After approval of minutes, Padrecita Jeanne spoke to a few points in her written report. She handed out summaries of the parish surveys. Out of 54 distributed, 54 were returned. While there are definite trends, there is also a healthy diversity of opinion on most matters. In importance to respondents both in the parish and in a rector, “quality of preaching” had the highest rating. The congregation is generally conservative on liturgy and emphasizes welcome and fellowship for both the parish and the rector. (This was not discussed but results of the survey will be made available to the congregation at a later time.)
The consecration of Bishop-elect Hunn at Diocesan Convention includes all congregations in the procession. Chickie Lerdal will carry the St. James’ banner and Mary Ganier the placard. In addition, Manny Terrazas will be one of the chalice bearers! Carol and Charles Nike and Mary Rasp will sing in the choir.
Junior Warden, Manny Terrazas, reported that the kitchen renovations are proceeding on schedule, with beautiful results. There are new appliances and tiles, walls have been painted and counter space expanded. Still to come are a new water heater and cabinets, with a new and shorter step outside the kitchen door that is up to code. The parish hall monitors have requested no coffee hours on October 28th, as water will be turned off. Most of the preceding week the kitchen will be inaccessible. Work should be concluded in early November.
Manny also reported that Wasser and Wasser has been asked not to do yardwork that is previously unauthorized by the vestry. He is also in the process of talking with an electrician about converting the fans and lights in the parish hall from a remote to a wall switch. In addition, he is exploring a new, wireless sound system for the church. The one challenge would be finding a place for the speakers.
Treasurer, Nyeta Haines, reports that we are now officially “in the black” by $90.59! We have taken in about $1,000 more this year than projected in the revised 2018 budget ($157,128.99). As of the end of September, total available cash in non-restricted accounts was $41,780.28.
Terry Meyer reports that the nametag whiteboard is now being kept in the narthex and a basket is used in the parish hall to collect nametags for those still wearing them at the end of services. Andrew Terrazas, our webmaster, is spending about 5 hours a week updating the website. It is not certain when that will be completed but it will much better. Terry gave several small New Testaments that had been purchased for another use to the Sunday school for distribution among the children.
Nyeta Haines and Phala White reported that the Finance Committee recommends auto-pay for the Comcast bill, which the vestry voted to approve. They will begin work on a budget for 2019 and Nyeta will work up an estimated budget for the Stewardship Committee to help them in their pledge drive presentations. Nyeta showed the vestry current information from the diocese on clergy compensation and explained what will be required in the package for the new rector. The vestry discussed and voted on a possible salary figure, which could be adjusted to fit the experience and education of the new rector, along with the rector’s health care needs and other variables. The approximate figure will be used in the 2019 budget which will be drafted in December.
Mary Ancker and Phala reported on the pledge drive, which will begin with letters sent out the week of October 28th. These will include pledge cards. Some discussion about putting Proportional Giving figures on the back of the cards ensued. It was decided to put these figures in the next newsletter. Pledges will be due November 28th and the pledge cards will be presented at the altar at both services on Advent I, December 2nd, with a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication. Each week in the bulletin the committee will submit an inspirational verse. Mary asked for volunteers from the vestry to give short talks at announcement time about what the act of giving means to the speaker. Padrecita Jeanne reported that she will be meeting with Kathleen Fisher to form a nominations committee for the purpose of talking to people about running for vestry at the annual meeting in January.
Padrecita Jeanne also asked for suggestions from the vestry on parishioners she might approach to be on the Search Committee when we begin actively seeking a rector. She reported that the spring vestry retreat will be at Holy Cross Retreat Center on February 9th.
Nyeta handed out the newly-completed bylaws. The vestry complimented Nyeta, Jennifer Terrazas, and Phala for a job well done on the bylaws. They will be turning their attention to the Policy Manual now, with a goal of revising the policies by the time the new rector arrives. Safety Committee has presented their plan to the congregation and added a suggestion from some members that in the event of an active shooter, cell phone usage be restricted till after the police arrive. No further action is indicated on the plan at this time.
The vestry voted to accept Charlotte Williams’ offer of one painting and one photo of Fr. Frank Williams to be placed in the library and in another room in the church. At Fr. Frank’s celebration on October 14th, Manny will take pictures for the diocesan newspaper and Padrecita Jeanne will write an article. Nyeta will explore the possibility of getting coverage in the Las Cruces Bulletin.
Padrecita Jeanne reminded the vestry about various upcoming meetings, including a special meeting with Canon (Bishop-elect) Hunn when he comes October 21st. The vestry approved the purchase of a gift for Canon Hunn from St. James’.