St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Vestry Meeting Minutes
June 21, 2023
The vestry met in Serson Hall at 6:30pm. Charlene Connolly was asked to take the meeting minutes. Briefly each vestry member chose a picture card which they used to reveal to the others a childhood memory. Fr. Tom shared a prayer from a Summer Solstice prayer collection.
Members Present: Fr. Tom Thoeni, Rector; Steve Carnell, Sr. Warden; Rich Shea, Jr. Warden; Nora Broszeit, Clerk; Peter Lund, viewing by zoom, Judy Martin, Lee Barron, Tom Connolly, Mary Lou Dogoloff, Carol O’Connell
Minutes of the May 10 vestry meeting will be approved at the July meeting.
New Treasurer: Fr. Tom reported that he interviewed Rose Porembo who has been attending St. Paul’s with her husband, Gary, since August 2022. At St. Paul’s Rose has been an altar guild member, a Farmer’s Market parker and a willing helper with event setups. Fr. Tom was pleased to report with her career employment that Rose is very qualified to become the treasurer of the parish. Rose is also known as Rosemary. Tom Connolly made a motion and Nora Broszeit seconded the motion. The vote to welcome Rose Porembo as Treasurer passed by acclamation.
Newest Staff Member: Carol O’Connell has been hired as St. Paul’s Church Administrator. Vestry joined Fr. Tom in welcoming Carol a second time since she is also one of the newest Vestry members.
Recovery of Pension Money: Discussion ensued about pension money paid out in error to previous employee. Fr. Tom to speak with Diocese about errors & omissions insurance.
Financial Services Update: Bill Lewis, an interim bookkeeper, prepared our April year to date financial report which was reviewed and discussed at this meeting. Bill continues to enter data to keep our reports current. The Diocese CFO, Mike Booher, will be rolling out accounting services for many churches in the diocese who need the service. This will be a cost savings for St. Paul’s. The diocese will also purchase software to project financial trends in churches.
Banking Options Report: Steve Carnell and Rich Shea researched two banks to replace Truist Bank formerly SunTrust. Bank of America has more locations but our cash deposits would need to be driven to the nearest location at Rattlesnake Hammock Rd. They will work with our ADP/Payroll system. The second bank is Centennial Bank with a deposit location on Airport Rd. The managers were helpful answering questions and offer flexible signature forms transmitted electronically.
Truist banking will be kept active until the end of the year to support any reports that our accountant will need. Another meeting is planned with Steve Carnell, Rich Shea, the counters, Rose Porembo, and Nora Broszeit. The July Vestry meeting will offer more information.
Holy Name of Jesus Congregation Report: Bishop Scharf, Fr. Tom and Steve Carnell met by zoom. They determined that our committee would draw up an agreement to help settle issues. Holy Name of Jesus emerged from the Church of the Resurrection startup mission from 2003 on Rt 41 East in Naples. Holy Name of Jesus asked to worship at 5pm Sundays at St. Paul’s. They were preparing to be a parish while using St. Paul’s as a place to grow their Creole speaking Episcopal congregation.
Hurricane Emergency Plan: For the safety and help of the congregation during hurricane season Fr. Tom and the Vestry will follow a written plan. Church services may be canceled by an email blast, shutters on our buildings may need to be added, housing may be offered by parishioners in advance and campus cleanup may need volunteers. Vestry names will be updated on the Emergency Plan. If wifi and power are interrupted the on call volunteer technician is Tom Connolly.
Goals for 2023
TurnKey Day Care: Discussion and research has continued by Peter Lund, as a Vestry member, to create a daycare in Serson Hall for 3- and 4-year-old children. Carol Bechtol has been a consultant to many churches to begin daycare centers. Carol said this neighborhood has lost centers in recent years. Another company hires the employees and furnishes the daycare center while our church becomes the landlord and lease holder. Our parishioners will need to be enthusiastic about the changes and funding of renovations to Serson Hall. Included are a backyard playground and larger refrigerators in our kitchen to accommodate the food routine for the children. Full renovations would cost St. Paul’s $150,000 to $200,000. There will be a dual use agreement regarding the kitchen and the space in Serson Hall when the daycare is finished each day. Unbothered in the renovation would be the Unique Boutique and the Courtyard Gift Shop. Twenty-five to thirty 3 and 4 year old children are expected to occupy the daycare center.
Fellowship Dinners: Father Tom reported the dinners will be returning monthly in Trinity Hall. Charlene Connolly will help gather volunteers to meet with Fr. Tom to set up plans.
Welcomers Committee: Lee Barron, Judy Allen and Carol O’Connell have continued to gather research from other churches for a plan to welcome our visitors when they introduce themselves during our services. This includes inviting them to coffee hour as well as a quarterly welcome meeting in the chapel after church.
E Naples Middle School Outreach: Fr. Tom will approach the middle school staff next door to St. Paul’s to offer ways our congregation could support the students.
Laundry Love: Rich Shea followed an outreach project started by St. Mark’s Church on Marco Island. A year ago Rich secured a grant from our Diocese for $2000.00 to help pay for individual’s personal use of washers and dryers at a local laundromat. Our parishioners have volunteered with Rich to spend 2 hours once a month with this project. Rich also has asked parishioners to donate quarters on Sunday mornings to add to his funds. Rich made a motion at the vestry meeting which was seconded by Judy Martin to apply for another $2000.00 grant. The vestry approved by acclamation.
The meeting closed with a prayer at 8:20 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Charlene Connolly
Acting Recording Secretary
Clerk of the Vestry