Parish of St James,  Mahone Bay -

Parish Council

Minutes of Meeting of ST. JAMES PARISH COUNCIL
held in the St. James Anglican Parish Hall
Mahone Bay Thursday, December 8, 2016 


The meeting was called to order at 6:58 p.m. by Brian Tennyson and Father Alvin led Parish Council in prayer.


Present at the meeting: Brian Tennyson, Father Alvin, Stuart Dauphinee, Debbie Smeltzer, Bill DeGrace, Doreen Wheeler, Sandy Alexander, Kim Veinotte, Margot Lutes, Heather Whynott, Sharon Wade, Beth Ernst, Yvonne Daubs, Darrell Eisnor, and Jennifer Veinotte. Regrets were received from Blane Knickle, Bud Johnson, and Nikki Ernst.


MOVED by Bill DeGrace, SECONDED by Father Alvin, that the Agenda be approved with the following changes: add “Taping of Service” and “Furnace at Christ Church” under New Business. MOTION CARRIED.


MOVED by Father Alvin, SECONDED by Margot Lutes, that the minutes of November 13, 2016 be approved with the following change, under section 5.8, line 4, change “Charitable Organizations Act” to “Income Tax Act”.MOTION CARRIED.


5.1 Wifi Connection (Item 5.1): Darrell Eisnor wasn’t present at the time to report, but arrived shortly after. Brian Tennyson reported that as of yesterday, it wasn’t working. After Darrell arrived, he reported that nothing has been successful as yet. Also, Darrell was speaking with a representative concerning fibre-op and bundles. He felt that we could speak more to a deal when the new Rector arrived.

5.2 Sexton Position Update (Item 5.3): Brian Tennyson reported that the Parish received three applications. Interviews were set up, however, two of the candidates had found other positions. Bill DeGrace, Kim Veinotte, and Heather Whynott conducted the sole interview. The sub-committee has a recommendation, and Bill prepared a letter of acceptance. The Property Committee updated the Sexton job description, and it’s expected that the successful candidate would have an RCMP background check.

Discussion was held around general employment policies (ie, holiday pay, vacation, work hours, etc.). It was agreed that the Wardens would discuss and develop a document.

Debbie Smeltzer inquired about a probationary period. The consensus is that we have one. Sharon Wade also mentioned a potential time sheet to record hours. 

5.3 Parking Lot Financial Support (Item 5.4): Work in progress.

5.4 Oil Tanks (Item 5.5): Kim Veinotte spoke with Blane Knickle last night and he indicated that he was still waiting for quotes.

5.5 Parking Lot Fundraiser (Item 5.7): This did not take place as there were not enough volunteers. It was also felt in the community that the Parish should not charge for parking. Brian mentioned that he reviewed a copy of the expired parking lot lease with the Town and will provide a copy for Council members. 

Sandy Alexander stated that the new Mayor has set aside Thursday mornings for public appointments and felt that we should set one up to speak with him for a general discussion. Sandy further mentioned that it might be beneficial to speak with Rev. Snook from the Lutheran Church to see what they have done in terms of their parking lot and that he may want to be included in discussions with the Mayor.

Darrell suggested posting a sign indicating that parking was courtesy of St. James Parish. A permit is needed for signs installed within Town limits according to land use by-laws. It was further suggested that this issue be included on the Annual General Meeting agenda. Several meetings were made with the Town to discuss the parking lot lease, but didn’t pan out.

5.6 Parish Rental Hall Agreement (Item 5.8): Council reviewed this document last month, and it was referred back to the Property Committee for further discussion.

Debbie contacted the Canada Revenue Agency and discovered that we cannot have two separate rental rates for public and members. Father Alvin stated that the purpose of the agreement is for those who want to rent the hall, not internal groups or funerals or church-related activities, etc. We will have one rate and one contract. It was suggested that the Property Committee meet with Father Alvin to review the document again.


6.1 Thank you: A thank you and receipt were received from the Mahone Bay & Area Food bank for the Parish’s donation.

6.2 Thank you: A thank you was received from Bayview Community School for the Parish’s donation to their library and breakfast program.


7.1 Rector Report: Father Alvin reported as follows:
 He thanked Parish Council for support and prayers as this is his last meeting;
 He is putting notes together for reference for Father Chad;
 He and Barb completed the bulletins for Christmas, January 1 and 8;
 He is working on hospital visitations and home communions; and
 The Office will be open on December 28, which is also the cut-off date for 2016 contributions.

Yvonne Daubs expressed her thanks to Father Alvin for attending the annual Christmas party for Christ Church.

MOVED by Father Alvin, SECONDED by Stuart Dauphinee that the Rector’s Report be accepted as given. MOTION CARRIED.

7.2 Wardens’ Reports (Christ Church and St. James):

Brian Tennyson:
1. My main activity in the past few weeks has been with regard to the renovations to the rectory. I have been in frequent communication with the carpenter and electrician. The work is coming along on schedule. The wiring is almost finished. 2. The wardens reviewed the applications for sexton and discussed our objectives but I did not participate in the interviews.
3. The annual performance review for Barb Zwicker will take place on Wednesday, December 7th.

Bill DeGrace:
 Various email exchanges with new Rector regarding his upcoming move;
 November 17 – meeting with Property Committee to revise job guidelines for position of Sexton (custodian) and to discuss SafeR Church obligations regarding Sexton position (Michael Lutes);
 November 25 – Telephone calls to applicants for the position of Sexton;
 November 29 – interview with candidate for Sexton;
 December 1 – Wardens’ meeting Bill DeGrace”

MOVED by Bill DeGrace, SECONDED by Heather Whynott, that the St. James’ Wardens Reports be accepted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.

Stuart Dauphinee reported the following for Christ Church Wardens
  The furnace should be installed on December 20. The cost is $7,499.31. 

MOVED by Stuart Dauphinee, SECONDED by Doreen Wheeler, that the Christ Church Wardens Reports be accepted as given. MOTION CARRIED.

7.3 Treasurer’s Report:

Sharon Wade reported on the deposits for November and cheques for December. She noted that the second column should read Nov-15 rather than Nov-16. Additional cheques are #7355 to Irving in the amount of $415.89; and #7356 to David Baugil for $197.80 for a lights in the steeple and hall. Total expenses for December are $16,947.99. She also reported that $13,775.00 was sent to the Refugee Committee, and she will check on Monday to see if the cheque cleared and then close the account.

MOVED by Sharon Wade, SECONDED by Father Alvin, that the Treasurer’s Report be accepted as read. MOTION CARRIED.

7.4 Finance Committee:

Debbie Smeltzer previously submitted the following report for the Finance Committee:
1) Sharon Wade prepared the financial figures for January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016. They are as follows:

EXPENSES Total expenses: $6438 (Budget: $44,140) Personnel spending $16,000 less than budgeted; Fuel, power, maintenance costs $6,000 less than expected; Administration costs were $1,200 more than budgeted; allotment, taxes, and insurance were on budget; other expenses were $37,000 less than expected. This included $30,000 budgeted for property initiatives which we shall spend in the 4th quarter.

INCOME Total revenue: $141,459 (Budget : $132,088) Envelope offerings were $3000 less than budgeted; Property fund was $1000 less than expected; other allotments $1200 less than expected; Ways and means $200 more; Interest on investments $3000more than expected; other miscellaneous income $12,000 more than expected. For the first three quarters of our year we have a surplus of $13,014. It should be noted that even with the previous minister gone, the envelope offerings of $49,383 were still not covering our personnel expenses of $57,921. (approximately $8,500 deficit)

2) Sharon has sent a cheque to the Jonathan Devid Wayne Lewis Foundation for the money collected for the Syrian refugee family. She will be closing that account.

3) The $40,000 from our investments to cover the cost or rectory renovations is to be in our account on December 7.” Debbie amended the total expenses listed in the report to $128,446 and total revenue to $141,459, which means that we are ahead by $13,014. Debbie further reported that the operating fund is in the red, but we will receive monies from the Diocese for renovations to the Rectory. Father Alvin suggested that Debbie give Barb a summary to include in the bulletin.

MOVED by Debbie Smeltzer, SECONDED by Darrell Eisnor, that the Finance Committee report be accepted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.

7.5 Outreach Committee: Nothing to report.

7.6 Three Churches Foundation: Bill DeGrace:
 The Foundation Board met on November 18. The Board has been lacking representation from the Lutheran and Anglican churches. Two representatives from the Lutheran Church were added to the Board. Two names from St. James’ were brought forward: Brent Aulenback and Blane Knickle. Grant monies are officially available ($3,000 each), and St. John the Evangelist reported that its parishioners have already developed a project.

 A wine-and-cheese reception was held with existing and prospective Board members at the home of Annette St-Onge on November 30. Bill DeGrace” Bill further reported that Brent Aulenback has joined and Pastor Steven has returned. The Lutheran Church is developing a project. Bill will get a form to apply for funds as there are some available now. He will inform the Property Committee of eligible projects. Darrell asked if the walkway would qualify. Bill will check. 

MOVED by Bill DeGrace, SECONDED by Father Alvin, that the Three Churches Foundation report be accepted as submitted. MOTION CARRIED.

7.7 Property Committee: The Committee met to review the Sexton job description. Also, a photocell was installed in the steeple and now the lights are automatic.

MOVED by Kim Veinotte, SECONDED by Sharon Wade, that the Property Committee Report be accepted as given. MOTION CARRIED.

7.8 Spiritual Fellowship Committee: Nothing to report.

7.9 Ways & Means Committee: Nothing to report.

7.10 Parochial Committee: Bill DeGrace:
 Under Canon 25, Section 27,the Parochial Committee was dissolved with the announcement of the Bishop on the appointment of the new Rector. Committee members are, henceforward, “cheerleaders” for the new Rector, offering support to Parish Council and the new Rector when needed. Bill DeGrace” Bill added that this will be the last report. A signature was needed from Father Chad and the final agreement was sent to the Bishop.

MOVED by Bill DeGrace, SECONDED by Debbie Smeltzer, that the Parochial Committee Report be accepted as given. MOTION CARRIED.

7.11 Rectory Committee: Brian reported that work is progressing. Walls have been plastered, gyproc installed in new bathroom, and things are ready for the plumber and electrician. The contractor confident that they will be done on time. Since the last meeting, Brian spoke with the electrician and learned that the larger amp was unnecessary right now. The electrical panel location remained downstairs but was replaced as it was rusty. At this time, Jennifer Veinotte left the meeting and Debbie Smeltzer continued with minute taking. A discussion was held regarding window coverings in the rectory.

MOVED by Heather Whynott, SECONDED by Sandy Alexander, that in light of the email response from the new rector, we go with the family’s suggestion and wait until they arrive so they can have some input in the decision about window coverings. MOTION CARRIED.

At this time, Beth Ernst left the meeting.


8.1 Arrival of New Rector: The new Rector and his family and their dog are leaving Manitoba January 2, 2017 and driving to Nova Scotia. They expect to arrive January 7. Their furniture will be arriving later. No date is available yet. The church will need to find temporary accommodation for them until the furniture arrives. Brian Tennyson is arranging this, and school registrations, etc.

A pot luck party to welcome the new rector and say goodbye to Rev. Westgate will probably be held January 15.

8.2 Taping services: A service will be taped this Sunday. Margot Lutes hopes to start a trial distribution of the services to shut-in parishioners next week. Brian Tennyson has purchased four MP3 players with speakers for approximately $100 for each set. (Costs to be covered from the In Memorium fund) There were 15 people who expressed some interest in the program. So Margot will choose 4 people to start. Barbara Zwicker will be training the volunteers, who are taking the players to the homes of the shut-ins, on how to use the players.

Sandy Alexander asked if a meeting could be held with all the volunteers and Margot regarding this training. Margot Lutes will consider it.

8.3 Christ Church Furnace: The furnace at Christ Church and its chimney need replacing. A bid for $7500 has been accepted. The new furnace does not need a chimney as it can be vented instead. Christ Church needs help in covering the cost. 

MOVED by Margot Lutes, SECONDED by Darrell Eisnor, that St.James Parish give Christ church a grant of $4000 towards the purchase of a new furnace. MOTION CARRIED.


The next regular meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for January 12, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.


The meeting adjourned at 9:30 pm.

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