What is the Cathedral Chapter?

It would be easy to describe the Cathedral Chapter simply as a board of directors or a parish council (Vestry in Episcopal Church terminology). But the Chapter is more than that. At its heart it is a group of 13 elected Cathedral members who commit to be good stewards of the Cathedral’s resources. That means that they embrace its mission, wisely manage its finances and property, operate as directors of its corporation and provide counsel to the Dean. They value the Cathedral’s history, live into the challenges of the present and plan for the future.

Twelve chapter members are elected for three-year terms and one, a youth member, is elected for a one-year term. Those elections occur at the annual meeting in January. There are also three officers. The Senior Warden, a leadership role, is appointed by the Bishop and is not among the regular elected members.  The Junior Warden is elected from among the members of Chapter. Ex-officio members include the Service League president, the Treasurer and the Curate  (assisting clergy person).

The Chapter normally meets the third Tuesday of each month and meetings are open to visitors except when an executive session is necessary. The Bishop is the president of the Cathedral Corporation, but traditionally the Dean presides at Chapter meetings. 

Current members of the Chapter are:

  • Karen Byrne
  • Katherine Karr-Cornejo
  • Gretchen Ramey
  • Elizabeth Rosenzweig
  • Justin Haldeman
  • Kathie Hawkins
  • Patti Stice
  • John Wallingford
  • Linda Finney
  • Jim Holmes
  • Jennifer Ogden
  • Seth Robertson


Lay leadership positions include:

  • Senior Warden - John Wallingford
  • Junior Warden - Katherine Karr-Cornejo
  • Chancellor - Jason Brown


Additionally, the Chapter oversees eight standing committees:
•Mission and Strategy
•Education and Youth
•Lay Ministries
As with most organizations, the standing committees vary in their activity and regularity of meeting.
Assorted task forces, teams, and other groups form, as needed, to provide special events, new programs, etc.

Chapter Minutes - December 18, 2018

Chapter Members Present: Jason Brown, Karen Byrne, Justin Haldeman, Kathie Hawkins, Jim Holmes, Michael Leiserson, Katherine Karr-Cornejo, Gretchen Ramey, Elizabeth Rosenzweig, Patti Stice, John Wallingford, The Rev. Canon Kristi Philip, the Very Rev Heather VanDeventer. Ex-Officio: Karen Martin (Treasurer)

The meeting was called to order at 6:35 pm. Opening prayer was Thanksgiving prayers of members.

Old Business: The minutes from November’s meeting were moved for approval by Jason, seconded by Karen and subject to a spelling correction were approved.

Heather’s Celebration of New Ministry: Details of the liturgy are to be determined after Christmas. The annual meeting will be between services on Jan 27, with morning prayer taking the place of Holy Eucharist at 10:30. The Celebration will be at 4pm, same day. Invitations to be mailed Jan 5. Chapter was asked to inform John of any particular organizations or persons who should be invited. Heather in in discussion with the choir director about how to allocate choir resources for the day.

Karen Byrne reported on the status of the pledge campaign. 149 pledges have been returned so far, higher than this time last year. Median is about the same but the average is slightly up. There are 21 new pledgers. There are 43 who pledged last year who have not pledged this year. Committee is encouraged because numbers are up and the average pledge is up. It seems like we got a good response from the congregation. Mike asked whether persons were asked about their reasoning in setting pledges. Karen agreed to take the question to the committee.

New Business: Heather reported that St. John’s Properties was considering selling Winchester Court, with the restriction that it be continued as low-income housing, enabling others to use current tax credits and enabling St John’s properties to develop new properties alone or in partnership, to increase total low income housing in Spokane. Collier’s International, a brokerage who specializes in this type of transaction, is working with St John’s properties for the sale, expected in the next 6 months. There was discussion about the role of Chapter, the members of St John’s properties, in decision-making by the Board on such a substantial decision, which Heather agreed to convey.

A resolution on Heather’s Housing Allowance was read by Karen Byrne and proposed for acceptance, Katherine seconded and the resolution passed unanimously: Be it resolved that the Very Rev. Heather VanDeventer’s compensation for the year 2019 will be set at $97,500, of which $15,000 is designated as an allowance for providing a home. The Very Rev. Heather VanDeventer shall also be provided with the rent free use of the house located at 128 East 12th Avenue, Spokane WA 99202 for the year 2019 in consideration of her services to the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist.

Committee Reports

Jason - Bylaws Committee Report - Jason reported on the work to clarify language and organization to reflect practices that have been in place. There was discussion about the meaning of ‘official publication’ of the Cathedral, but it was decided no revision of text was needed. Jason is taking questions to integrate ahead of a second reading at the next meeting.

John and Heather - Property Report - Three stained glass windows in All Saints Chapel have been removed for repairs. Progress can be followed at the Willet Hauser’s facebook page. There was interest in calling attention to this repair before Christmas services, possibly by a storyboard. The nursery renovation is set to start in early January and take 4-5 weeks for the project to be completed. The dishwasher is bigger than the older one so Richie needs to bend some metal to get it to fit, expected to be completed in a week or two (depending on permit clearances, etc). Clarissa Ramey will be using the Verger’s apartment while student teaching at Roosevelt this winter and will paint in lieu of rent. Carpeting will be redone later.

Report about security and safety at the Cathedral was presented at last  Property meeting and is referred to Chapter to assess level of interest. There are 5 areas that are recommended for consideration.

  • Have a safety and preparedness written plan
  • Church campus access - how many doors are open at a time
  • Enhanced welcome, greeting, and watching(?) of visitors, possible Video Surveillance
  • Lighting concerns - especially the parking lot
  • Full time building occupant

Kathie says that she comes in sometimes on Saturday and finds the whole place unlocked with no idea who is in the building. Katherine says that having the building locked while she is in is a problem for her. People get locked inside sometimes. Lighting is a concern for everyone. Karen Martin related an example from another church that adapted smoothly when they decided to go to routinely lock the building. Handicap access at the east entrances merits consideration, given the location of handicap parking and proximity to kitchen.

Property Committee went through the process of prioritizing projects for 2019. They were about taking care of northside landscaping, lighting, replacement of the heating system in the deanery, and bathroom by the narthex, windows in the youth room. John will forward minutes with the priority scores once distributed.

Karen - Finance - Pledged income is going to be low unless people pay in Dec. Plate will not make the estimated values. Expenses are under budget. There will be a surplus this year because of underbudget employee expenses. Some surplus may be redesignated to the South of 12th Fund for foundation repairs, southside painting, potentially window replacements; the balance of surplus would be as budget reserves.

St John’s Music Series line looks large but anticipates substantial expenditures in December. Report moved by Jason and seconded by Kathie, all passed. Jason moved to pay bills, Gretchen, everyone agreed.

2019 Budget proposal was passed out. We’re currently 63K short on pledges for the goal, even if we get that we’re still 100K short; main contributors are 22K for the Diocesan assessment, 40K for salaries, projecting a priest associate will be on board for half the year, benefits; a new line for part time persons to support maintenance staff; and 10K as our portion of salary for regional youth group leader. 

There are modest adjustments to Program budget lines for Education and Youth, Music, Communications, and Parish Life reflecting recent expenditures (or not); and contingencies which go up in proportion to pledges. John asked when the last time an energy audit was done and what opportunity we have to reduce expenses for utilities. Katherine requested finer detail in complex lines, similar to the breakdown under Parish Life. Further questions should be directed to Karen ahead of January’s meeting so she can do the needed research.

Mike & Heather - Report on Nominations. We have identified 4 people who are willing to stand for Chapter; Jim Holmes, Linda Finney, Jennifer Ogden and Vince Schmidt. Seth Robertson and Virgil Degas also have expressed interest, though have not yet returned forms. There are several people who are interested to be Delegates to convention but slots are still available.

Dean’s comments: There will be a handout about other Cathedral offerings for people attending Christmas services. There is a New Year’s service with potluck. Mbale was recognized for extraordinary growth in his position over the past year.

The meeting was concluded in prayer at 9:22 and adjourned at 9:25pm.