Parish of St James,  Mahone Bay -

Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
held in the Parish Hall, February 17, 2013,
as approved by the 2014 AGM, February 9, 2014

Attendance. Rev Ian Wissler, Winnie Hoyt, Gaye Ernst, Doreen Wheeler, Margot Lutes, Milton Dorey, Aileen Lewis, Pat Morrison, Elaine Walker, Bud Johnson, Barb Miller, Sharon Wade, Debbie Smeltzer, Stuart Dauphinee, David Baker, Jenny Sandison, Michael Lutes, Bill DeGrace, Brian Tennyson, Brad Tremere, Tom Ernst, Jennifer Veinotte, John Meisner, Heather Whynott, Darrell Eisnor, Robert Ernst, Mary Wright, Sandra Alexander, Sandra Atwell-Tennyson, Lenora Begin, Beth Ernst. Regrets: Right Rev John Wright.


The meeting was opened with a prayer by Father Ian Wissler at 1:08 pm, followed by a moment of silence for those who have departed in 2012. 

Nominations were called for the positions of chair and secretary.

MOVED by Brad Tremere, SECONDED by Michael Lutes, that Father Ian Wissler be nominated to chair the meeting.

MOVED by Tom Ernst, SECONDED by Bud Johnson, that Jennifer Veinotte be nominated as recording secretary for the meeting.

With both nominees accepting the positions and no further nominations, both were elected by acclimation.


MOVED BY John Meisner, SECONDED by Aileen Lewis, that the agenda be aproved with the addition of "General Meeting March 3." MOTION CARRIED.


None received.


MOVED by Jennifer Veinotte, SECONDED by Lenora Begin, that the minutes of the 2012 AGM be approved as circulated. MOTION CARRIED.


6.1  Fun Night. Another Fun Night will be held on March 22.



MOVED by Debbie Smelter, SECONDED by Sharon Wade, that the rector's report be accepted as submitted.

Father Ian clarified that he greatly appreciates Dean Wright joining us as honorary assistant. His insight and advice has been very helpful to him as well as to the congregation.

Elaine Walker asked if a fund has been established for the Three Churches Foundation. Father Ian affirmed and explained that it will be a more business-oriented "inter-church council." The group will explore potential financial support through tourism and commerce and coordinate fundraising initiatives. Although tentative, each church has agreed to be a part. The next step is to get representatives from each parish. Initially, discussions included all five churches but it was decided not to do so.

Father Ian pointed out that attendance has increased over the course of the year for the parish as a whole and that Remembrance Day was on a Sunday this year, but attendance was balanced because weather prevented people from coming to church on some Sundays. David Baker inquired about attendance at Indian Point. Father Ian replied that usually between 15 and 20 people come for worship and sometimes up to 30.



7.2.1.  St James Wardens

MOVED by Brad Tremere, SECONDED by Darrell Eisnor, that the wardens' report for St James be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Beth Ernst pointed out that attendance was reported to be down according to the wardens' report. The report will be amended to fall in line with the rector's report. Father Ian expressed his personal gratitude to Sandy Hippern, who is retiring as a warden this year. He said that he has greatly valued Sandy's advice and guidance over the last six years. Her ministry as a warden has been of great benefit to the parish and he will personally miss her in this capacity.


7.2.2  Christ Church Wardens

This report was already approved at Christ Church's AGM. David Baker asked if any maintenance was needed with the physical structure. Stuart Dauphinee stated that things are in good repair as he has been very "hands-on" with the physical upkeep of the church.


MOVED by Elaine Walker, SECONDED by Margot Lutes, that the organist and choir report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Fr Ian indicated that we are blessed to have Mrs Walker as organists like her are rare. Mrs Walker expressed her gratitude to the choir and mentioned that there is room on the choir bench!



MOVED by Beth Ernst, SECONDED by Debbie Smeltzer, that the Junior Choir report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Mrs Ernst stated that the account balance should read $642.17 and amended her report.



Additions to the Nominating Committee report are as follows:

  • wardens nominated are Brad Tremere, Winnie Hoyt and Darrell Eisnor
  • first year parish council members are Brian Tennyson and Janet Meisner. The third member is not present to accept the nomination but a motion will be presented to next year's AGM to ratify the appointment
  • third year parish council members are Beth Ernst, Gaye Ernst and Yvonne Daubs
  • Jennifer Veinotte was nominated as secretary and Sharon Wade as treasurer
  • Christ Church wardens are Stuart Dauphinee and Doreen Wheeler
  • Regional representative nominees are Yvonne Daubs, Heather Whynott and Michael Lutes
  • Synod delegate nominees are Robert Ernst, Debbie Smeltzer, Brenda Knickle and Jordan Wheeler (youth delegate)
  • Interchurch representatives nominated are Lenora Begin and Marie Richardson
  • nominees for committee chairs are Debbie Smeltzer (finance), Beth Ernst (spiritual fellowship), Blane Knickle (property) and Jennifer Sandison (outreach)
  • Bobby Mader was nominated as the envelope secretary

At this time Brad Tremere clarified that the election of wardens is staggered so a new person will always be accompanied by two experienced wardens. Responsibilities are divided among the wardens into three sections: finance, administration and property. Mr Tremere also noted that beinga warden is fulfilling, and it was further noted that the wardens have developed a team atmosphere which works very well.


Fr Ian wrote the report as Jocelyn Brown resigned earlier this year.

MOVED by Jenny Sandison, SECONDED by Winnie Hoyt, that the Outreach Committee's report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Pat Morrison asked for further clarification on the role of the committee. Fr Ian explained that it is funded by the parish and interest from the Noble endowment fund. The committee funds local groups and grants occasional requests for donations.

Tom Ernst reminded the congregation that use of the parish hall was donated for a special breakfast earlier in the year, which would fall under the Outreach Committee as a resource donation. He also suggested that the parish might consider promoting some of our donations to let the general public know what we're doing. We often receive recognition as expressions of thanks, but the general public or even the congregation isn't aware of some donations that are made by this committee. 

Fr Ian proposed that recognition is nice to raise awareness but we also give to help those in need. Elaine Walker felt that Outreach money may be better spent on those in our area who are in dire need. Ms Morrison suggested some could be referred to Habit for Humanity, and Fr Ian believes that this group will be doing a new construction in Mahone Bay and that the process is fairly rigorous. 

The report was amended to reference the donated use of the parish hall for the benefit breakfast for Steve Zinck. 

With the amendment friendly to both mover and seconder, the MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Brad Tremere, SECONDED by Debbie Smeltzer, that the Property Committee report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Michael Lutes thanked Blane Knickle for all of his hard work. He noted that Mr Knickle spends a great deal of his personal time looking after the parish property and the responsibility is tremendously demanding. 

Jenny Sandison inquired about the report from the Diocese regarding their building evaluation. Mr Eisnor indicated at this time that as a result of the building report, an extensive checklist of safety issues and inspection items was created, a copy of which is found at the back of the annual report. As an explanation, the Diocese mandates the regional dean to
inspect all parish properties every couple of years. The inspection was performed by an engineer who completed a detailed checklist. The purpose is to maintain a standard among all churches.


MOVED by Michael Lutes, SECONDED by Brad Tremere, that a special thanks be given to Blane Knickle for his work. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED Darrell Eisnor, SECONDED by Michael Lutes, that the Blockhouse Property Sub-Committee report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. A general meeting will be held on March 3. John Meisner encourages all to attend this exceptionally important meeting as it could potentially affect the future of the Blockhouse property and Waldorf school. It may also have a direct impact on the future direction of our parish as well. In the event of a snowstorm it will be rescheduled.



MOVED by Beth Ernst, SECONDED by Heather Whynott, that the Spiritual Fellowship Committee report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. It was pointed out that there are a few minor typographical errors. The parish fun night scheduled for March 22 is organized and spearheaded by this committee. In addition, the service book that was used at today's service was compiled by this committee, edited by the rector and honorary assistant, and approved by parish council.



These reports were previously received and adopted at the Christ Church AGM.


MOVED by Tom Ernst, SECONDED by Gaye Ernst, that the St James Sunday School report be accepted as submitted.
DISCUSSION. Tom Ernst added that there are no students as yet between the ages of 2 and 4 years, so the nursery is not in operation. It will resume as soon as students register. Fr Ian stated that we are blessed to have the Sunday School we have. The leadership, its teaching faculty and the music leadership are a wonderful blessing to this parish.



MOVED by Tom Ernst, SECONDED by Gaye Ernst, that the St James Sunday School treasurer's report be accepted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.


It was noted that under "The Intermediate Group" the second-to-last sentence should read "... has been excellent with many of them being in the organization in one capacity or another since its beginning in 1960. Also, "leader" should follow the word "former" in the last sentence of the third paragraph.

MOVED by Tom Ernst, SECONDED by Brad Tremere, tht the St James Church Boys League report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. Tom Ernst pointed out that the intermediate group is getting low in numbers. They are considering a mixed group. 



MOVED by Brad Tremere, SECONDED by Margot Lutes, that the CBL financial report be adopted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. In light of the incorrect balances, the MOTION WAS WITHDRAWN.

MOVED by Bud Johnson, SECONDED by Debbie Smeltzer, that parish council approve the CBL financial report on the parish's behalf once it is corrected. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Jenny Sandison, SECONDED by Lenora Begin, that the CGL report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. with 28 girls attending, this group is very successful. The only leader from St James is Chris Wissler; all of the other leaders are from other congregations. For their long-term sustainability, Fr Ian feels that it would be valuable to have another leader from the parish as well. He invited and encouraged support of this group.


MOVED by Debbie Smeltzer, SECONDED by Gaye Ernst, that the CGL financial report be accepted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Barbara Miller, SECONDED by Asndy Alexander, that the St James ACW report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. It was mentioned that there are 12 to 14 active members but that all women in our parish are members.



MOVED by Barbara Miller, SECONDED by Lenora Begin, that the ACW financial report be accepted as submitted.

DISCUSSION. The totals are possibly incorrect. Fr Ian suggested amending the report to read "totalling approximately." It was pointed out that although this group isn't a committee per se, it's governed by parish council. It was suggested that they take guidance from the parish treasurer to ensure that allotment is understood. The Diocese specifies that a certain percentage of all revenue goes to the  Diocese to pay for various ministries, the bishops and the national church. this percentage is set at the Diocesan level. Each committee, etc must also pay as they are under the direction of parish council. The parish can claim exemptions for some money if it's spent on capital projects. Everyone pays the same percentage; this year it's 18% on the total amount raised unless some of the money raised is used for capital expenditures. Clarification on capital projects is given by the Diocese.

Sandra Atwell-Tennyson suggested that the chair or the finance committee should help the ACW as there is confusion. Because of the transfer from one treasurer to another, ACW is still transitioning. Mr Eisnor also pointed out that budget forms are given to committees so they can plan their fundraising and expenditures.

With the amendment friendly to both the mover and seconder, the MOTION CARRIED.

MOVED by Sandra Atwell-Tennyson, SECONDED by Sandy Alexander, that the Finance Committee consult with the ACW to clarify issues around allotment and expenditures made on behalf of the parish. MOTION CARRIED.


It was indicated that the submitted financial report is incorrect.

MOVED by Sharon Wade, SECONDED by Debbie Smeltzer, that parish council approve a corrected version of the In Memorium Fund report on the parish's behalf.

DISCUSSION. Tom Ernst asked if the In Memorium record is up to date. It was reiterated that the record is for those who give donations in memorium.



MOVED by Margo Lutes, SECONDED by Heather Whynott, that the Flower Fund report be approved as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Margot Lutes, SECONDED by Jenny Sandison, that the Flower Fund financial report be approved as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Debbie Smeltzer, SECONDED by Sharon Wade, that the St James financial reports from pages 36 to 37 be adopted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.

DISCUSSION. Bud Johnson asked where the purchase of Christmas candles was listed. Sharon Wade answered that it was listed under parish supplies on page 36, four lines from bottom. Mr Johnson also inquired as to why such a large envelope was used for Lenten offerings since a smaller envelope would easily fit a cheque. Mr Eisnor indicated that cost was already decreased by exchanging the previous coin card with the envelope, which is larger than a standard envelope to provide the opportunity to those who want to contribute coins. It was reported that the cost between small and large envelopes is not substantial. The suggestion to cut cost further by using smaller envelopes was noted and will be revisited when Lenten offerings are received. If it's apparent that a normal size envelope will do, we can switch next year.

Brian Tennyson asked why some of the investment income is not reinvested. Mrs Wade answered that it will be used this budget year. Principal amounts are not used, just the interest which is directed to certain funds (e.g. Flower Fund, etc). 

Tom Ernst suggested that since property taxes have increased by 20% over the last year, perhaps we could negotiate the amount with the town or possibly charge for the use of the parking lot. Fr Ian indicated that the Property Committee is looking into negotiating a new parking lot lease and they will take it under advisement. 

The price of heating oil has increased, possibly due in part because the thermometer was improperly set.

John Meisner pointed out that nothing appeared to be charged to the "Actual 2012" column for property initiatives. Mrs Wade indicated that they are listed on a separate summary sheet because it is not part of the parish general fund. It was suggested that it could be added to be consistent. It does not affect the balance on page 37 as it's included under "Account Balances/Property Committee Fund."

MOVED by Sharon Wade, SECONDED by Pat Morrison, that the St James Parish financial reports from pages 36 to 37 be adopted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.

8.0  2013/14 BUDGET

MOVED by Debbie Smeltzer, SECONDED by Sharon Wade, that the recommended 2013-14 budget be adopted as submitted (pages 41-42).

DISCUSSION. Darrell Eisnor explained that the following pages reflect an explanation of the Property Committee portion of the budget. He further explained the projects and their rationale. He asked that the parish note that part of the budget shortfall was made up of property money. Expenditures have been prioritized according to safety issues and immediate repairs. Also, projects such as installing insulation and efficient lighting will save on expenses.

Brian Tennyson asked what the plan was to recover the existing $12,000 deficit. Normally, expenses are cut throughout the year. Mr Tennyson suggested making a budget presentation to the congregation as attendance has increased and donations have decreased.



Sandy Hippern is retiring as warden. Also retiring this year are Bud Johnson and Jocelyn Brown. Winnie Hoyt retires as Synod delegate and member-at-large but will be joining as a warden. Sandy Alexander retires from Interchurch Council and Blanke Knickle completed his three-year term as council member. He will stay on council as chair of the property committee.

MOVED by Darrell Eisnor, SECONDED by John Meisner, that a vote of thanks be extended to officers retiring this year for their work in the parish.


Tom Ernst also extended a thank you to the ladies who take care of coffee hour every Sunday. It has been a great addition to our parish.


MOVED by Stuart Dauphinee that the meeting adjourn. MOTION CARRIED.

Father Ian Wissler                           Jennifer Veinotte
Chairperson                                    Recording Secretary

Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint