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Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes

 

 

Bishop’s Committee Meeting
Sunday, February 20, 2021
Via Zoom

Joni Marginot
Kerie van Zejst
Dan Wonsowski
Tricia Seifert
Fr Mike Wallens

The meeting commenced at 12:56 p.m. with opening prayer.
Last month’s minutes, followed by the email vote to participate in grant applications, were circulated in advance. Joni moved to approve, Kerie seconded; the minutes were approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Dan Wonsowski reported: We are ahead of last year’s budget at this time, because of recently received donations in January from members and the White Harvest Trust.
Our expenses are down. P/L is at a good start for the year, and we are ahead of this time last year for balances.
Lisa Katz-Ricker from the Diocese helped Dan with the accounting software questions, so vicarage expense is now removed. Sub-accounts for designated gifts are now properly broken out both as asset and liability.
2020 giving letters, where addresses are known or sent, have been mailed. Some donations of $500 or less do not have addresses. If anyone needs a letter, Dan can provide if given the address; Fr. Mike can put a notice in the bulletin.
Tax forms, W-2 and 1099, are done Fr. Mike and Beth Kerzee for 2021.
Setting up payroll with ADP: Dan got contact information through the diocese. It will cost $25 dollars to set up, and $45 per month going forward. Others in diocese have encouraged us to go ahead with it based on their experiences.
We need BC committee approval to move forward with ADP, but first Dan will put Fr Mike and Susan W in touch with the ADP rep to answer questions; we can approve the expenditure at our next meeting.
Joni moved to approve the Treasurer’s report; seconded by Tricia — all approved.
Vicar’s report: feedback on Valentines packages was positive.
Deanery meeting this coming Saturday: Fr. Mike will attend and we members are invited.
Our BC retreat: we need to address the congregation that does not actually live here, how move forward with in person and distant attendees, revisioning the Church.
We agreed we would welcome all attendees and input.
April 17- Saturday was tentatively scheduled.
We need to individually come up with names for invitation to join the BC.
Diocesan Council has decided to give more money toward the curacy, to start the process this spring. There would be a meeting for the 5 churches in the Big Bend to define a job description, for the Bishop and Lee Curtis to review. Plan as of now is for the curate to be in place by June.
No specifics have been named for the contribution from St. Paul’s right now.
We have already budgeted $7800 for half of 2021 to contribute to the curate; Alpine will be expected to contribute as well.

Attendance in person was important feedback to annual meeting: Dan said that diocese is beginning to talk about opening up New Mexico for services.
We may need a second microphone on the reader’s podium because the reader is still hard to hear, or move the reader. Fr Mike will check with Lee Curtis to figure out how to tie in the mic.
Stewardship: letters were sent out; Joni will work on the second letter and the donation cards are ready at the printer. Joni should request an invoice and Dan will get it paid and reimburse all postage from church funds.
Question: we do not have Amazon account but we do have a tax ID number and could set up an Amazon account, to save sales tax. Fr Mike says we get a better price from Staples and other sources than Amazon for many supplies.
Joni will send a letter draft out for comment this week.
Next meeting is agreed to be on March 14, due to spring break the preceding week.
Meeting adjourned at 1:30 after closing prayer.

 

Minutes were approved on March 14, 2021.

s/
Tricia Seifert
Clerk

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Minutes of the Monthly Bishop’s Committee Meeting
Jan. 10, 2021

 

Present via Zoom:
Dan Wonsowski
Kerie van Zeijst
Fr. Mike Wallens
Joni Marginot
Tricia Seifert

The meeting commenced at 12:06 with opening prayer.

Minutes from last meeting were emailed today and will be approved by email this afternoon after everyone has had a chance to review them and offer corrections.
The December 2020 quarterly meeting minutes will also be sent out this afternoon so they can be published before the annual meeting.
Treasurer’s report: the amended proposed budget includes the annual church insurance expense of $3400, plus updates for the coming year stipend and housing for the Wallenses. To balance the budget, the stewardship and pledge needs have been increased by an additional $13K over last year. The budget assumes expenses that were projected before the pandemic affected operations, but reduced the accountant expense. Joni moved to approve as presented, Tricia seconded the motion. The 2021 annual budget passed unanimously.
Open items: Dan is working on the letters to parishioners for their contributions in 2020. Addresses may need updating. Joni offered to help with formatting in Word and sending out.
Kerie moved to accept the Treasure’s oral report; Joni seconded. It was approved
Vicar’s report.
Stewardship Committee: we need to work with Joni, who is heading this up, and Canon Curtis is willing to assist, and we need to invite others. Feb 17 through Easter were suggested by Fr Mike as the time frame, culminating in outdoor Easter service.
Or we could finish on Palm Sunday, using stewardship materials the diocese has made available.
An organizational meeting will be held on Tuesday at 7:30, Jan. 12. Fr Mike will send links to the diocesan materials.
Fr Mike and Susan met at the Sierra Blanca detention center and observed needs.
Separately, the Neighbor to Neighbor pilot program is in the process of discernment to see if this is something St Paul’s wants to become involved in.
At Sierra Blanca, the detainees, asylum seekers, may be there 3-12 months. Needs include religious services, prayer materials. If privatized detention centers are closed, future of the center is uncertain. They are also looking for pen pals.
Two schools in Dallas (St Mark’s and Hockaday) have students organizing to come in the summer to install sports courts for unaccompanied minors. We might be asked to feed them or provide other support.
Fr Mike and Susan are looking at doing packages at Valentine’s Day, a Sunday, for our members, to provide personalized contact. Tricia and Kerie offered to help.
The Fall Survey sponsored by the Episcopal Church Foundation renders us eligible for a free consult. We can discuss further at the stewardship meeting on Jan. 12 whether the consult should be done before the stewardship program gets going.
We need to encourage new members for the BC committee, and at least one more delegate for the Diocesan annual conference, perhaps through our phone list calls.
Old Business – we passed the budget
New Business: preparation for annual meeting.
Discussion on whether to delay lead to a consensus that delay would not assist expand participation during the uncertainties of the pandemic.
Votes only required for BC committee and delegates; the canons for the vestry don’t indicate what is required for minimum attendance to vote. As a BC, we have more flexibility. Kerie will send an email to Lee Curtis for clarification on minimum numbers of voters, if any.
Fr Mike reported that the diocese is working on a system to vote on line, which wmay be ready by the end of month.
Kerie will draft a letter to send out to the congregation as well.
We can send one in advance announcing what is up for discussion and how to participate.
We will send an email ballot afterward – voting could be open for a week after once we put the names together at the meeting of any new delegates and BC member candidates.
We will also call people to remind of meeting and encourage participation to adults confirmants and communicants. That list will be recipients of email survey as a ballot, with due date of following Sunday, Feb 7.
Feb 20th is a possible date for our BC retreat.
Fr Mike is trying to track down our by-laws from former BC wardens.
Kerie received an email from Camp and Conference Committee for the Diocese, inviting us to help create a curriculum for summer camps. There will be a Zoom meeting for interested persons. Kerie will attend the Zoom meeting and report back.
Dan moved to adjourn. Joni seconded. Following closing prayer, the meeting adjourned at 1:12 p.m.

Amendment to the Minutes: via email, the BC unanimously approved a motion by Kerie van Zeyst as follows:

A RESOLUTION of the Bishop’s Committee of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church authorizing the submittal of a grant application to The Potts-Sibley Foundation. Be it further resolved that the Bishop’s Committee of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church authorizes the Vicar, Michael Wallens, to sign all documents relating to The Potts-Sibley Foundation grant.

Approved: February 12, 2021

 

/s Tricia Seifert
Minutes with amendment approved on Feb. 21, 2021 by the BC.
/s Tricia Seifert

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, Texas

Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting

Dec. 13, 2020

 

Via Zoom:

Present:

Mike and Susan Wallens

Nancy Antrim

Sheri ______

Kerie van Zeijst

Tricia Seifert

Chuck Hummel
Dan Wosnowski

Joni Marginot

Kay and Walt Jennings

Beth Kerzee

Pamela Cook

The Meeting was called to order at 12:14 and Fr. Mike led opening prayer.  

Bible study led by Fr Mike focused on Ecclesiastes and reflections of Ted Loder.  People shared words of the scripture and prayer that struck them as meaningful and relevant.

Next, participants were invited to share how they were doing with both Facebook access to worship and Zoom meetings. Kerie invited comments on how these are working; overall the remarks were positive.

Proposed Budget Discussion: Kerie explained that the Bishop’s Committee (BC), per the Diocesan requirements, was to put a budget together and pass it, so that there is not a vote at the annual meeting next month. We have drafted one for everyone to give input on and provide transparency.  Dan presented the work so far:

Plate collections and Givers of Record reflected that non-earmarked funds were down about 15%.

Designated for Operations, i.e. what the Diocese sends, will be held steady for 2021.

For 2021, we are being conservative; we are anticipating the economy will not be great. While we have held on during the pandemic, the BC has shrunk, so we’ve not done stewardship as we’d hoped; so we are adding Stewardship in 2021 to bring in additional funds; our goal is set below 2019 actual collections.

Expenses saved from the Diocesan takeover of the vicarage were significant and helped us break even for 2020.

Projected expenses in 2021 are anticipated to be on par with the 2020 anticipated expenses, before the virus.

Fair share payment to the Diocese is down in 2020 due to collections being down.

Line item for the curate: we anticipated in 2020, pre-pandemic, that the amount would be $1300 per month; we will keep this line  item in 2021, as the discussion about hiring the curate is ongoing.

We increased the utilities for 2021 because we hope to be in the building more.

This leaves us projected to balance.

Dan invited comments in the meeting, on  line in the chat, or after the meeting. No comments were made.

Stewardship program in 2021. The BC participated in an evaluative survey earlier in the year, and sustainability was a point that emerged.The Diocese has a program we will be using for stewardship in 2021. We will discuss this at the annual meeting in 2021.

Committees and Delegates.  Kerie encouraged people to volunteer to participate in the committees, including the BC,  Stewardship, and diocesan annual meeting delegates.  

Question and  comments were invited. With none, we moved on to Fr. Mike’s report.

Vicar’s report.

Fr. Mike noted how St Paul’s has adapted to despite the pandemic’s limits on in-person gathering. We accomplished:

Drive through the school supply;

Thanksgiving box distribution;

Blanket drive for the border;

Discretionary funds supported local family needs, such as beds for children in Alpine;

Continued and appreciated  food collections for the pantry.

Behind the scenes, we’ve been working with St. Christiana Jesus, a Latino church in Marfa, and we’ll host a dialog with that church on Zoom regarding what it’s like to be Latino in Marfa, as 70-80 percent of people in the Big Bend are Latino.

Blackwell School was the Latino school here until around 1965 — by talking with folks on the board,  created conversation about the gaps. There is a coloring book that was created with the Blackwell School, called Camillia’s First Day.

Fr. Mike explained we are down in numbers on the BC.  Allison Scott’s husband Rudy is diagnosed with ALS, and she has resigned to take care of him.

The curate program is under diocesan discussion. There will be a meeting of the Big Bend churches to discuss contributions. It’s a priority of the Bishop and the Diocese. Funding is under discussion as this is an important program that, the long run, will help all the churches grow.

Fr. Mike and Kerie invited questions or concerns.

Joni asked for more info about the blanket program, such as where they were being distributed. Kerie responded that many went to Deming, NM, and Ojinaga. Kerie will be seeking more donations for purchases. Fr Mike shared pictures of blankets distributed, including with help from a church in Virginia. Some of the borderlands funds also go to help food purchases at shelters in and outside of Ojinaga. Dan explained that all funds designated for blankets have been used for blankets. Joni expressed appreciation for how hands on and expanded the program is.

Fr Mike expressed appreciation for the BC making these programs happen and function smoothly. Members of the BC thanked Fr. Mike and Susan Wallens for their planning that made it possible

Following closing prayer, the meeting  adjourned at 1:03.  

 

Submitted by Tricia Seifert.

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Bishop’s Committee Meeting
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020

Via Zoom

Present: Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Kerie van Zeyst, Fr. Mike Wallens, Tricia Seifert

Acting Bishop’s Warden, Kerie van Zeyst

Interim secretary, Tricia Seifert

Meeting was commenced at 12:10 with opening prayer.  

Minutes from the meeting of Nov 16: Move to accept: Dan W, seconded by  Joni, unanimously approved.

Dan presented the Treasurer’s report.

The profit and loss statement through Dec 5, 2020 reflected no significant changes except money in is down. While the P/L showed we are down 38K  is probably including earmarked money so we are closer to $16K down in income.  

But we are also down $20K in expenses, mostly regarding the vicarage.

Any follow up questions may be sent to Dan during the week.

Balance Sheet: Unrestricted funds are primarily operating funds; those are down 2.5%, but there is a fair amount left in the evangelism grant.

Fr Mike explained we were already granted an extension for the grant, and when the curate comes on, that evangelism grant will go toward his/her work

Still have reserves despite being down from last year, so we are managing despite the pandemic.

The  $1000 back from the Diocese will go into operating funds

Kerie moved to accept, Joni, seconded; the treasurer’s report was unanimously approved.  

Vicar’s report

A meeting will happen in December with all Big Bend churches regarding the potential curate; diocese is receiving applicant inquiries already, and there may be a curate in place at the vicarage in Marfa as soon as January 2021.  Fr Mike is meeting with Lee Curtis  and others to talk about how the curate will be funded.

Longest Night service will be done virtually on Dec. 22nd.

Lessons and Carols: recordings are already underway, music is being worked on;  Hogan and Moss will record for us this week.  

Dec. 13, the National Church Episcopal Migration in Ministry is putting on a vigil at 6 pm and Nick _____  is playing guitar; the  bilingual youth group students may do some readings.  

Fr. Mike answered questions from the committee: currently we know of no need to ready the curate’s house, when we have a firm date we can determine if our help is needed. The artwork and furniture in the house were previously donated

Old Business

Quarterly annual meeting agenda is underway with Kerie and Fr. Mike.

We will invite input on the budget and explain the budget will be passed by the BC per Diocesan rules and presented to the whole at the annual meeting in 2020

We will solicit consideration of new participants on all committees.

The BC will call the members on our list so everyone knows about it and to offer technical help to connect. Members from Allison Scott’s list were reassigned for contact.

A summary of P/L should be ready to present.

Treasurer: Dan is willing to stay on and is willing to stay on the Bishop’s Committee

The possibility of a retreat for the BC was discussed, to be conducted, if done, before the annual meeting for 2021, which is likely to be on Jan 31.  Fr Mike proposed doing a retreat after any new members comes on after the annual meeting, so Feb. retreat date would work. No  decision at this time was made on the retreat.

Budget underway

Dan presented a draft for feedback before he finished for presentation next week.

The budget does not include every detail of the P/L, but touches on recurring expenses we can anticipate.

DW: need to adjust plate donations down, and proposed 100K which is above what we’ve collected, and to cut the expected plate in half

Designations for operations is amount the diocese provides back to us.

We don’t know what the amount will be, currently $583.00 a month

Borderlands funds are earmarked.

Dan will keep the expenses budgeted as the same as 2020 budget.

Travel budget has been low this year in actuality just because we have not had retreats and in person convention.

The St Paul’s 10145 fund is where we draw our Good Works fund; it is not the same as the discretionary fund.

The Books and Publications budget will be reduced to reflect closer to actual

He will reduce the fair share to reflect our expected income, to come down to 14.5 percent of the 100K budgeted. /office supplies need to come up to meet what actuals have been.

Curate cost? We don’t’ know what the expectation will be, but Fr Mike suggested we keep the line item there

Accountant: we budgeted 4500 but unlikely to need this year.

Vicar package will be adjusted to reflect last month’s vote for bonus and pay a raise

Vicarage expenses will go to zero

Utilities we will leave as budgeted in anticipation we will return to Normal at some point.

Line 41400 includes money given that is earmarked to particular projects, that’s large — like $25K to the Borderlands, these got to DIK so it’s not commingled with our plate.   

Dan will set up four columns to share with the parish: 2019 actual, 2020 proposed; 2020 Actual;  2021 Proposed,  and transmit ahead.

Before concluding, Joni reported the food bank in Marfa was very thankful for the delivery of our Thanksgiving leftovers and donations. Also, Joni volunteered to take over the scheduling of readers.

Dan moved to adjourn, Joni seconded.  

Need someone to take over Allison’s role fo scheduling reader.  Joni will take on the scheduling for readers. Tricia will read next week. Fr Mike will send the excel to the Joni.  

The meeting concluded at approximately 1:30.

Submitted by Tricia Seifert.

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX

Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – November 15th 2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Dan Wonsowski, Joni Marginot, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:05PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the October Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie.  Dan made a motion to accept.  Joni seconded the motion.  Passed.

Treasurers Report –

1. Dan explained to us that he was looking into a Payroll program and into inventory of our larger items, as suggested by the Diocese during the audit.

2. Comparing our finances to last year at this time, Dan explained to us that we are $17,000 down in general operations income this year but that we are also $17,000 down in expenses, largely due to not having the vicerage.

3. Dan said that the account balances are $6000 down from this time last year and that for an odd year we are doing okay overall, as we have good reserves from previous years if we do need to use them.

4.  Dan announced that we voted to give Fr. Mike a pay raise.  We will be giving him a $2000 Christmas bonus to account for not giving him a raise in 2020 and will be increasing him to $39,000 for 2021, between pay & housing stipend.  Together this would account for a 3% pay raise for each year, 2020 and 2021.

5. Dan informed us that he is still attending the Diocese finance meetings every 2 weeks and that the Diocese has given us $1000, it is money that they have not used for travel this year, so are now distributing it to the churchs in the Diocese.

6.  He said that we needed to start working on the 2021 budget and we agreed to work this into our December Bishops Committee Meeting.

Patricia made a motion to accept the Treasurers report.  Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –

1. Fr. Mike started with asking us all how we were doing.  Everyone seemed to be healthy and happy but concerned with the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.  He reported to us that he had used money from his discretionary fund to buy 2 kids in Alpine beds that did not have any, to pay a water bill for a family in need and to provide groceries for a family in need.

3. Fr. Mike said that a delivery of blankets had been taken to the shelter in Ojinaga and that they were very appreciative.

4. He explained that the shelters are in need, especially as they have 50,000 children about to be released from detention within Mexico, that will be heading to the shelters.

Old Business –

1.  We discussed when to have the final Quarterly Annual Meeting of 2020.  It was decided that we will move our next Bishops Committee Meeting to the first Sunday in December, so that the second Sunday in December we can hold the Quarterly Annual Meeting – and it would not be too close to Christmas this way.

2. We discussed the Stewardship Program and that it would be best to start in early 2021.

3.  We discussed Thanksgiving.  We decided to meet the Saturday before Thanksgiving at 2PM to prepare boxes for Sunday.  Then Sunday we will add in the frozen and refrigerated items and hand out the boxes to families in need.  Fr. Mike is working on getting the contact information for the families so that we can coordinate getting them the groceries. Patricia is doing the shopping for the groceries needed.

New Business –
1.  Fr. Mike informed us that both Thanksgiving Worship, The Longest Night Service and Christmas Eve Lessons & Carols will be live streamed.  For Christmas Eve people will be reading lessons from their location and Hogan and Moss will record.  Then it will all be put together with the live service.

2. Fr. Mike said that the Marfa Ministerial Alliance will also be doing a Lessons & Carols broadcast from the Presbyterian church.  It will be on December 13th at 2pm and that all of the churches are welcome to participate.

3.  Fr. Mike said that December 13th was also a national day of prayer for immigration.

4.  We discussed the ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’ program that Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Rio Grande Diocese and the Diocese of Massachusetts will be collaborating on. December 5th is a Zoom meeting about the program.

5. Fr. Mike asked us if we wanted to do a retreat this year, as it would have to be via Zoom. We decided to think about it.

6. We discussed Allison stepping down from the Bishop’s Committee and how much she will be missed.  It was decided that Kerie will transition to acting Bishop’s Warden and that Patricia will transition to Secretary of the Bishop’s Committee for the present.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:45pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX

Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – October 11th 2020

 

Attending:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:08PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the September Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie.  Patricia made a motion to accept.  Allison seconded the motion.  Passed.

Treasurers Report –
We discussed all Audit committee findings:

– Housing Resolutions must be dated and approved by the Bishop’s Committee, noted in that month’s minutes, prior to the first payroll of the fiscal year.

– Complete inventory list needed.

– Annual budgets should be presented in December, and approved in January by the Bishop’s Committee before the first payroll of the fiscal year.

– Back up of financial information should not be kept only at Treasurer’s home. Audit committee recommends uploading quickbooks back up to the cloud, like Google cloud, as an inexpensive alternative.

– Monthly reconciliations of our bank accounts to Quickbooks should be done by a separate BC member.

– Oversight and separation of Treasurer’s duties – Checks should be signed by someone other than the person that cuts the checks. In other words, if the treasurer cuts the check, someone else on the BC should be an approved signer and do the check signing. Deposits should be checked by two people to count the weekly contributions, and the deposit made by a third person who is not the treasurer.

– Father Mike should give monthly report on Good Works fund, no names or identifying information should be used to protect privacy. This would be a high level reporting at the BC meeting, like “$200 assistance paying bills, $50 meals, $100 to other missions”, etc.

– Payroll can be done by an outside party like ADP to ensure proper withholding and timely reporting to the IRS

– Audit committee recommends opening a third checking account for restricted accounts – Borderland, Columbarium, Memorial, Building funds, etc. This keeps the restricted funds separate in reporting, so that balances and transactions more accurately reflect what is coming in and going out of our unrestricted funds only.

– Complete facility use agreement.

Kerie made a motion to accept the report. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –

1. Father Mike requested that we sponsor an Asylum Seeker. This would be someone released from detention that we could help get to immediate safety and then help to transition to their final destination, usually where they would meet up with family. We have at least 3 housing options avaliable to temporarily house the sponsored person and we would most likely be working with a partner church (at their final destination).  Father Mike is also currently going through training on this.  We all agreed that it was important for St.Pauls to be a sponsor.  This is also something that we could look to Episcopal Migration Ministries as a resource on.

2. Father Mike told us that he and Ernesto Zubia had begun a discussion on racism in the Big Bend area.  He is trying to set up a day for members of Ernestos church and St. Pauls to start a discussion on racism within the next few weeks.

3. We discussed the ‘Faith in Blue’ program that St. Pauls is participating in.  Border Patrol is currently filming, with agents that volunteer, to discuss what it’s like to be a Border Patrol agent and how their faith is intertwined with what the do and how they do it.

Old Business –

1. We’ve discussed using the Diocesan Stewardship Program at St. Pauls this year.  It is a variation to account for COVID times.  Allison made a motion to accept using the program.  Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

2. Thanksgiving was discussed. It will be to go meals only. Though we may need to have a few socially distanced tables on the lawn for out if town visitors who are stuck without a place to go.

New Business –

1. We discussed the Congregational Vitaliy Assessment results.  We agreed that we were all on the same page as what was shown in the results.  Stewardship was discussed as an essential part of the Internal Stability section.

2. We discussed doing a scheduled rotation of pre-worship cleaning, ushering, reading, post-church cleaning and financial reconciliation.  Allison said that she would make a form for us to sign up on.

3. We discussed talking to the Diocese about possibly using the Vicarage as another location to help sponsored individuals released from detention, as they have not have it rented it out yet.

4. With the COVID-19 infection rate possibly increasing in our area, we discussed what we needed to do as per keeping our congregation safe.  It was discussed that if there are more than 15 active cases in the tri-county area that it may be best to go back to online only worship.  Unless the majority of cases were far away from us, such as primarily confinded to Big Bend National Park or Valentine, etc.  Kerie will be sending out the local statistics to the Bishops Committee every Thursday and we will decide every Friday if we will have in-person Worship or online only Worship that following Sunday.

5. We discussed how to do Christmas / Lessons & Carols this year.  Hogan & Moss have been contacted and would like to participate remotely.  A few ideas were discussed such as live streaming and compiling pre-recorded readings for the event.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:12pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – September 13th 2020

 

Attending: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski and Kerie van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:15PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the August Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie. Dan made a motion to accept. Joni seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report –
Dan explained the Treasurers report. He explained how we were doing financially at this time last year compared to this time this year. He said that plate giving overall was down about 10% compared to last
August and that PayPal donations were about the same as last month. He said that expenses were down around $17,000 compared to last year, primarily because of the Vicarage expenses being gone. Dan explained that we do have reserves if we were to need them and that he continued to attend the Diocese financial meetings every 2 weeks. Kerie made a motion to accept the Treasurers report. Joni seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –
1. Father Mike informed us that on October 4th that there would be a Diocese meeting on a Stewardship program. If we choose to after that meeting, then October 18th – November 15th would be when the program would take place.

2. Father Mike asked us how we felt the first in-person service since the pandemic shutdown went. We agreed that it went very smoothly in person and that the audio visual presentation online was working great with the new equipment. It was discussed that every open pew was occupied and that next Sunday we may need to seat people closer, for example two people from different households at opposite ends but in the same pew.

3. Father Mike explained to us that the Border Summit was cancelled in San Diego this year, that it will be a virtual Summit instead due to the pandemic.

4. Father Mike told us that we are now in the southwest Deanery, which he had requested. He also informed us that the Diocese had decided to sell the Bosque Center and keep Bishops Ridge…as it would be kept because Youth Ministry was one of the top priorities of the Diocese and Camp Stony is held at Bishops Ridge. He also said that the local Pisano Baptist Encampment had offered to let us use their facilities for youth camps in the future.

5. Father Mike said that the Diocesan staff offices would be moved to the Cathedral and that the staff would be split so that half of the staff would work specifically on building up churches within the Diocese.

6. Father Mike said that the Diocese was in the process of renting out the Vicarage to a private resident and that in the future we may be getting a Missionary instead of a Curate, as now the National Church was sending Missionaries within the United States. We have applied for the program and if we do get a Missionary the National Church would pay for it.

7. Father Mike explained that he would be attending a virtual Clergy Retreat this coming Tuesday through Friday.

8. Father Mike explained that he had been in touch with a lawyer from KIND (Kids In Need of Defense). They help support children in a variety of ways such as getting them to safety and legal defense. He said that we hope to host a community conference with her in a few weeks.

9. Father Mike announced to us that St. James in Alpine was taking a break for a few months to reform and reopen. He asked that Dan sign on the St. James accounts until it reforms and he agreed to do so.

10. Father Mike mentioned that the Bishop has asked the churches in the Diocese if they would like to participate in the ‘Faith in Blue’ program. It is a way of showing that we have faith in law enforcement. Each church can choose to participate or not and in any way that they choose, be it parades, conversations or activities of any type. We discussed that when invited to participate in an event that brings community together, that we should. A lawn Meet & Greet with law enforcement and the community was one idea thrown out. Father Mike agreed to contact all of the local law enforcement agencies to ask if they were willing or able to participate and we agreed to go from there.

Old Business –
1. Dedie will be returning to church in the 27th and we will discuss Thanksgiving with her then. Allison said that she had talked to people in the mean time that had offered to order any to-go containers needed as well as smoking turkeys for us!

2. Bob will be meeting with an electrician about the electric this coming week.

New Business –
1. We discussed Stewardship. Dan said that the Diocese had a program that we could follow all or any parts of it if we decided to. That they would help us to do so. That there would be a meeting about it on September 20th. If we did decide to accept their help it would help to raise money for St.Paul’s only – none of the money raised through this program, if we choose to participate, would go to the Diocese.

2. We discussed other ways of approaching Stewardship including possibilities of an online form, pledge cards and a special series of newsletters.

3. We discussed the upcoming Drive-by ‘Blessing of the Animals’ on August 4th from 4pm to 5pm. Joni will make pet treat bags. Allison will make cookies for the people. Kerie has flyers arriving this week.

4. Kerie asked to place Tamara Nelson in the St.Paul’s Columbarium. She was a Confirmand and member of St.James and her ashes have been in the St. James Ambry for over 7 years, since her funeral. Her family has not wanted her back. Father Mike said that he would find out if St. James had a fund that could pay for her plaque. Kerie offered to pay for any costs associated with the interment if they did not. Dan made a motion accept. Allison seconded the motion. Passed.

Closing Prayer – The Lords Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:15pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – August 9th 2020

 

Attending via Zoom: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:00PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the July Bishops Committee Meeting and Special Meetings were submitted by Kerie. Dan made a motion to accept. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report –
Dan explained the Treasurers report. He explained how we were doing financially at this time last year compared to this time this year. He said that plate giving and PayPal donations are down from last July. A lot of July donations we earmarked specifically for the School Supply & Ice Cream Giveaway. Dan explained that we have a lot of reserves if we were to ever need them. it was discussed that perhaps we should send out letters to our members about Stewardship. He said that the audit process was about to begin and that the Diocese was helping. Allison made a motion to accept the report. Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –
1. Father Mike informed us that next week he would be attending a week long Latino Intensive Workshop.

2. Father Mike said that the new plants that Janelle had put near the Columbarium needed to be watered twice this week, as she is out of town and he is unable to do so because he will be at the Workshop all next week. Joni said that she and Scott would take care of it.

Old Business –
1. We discussed re-opening on September 13th, under specific safety protocols, if there was not a rise in cases at that time.

2. It was announced that Scott has been working on the windows and now all but one open!

3. Bob will be meeting with an electrician about the electric to the organ.

New Business –
1. Dan mentioned that on the Prayer Wall a neighbor mentioned our Pine Tree needles shedding into their yard. Allison volunteered to go talk to them and see what exactly is happening and what we can do to prevent it in the future.

2. We discussed getting a better camera and microphone so that we will be able to continue to live stream at a better quality after we resume in-person services. Allison was going to reach out to Canon Lee Curtis about the system that the Diocese is recommending. This equipment will be put in the ‘Opportunities for Giving’ section of the newsletter.

3. The Diocese parking lot vote will be held on September 19th, in order to approve a virtual convention. With convention set for October 29th, 30th and 31st. The Diocesan Convention delegates are Joni and Dedie with Martha Stafford as alternate. Allison will be there as Bishop’s Warden.

4. We have set the Blessing of the Animals for October 4th from 4:00-5:00PM. It will be a drive by / ride-by event. Kerie will produce a flyer for the event and Joni will get the event out in to the newspaper and radio.

5. We discussed how to do Thanksgiving this year. Ideas were brought up that included drive-by plates to pick up. Socially distanced reservations on the lawn. Phone in and online orders. Using non-Styrofoam containers and meal delivery. As well as preparing all of the plates the same and a pre-wrapped dessert table. We will come back to this next month, as we continue to observe the status of COVID-19.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:05pm

 

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX

Special Meeting with Bishop Hunn

in Lieu of our second ‘Quarterly Annual Meeting’

July 19, 2020 – Summary

 

Held via Zoom – at NOON

Bishop Hunn began by asking us three questions:

  1. What do we think is working well at/for St. Paul’s right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?
  2. What are the challenges for St. Paul’s right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?
  3. Do we have any questions for him?

In an open discussion we went from person to person and each addressed and discussed the following:

What is going well?

– Live-steamed Worship reaching beyond our local community.

– Using outdoor space, such as the upcoming drive-by school supply giveaway

– Staying closer to far away family by being able to Worship with them online

– Facebook building our presence in our community and beyond

– PayPal donations are doing well

– Being thrown into the tech learning curve and making it work

– The online book study

– Have made new connections with people all over the world

– Continued support of one another

 

What are our challenges?

– No in person connections

– Confusion over the evolving COVID-19 statistics, asymptomatic, means of transmission

– Miss togetherness

– Miss physical contact – sharing the peace, handshakes and hugs

– Technology challenges, finding it hard to stay in touch with non-tech people

– How long will it last?

– The unknown.

– Miss eating together!  Potlucks and coffee hour

 

Questions for Bishop Hunn?

– How to stay positive in a time with such challenges and negativity of COVID and recession all over the news.  He suggests a balance between news and Good News (Scripture and Prayer)

– What building he was in – and he gave us a tour of his Adobe Chapel that he and his family build at their home.

– When would Nancy be ordained?  As soon as it is safe to do so and probably in El Paso.

 

Bishop Hunn discussed our phased approach to re-opening.  That right now we are still in a learning phase..  That if the curve flattened that we will enter Phase 2 which is expected to last 18- 24 months.  Then Phase 3 when things would return to the new normal.

Bishop Hunn discussed that for now the most important thing to do is to continue what we are already doing, striving to do it even better.

Bishop Hunn discussed that he had inquired into how often Clergy should be tested for COVID-19 and was told by health authorities that better than testing would to proceed with extreme caution – as if assuming everyone was positive.

Bishop Hunn discussed that there would be an upcoming parking lot vote to allow us to have a virtual convention this year, as we would not be able to be physically together yet must still make some official decisions.

We expressed that we were grateful that the Diocese had taken over the Vicarage when they did, as it has allowed up to be financially stable.

Bishop Hunn said that possibly we could get a Curate next year.

 

Meeting ended at 1:08PM

 

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

——————————————

Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX

Special Bishops Committee Meeting with Bishop Hunn Minutes – July 17, 2020

 

Attending via Zoom: Bishop Michael Hunn, Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 7:00PM

Opening Prayer – Bishop Hunn

Bishop Hunn began by asking us three questions:

  1. What do we think is working well at/for St. Paul’s right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?
  2. What are the challenges for St. Paul’s right now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?
  3. Do we have any questions for him?

 

In an open discussion we each addressed and discussed the following:

What is going well?

– Zoom meetings

– Collecting food for the food bank

– Volunteers helping those in need that are unable to get out

– The Prayer Wall

– Streaming Services

– Greater online presence in the community

– PayPal online donations

– Digital Ministry

– Flexibility

– The Zoom Book Study

– The e-bulletins

 

What are our challenges?

– How to plan for the future, when we do not know when a vaccine will available

– The uncertainly of finances if this situation goes on long term

– Re-opening safely to protect our congregation in every way possible

– Keeping a sense of community interaction while we are not have services

– Staying connected with our members who do not use technology

– A sound system for long-term streaming of services

– How long we can go with no interpersonal contact

– Keeping hope alive for returning to normality

 

Questions for Bishop Hunn?

– We discussed long distance Confirmation

– We asked how he was doing through all of this

– We asked what innovative ideas other churches were coming up with

– We discussed the Bishops upcoming virtual visit

 

Bishop Hunn discussed the upcoming program – Doctrine of Discovery – that will discuss Native Americans and how the Episcopal church can get involved.

Bishop Hunn discussed exploring the possibility of a Diocese wide study group.

Bishop Hunn discussed that there would be an upcoming parking lot vote to allow us to have a virtual convention this yea, as we would not be able to be physically together yet must still make some official decisions.

Bishop Hunn discussed that the Diocese may not be on track for a long term recession.

We invited Bishop Hunn back for more Bishop’s Committee meetings.

Father Mike explained that even under the restrictions that we have been able to conduct one wedding, properly socially distanced at St. Paul’s and that we have also done one interment in the St.Paul’s Columbarium.

 

Closing Prayer

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:26PM

 

 

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

——————————————

Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – July 12th 2020

 

Attending via Zoom: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:00PM
Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the June Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie. Joni made a motion to accept. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report –
As Dan was unable to attend the meeting, he sent out the financial reports via email to us earlier in the week. He explained that we were financially stable and very close to where we were at this time last year on donations. Patricia made a motion to accept the report. Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –

1. Father Mike informed us that instead of the $10,000 going to the sports complex, that it was requested to be used for 5 families instead. We unanimously agreed that this was okay with us.

2. Father Mike informed us that he will be part of a team within the Episcopal Migration Ministries that will be doing Virtual Legislative meetings with members of congress this coming Wednesday and Thursday.

Old Business –

1. The school supply & ice cream giveaway. Allison read to us what school supplies were ordered and we discussed how much ice cream we should get. Kerie said that the flyers had shipped from the printer and tyat the event would be posted on social media. We agreed that six volunteers are that Saturday to pack backpacks with supplies and six volunteers on Sunday are needed to hand out the school supplies and ice cream.

2. Allison discussed what the building committee needed to be done to fix the windows that do not open and the electrical repairs.

3. We discussed the re-opening plan and getting the cleaning checklist written up. Patricia said that she will be putting the cleaning checklist together this week.

New Business –

1. We discussed the Bishops upcoming visit. Kerie will be in contact with Canon Lee Curtis to work out the technical details.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 12:35pm

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – June 14th 2020

 

Attending via Zoom: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:05PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from both the May Bishops Committee Meeting and 4 special meetings in May and early June were submitted by Kerie. Patricia made a motion to accept all Minutes. Dan seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report –
1. Dan explained the balance sheet and the profit and loss sheet. He explained that the expenses were up slightly due to some repairs that were paid off.
2. Dan explained that our money coming in is about the same and we are good on reserves.
3. Dan told us that the online donations were continuing to do well and that we are continuing to get donations mailed in as well.
4. Dan told us that were financially stable and the he continues to attend the financial meetings with the Diocese every other week.
Kerie made a motion to accept the report. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –
1. Father Mike informed us that there would be a masked wedding held at St. Paul’s this coming Saturday. He said that Bishop Hunn had okayed this and that there would be 8 in attendance, socially distanced.
2. Father Mike informed us that he will be attending a virtual workshop on Latino Studies in August. The cost is $250 and it is expected that the Diocese will pay 1/3 of the cost, the he will pay 1/3 of the cost and that St. Paul’s would pay for 1/3 of the cost from the continuing education funds.
3. Father Mike and 2 other Priests in the Diocese were asked to put together a workshop on issues surrounding racism.

Old Business –
1. We discussed that we have not heard back from the Diocese about approval or a discussion needed on our Phase 2 workbook that we submitted earlier in the week.
2. We discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in the area and that depending upon the results that come in from this weeks area testing that we may need to re-evaluate an opening date.

New Business –
1. Allison said that a Building Committee Meeting needs to be planned, as we must get the three windows that do not open to open before we resume services. We also need some electrical work done near the organ.
2. We had a discussion about how, where and if we should hold the Ice Cream Social and school supplies giveaway this year. Allison is going to find out more information about when the school year may begin and what restrictions / special rules may be in place due to COVID-19. We unanimously agreed that with unemployment at a very high rate in the area that it is very important to get supplies out to those in need. Ideas of driving up to pickup the school supplies and / or to-go packaged ice cream, dropping supplies off directly at the school or making packs of supplies were all ideas that are being considered.
3. We discussed the ‘Blessing of the Animals’ on October 4th possibly being a drive by event with pre-packaged pet treat bags.

4. We discussed Thanksgiving dinner in November and possibly doing to-go orders only. We decided to keep this in mind and see what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic between now and the before making any decisions.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 12:55pm

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

Electronic Vote Addendum

Father Mike asked for a vote to send $10,000 to the shelter in Ojinaga with part of that going to help a family as well. The money would be taken from the Borderland Ministries Fund / donations designated for that use. Kerie made a morion to accept. Joni seconded the motion. Passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Special Meeting Minutes  – June 9th  2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 7:00PM

Opening Prayer

Father Mike informed us that the Diocese anticipated a 4 day response time to get back to us after submitting the phase 2 workbook.

We went over the full Phase 2 workbook together and fine tuned the answers to be complete and accurate.

We submitted the Phase 2 workbook electronically to the Diocese website.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 8:15PM

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

Phase 2 Workbook

Diocese of the Rio Grande: Phase II Workbook

 

This workbook is meant to help congregations methodically prepare a plan to provide for congregational safety and to build on the solid foundation established by our congregations in Phase I.All relevant background information for this form can be founding in “Learning to Manage Risk: Phase II Guidelines.” A link to that document can be found here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/144_MtVMBLEZ3wQg9tF3D4AlZgufOmUC6/view?usp=sharing

This workbook will ask a series of questions to aid you in thinking through preparing your Clergy and Staff, your building, your liturgical team, and your congregation.

Every Vestry/Bishop’s Committee is required to certify the answers to this form. We recommend that you distribute the Phase II guideline document above to the members of your Vestry/Bishop’s Committee in advance in order to give participants time to reflect on the questions before submitting the form.

On the line below please submit the email of the best person for the Diocesan office to contact as we follow up to these form submissions.

 

Email address *
Congregation Name *
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Preparing as Clergy and Staff

 

 

For Clergy: Describe your level of comfort with the idea of returning to public worship. Please include those things which cause you concern, and those possibilities which excite you.
I am very much looking forward to being able to worship in our church again. Even with things in place to protect each other, the idea of being physically present to one another is part of what makes St Paul’s such a beautiful place to worship and a wonderful community to gather together with. My only concern is keeping it safe for everyone so they can worship in comfort and focused on our Lord.
Current guidance for the State of New Mexico and Texas recommends masks or other appropriate face coverings be worn by employees in all common areas. Describe your strategy to implement this guidance.
I am the only employee and staff in the building except on Sunday for our live-streaming when masks are worn.
Describe your strategy to reduce contact as much as possible among your clergy and staff while in the office.
The only other person in the church from time to time is someone who uses the back room. We keep our distance from one another.
Describe your congregational strategy to ensure continuous operation of the church in case one or more members of the clergy and staff contract COVID-19.
Someone else would lead MP on Facebook live. We would stop in-person services.

Preparing your Building

 

 

What is the capacity of your worship space as identified by the Fire Marshall.
We do not have a certificate on file that can be found. We estimate about 80-85 people.
Describe the ways your congregation can plan for sectioned seating ensuring social distancing of 6 feet between each household. (Please note: Family is not equivalent to household. Members of the same extended family who live in different households need to maintain social distancing between those different households.)
St. Paul’s sanctuary has 18 pews in which 6 adults can comfortably sit, and six folding chairs against the back wall. We will allow seating in every other pew. One side will be the even-numbered pews while the other side will be odd-numbered pews allowing for 6-ft. distance in all directions. Two people from different households can sit in one pew at opposite ends allowing more than 6 feet of distance from each other. If we have more than 9 family groups or all 9 pews are filled, we can safely seat 10=18 people (depending on household) in the adjoining parish hall. If services are held outside, 10 chairs can be placed on the north-south sidewalk and two rows of 10 chairs can placed on the lawn. This will allow for more than 6 feet of distance in all directions.
If the air in your worship space is treated by an HVAC system do you have access to the filters? If so, have you ensured that your current filters can be changed to a MERV-13 or higher rated filter?
N/A
Are you able to open your worship space to outdoor ventilation, or utilize a combination of outdoor and conditioned ventilation?
Yes, we have four windows which currently open. We will need to fix the other 4 windows so they can be opened. We have 3 citing fans and 2 floor fans. We can also open the south door.
If you are planning on worshiping outdoors, describe your plan for creating appropriately distanced seating when creating your outdoor worship space.
We have a PA system which would allow us to space people out across our yard. We could handle a typical Sunday attendance easily. During the summer months, we will adjust our starting times to take advantage of the cooler morning temperatures.
Does your congregation currently have an established written protocol for cleaning and sanitizing your facilities? If so, please describe.
No
Please describe your congregation’s plan to provide for the following additional sanitation considerations specific to houses of worship. — Before and after each service, clean and disinfect the following high-contact surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics. Disinfect any items that come into contact with attendees. (Prayerbooks, Hymnals, pew-racks. Bulletins should be one-time use only.) Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water or similar disinfectant readily available. Place readily visible signage to remind everyone of best hygiene practices.
We will create a checklist in sections of the building with volunteers assigned by section to complete a pre-service sanitation regimen using CDC approved disinfectant sprays for surfaces, and a solution of Murphy’s oil and bleach for wood surfaces from the exterior hand rails up to the altar, in zones: Zone 1 Exterior – Handrails and door handles and frames Zone 2 Rear entry of church (overseen by an usher as congregants enter) – Exterior surfaces of hand sanitizer dispensers – Donation box – Clean pens in a cup for the resister; a “used pens” basket for discards – Organ and bench – Light switches – Baptismal Font (emptied of water) – Table where bulletins are placed Zone 3 Pews, including racks (emptied) for hymnals – Left side – Not only pews marked as allowed seating, but empty pews where hands may rest on backs – Window frames where hands open and close the same Zone 4 Same as 3, but right side Zone 5 – South door – Fan – Piano – Altar rail Zone 6 – Pulpit – Lectern – Seats for each – Altar surface – Candle lighters – Candle snuffer Zone 7 – Church hall for overflow, in any, where seats will be set up and distanced, wiped down – Light switches Zone 8 – Restrooms: toilet, sink, door handles and frames, light switches (2 Bathrooms are very small) Zone 9 – Kitchen – It is recommended that the kitchen door be closed to discourage passage in and out, but the sink should be scrubbed before and after, with small paper cups available for water for those needing it All who participate in the clean up will have designated zones with checklist, wear gloves, and have their own bottle(s) of cleaning supplies that are rinsed and stored when finished. Post services, when the church is geared, the same will be repeated. The church sanctuary is open 24/7. Bulletins will be collected in a single track container that is closed up and taken to recycling.
Does your congregation have a relationship with a wholesale supplier of cleaning and sanitation products? If so, please describe. If not, please describe your strategy for ensuring access to appropriate sanitation supplies given supply chain strain. (E.g purchasing concentrate, and diluting appropriately, soliciting donations of cleaning supplies, etc…)
We order on line as needed with no issues to date.

Preparing your Liturgical Team

 

It is the expectation of the Diocese of the Rio Grande and the recommendation of the States of New Mexico and Texas that all ministers, volunteers, and congregants attending public worship in Phase II will wear a mask, or other suitable face covering. Please describe your strategy for communicating this guideline, and ensuring congregational cooperation?
We will send it in the weekly bulletin and newsletters as to the requirement of wearing masks. An usher will greet people, join tot he sing, which says,”Masks are required.” We will also have masks available of those who do not come with one.
Describe your strategy for ensuring that usage of shared items in worship (offering plates, common cup, prayerbooks, hymnals, etc…) does not violate social distancing standards of 6 feet between congregants not of the same household.
Use of shared items will be kept to an absolute minimum. Offertory plates will be placed just inside the church entrance. Guests may leave donations before, during or after worship. Congregants will be encouraged to bring their own prayer books and hymnals. They will also have the option to use their smart-phones or other electronic devices to follow the service and the hymns. Small number of hymnals and prayer books will be set aside for use during the service, should anyone need one. Afterward, the books will be collected and quarantined for at least 72 hours. A common cup will not be used. St. Paul’s is evaluating small disposable cups for bread and wine during communion.
Recent studies indicate that singing in worship greatly increases the risks of both the singers and those congregants present in the same room. Link here: () Please describe your congregations strategy for informing congregants of this information, and either ceasing or providing a distanced way to continue congregational singing.
We do not have a choir; our leader of song is our organist, who is seated at the rear of the church, distanced from seated congregants. We will require all congregants to wear masks, and they will be distanced in the pews.
Please describe your congregational strategy for training all servers and liturgical volunteers (Eucharistic Ministers, Acolytes, Ushers, Greeters, etc…) in the ensuring that social distancing and personal hygiene recommendations are followed.
The Vicar will conduct appropriate training on Zoom.
What is your plan for interacting with congregants who do not comply with social distancing and personal hygiene requirements?
We will have two ushers, one outside the doors and one inside. The outside usher will let all visitors know we have masks, we have spacing plans inside so we all social distance; and have handouts instead of using the books. If someone refuses to comply with our plan, we will let them know we have older susceptible members, and travelers from out of town, and we have masks, to please reconsider for the good of all in the congregation. If they still refuse, we will invite them to sit outside and listen to the service or watch online. And if they still refuse, we can refuse to begin the service until they comply, sit outside, or leave.
Current guidance from the State of New Mexico states that congregations may only be opened at 25% capacity, and the State of Texas requires that congregants maintain a safe social distance of 6 feet between households. Both guidelines require a reduction in seating capacity. Describe your strategy for managing attendance and traffic flow in such a way that your services would not exceed capacity under those guidelines.
St. Paul’s will have ushers at the door to greet people and escort them to a seat. If the maximum number is reached, ushers will direct people to the parish hall. Traffic flow for serving Eucharist will include one of the following: when only the host is given, Fr. Mike will walk to each pew and serve individuals so there is none to move. If/when wine is served, individual cups will be placed at the front of the congregation. Each pew will come up to receive and then exit through the north door, walk around the buying and come back through the main door. For people in the parish hall, each person will come to the hallway to receive communion and then walk through the church office and back to the parish hall.
Describe your process for ensuring that those in high-risk populations or those who do not wish to return to public worship will continue to have access to streamed/digital services. Some thoughts include: Streaming your digital service at a separate time, positioning cameras and streaming equipment in a way that is unobtrusive, providing for contact-free delivery of the sacrament, etc…
We plan on continuing live-streaming when we come back to public worship. Not all of our members have access to computers. Since the church started to have our worship live-streamed, our Vicar makes appropriately distanced, masked house calls and brings Communion form the reserved sacrament along with a fire liturgy to be done by the person receiving communion.

Preparing your Congregation

 

What sources for local public health information does your congregation have a relationship with, and what channels have you established for receiving current local public health guidance?
Our Vicar and the Bishop’s Committee refer to the Center for Disease Control website and releases, as well as diocesan updates. Our local reporting of the three-county area [Presidio, Brewster, and Jeff Davis] includes a designated COVID19 reporting link in the The Big Bend Sentinel’ reporting by Maria Public Radio, the announcements issued by Dr. Escovar, who is the designated coordinator for the tree county area who advises the Bishop Bend on risk and responses; and Reverse 911 announcements in Jeff Davis County that provide updates on cases, testing sites, and quarantine requirements.
How will you clearly communicate that those not using face coverings will not be permitted to enter the facility, or that those who attend without an RSVP may be turned away at the door?
We will post protocol on our website. We will have the usher explain to people who show up unexpectedly about our protocol. We will provide masks. We will also hand them a card with our live-street link. They will also be invited back to receive communion at a later time after worship is over and people have left. We will also inform them that our doors are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if they wish to come back and say their prayers.
How will you communicate to your congregation that members of the congregation who are part of a vulnerable population should remain home?
We will continue to livestream all services via Facebook Live and continue to send out a weekly bulletin for each service by email to all members and friends of St. Paul’s This will insure that those who are at high risk or wish to remain at home will be able to join us in worship by following along with liturgy, prayers, hymns and the service in its entirely. This can be done either live or by viewing the recording at any later, time, from any location. We will do this for all regular Sunday services as well as for any special worship service held at St. Paul’s. Once worship is able to resume at St. Paul’s we will move all recording equipment to appropriate production locations, so that in-person worship will not be interrupted or obstructed in any way as we continue offering online streaming.
One of the conditions of reopening in Phase II is the ability for local health officials to “contact trace” outbreaks as they occur in particular institutions and locations. Please describe your congregation’s strategy for gathering contact information for all attendees and following up on that information should an outbreak occur.
We have a list we use for preparing the weekly deposit that we can use to note regulars at each service to note who attended that week. For anyone not a member, the usher can ask frothier basic contact info so that if an outbreak occurs, we can contact them to let them know. If they refuse to give their contact information, the usher can note their name and general characteristics.
Describe your preparations for responding pastorally to those for whom a socially distanced liturgy may generate strong feelings of grief, loss, or anger.
We have a congregation that is not shy about expressing their feelings. We also have a Bishop’s Committee and a Vicar who are good listeners. Since we have closed worship in the church, the Bishop’s Committee members have kept in contact with people in our faith community on a regular basis and could respond to their feelings. In addition, we have people who understand the importance of social distancing and the requirements of it. We do not foresee any problems from members of our congregation. There might be occasional pushback from visitors.
Depending on the size of your congregation an RSVP or ticketing system may be necessary in order to smoothly conduct multiple services at reduced capacity. What ideas or strategies are you developing to respond to this?
The only time this may need to be done would be Christmas, Easter and other major feast days.

Certifications

 

Please click the following to certify that your Vestry/Bishop’s Committee has reviewed and approved the responses in this workbook.
Please provide the name, title, and contact information of the individual submitting the workbook responses.
The Rev’d Mike Wallens, Vicar michaelwallens@gmail.com 214-862-7292

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Special Meeting Minutes  – May 30th  2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 10:10AM

Opening Prayer

Father Mike went over the survey results that he had received back from the congregation about St. Pauls moving forward and re-opening.

Father Mike went over the Phase 2 workbook that he had received from the Diocese that we need to fill out. We decided that each of us would take certain sections of the workbook to fill out and that we would meet to fill out the workbook in its entirety together.

Concerns of heat and uneven lawn were discussed if we do decide to include outdoor services in the future.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 11:00AM

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Special Meeting Minutes  – May 12th  2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 7:05PM

Opening Prayer

Father Mike explained that as we prepare a plan for Phase 2 re-opening that our primary goal would be to manage risk and that it would require a lot of planning.

Father Mike discussed that each church has a unique location and unique circumstances and that we must come up with the best plan to fit St. Pauls.

Dan informed us that due to the COVID-19 pandemic that audit had deadline had been extended until July.

We read over the final Phase 1 worksheet and electronically submitted it to the Diocese website.

We discussed managing the Solidarity Bond money for ‘Marfa Steps Up’ and decided that we could not take on managing their finances but would support them in other ways such as donating and advertising.

Allison discussed that the Building Committee would have mulch coming in for the grounds.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 7:55PM

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

 

Phase One Workbook

Diocese of the Rio Grande: Phase I Congregational Workbook

 

In Phase I we learn skills and develop practices that will be essential to sustain our congregations as we move into Phase II and Phase III. This can be a highly creative time. By getting good at living and ministering with physical distancing in place we deepen our faith in Jesus Christ and our trust in Him. That strong faith means we do not need to feel pressure from government or economic pressures but can choose what to do as a church based on what God is calling us to do and with the safety of the most vulnerable among us as our priority.Phase I is an opportunity for the church to remember what is essential about what we do and to strengthen our ministries, our churches, and our relationships with our neighbors. Try new patterns of prayer, find spiritual practices which can sustain you if you have to be at home for a long time. Find ways to connect with others to share God’s love and care. Some of the things we learn in Phase I will become part of what it means for us to be church in the future. We need to be intentional about what we carry forward and what we let go of. God is present now, God is not waiting for us to gather in church, God is with us.

If Phase I lasts for months, we will keep our focus on Jesus and he will provide for our daily needs.

As we get good at being church in phase I, please ensure that any steps or activities are done in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. You should check with legal counsel for your congregation, and/or one of the Chancellors, if and as needed.

This workbook is meant to help congregations methodically review their Phase I activities as we work together to establish a solid foundation for our congregations as we move forward through Phase II and Phase III.

This workbook will ask a series of questions in the areas of Liturgy & Formation, Administration & Finance, Pastoral Care, and Outreach & Community Ministry, to help you detail the steps your congregation has already undertaken in Phase I or may need to consider before moving to Phase II.

Every Vestry/Bishop’s Committee is required to certify the answers to this form. We recommend that you distribute the PDF version of this form to the members of your Vestry/Bishop’s Committee in advance in order to give participants time to reflect on the questions before submitting the form.

On the line below please submit the email of the best person for the Diocesan office to contact as we follow up to these form submissions.

 

 
Email address 

Liturgy & Formation

 

1.) Select the option that best describes your congregation. (If selecting “Other” please elaborate as necessary.)
  •  
1a. Please describe your process for streaming those services.
One camera in the church.We use Facebook live. Through Mailchimp, we let people know times and links as well as being able to receive the liturgy as well as through Instagram.
1b. What has challenged your congregation in moving to digital delivery of liturgy? What have you learned?
The challenge was doing it in the first place. We have learned how to do it and how it is drawing people “in” in numbers that would not fit into the church itself and from all over the world.Some members in our congregation are not comfortable with technology and social media. Others do not have access to a computer or internet.The internet service in our rural area is not consistent.
1c. How have you regularly recorded viewership?
We take the numbers a week after the broadcast.
We have no more than four people present for broadcasting our Sunday worship. The vicar does some work once in a while during the week from the church. We have one person, Connor, who offices in our church for our bi-lingual youth ministry program and Young Life. When the vicar and Connor are in at the same time, they keep their distance.
3b. In what ways have clergy and staff been encouraged to work remotely? What steps have been taken to enable that remote work?
Many Zoom meetings.
4. Describe your congregation’s plan to provide for the security and monitoring of your physical plant during this period of reduced use.
We keep our church doors open 24 hours a day and have not had any difficulties. The office area is locked. up. People will come and work in our yard and see if everything is good inside. We also have people come in twice a month to clean.
5. Describe the ways in which your congregation is going about committee and governance work. (Vestry/Bishop’s committee, Finance committee, etc…)
ZOOM!
6. Please select the following option that best describes your congregations current financial and operational situation. (If selecting “Other” please elaborate as necessary.)
  •  

 

7. Has your congregation applied for loans/grants under the Payroll Protection Program?
7a. Please describe your Vestry/Bishop’s Committee’s reasoning in declining to apply for PPP.
8. In what areas do you feel you need help or support from the Diocese, your Deanery, or neighboring congregations in regards to administration and finance?
We will need assistance in completing our audit. We are also grateful for the trustees who paid off our mortgage and took over the insurance, maintenance and upkeep of the vicarage.

Pastoral Care

1. Please describe the considerations and challenges your congregation has faced in providing pastoral care in Phase I.
We have worked with the telephone and zoom to compensate with our being at home.
2. Describe the ways in which your congregation is reaching out to all members of the congregation, not only those on the sick or shut-in list. (Phone tree, small group zoom meetings, postcard ministries, etc…)
In a few cases, there are safe distanced/masked home visits. Most of it is done through a phone tree.
3. Does your congregation have a clearly publicized protocol for receiving emergency pastoral calls? How is that line monitored?
People have access to the vicar through cell phone and landlines as well as email. This information is included in our weekly email newsletter.
4. Describe the visitation protocols for your local hospitals, nursing homes, hospice facilities, or funeral homes, and how your congregation’s pastoral work has changed with these protocols.
We have no nursing home or hospice facilities in our area. When the vicar has received calls from the hospital, the hospital has provided protective gear. We have not had to deal with a funeral home.
5. In what areas do you feel you need help or support from the Diocese, your Deanery, or neighboring congregations in regards to pastoral care.
Prayers are always welcome.

Outreach & Community Ministry

 

In what outreach and community ministries was your congregation participating prior to social distancing measures, and how has that work changed?
Most of our outreach and community ministries are yearly events and most of those are in the Fall. Our Seder was cancelled. We provide clothes and supplies to the border and have people pick up supplies or we meet at a mutually agreed upon place. We also have our doors to the church open and people bring food by and then once a week we deliver the collected food to our local food pantry. We have contributed money to a couple of Big Bend organizations aiding those who are affected by the pandemic response. We continued with our Way of Love-rule of life which began in Lent and in person and when the response to the pandemic came about we went online. When we went online, people from the area and out of state began to join us. These people were not members of our congregation. The book study which will begin later this month will be done over zoom with people who are not members of our congregation as well as members of St. Paul’s.
2. Has your congregation been discerning new opportunities for outreach or community ministry in this new season? If so, please describe the opportunities and challenges in pursuing that new ministry?
We are in the process of discerning how and to whom we can reach out. We are also using Social Media to reach out in ways we have not done before.
3. In what areas do you feel you need help or support from the Diocese, your Deanery, or neighboring congregations in regards to Outreach and Community Ministry.
If you know of anything to do as far as outreach, let us know. Prayers are welcome.

Certification

 

Please click the following to certify that your Vestry/Bishop’s Committee has reviewed and approved the responses in this workbook.
Please provide the name, title, and contact information of the individual submitting the workbook responses.
The Rev. Michael Wallens, Vicar. michaelwallens@gmail.com and cell phone: 214-862-7292

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Special Meeting Minutes  – May 9th  2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 10:00AM

Opening Prayer

The Bishops Committee went over the Phase 1 worksheet questions that the Diocese sent and filled out all of the answers about what we are currently doing at St. Paul’s.

Father Mike said that he would go over it all and put it in the proper order, as well as confirm a few details before we submitted it.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 11:15AM

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Special Meeting Minutes  – May 3rd  2020

 

Attending via Zoom:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:05PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from both the April Bishops Committee Meeting and the ‘Quarterly Annual Meeting’ that was held on April 26th were submitted by Kerie.  Dan made a motion to accept all Minutes.  Joni seconded the motion.  Passed.

Vicars report –

Father Mike informed us of what the Diocese and other churches within our Diocese were currently doing and discussing doing, as per the unprecedented COVID-19 situation.

Father Mike explained that we needed to work on re-opening St. Pauls in 3 phases.   He said that a Phase 1 worksheet would be sent to us to fill out and suggested that meet as soon as possible after receiving it, so that we could return it to the Diocese in a timely manner.

Father Mike said that Phase 1 would tell them what we are currently doing.

Father Mike said that after the Diocese received it, we would then have it approved and/or need to meet with Bishop Hunn about it.

New Business –
1. We discussed what we are doing now in Phase 1 and what we could look forward to including in the future to make sure that our congregation stays safe and well connected.

2. We discussed how live streaming and online donations were going.

3. We discussed continuing reaching out to members by phone.

4. We discussed ideas for the future such as the possibility of ushers to place people at appropriate social distancing, the possibility of outdoor services, how to administer the Eucharist safely, proper sterilization of the church, requiring masks and having masks available for those that do not have one.

5. We discussed a time frame for re-opening.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:05pm

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes  – April 1st 2020

 

Attending via Zoom: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 5:35PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –
Minutes from the February Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie. Dan made a motion to accept the Minutes. Joni seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report –
1. Dan explained the income and expenses for the month. He informed us that the donations were down a little overall this year compared to this same time last year and that we are now set up to accept online donations.

2. Dan explained that the Diocese has taken over the Vicarage expenses and so the line item expenses related to the Vicarage will soon be removed from St. Paul’s books. He explained that we are working on getting an agreement drawn up in writing between the Diocese and St. Paul’s, as per the future of the Vicarage.

3. Dan discussed the expense of $120 per service that our new Organist would be paid.

4. Dan discussed that the finance committee was finishing up the renewal of Father Mike’s contract and that as soon as they confirmed one more number from the Diocese that it would be complete.

5. It was announced that Father Mike will be given an Easter bonus!

Joni made a motion to accept the Treasurers Report. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –
1. Father Mike explained to us that Bishop Hunn, Canon Curtis and the Clergy of the Rio Grande Diocese were holding regular Zoom meetings to discuss the concerns of the COVID-19 Pandemic and how it is affecting each church and the Diocese. It was discussed that as the situation evolves that we may need to identify our core ministry and adjust things to still be able to effectively carryout our Mission of being a welcoming community while in this situation that requires social distancing.

2. Father Mike discussed the schedule for Holy Week with us. The services will be live streamed with Palm Sunday at 10:30am. The Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday services will be held at 6pm, Good Friday will be held at Noon and Easter Sunday service will be held at 10:30am. We unanimously agreed that this was fine.

3. Father Mike discussed the possibility of holding our next “Quarterly Annual meeting” on April 26th via Zoom, if we are unable to have it in person.

Old Business –
1. It was discussed that the incoming Curate has been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that as of now s/he is no longer to be expected in June.

2. There was a follow up discussion on how the phone calls reaching out to our members during this time of COVID-19 are going.

New Business –
1. We discussed how the live streaming of services was going. That the online attendance was very good and of how we could try to work out a few minor technical glitches.

2. The upcoming audit was discussed. Dan mentioned that the Diocese was possibly helping with this but that we needed to confirm that, as everyone’s schedule has been thrown off due to the current state of affairs concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other Business –
1. Patricia discussed that perhaps we could have lectors rotate to read during the live streamed Holy Week services. We unanimously agreed that it would be a nice addition.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 6:35pm

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

Electronic vote addendum:

April 21st, 2020, 8:53am electronic vote addendum to the aforementioned minutes.

Father Mike explained that St. Paul’s had received a gift of $25,000 to be used for Borderland Ministries and proposed the following: $20,000 to go to our two shelters in Juarez and $1,000 to go towards the shelter in Ojinaga and for the remaining $4000 to remain in the fund for future use. Allison made a motion to accept the proposal. Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

Electronic vote addendum:

April 28th, 2020, 9:30am electronic vote addendum to the aforementioned minutes.

Kerie presented the minutes from the April 26th ‘Quarterly Annual Meeting.’ Patricia made a motion to accept the minutes. Allison seconded the motion. Passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

 

‘Quarterly’ Annual Meeting Minutes
Sunday, April 26th, 2020
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX

 

Meeting via Zoom called to order at 12:40pm

Meeting led by Father Michael Wallens and Allison Ryan Scott.

Opening Prayer

Financial Report – Presented by Dan

1. Dan explained that the Vicarage had been paid off and that the Curate was put on hold until further notice, so we no longer have those two big expenses.
2. He went over the profit and loss statements, comparing the first quarter of 2019 to now, the first quarter of 2020. Overall we are doing very well. We are at 37% of our annual budget income.
3. He explained that expenses would continue to go down even more due to having no Vicarage or Curate.
4. He presented the balance sheet. We are ahead of where we were last year at this time on our general operating funds.
5. Father Mike brought up that we didn’t budget for social media and that due to the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic and moving to an online platform that we may need to adjust to include social media in the budget. Kerie explained that it could be done starting at $25 per month.
6. Dan discussed that we are in the application process for the CARES act grant but that it is uncertain at this time if we will qualify, due to details related to our small size.
7. Dan explained that the Vicarage will be moved off of the asset list.
8. Dan asked if there were any questions and said that if any questions came up later to feel free to call or email him.

Vicars Report – Presented by Father Mike

1. Father Mike talked about the process of any crisis, including this COVID-19 pandemic and how the Diocese has been having weekly discussions concerning it. He outlined three parts of a crisis…
–Part 1: Fear, creativity to adjust to doing things differently and trying to figure out what is going on and how to adapt to it.
–Part 2: Push back and anger. He explained that as a church we need to focus on the love of God throughout all of this.
–Part 3: Our values in moving forward. To understand that God is everywhere, not just in a church building. But with us in every form – online, on the phone and in every other way. That our primary mission is to love God and that a church is a place of safety and that we must keep it safe.
2. He explained that after this weekends COVID-19 testing in the area that we may have a clearer idea of our local situation and that it is important to understand that 30% of COVID-19 tests are false negatives and that a very large percentage of people that are positive can be asymptomatic. That we must understand this moving forward to keep St. Paul’s and the other churches in our region safe.
3. Father Mike presented three phases of the COVID-19 pandemic situation, as per how and when we move forward.
–Phase 1: The phase that we are in now – Stay in Place. That we still need to remember what is important while in this phase. Worship (online for now). Communication (calls and emails to stay in touch). That we also need to keep in mind our mission and how we carry out that mission of being welcoming online. We also need to understand what is essential in our larger community / towns. He said that we have made donations to several local organizations to help those in need during this time.
–Phase 2: What happens and how we will begin to open up again. The church, as a safe place, will not necessarily follow government guidelines but lean toward being more cautious than those guidelines to insure that our safety stays in place. He explained that each church is expected to come up with a re-opening plan and submit it to the Diocese. It is anticipated that the re-opening phase will take anywhere from 18 months to 2 years to complete. It was also discussed that perhaps after this weekends local COVID-19 testing results are in that we may have a better idea of how to move forward with a plan.
–Phase 3: Back to public life and how our church will look different when we have fully reopened again.
4. Father Mike asked what peoples needs are. Community, online services, resuming the book study group, an emotional process support group, gas money for people to go long distances to school in the Terlingua area to pick up assignments were all needs that were addressed.
5. Father Mike discussed where we are as a church now. People brought up concerns and frustrations with using technology. Wifi signal boosters were discussed. Viewing recordings rather than watching live services was a suggestion and dialing in on the telephone rather than video conferencing for those that don’t want to do things online were discussed.
6. Father Mike announced that there are a few upcoming presentations / seminars that will be attended to help with online presence and social media.
7. Father Mike explained that he has been in touch with the National Church about the Evangelism Grant that we received and that they understand that the Curate (which was written into the grant) will not be coming at this time anymore, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that in the long-term it is possible that we may need restructure our plan as to how to use the grant money in a different Evangelical direction.
8. Father Mike asked for suggestions on how we would like to proceed into phase 2. Suggestions included social distancing, wearing masks, outdoor services, ushers to space people at proper distances apart, obtaining a supply of masks and understanding that we may not be in control of how many visitors show up once we do reopen the doors.
9. Father Mike explained that when we do fully reopen that it may be different than the church has been in the past. That we needed to understand that and that now the Bishops Committee will begin to work on a plan on how to move forward.

Allison asked if there were any additional questions or concerns and Father Mike said that if any questions or concerns came up later to feel free to call or email him or any member of the Bishops Committee.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:29pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Marfa, TX 
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – March 4th 2020

 

Attending:  Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 5:40PM

Opening Prayer

Minutes –  Minutes from the previous Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Kerie.  Dan made a motion to accept the Minutes.  Patricia seconded the motion.  Passed.

Treasurers Report –
1. Dan explained the income and expenses for the month. He informed us that the donations were down a little overall this year compared to this same time last year but that it is not so much lower as to be of concern.
2. Dan explained that we are still waiting for the Diocese to reimburse us for some of the Vicarage expenses owed to St. Paul’s.  He explained that we are working on getting an agreement drawn up in writing between the Diocese and St. Paul’s, as per the Vicarage. As of now, the Vicarage remains on the St. Paul’s books.
3. Dan informed us of how we can now use a tax-free Amazon account for St. Paul’s orders and told us that he was still moving forward on working out the details of obtaining a church credit card.
Patricia made a motion to accept the Treasurers Report. Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report –
1. Father Mike explained that the Seder would be held on April 8th and we discussed putting a sign up sheet for who will be bringing food and for volunteers to set up for the meal.
2. Father Mike informed us of 2 upcoming dinners with Border Patrol. A Marfa dinner and an Alpine dinner, that the dates and specific details were still being worked out.
3. Father Mike said that we were considering hosting block dinners, for people living in different areas of Marfa, so that Marfa residents from all areas of town could get to know us better.  He said that he had been discussing the idea with Carlos Morales from NPR and that perhaps we could invite the Blackwell School to collaborate with St. Paul’s in some way with these dinners.
4. Easter Vigil was discussed.  Father Mike said that in the past it has alternated yearly between being held at St. Paul’s in Marfa and St. James in Alpine. Last year it was at St. Paul’s, Father Mike will talk to St. James about it as well to decide if and where it will be held this year.
5. Father Mike read us an invitation from the Presbyterian church inviting St. Paul’s to their Palm Sunday service, lunch and concert afterwards. We decided that we would prefer to have Palm Sunday services at St. Paul’s but agreed to contribute something to their event, such as possibly the desserts for after the concert or similar.
6. Father Mike told us that the 5th Sunday service will be held at St. Pauls this time and that it will be a St. Pauls service. We decided that we needed to hold a reception with snacks afterwards.
7. Father Mike explained that we may have an organist, that he had discussed the job with her and would be meeting her on Monday to look at the Organ in person.
8. Father Mike said that he needed to purchase speakers for events, such as ‘Voices from both Sides’.  We looked at 3 speaker systems that had been recommended to him for the uses that St. Paul’s requires. Kerie made a motion to approve the purchase of 2 Bluetooth speakers for $400. Dan seconded the motion. Passed.
9. Father Mike announced that the Living Legends Committee would be meeting on March 22nd, after church.
10. Father Mike asked for approval to spend the Evangelical grant money without having to get Bishops Committee approval for every purchase over $100. Kerie made a motion to accept that. Joni seconded the motion, Passed.

Old Business –
1.  We discussed when the first T-shirt order would submitted.  We will be announcing it one more time in church on Sunday to allow anyone wanting a T-shirt to get their order in before the first batch is printed.  Then we will submit the first order mid-month.
New Business  1. Allison informed us of the main items that were discussed during the Building Committee Meeting. Scott will be replacing light bulbs. More outdoor lighting is needed, kneeling rails need improvements and the rails into the church need to be addressed for safety concerns. More varnish will be applied to the parish hall flooring. Father Mike volunteered to clean out the gutters. The lawn is going to be prepared for the warmer season arriving and we are still looking toward moving forward with recommendations in the 2015 building report.
2.  Kerie discussed the social media campaign that is running on Facebook.  Explaining that our posts are being boosted to target users in Marfa, Fort Davis and Alpine.
3.  Dan discussed the need for updating our St. Paul’s group photo.  We all agreed that it needed to be updated and that we will try to do this soon, possibly on Easter after church, if the Easter Egg Hunt allows us time to do so.
4. The possible incoming Curate for the area was discussed. St. Paul’s would be responsible $1300 a month towards the expenses. Allison made a motion to accept. Dan seconded. Motion passed.

Other Business –
1. Dan explained that on Monday May 4th that a “Livingroom Concert” like he had hosted before was available to host at St. Paul’s again. It would be from approximately 8:00 – 9:30PM. Tickets wouldn’t go through St. Paul’s, they would be sold online only for $20 each through another company, we would only provide the space. The musician is Will Johnson. It would be BYOB. Kerie made a motion to do the concert. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 7:15PM

 

Respectfully Submitted,
——————————————

Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

Electronic vote addendum:

March 29th, 2020 8:40pm electronic vote addendum to aforementioned Vicars Report line item number 7.

Father Mike explained that the organist is suitable for St. Paul’s needs. Dan discussed that she agreed to be hired for $120 for each Sunday that she played, as well as for other official church services such as Good Friday, Easter or Christmas. Dan discussed that she would pay her own taxes and transportation and that the $120 per service would be paid at the end of each month by check. Patricia made a motion to accept this agreement. Kerie seconded the motion. Passed.

Respectfully Submitted,

——————————————
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee

 

 

 

 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Marfa, TX
Bishops Committee Meeting Minutes – February 9th 2020

 

Attending: Father Mike Wallens, Allison Ryan Scott, Joni Marginot, Dan Wonsowski, Patricia Seifert and Kerie Van Zeyst.

Meeting called to order at 12:00PM
Opening Prayer

Minutes
1. Minutes from the previous Bishops Committee Meeting were submitted by Allison. Patricia made a motion to accept the minutes. Dan seconded the motion. Passed.

Treasurers Report
1. The Treasurers Report was presented by Dan. Items discussed were income, expenses and the financials of the Diocese taking over the Vicarage. Dan also explained that he was working out the details for obtaining a church credit card. Kerie made a motion to accept the Treasurers report. Patricia seconded the motion. Passed.

Vicars report
1. Father Mike announced that the next “Quarterly Annual Meeting” would be held on April 26th. He said that any special projects would need to be discussed before then and that the Building Committee and the Finance Committee should meet before then as well.
2. Father Mike explained that we had enough people for the Building Committee but that another person was needed for the Finance Committee. Allison volunteered to be on the finance committee.
3. Father Mike explained that there will be an opportunity to attend a Vestry Workshop on either March 7th in Albuquerque, NM or on May 2nd in Carlsbad, NM and encouraged Bishops Committee members to attend, if possible.
4. Father Mike announced that Yoseff Ben-Yehuda would be leading The Seder on April 8th at 6:30PM.
5. Father Mike announced that the Marfa Ministerial Alliance is considering a Prayer Walk at some point in the future.
6. Father Mike announced that a Lenten Study group focusing on ‘The Way of Love’ with Soup and Bread would be held Tuesday evenings in March at St. Paul’s from 6:30-8:00PM.
7. Father Mike announced that he and Susan will be hosting a Shrove Tuesday open house at their home on February 25th from 5:00-7:00PM.
8. Father Mike announced that Connor Davis, of Young Life, was looking for office space to work from. The Bishops Committee unanimously agreed to offer him the back room to work out of as needed.
9. Father Mike informed us of the upcoming meetings with Canon Lee Curtis on Saturday February 15th at 11:00AM to discuss fundraising and with Bishop Michael Hunn and Canon Lee Curtis to on Saturday February 22nd at 3:00PM to discuss the possible incoming Curate and the Evangelical Grant.

Old Business
1. Allison announced that Dedie Taylor had volunteered to fill the final Delegate spot needed. Patricia made a motion to accept Dedie as Delegate. Dan seconded the motion. Passed.

New Business
1. Allison discussed the need for a new printer that will cost $500. It was unanimously agreed that it would be listed in the “Giving Opportunities” section of the newsletter.
2. Kerie discussed the ‘Sacred Places’ grant that St. Paul’s is in the process of applying for.
3. Father Mike presented a final T-Shirt design.
4. Kerie agreed to increase the text size on the T-Shirt and to make a T-Shirt order form.
5. The Finance Committee will go over the financial details to renew Father Mikes contract, which will be renewed in June.

Other Business
1. Patricia informed us that the Marfa Presbyterian church offered to collaborate on special events with St. Paul’s.
2. Dan explained that he will look into setting up a tax exempt Amazon account for St. Paul’s.
3. The next Bishops Committee Meeting was set for March 4th at 5:30PM, instead of the second Sunday, March 8th, due to several Bishops Committee members being out of town for Spring Break during the middle weeks in March.

Closing Prayer

Meeting adjourned at 1:00PM

Respectfully Submitted,

__________________________
Keri van Zeyst, Secretary of the Bishops Committee