Vestry Minutes

February 2, 2016



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


v:  Tom Ladd, Sr. Warden; Leslie Beal; Mardel Fehrenbach; Danny Harb; Tom Hale; Julie Hembree; Maribeth Manoff; Ben McClanahan; Matt Odom; Venice Peek; Jane Phillips; Mary Rayson; Kristy Starks-Winn


Ex officio:  Janice Kell, Clerk; Mark Medley, Treasurer; Linda Hawley, Parish Administrator; Tracy Edmundson, Past Sr. Warden


Business Review


  • Minutes

The minutes of the December 2015 vestry meeting were presented and with some corrections were unanimously approved.


  • Reports
  • Priest in Charge: Rob reported that Christopher Hogin has accepted the position of Assistant Rector and will begin on February 8, 2016.  He will preach on February 21, and there will be a welcoming reception following the 11:15 service that day.  The vestry will provide champagne for the reception.


Lesie Crowson, Mary Rayson and Barbara Craig have volunteered to coordinate food for the coffee hour following the 11:15 services.  They are looking for 50 parishioners to help with the food through the end of the summer.


Both Sabra Martin and Jim Wright have been on the staff at the Ascension for 30 years.  There was a discussion as to how to commemorate their service.


Rick Turner reported to Rob that the HVAC system for the Sunday School wing needs to be replaced.  It is expected that it will cost about $200,000.  Rick has asked for bids from providers.  At present there are no funds in the budget for this replacement and the matter was referred to the Building and Grounds Committee.


Rob announced the vestry liaisons to the various commissions.  They are as follows:

Ascension Cares         Jane Phillips

Building and Grounds  Ben McClanahan

Christian Formation     Kristy Starks-Winn

Endowment                 Venice Peek

Finance                       Matt Odom

Great Commission       Mary Rayson

Outreach/Mission        Leslie Beale

Parish Life                   Julie Hembree

Stewardship                 _______________

Strategic Planning       Tom Hale

Worship and Music      Maribeth Manoff

Youth                           Danny Harb


Rob announced that the Bishop has asked that Amy Morehous serve in a different parish as part of her studies to become a priest.  Her last Sunday at Ascension will be May 15, 2016.  The Bishop has assigned a new deacon, Sarai Wender, to serve at Ascension.


  • Warden: Tom Ladd reported that the average Sunday attendance is 475, down slightly from attendance a year ago (493).


  • Treasurer and Finance Committee: Mark Medley presented the latest financial report Committee (copy attached).


Matt Odom, chair of the Finance Committee, presented the proposed 2016 budget (copy attached).  The Committee is recommending a $30,000 short-fall budget, but expects no problems with the short fall based on the history of giving in the parish.  Upon motion and second, the 2016 budget was unanimously approved.


  • Administration (copy of report attached): Linda Hawley reported that TVA approved the grant for replacement of the lights, and the work should begin in about a week.


A new copier has been purchased and it is expected that it will save money.


As of March 1, 2016, the bookkeeper’s provisionary employment needs to be settled.



Ministry Review


Based on the discussion at the January vestry retreat (copy of notes attached) Rob asked, “How do we, as individuals, develop a culture of integration of our members into the various parish ministries?”

Various suggestions were:

  • Vestry attend the coffee hour and connect with new people
  • Be more invitational by moving to the center of the pews and inviting friends to services and fellowship activities
  • Ministry leaders be made aware of recruiting opportunities
  • “Ministry Moments”

Leslie Beal noted that we need to be careful to not push newcomers into ministries, but rather be “genuine welcomers.”


Rob stated that the 9:00 service has the capacity for growth and he would like to form a committee to look at the 9:00 service as a more welcoming place for young families and newcomers.  It was noted that music needs to be an integral part of that service.



New Business


  • The employment contract for Christopher Hogin (copy attached) was presented, and approved unanimously by the vestry. Also, his housing allowance was approved.


  • The Bishop has designated Maribeth Manoff as an aspirant to the priesthood and a discernment committee has been formed to examine her call. Kristy Starks-Winn will chair the committee.  Other members are Les Hargrove, Jennifer Moffatt, Will Deaderick, and representatives from St. Johns and Good Samaritan.  The vestry unanimously approved the committee.


  • The rental contract for the house Wilbur Templin and his family are living in was presented. Tom Hale pointed out that it was always intended that Mr. Templin would pay rent and it was decided that he will be charged $100 per month rent which will go into the building fund.  Maintenance of the inside will be Mr. Templin’s responsibility and the church will take care of the outside.  The vestry unanimously approved the rental contract..



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



Respectfully Submitted,


Janice Kell