: Vestry member John Phillips, chair of the Stewardship Commission, expressed thanks to all who had worked on the most recent campaign. He noted that parish members had proven themselves to be responsive and generous in responding to crises or major fund drives; but they have not been so good at responding to annual needs for the operating budget.
Acknowledgements: Junior Warden Tony Rizza and presented written commendations from Fr. Lindsey to:
Leslie Martin (in absentia), on the completion of her term of service on the Vestry and as Chair of the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry;
Carol Grish, on the completion of her term of service on the Vestry, her service in the Southern Deanery and in the Diocese, and her continuing role as Chair of the Communications Commission;
Joyce Emmett, on the completion of her term of service on the Vestry and as Senior Warden.
Tony recognized and identified the 2019 Vestry: Jack Case, Carol Coonley, Lisa Ghessie, Brenda Hand, Robin Jordan, Samantha Nochitta, Karen Reuter, and himself, with one vacancy to be filled due to the resignation of John Phillips; clergy members Mark Brinkmann, Pam Fahrner, and Sandy Grant; and non-voting officers Mark Szen (Treasurer), Kerry Grant (Clerk), and Michael Jordan (Chancellor).
Thanks: Joyce Emmett expressed thanks to Carol Galli and her hard-working crew who prepared the brunch, and acknowledged and thanked staff members: Jason Wright, Marilyn Adams, Roberta Koonce, Jessie McIlwee, and (especially) Mark Brinkmann.
Clergy Acknowledgements: Mark Brinkmann acknowledged the services of “the rest of the clergy”: priests Pam Fahrner, George Moyser, Chad Minifie, Jack Nieteret, Gordon Weller, and Woody Woodroofe; deacons Sandy Grant and Kerry Smith; chaplain Blake Robinson; and Pam Crossley, who has begun preparation for the permanent Diaconate.
Adjournment: The Meeting adjourned at 12:05 p.m. with a dismissal by Kerry Smith.
Kerry E. Grant,