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Council Minutes for December 2018

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Memorial United Church of Christ Council Meeting

December 11, 2018

Present:  Janine Bessemer, Jacy Boldebuck, Rita Elver, Ryan Estrella, Sarah Fritz, Kris Gorton, Kelly Jetzer, Jan Klawitter, Rebecca Malke, and John Van Overbeke

Absent: Sue Webb

Guest:  Gary Johnson

Kris opened with a reading from Being A First Church: What a Pastor’s First Congregation Should Know

Janine made a motion to approve the modified November minutes. Sarah seconded. Passed.

Financial Report

Gary reports a 2019 budgeted shortfall of approximately $9,800 due to reduced pledging. Discussed if reductions could be attributed to tax changes, death of long time givers, congregants’ wishes to give for a specific purpose as opposed to globally [for example, the solar panels]. Gary recommends exploring long-term planning to address reductions in pledged giving.

John will order extra ‘giving locally’ envelopes to place in the narthex.

Trustees Report:  John reports we will be replacing the color printer/copier in December. The new unit will cost less than the current problematic model. The new model may be moved into Rebecca’s area. 

John moved and Janine seconded a motion to provide a $28,000 housing allowance to Pastor Kris Gorton for 2019. Motion approved.

Pastor’s Report

Annually, Pastor Kris chooses a word to reflect on during the year. 2018’s word was ‘immersion’ with all of the new MUCC duties, a new home and the challenges and joys these bring. 2019’s word hasn’t yet been decided. But, Kris is also participating in ‘Abbey of the Arts’ during Advent [writing, prayer, movement and reflection] and will be posting a word of the day from the Abbey during the season.

Kris will be on vacation December 25th through January 2nd. Rev. Sonja Ingelbretsen from Community of Hope will provide for pastoral emergencies. The office will be closed December 24th and 25th as well as December 31st and January 1st. Jacy will be leading worship at both services on January 30th.

Kris has been in touch with Chavez and Aldo Leopold Schools. Chavez seems interested in re-establishing the pen pal connection with MUCC. Leopold has lost some grant funding for 2019 but plans to launch an in-school food pantry anyway.

Worker Justice Wisconsin and Faith Advisory Board will be discussing wage theft, legal assistance, sexual abuse and gender bias during the coming year. Kris will continue to follow.

Terry Kiss Franks’ family was extremely appreciative of the lovely celebration of Terry’s life service. They send many, many thanks.

Music Makers will be holding a mini-concert at MUCC this Saturday.

Faith Development Director’s Report

Rebecca reports that all 39 seats for the Grinch movie sold out. First Friday group met for carols and sandwiches early in December and will be meeting a second time in December to listen to It’s a Wonderful Life by radio.

Nifty Gifty was well attended—lots of volunteers and treats!

There will be Sunday school December 16th and then it will adjourn until January 13th. Rebecca is still looking for teachers for the new semester.

Rebecca will be taking an Adult Faith Development on-line class coming up.

Rebecca suggested that Sunday school donations be directed to the Humane Society in Terry Frank Kiss’s memory. Jan moved and Kelly seconded the motion. Approved.

Committee Reports

Faith Development: Sarah complimented Rebecca on her great organizational skills and, along with the rest of the Council, gave Rebecca an enthusiastic ‘Thank You!!’

Special Events:  Janine reports Special Events will be hosting a Fitchburg Community and Faith Leaders breakfast in January. The annual chili cook off will be held in February and there will be an ‘evening of music’ in 2019.

Membership: Rita reports 9 undergraduate college student boxes were packed and mailed in time for exams. The Committee is looking up ‘missing’ members and sending cards to let them know they are missed. Four adults and 3 teens will be joining MUCC in January,

Outreach:  Jan reports final 2018 disbursements will be made this week.

Buildings & Grounds:  Ryan reported the Buildings and Grounds Committee cleaned the church during the weekend the Sondell’s daughter got married.  The new TV has been installed in the youth room and the carillon is working well.

Worship:  Kelly reports they are deciding if they should sell produce bags at the cookie sale. Committee has started the usher and liturgist lists for 2019. Cindy Rosch and Jacy Boldebuck will coordinate a Media Team. 

Old Business

Annual Meeting: The annual meeting is scheduled for January 27th. Kris will draft gender language to be reviewed at the January Council meeting. Congregants will also vote on ‘appropriate and inclusive language for our constitutions and for our open and affirming statement.

Committee reports and budget requests will be due December 15th to Barb St. John. Rebecca suggests playing ‘word bingo’ during the annual meeting to keep participants involved.

Jacy has made an application for a 90 minute Active Shooter training option for 2019.

Motion to adjourn passed.

Respectfully submitted by Cathy Halpin