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February 2017 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

Search Committee Notes:

The Search Committee has prepared a survey. The Committee would like the survey returned by February 28th.
The survey can be found at:
Download, print and drop off or send to office.


In Jimmy Fallon’s first monologue as host of NBC’s
The Tonight Show, he expressed thanks to all past hosts. On an occasion when he might have said, “And now this stage is mine!” or “I’m delighted to be counted among such greats,” instead he stated with deep humility, “I just want to do the best I can and take care of this show for a while.”

Take care of.
That’s language not of ownership but of stewardship. That’s the language of Genesis 2:15 (NIV) — “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

What have we been called to “take care of for a little while”? The earth, surely. Perhaps a congregation, a business, a neighbor in need, a volunteer or an employee. A child, who may need less care — or different forms of it — as time goes on. We don’t own these people and things. God invites us to be stewards of them, to care for them, to use wisely and value these precious gifts … and someday, to pass them on to others.

ECW Calendar
  • Monday, Feb.6: ECW Business Meeting, 6:00 pm, Smodell Hall. Budget review, calendar planning and preparation for the annual card party.

  • Sunday, Feb. 19: ECW Social Event, MCT play and dinner, 2:00 pm.

  • Monday, Mar. 6: ECW Business Meeting, 6:00 pm, Smodell Hall. Final preparation for Annual Card and Game Party.

  • Saturday, Mar. 25: ECW’s Annual Card and Game Party. Save the date and please tell your friends to mark their calendars. Tickets will go on sale in February 2016.

All women of St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea are members of ECW. You do not have to attend the meetings to participate in any or all of the events. But please join us for any of the activities that are of interest to you. Guests are always welcome.

New Policy - Effective January 1, 2017
In order to track our church expenses in a timely manner, the Vestry has approved a new policy regarding expense reimbursement. In order to be reimbursed for approved church expenses, please submit your original receipts to Alison Mindel no later than 60 days after the receipt date. We appreciate your cooperation.
Book Club will meet on February 18th at 905 Cafe from Noon - 2PM.  The book for this month is The Skinvestigator: Tamp Stamp by Dr. Terry Collins Bring a brown bag lunch - drinks and dessert to be provided.  Please RSVP to Kay Ives so she can plan
The annual meeting of St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea, which would in usual practice be scheduled for January, 2017, has this year occurred early, on December 11, 2016. This is a one-time change and is due to the impending retirement on December 31, 2016, of our Rector, Father Norman Desrosiers. This is a proper procedure under canon law, this date being within 60 days of our diocesan convention (January, 2017).

1. Welcome: At about 10:45 am, our Senior Warden, Mike Coles, welcomed everyone present, declared a quorum, and called the meeting to order. Meeting followed a combined Sunday Eucharist which began at 9:00 am. Present were a very large number of parishioners.

2. Invocation:
Fr. Norman Desrosiers opened with prayer.

3. Thank You to Exiting Vestry Members:
Fr. Norman thanked Marty Hindsley and Mike Coles, who are finishing their third year of their term and will be leaving the Vestry at this time. Fr. Norm spoke of the fine job and excellent work done by Mike and Marty. Mike Coles has served both as Junior Warden and, currently, as Senior Warden. Marty had served for 5 years, having begun with a two-year stint, replacing a Vestry member who could not finish a term, and then was elected to his own 3-year term.
Father Norman then announced that Mike Edwards has agreed to be our new Senior Warden. Father explained that when the Rector leaves a parish, the Vestry is “frozen”, but having our parish meeting in December allows those whose term is almost over to retire from their Vestry duties if they so choose, and be replaced. However, Mike Edwards is also in his last year of service but has agreed that his term be “frozen” and will remain.

4. Vestry Nominations and Vote:
Mike Coles announced that election would now be held to elect two new members of the Vestry. Those who have allowed their names to be placed for nomination are Steven Gumbs and Kurt Belsten. There being no further nominations from the floor, a motion was made that both be elected by acclamation. This was done; Steve and Kurt are duly elected to each serve a 3-year term.

5. Announcement of Search Committee:
Mike Coles announced that there were about two dozen nominations and that the Vestry had finally selected a committee of nine members, as follows: Jerry May, Kurt Belsten, Doreen Yandell, Karen Jepeal, Lauri Stone, Kelley Hunt, Marty Hindsley, Renee Koenig, and Steve Gumbs. Jerry May and Kurt Belsten have been asked to serve as Co-Chairmen and have accepted. The Search Committee will have their first meeting, with the Vestry and Canon Nunez, on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 12:00 noon. We have a target of 3 to 6 months work, but that the search procedure may and often does take longer than that

6. 2016 Budget
: Our Treasurer, Janie Conner, thanked Rob Dickman, Alison Mindel, and Lauri Stone for their work and assistance in helping her take on the job of Treasurer.

7. 2017 Budget:
At this time Janie presented the 2017 Budget. She noted that the budget total is $250,000. Most of our expenses are for staff and property, but that the budget also includes an estimate of 3 months to secure a new Rector, with 9 months budget for New Rector Benefit and Salary Package, and a small amount for Search Committee expenses. This budget is about 5% over that of 2016. Our pledged income, to date, is short, but we have only received back about two-thirds of pledge cards which have been sent out.

Father Norm then spoke. He reminded us that we had become much healthier financially over the past four year years, but asked us to consider the third of the pledges that may be “holding back” and ask ourselves “Why? What does it say about us as a parish?” Fr. Norm reminded us that applicants to be the new Rector will look at this aspect of our parish health when considering coming to St. Sebastian’s.

Janie gave us more information about the budget. Last year’s pledges were $208,000; so far this year about $160,000. It is noted that this is only mid-December, and that the timing of the annual meeting may make a difference in our final count. There were 110 pledge cards sent out; to date there have been 76 returned. The balance (34) have all received phone calls.

8. Parish Ministries:
Mike Coles thanked Vestry members for their work this past year. Some mentioned were:
Junior Warden, Thanks to Bob Sielski, for the “phenomenal” job he has done of NOT spending money, but getting things done, keeping things looking good, keeping us going.
Stewardship: thanks to Pete Peterson for his ongoing work in leading our Stewardship Drive
Ministries to Parishioners: Gary Conner reported that our new ministry “Church Family Matters” has started work
Membership and Evangelism: Chuck Reisinger was not present, but Mike noted the work being done by Chuck in his weekly Bible Study group
Youth/Education: Lauri Stone reported on our reorganized and refurbished Sunday School
Outreach: Marty keeps us informed of local groups needing help and we support then where we can. We have just made donations from our Outreach Fund to two groups: ‘Aging Matters’ and ‘Brevard Rescue Mission’.

9. Questions:
Valerie Coles spoke about our upcoming retirement party for Father Norm and reminded everyone present of the details. We are at full capacity for this

10. Other Business:
Not only is Father Norm about to celebrate his retirement, but today is his birthday, and he was treated to the joyful noise of his parish family singing “Happy Birthday”. Happy Birthday, Father Norm!

12. Closing Prayer:
Father Norm closed the meeting with prayer which reminded us: “Emmanuel: God with us … You are with us all the time!

Minutes submitted by Lauri Stone, Clerk of the Vestry
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February Birthdays

3 - Dorothy Hayes
5 - Sandy Burger
7 - David Lehr
14 - Kurt Belsten
16 - Karen Staudinger
24 - Nick Belsten
25 - Bunny Thompson
27 - Beverly Berard

February Anniversaries

13 - Jim & Lucretia Braddock
15 - Pete & Robyn Peterson


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The church office is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 AM – 1 PM.
Phone number - (321) 723-3015, Fax - (321) 723-0009
Email -
Office -
Web site:
In case of emergency, you may call:
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)