Vestry Minutes

April 12, 2016


Clergy: Rob Gieselmann, Brett Backus, Christopher Hogin, Amy Morehous

v: Tom Ladd, Sr. Warden; Andy Oakes, Jr. Warden; Leslie Beale; Mardel Fehrehbach; Tom Hale; Julie Hembree; Cole Lewis; 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

Business Review


The minutes of the March 2016 vestry meeting were presented and were unanimously approved.


Priest in Charge (copy of report attached): Rob thanked the clergy and staff for all their efforts during Holy Week and Easter. Everything went very well.

Andrew Morehead placed a video about Ascension on Facebook, and it was viewed over 12,000 times.

A $100,000 anonymous gift has been given to defray the cost of the HVAC system.

Rob stated that he was not sure that the vestry was aware that funerals at the church are free for members, but there are costs such as flowers and receptions that are incurred. We charge for weddings for members and non-members.

Rob reminded the vestry that they decided at the retreat to be more intentional about inviting guests to group activities in the church.

Rob said that Ascension has purchased a table for the Volunteer Ministry Center luncheon on April 20th and he asked for vestry members to sign up to attend.

Rob announced that Ascension has been asked to buy a table for the Family Justice Center celebration honoring parishioner Randy Nichols.

Sr. Warden: Tom Ladd announced that the “Mutual Ministry Review” for our Priest-in-Charge is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26. Canon Pat Grace from the Bishop’s staff will lead the review.

Finance Committee (copy of financial report attached): Mark Medley reported that there are no issues concerning the finances.

Andy Oakes and Matt Odom presented the Finance Committee’s report on replacing the HVAC system in the education area (copy of report attached). The $100,000 gift referenced above will be applied to the $242,000 cost. The balance will come from the line of credit. The Finance Committee recommends that the line of credit be refinanced and extended by another $300,000, although the additional line of credit may not be needed. Andy said that the plan is to pay off the debt quickly, perhaps with some targeted fund raising.

Ben McClanahan said that the only incentives were related to tax credits. There is no rebate money available. However, it is expected that the new HVAC system would provide up to 50% savings in energy costs.

Linda Hawley noted that the new HVAC system would solve much of the humidity problem on the first floor of the education wing. It will be necessary to remove some asbestos from the first floor. The cost of asbestos removal is included in the estimate.

The start date will be May 16, 2016.

The Finance Committee submitted the following motion for the vestry’s consideration:

“The Vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension hereby approves renovation of its Sunday School wing’s HVAC system (see attached project estimate), up to a cost of $250,000, to begin on May 16, 2016, to be monitored by the Priest-in-Charge, Parish Administrator, and such other as they may appoint.”

The vestry unanimously approved the above motion.

The Finance Committee recommended that Deacon Sarai Wender receive a $300 monthly stipend, retroactive to her start date, to defray her travel expenses. The recommendation was unanimously approved.

Administration (copy of report attached): Linda Hawley reported that a new alarm system will be installed.

Suzy Plank has accepted the position of Hospitality Coordinator.

Alan Wright will be the HVAC coordinator, assisted by Jane Phillips.

The painting of the exterior will begin soon.

Virginia Branum is the new part-time office assistant.

Ministry Review

Adult Formation (copy of report attached): Kristy Starks-Winn reported on the Adult Formation program. The goal of the classes led by laity during the last year was to build community among the various age groups in the church. The goal has been met in some groups and others are struggling. Some parishioners miss the large parish hall class, but the Thirtysomethings are thriving.

The committee met with Christopher Hogin and discussed some possible shifts to enliven the program for all the groups. The vestry discussed the suggested shifts.

Amy Morehous thanked the members of the Adult Formation Commission and is delighted with the parish’s willingness to change the adult Sunday School format.

New Business

Rob presented the Ascension Parochial Report for 2015. Upon a motion to accept the Report, it was unanimously approved.

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

Respectfully Submitted,

Janice Kell