Vestry Minutes

December 8, 2015



Clergy:  Fr. Rob Gieselmann, Fr. Brett Backus, Deacon Amy Morehous


v:  Tracy Edmundson, Sr. Warden; Tom Ladd, Jr. Warden; Mardel Fehrenbach; Monty Harris; Julie Hembree; Ellen Jenny; Maribeth Manoff; Katie McHargue: Andy Oakes; Matt Odom; Venice Peek; Jane Phillips; Mary Rayson; Alan Wright and newly elected members of the vestry Danny Harb; Cole Lewis; Ben McClanahan; Kristi Starks-Wynn


Ex officio:  Janice Kell, Clerk; Joe Vrba, Past Sr. Warden; Linda Hawley, Parish Administrator; Joe Johnston, Chair of the Finance Committee; Mark Medley, Finance Committee; Bert Ackerman, Endowment Committee


Business Review


  • Minutes

The minutes of the November 2015 vestry meeting were presented and unanimously approved.


  • Election of new officers

After a prayer for the new members of the vestry, Rob proposed the following slate of officers for 2016:

Senior Warden   — Tom Ladd

Junior Warden    — Andy Oakes

Treasurer  — Mark Medley

Clerk — Janice Kell


Julie Hembree moved to accept the proposed slate of officers.  Following a second of the motion, the officers were unanimously accepted.


Rob announced that Matt Odom accepted the position of Chair of the Finance Committee.


  • Reports (copies attached)
  • Priest in Charge: Rob reported that three candidates for the assistant priest position have been interviewed, and one more will be interviewed this week.


Rob asked the vestry to volunteer to make follow-up stewardship phone calls to families who pledged last year and have not yet pledged this year.


Linda Hawley is working on the budget and an early draft has been completed.  Rob hopes that they will be able to give the staff small pay raises this next year.


The Diocese has asked for a $214,000 donation from Ascension for next year, which is 12% of our operating budget.  Since there are some “pass throughs” in the operating budget that should not be considered part of the 12%, Rob suggested that we pay the diocese $198,000 next year.  Matt Odom moved to accept Rob’s recommendation, and following a second, the motion passed unanimously.


Rob reported that Ascension has received a large bequest — $513,500.  The issue of whether the bequest is to go the endowment fund or is free of encumbrances was referred to the Finance Committee.  If the bequest is not endowment funds, the Finance Committee will make recommendations as to the expenditure, investment or other use of the money.


  • Warden: Tracy Edmundson reported the vestry and staff Christmas party is at his house at 6:30 on Friday, December 11.


  • Treasurer and Finance Committee: Joe Johnston and Mark Medley reported that we are within $7000 of where we were last year and still expect December giving to erase the deficit. Joe and Mark both believe that Ascension’s finances are moving in the right direction.


  • Administration: Linda Hawley said that she had nothing to add to her written report.

New Business


  • Bert Ackerman submitted a list of proposed expenditures from the endowment (copy attached). Details of some of the items were discussed:
  • Bert explained that the $1000 to Family Promise Enrichment is for incidental expenses incurred by hosting the families.

The $1000 to Family Promise Corporate is to help a family in need of transportation since the loss of the mother.  Byron Moffatt is helping the two teenage sons.

The $1000 to Family Promise Corporate is for repairs to the roof of the Family Promise facility.

Finally, Bert explained that the Bishop wants to continue to support Amy Avery’s seminary studies since her discernment process occurred in this diocese.


Mary Rayson moved to approve the endowment expenditures, and following a second, the expenditures were unanimously approved.


  • Rob submitted the list of clergy housing allowances (copy attached) for vestry approval. Julie Hembree moved to accept the housing allowances, and following a second, the clergy housing allowances were unanimously accepted.


Ministry Review


Rob expressed his thoughts on service on the vestry as ministry using the Martha/Mary story from scripture.  Rob asked the outgoing vestry members, Tracy Edmundson, Monty Harris, Ellen Jenny, Katie McHargue and Alan Wright, to make some closing comments on their service.


There being no further old or new business, the vestry meeting was concluded with the Lord’s Prayer, and the December meeting of the vestry was adjourned.



Respectfully Submitted,


Janice Kell