This event was years in the making ⬆️ and on Monday July 22, it finally happened! East Avenue has the view at night that is the banner for this section! (See above)
The photo of the window lit at night from East Avenue is thanks to Vicki McCutchon. We want to also thank our lighting contractor for this job, A.J. Hetzke from illuminFx, Zach Dumrese and Carl Zizzo (pictured) of Dynamark Electric. The lift went up all 37.5 feet! And a really big shoutout to our own Moses Roland who was instrumental in getting the church ready and overseeing the project. A big round of applause! 👏
(click on image to enlarge)
Take time to look around the ERD website. https://www.episcopalrelief.org/ I always find it interesting, encouraging, and exciting. It is the best news around.
"Episcopal Relief & Development is an international relief and development agency and a compassionate response to human suffering on behalf of the Episcopal Church." That's us! "Episcopal Relief & Development reaches over 3 million people annually, through long-term programs and disaster response efforts with local partners in approximately 40 countries. We work directly with Anglican Communion and other partners to carry out our mission of empowering people to find lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and disease." (Quotes from the website---they say it best.)
You can make donations at the website, by phone at 1-855-312-4325, or by mail to
Episcopal Relief & Development P.O. Box 7058
Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.
There are many giving choices. Through Gifts for Life, you can now donate bicycles for community volunteers, to help them reach more people, or sugar beans, "a drought-tolerant, high-protein, early maturing crop that can be intercropped with other crops—and provide a nutritious diet for children." Happy giving!
editor’s note- due to technical difficulties there is no recording of the service for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany.
You can listen to the recording below. The following parishioners were elected to the positions indicated.
Capital Campaign, led by Lucie
1. One focus of the Committee is creating venues for thanking donors. Different kinds of plaques are being considered.
2. The Committee is composing a Request for Proposal for outdoor lighting design.
Property Committee Report: led by Val
1. Te Deum light replacement: a bid has been received from Illumin Fx.
2. Determination has been made by Illumin Fx that the church floor can withstand a lift to be used for installation.
3. Replacement of current chandelier lights that are out, possibly by parishioners using IlluminFx’s lift time to complete that task, was discussed.
4. Replacement of all chandelier bulbs with a superior type of LED bulb which provides warm, not cool, illumination is a consideration. Also, determination of a time frame for accomplishment of this task is in the works. Val will get from Illumin Fx a price for new LED’s.
5. MOTION: Deb moved that the Vestry approve $3860 to come out of Capital Campaign Funds to pay for Te Deum Lights. Carolyn seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Vestry Retreat Planning, led by Joe
The Vestry will hold a retreat in the summer. It will NOT be a “long meeting,” but a true retreat, Joe promises! Jim Kurmis and Carolyn are working with him on it.
Liaison Reports: Education
Val reported on her role as Vestry Liaison to Education. The discussion focused on the need for a new college age Sunday School teacher for the fall. Deb will pursue that search.
VOC: Joe suggested that Joe McCutchon should be commended for his report on improving church safety. Meg will invite Joe McCutchon to come to the May Vestry Meeting to consult as the Vestry seeks to determine follow-up steps to His report, as well as to the Rochester Police Department walk-through, which took place a few months ago.
Community Partners: RoCo Director Bleu Cease joined us at this point. He thanked the parish for our patience, support, and perseverance throughout the Art Tree experience. Grass seed has been planted there. A hole has been left where our irrigation system is exposed, so that our irrigation person can examine that connection. During the approximately two month period when the tree was up and running, it is estimated that 4800 people stopped and looked at it.
Bleu is looking forward to ongoing public art cycles; the next one will come on or about June 1. He invited Christ Church to stage an event at the 12th annual 6X6 Exhibition.
Rector’s Report: Ruth is happy to report that she has begun her second week of part time hours. We are all delighted to have her back.
Finance Committee Report:
Norm led a discussion about the 2019 budget.
To summarize : last year a deficit budget was projected. Because of certain unique events, CC ended 2018 with some surplus instead. It is not anticipated that there would be a repetition of those particular circumstances which led to that surplus. A deficit for 2019 is anticipated. However, there are a number of traditional pledgers who have not yet renewed their pledges. Finance will tackle the in’s and out’s of contacting those pledging units so as to encourage them to re-pledge for 2019. [It was noted in passing that deficit budgets have been the norm (small n) since pew rent was done away with.]
● Jeremy made a motion for a 2.8% pay increase for Stephen Kennedy and Moses Roland. Val seconded. Passed unanimously.
Kyle reported that the Lawn St. Wall Project is happening on schedule. There were some concerns about dust and noise; these concerns have been addressed. This dust and noise were due to the demolishing of the first floor ceiling. That work has been completed.
● Kyle will be the contact person for the Lawn St. Wall Project while John Fields attends to pressing personal matters.
Deb led a discussion about the re-formation of a Liturgy Committee. Liturgy is the absolute purview of the Rector or the Priest in Residence. In times past there has been a Worship Committee which acted in some liaison capacity between clergy and parishioners. Deb will work on a draft for the general parameters under which such a Liturgy Committee might function.
Reports from Liasons:
It was noted that attendance for Twelfth Night doubled from last year. This is thought to be due to more communication about the event to the parish and the public; in particular, because it was presented as a Facebook Event. Jeremy suggested a Communications Group which each year focused on just one thing, i.e. one small step-bolstering some part of communication links we have, in a very intentional way. Lucie will organize a meeting about re-energizing communications.
Capital Campaign Report
Lucie reported a $517,000 tally up to present. The Committee is now officially done with parish solicitation. Current parish level of giving is at 74%. Next steps for the Committee include several aspects of researching and reaching out to potential public donors. Also, several Spring events are in the works. These include a silent movie showing with organ accompaniment; and, a High Tea as a part of the Sacred Sites Tour
Warden’s Report: Deb
Peg Britt is completing her Vestry term. We thanked Peg for her exemplary character and her contributions during her term of office.
Prayers were offered for several parishioners who have experienced injury. Finally, our hearts go out to longtime Christ Church Deacon Lucy Alonzo, whose husband Dan, also a longtime Christ Church member, died January 11.
Vestry Minutes Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018
Peter W. Peters attended. He offered prayer and reflection. Among his comments, he noted that today marked the anniversary of the signing of the document which ended slavery in the U. S.
Norm said that CC has avoided the predicted budget deficit for 2018. We have received a gift which has helped defray Rev. Peters’ salary. This has helped us to avoid a deficit. We are currently in the black. Next year, however, we may have a deficit budget. Here is the main reason: in 2018, we had about 70 pledging units. Currently, we have received only about 39 pledges for 2019. (update: about 59)
Deb asked that the Finance Committee prepare the budget for the Vestry to pass at the January meeting, and present at the Annual Meeting. Meg will prepare a state of the parish report about numbers in, out, and where does that leave us for the next Vestry meeting. Also, the wardens will place information about how to make a bequest to CC on the agenda for the Annual Meeting.
Capital Campaign report:
Lucie reported that major fundraising, especially that stemming from the Open House, should be done in approximately six months. The campaign pledged total is currently $515,751. We are still looking for grants. The giving percentage from parish is 71 per cent. The Committee is still meeting every week.
Property Committee report:
Report given by Kyle.
1. There was a meeting with the architects, contractor, John Fields, and Deb, pertaining to the work on the Lawn Street wall. Before end of year they will put up plywood barricades. Scaffold up by Jan 2. Work to begin mid-January. The hallway will be blocked off. The only way to the sacristy and office will be through the sanctuary, or the Broadway Street door. It should be mostly quiet work.The workers will be taking up the two parking spots and a locked container for their tools. John Fields is taking care of the windows by himself, at cost.
2. Kyle reported that lightbulbs for all the lantern lights which were out have been replaced. Problems with scaffolding need to be resolved. We can publicize such work projects in the future, so that more people can participate.
3. Kyle talked to an ESM contact about locks. Several ideas were discussed, including one route from the outside door to the organs. This could potentially be a bequest item.
Renewal of annual housing allowance for Rector :
The following motion was made by Joe and seconded by Val:
Be it resolved that whereas Ruth Ferguson is employed as a minister of Christ Church, which does not provide a residence for her, the Vestry of Christ Church resolves that of her total compensation in 2019, $ 24,000 be designated a parsonage allowance within the meaning of that term as used in Section 107 of the IRS Code of 1986 and this designated amount be assumed to be the amount in future years, as long as Ruth Ferguson is employed at Christ Church, unless amended.
The motion passed unanimously.
1. Nominating Committee: Jeremy Cooney, Nancy Norwood, and John D’Amanda agreed to run for three year terms. Meg Mackey has agreed to run for filling a one-year vacancy.
2. Lucie has designed several possible replacements for the picture of Christ Church on the cover of the Sunday bulletin. They were passed out and voted on.
3. Other ideas which were discussed included having a Sacred Sites Tea during the Sacred Sites Tour; and a Christ Church Historical Recipes Dinner.
Respectfully submitted by Dave Jutsum, Clerk
Present: Deb VanderBilt, Kyle Liddell, Meg Mackey, Joe Schaller, Peg Britt, Carolyn Mauro, Jim Kurmis, Lucie Parfitt, Val Jutsum. Excused: David Jutsum; Jeremy Cooney
Vestry was called to order at 7:03 with a prayer from Peg Britt.
Visit with Rev. Peter Peters and Eucharist
Peter expressed his gratitude at being invited to the position of Priest-in-Residence during Ruth’s absence. Peter prepared and shared a short Eucharist with the Vestry.
Property Report- Kyle
Bats & Birds
John Fields did an inspection of the tower and thought we could do the work. Kurt Catalano thinks he can go into the tour and do a screen repair for $2,000. That will keep the bats and birds from entering. The tower does need to be cleaned; John has the equipment and is willing to do try it himself. John has personal insurance and the church has personal insurance as well. One concern is to keep protection in place because the Catholic Family Center people work in that office and can’t be exposed to high concentrations of pigeon poo dust. John and Kurt are willing to do this in the winter. The two pest control reports showed mostly the worst spots and did not deliver an accurate representation of the work.
Property committee is finalizing the contract and the schedule of labor. John is predicting that the hallways will be closed as early as December. Work will begin in February. Deb noted that we should schedule a meeting with Eastman. Noise will be the only factor that will affect Eastman. All tenants at Christ Church should be notified about the construction.
The front door was fixed by John Fields.
Is it safe for John to go into the tower and clean it? Yes, John and Kurt are willing to do this in the winter. The two pest control reports showed mostly the worst spots and did not deliver an accurate representation of the work.
Apartment Update - Jim
Norm and Jim met with Steve Iaia in October, at which point Stephen presented a check of $1,000. Stevethen sent a plan for future payments and a proposal for how much the rent should increase. Steve owes the church $7,000 in arrears. Steve is aiming to move at the end of 2019 to move. Each $1,000 payment represents $500 towards arrears, and $500 towards rent. He asked that the Vestry consider raising the rent by 20% in January instead of the 50% increase that the Vestry had proposed. The Executive Committee has reviewed the proposal from Steve and he is awaiting our reply.
Repairs will need to be completed by the church upon Steve’s leave before it can be rented out to new tenants. Stephen has paid for maintenance in the past; members of the Vestry believe that we should do our due diligence to repair the space before he leaves.
The Vestry discussed a lease or signed contract to accompany the verbal proposal. From a legal perspective, we don’t have a written agreement right now and the tenant pays on a month-to-month basis. If we did write up a lease, he could legally be evicted. A month-to-month agreement does not allow us the leverage to evict.
Joe expressed a concern about the apartment’s compliance with code. We’re legally compliant because we’ve been grandfathered into the agreement. However, Joe furthermore expressed concern that the church is not a safe place to inhabit, and that as landlords it is our responsibility to ensure safety. Deb agreed that this concern is part of the big picture, but we should not focus on this element tonight. When Steve vacates the apartment, we can have a discussion about next steps for the apartment.
The Vestry discussed the logistics of how we would agree to Steve’s terms. Steve’s eviction would place his arrears payments in jeopardy. In terms of billing, Meg noted that Steve would need to set up his automatic payments on his side.
The Vestry then asked: what would the consequences be if a transfer was denied or didn’t go through? Potentially we could give him 30-days’ notice. The Vestry agreed that a contract should be assembled with a warning system if he payments are missed and language about eviction after 30 days late payment. Joe suggested a schedule of payments be written out. Norm would be responsible for actually writing the contract.
Val moved to approve a contract to be drawn up by Norm and presented to Stephen with a formal payment schedule and 30 days notice. Motion approved, with 1 nay vote.
Reports from Liaisons
Outreach – Peg
Vicki reported that it’s a very busy giving season with the giving tree and the raffle. Many events have worked out well including the remaining weddings and Paddy’s reception.
Bea said that RAIHN outreach has gone well with five new Christ Church volunteers.
Communication – Jeremy
Parish Life – Lucie
Peter has started visiting as part of the Care Team duties. Meg asked who would prepare 12th Night. Lessons and Carols is prepared by Parish Life. The Vestry discussed potential candidates to plan 12th Night. Deb expressed concern about involving Peter in the 12th Night arrangements. Stephen Kennedy should be consulted for who could be responsible for organizing Paddy Collins-Bohr could be asked to help.
Deb asked that people try to attend the Advent book study on three Thursdays at 7 p.m. starting Dec. 6.
Capital Campaign Report
Lucie reported that the event on November 10 went very well, and acknowledged all the people who worked so hard to pull it off, including Vicki and Joe McCutchon, Moses, Val, William, and Deb.
Fundraising will proceed with outreach to specific individuals who attended the event. Dan Meyers will be very helpful during this process. Also, Compline will be solicited in early December with an envelope. Further Compline solicitations will be considered as well.
Vicki thought we should think about making the church the size it was at the event every week. The church can look full that way and Compline could have chairs. This would allow us to do different events in the space.
Wardens’ Report - Deb
Vicki unilaterally decided there would be no weddings. Wedding income will disappear for the next two years. Stephen Kennedy makes $3,000 in honoraria from the weddings, and so does Moses. Deb proposed that the Vestry consider an annual bonus to Stephen and Moses to make up the gap. This will be put on the December agenda.
We are out of compliance because we were supposed to select people in November. We have three slots to fill all are three year terms. Peg, Meg, and Jeremy are rotating off; Jeremy has opted to take on a full term.
Cecelia Brerton has been an usher for 20+ years and is now retiring from her duties. A thank you card from the Vestry would be a nice touch. Deb will announce at annual meeting and Val will create an arrangement for her.
Paddy’s ordination will take place at Christ Church and it’s usually appropriate to give a gift of a stole to Paddy for his ordination. Deb and Meg will work on this.
Vestry on Call report – send VOC reports to entire Vestry prior to meeting
VoC from Carolyn were answered offline.
The Vestry discussed the front of the bulletin. Stephen asked for the musicians to be put back on, but not necessarily on the front page; the Vestry has not been put on and the priests-in-residence are not on again. All the names were put in the back for one week but they were lost due to editing issues.
There have been some complaints about the length of service as it relates to the quantity of music. Members of Vestry asked that a liturgy committee be instituted; but the Vestry also acknowledged the challenge of picking people to serve. Eric Mackey could start on that; Carolyn would like to be on it as well.
Action Items Review
- Kyle will inform Eastman about the wall construction.
- Kyle will get Bill Heaster’s contact info and make sure to get a schedule in advance of the construction
- Jim will contact Stephen to let him know we’re drawing up a written agreement; then Jim, Norm, and Exec. Com will meet to discuss
- Deb will ask Stephen Kennedy about 12th Night
- Deb will put the Stephen Kennedy bonus issue on the next agenda
- Deb will create a letter of thanks for Cecelia for the annual meeting; Val will create a arrangement for her to bring home.
- Deb and Kristy will work together on the bulletin; Val and Lucie will work on cover art
- Deb will announce that people should bring pledge cards by December 16
CLOSING PRAYER: Peg
Respectfully submitted by Lucie Parfitt, Clerk pro tem
Property Discussion: Lawn Street Wall Update
John Fields reported on several meetings with Bero Architecture and potential contractors.
The engineer would like to tear down the ceilings and examine what is there. That will mean access will be lost to the basement, first, and second floor hallways. Work could begin in February. Due to the nature of the work, windows in the hallway will look more boxed in. Also, hallways on all levels will necessarily be narrower. The Vestry should be prepared for a request for allocation of funds before the next meeting. The Vestry thanked John for all of his efforts.
Capital Campaign: Tom Foster, Nancy Norwood, and Dan Meyers have joined the committee.
Stewardship Report from Pru Kirkpatrick via Carolyn Mauro
• Announcement in church bulletin for a Stewardship Church Supper Saturday, November 17, 6:30pm. Sign up poster will be in the hallway. List two favorite hymns on sign upsheet. Sing a-long after dinner.
Property Discussion: Kyle reported. There is a bat problem in the sanctuary and sacristy. There is a pigeon problem in the bell tower. There is a very real health concern, in both instances, and aconcern about damage to the organs. Bell repair cannot be attended to, due to pigeon mess. There is also an aesthetics issue. Everyone agreed as to the urgency of remedying the current situation, as well as endeavoring toward a solution which will stand the test of time.
Kyle and John Fields have received estimates from exterminators, and are seeking more. The Vestry should be prepared to entertain a request for funding before the November meeting.
Finance Report: Report from the Treasurer
Income was about $270,700 and expenses were about $265,700 which resulted in a surplus of about $5000. The projected budget deficit was about $26,000. Incomeincreased by about $26,300 and expenses increased by about $27,700.
Report on RPD Security Visit: Meg presented a 9 page document entitled Assessment Completed by Crime Prevention Officer Vincent Agnone of the Rochester Police Department.
A group working on security, including Moses Roland, met with Officer Agnone. After inspection, Officer Agnone concluded the we are actually doing quite well in terms of security, but there are recommendations for improvements, especially in the areas of lighting; key access; blocking off access to areas where appropriate; and, practice in emergency preparedness.
Kyle will price out different key options ( i.e. key, keypad, swipe ).
Meg will see if the RPD officer is available to do a Sunday church security meeting for all interested.If so, Meg will get permission from Eastman to use the sanctuary for such a meeting.
Warden’s Report: Deb
The tree sculpture will be inspected by a qualified outside individual. If it passes inspection and is up and running by October 28, it will stay up until January 4.
Jim reported that he and Norm Geil, Treasurer, will be meeting with the tenant this week.
Respectfully submitted by Dave Jutsum, Clerk of the Vestry
The Christ Church Care Team is a volunteer ministry to help parishioners on a temporary basis as they recover from surgery, suffer the death of a loved one, are home bound or in the hospital, or need support due to another kind of loss or difficult transition. The Care Team assists parishioners in need with the following: shopping, meals, pet care, house help, phone calls to check in, and home and hospital visits. Please notify the Rector if you or someone you know could use Care Team support. [Care Team Leaders: Shirley Ricker, Norma Kurmis, Lydia Worboys, Peg Britt, Elizabeth Dugdale, Kyle Liddell and Jim Blake]