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Council Minutes for December 2019

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Memorial United Church of Christ Council Meeting

December 10, 2019

Present: Dean Baumgartner, Ryan Estrella, Sarah Fritz (President), Pastor Kris Gorton, Cathy Halpin (Secretary), Kelly Jetzer, Rebecca Malke and John Rosch

Absent:  Jacy Boldebuck (Vice President) and Sue Webb

Kris opened with a prayer.

John moved and Kelly seconded a motion to approve the November 12, 2019 minutes. Approved.

Ongoing Business:

Dean submitted drafts of all MUCC job descriptions, the updated organization chart and revised personnel policies asking for comments, corrections and changes to be finalized at the January 2020 Council meeting. The documents have also been shared with Trustees who will meet ahead of the January Council.

New position descriptions for the Pastor and the Church Administrator were also shared with a recommendation that the new position be half-time with an annual salary of approximately $25k to $28k. Dean moved to approve hiring of the new position, Sarah seconded the motion, motion carried. Members discussed what methods should be used to advertise [only e-postings or include print newspapers] and whether any Council member could write the ad and post I electronically and in The Wisconsin State Journal. Determined members in attendance did not have the expertise to do this without Pastor Kris’s assistance. Tabled until after Christmas services and Pastor Kris’s late December vacation. Follow-up to be scheduled for January 2020 Council meeting.

Dean moved and Cathy seconded a motion to hire a temporary Office Manager. Approved. Cathy [Chair of Personnel Committee] will set up an interview along with Gary Johnson {Chair of Trustees] with Melanie Ward [joining MUCC in late January and starting seminary in February]. Cathy will also provide the crime background check.

Discussed continued viability of or need for two Sunday services. John moved and Kelly seconded a motion to revisit the subject in April. Approved.

New Business:

Pastor Kris requested financial support for continuing education and leadership training in Israel and Palestine in June 2020 through MUCC’s Bright Stars of Bethlehem connection. Discussed, request withdrawn, and Council directed Kris to discuss other continuing education opportunities with the Pastoral Relations Committee.

Dean moved and John seconded approval for Karin Wells’ use of MUCC space tor the Association of Spiritual Caregivers Executive Committee Friday January 3rd or January 10th. Motion approved.

Jonathan Schroerlucke [Music Director] has arranged to have Ken Lonnquist [Madison musician] present “Old Belfana’, a musical in January. Jonathan has funds in his budget to pay the troupe but asks if it would be appropriate to defray MUCC’s cost by circulating a free will offering basket. Council directs Jonathan to pay through his budget and if he needs additional funds later in the year to discuss with Trustees. Council also directs that offering baskets be available but not passed or donations solicited…any funds collected will become part of MUCC’s general collections, as always.

Pastoral Report:

Evening Scripture and Scones is finished for 2019 but will again run from January 15th through February 20th. Average attendance has been 5-7 people, about the same as the morning version!

Kris plans to start a conversation about becoming a Dementia Friendly Church in 2020. [See Faith Director’s note on January 2020 First Friday Fellowship topic below].


Dean reports that MUCC is doing well financially and anticipates ending 2019 with a $6,000 surplus. Both the number of pledges and the amount pledged for 2020 grew over 2019 levels.

The silent auction netted more than $4,800. 

Dean handed out a draft of the 2020 budget. Discussed who prepared the music budget and how a committee should request changes to its budget. Tabled but will consider if this should be an orientation item for new Council members and/or committee chairs.

Committee Reports:

Buildings and Grounds:  Dean reports the furnace inspections are complete. The motor of one furnace will be repaired now and one furnace per year for the next three years will be replaced [four furnaces total].

Flooring throughout the church will be replaced [carpet everywhere except for cork in the fellowship hall].

 Membership:  Packed 10 gift boxes for congregation students.

Outreach:  Ryan reports the Committee provided $500 to Good Neighbors Essential Pantry, $100 to Church Women United, $75 for Moses Yearbook and $500 for the Allied Drive Wellness Center.  

Special Events:  No report.  

Stewardship:  No report.

Worship:  John reports they are working on Advent art.

Faith Development Director’s Report:

Forty-nine people attended Frozen 2 movie night. Three of the families attending are not MUCC attenders –another testament to ‘ever-widening circles!

The annual Nifty Gifty advent workshop was fun and very well attended! 25 kids, 7 adult volunteers and 6 crafts!

December’s First Friday Fellowship was a carol sing. The January fellowship will include Karen Wheelock, a certified dementia practitioner, speaking to us on caring for those with memory losses.

Sunday School is finished for 2019 and will start up again in mid-January.


Next Meeting:  Change*****January 7th, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.*****Change

 Respectfully submitted by Cathy Halpin