January 29, 2017
A quorum was declared present. Council President Jacy Boldebuck called the meeting to order. Pastor Phil Haslanger shared an opening prayer.
2016 Annual Meeting minutes approval: One change was requested: Gary Johnson reported the 2016 operating budget rather than John VanOverbeke. Gary Johnson made the motion to approve with stated change. Sonjia Short seconded. Minutes approved.
Words from the Council President: Jacy Boldebuck offered appreciation for all of our members and the church. Everyone matters in this place where we believe in the theology of a loving God.
Life of the Congregation: Pastor Phil Haslanger reported on plans for our centennial celebrations. Celebrations will culminate June 4, when Rev. Franz Rigert, Wisconsin Conference Minister, will preach. Adam Dachman has composed a piece for choir and orchestra called “100 Years”. Michael Bryant will share his song “Cornerstone” in a addition to a video he has put together for this celebration. After worship and a brief program, there will be a potluck.
We will have a “Month of Sundays” to let the neighborhood know of our centennial. We will also be asked to participate in various ways: 1) Each household will be asked to write a page about who they are, using words and pictures. 2) Using our mission statement “reaching out in ever-widening circles,” we will trace hands to make a wide circle of hands. 3) There will be knitting projects.
The Memorial UCC Centennial Outreach Fund will go to Madison-area Urban Ministry’s microloans project. We hope to raise $10,000 by mid-May for this one-time project. The trustees have also voted to give $500 to the runners-up projects: MARC, Porchlight, and Family Service of Madison.
Election of Council Members: Rita Elver (1st term), Sue Webb (1st term), Jan Klawitter (2nd term) and Janine Bessemer (3rd term) were nominated for council. No further nominations were made from the floor. Gary Johnson made a motion to accept these candidates and Sonjia Short seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
2016 Financial Report: Gary Johnson reviewed different funds that are available at MUCC, including Ahrnsbrak Fund, Memorial Endowment, Giving Locally, Benevolent Fund, Memorial Gift Fund and the Building Fund. Gary gave appreciation that $45,000 has gone out to the community in the past year from this congregation. He reminded us that the Endowment Fund distributions are based on requests from congregants, so all should be encouraged to make a request for organization/groups that do worthy work.
2017 Operating Budget: Gary Johnson reported on the proposed 2017 Budget. Pledges are up and non-pledges are down, as nonmembers who gave but didn’t pledge have become members. Lay staff budget is decreased due to our parish nurse, Mary Ircink, retiring soon. It is unclear if or how this position will be replaced, since it may be hard to find someone to replace her. The music budget was increased in order to have the bells refurbished. The budget this year is tight, but they feel good about it, given a surplus last year. Wendy Proctor asked about unexpected expenses related to an interim pastor or new pastor. Gary reported that they have resources to draw from if needed for unexpected expenses during the transition. Sue Webb moved to adopt the 2016 Budget as proposed; Wendy Proctor seconded. Motion passed.
Search Committee update: Dean Baumgardner reported for the Search Committee, which has been meeting and working since Fall. He has felt honored and privileged, but also humbled by this experience. The committee members include: Brian James-Richardson, Sonjia Short, John Rosch, Mary Holtshopple, Dean Baumgardner, Amy Boutelle and Lisa Schoenwetter. He outlined the steps that have and will be taken in the process of calling a new pastor.
- They have been working on the Church Profile, which is a 20+ page document that describes the church and community in great detail. In addition, they have re-written the Pastor Position Description. They will meet tomorrow to finalize both documents. These profiles will be sent to Joanne Thomson, Assoc. Conference Minister for her final feedback and editing.
- The pastor position will be advertised nationally through the UCC.
- The committee will review applications as they come in through March and April.
- The committee will narrow the candidates to 3-4 people who will be given interviews. Dean asked that the congregation consider and share potential interview questions.
- From the interviews, they will narrow it to 1-2 people who will be asked to speak at a neutral pulpit with search committee present.
- At this point, if they have found a candidate that they highly recommend, a special meeting will be set in order for the congregation to approve and call the new pastor. However, they are not obligated to accept any of the applicants and if needed, they would restart the process with applicants.
The timeline goal for all of this to be completed is 9-10 months from the initiation last fall; however the actual timeline may be longer, as needed. The hope is that the gap will be short between Phil’s retirement and the new pastor beginning. If this is the case, we would find local people to preach on Sundays until the new pastor could begin. However if the gap is longer than anticipated, an interim pastor will be hired. Wendy Proctor shared her opinion that the congregation should hire an Interim minister for the summer of 2017. The Search Committee will take this under advisement.
From the floor:
Nancy Potter asked about the Carillion Bells system. Phil answered that they are having technical problems with the system. If anyone were interested in taking on this task, it would be appreciated.
Jeanne Heinold asked about handicapped accessible bathroom in the church. We do have an accessible bathroom, but it was brought to our attention that many people don’t know about it. Signs would be helpful.
Ellen Reuter requested work on the sound system, as there has been increased feedback.
Gary Johnson moved to adjourn; Merry Spangler seconded.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Janine Bessemer