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Council minutes for June 14, 2016

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Draft minutes

Present: Jacy Boldebuck, Damon Smith, Jan Klawitter, Janine Bessemer, Ryan Estrella, Sarah Fritz, and John Van Overbeke (for financial report)

Absent: Pastor Phil Haslanger, Rebecca Malke, Josh Gormley, Orion Jetzer

Jacy opened the meeting with a prayer.

The Minutes for the May, 2016, meeting were moved for approval by Jan, which was seconded by Sarah and passed.

The Financial Report was presented by John, who updated that the bottom line for the month of May was that expenses exceeded income by $7,070. This was mostly attributable to our semi-annual payment to OCWM (Our Church’s Wider Mission) and also being $2800 short of what was pledged for offering; however, the year-to-date bottom line remains favorable. John also reported on the money available in the various funds and the plan to transfer money from New Initiatives to cover campership and confirmation expenses. Jan moved to approve the financial report, which was seconded by Janine and passed.

John also presented the Trustees Report: We have collected $2,400 in donations so far this year for the Camp Campaign, and with the MUCC Endowment Fund commitment of $2,500 added to last year’s total we now have $12,600 toward our pledged goal of $15,000 (over 3 years).

Jacy updated that Bob and Mary Holtshopple would like to direct up to $5,000 of their daughter-in-law’s memorial fund to an electronic carillon bell system. We all agreed that the sound of bells in the narthex and outside the front door prior to the service starting would be a lovely addition to the church. Jan moved to approve the generous allocation of this memorial money for this purpose, which was seconded by Ryan and passed.

The Pastor’s Report was presented (via email) by Pastor Phil (who missed the meeting because he was with Rebecca and our confirmands in Washington DC):

  • Phil attended Karin Wells’ graduation from Chicago Theological Seminary in May. Karin will be preaching here on July 17 and hosting a thank-you fellowship time for the congregation on August 7. She will begin a year-long residency as chaplain at UnityPoint Health-Meriter this fall.
  • Phil attended the celebration of full communion between the Presbyterians and the Moravians on June 5 at Covenant Presbyterian Church. He described this as “a wonderful moment of denominations crossing old boundaries.”
  • Phil helped lead a clergy ethics workshop in early June, prior to the Wisconsin Conference UCC annual meeting, which gave him a chance to connect with a number of UCC folks from around the state.
  • Phil and Ellen will be leaving for vacation after this coming Sunday, returning July 1. Rebecca will be leading worship June 26, and Winton Boyd will provide pastoral back-up during Phil’s absence.
  • Several baptisms are coming up in July: Damon and Carrie Smith’s twins (Jonah and Ainslee Smith) July 3, Joanna Bellman-Dulin’s and George Gillis’ son (Neil Gillisman) July 10, and Katherine Huber-Smith and Adam Smith’s new baby on July 24.
  • Jamie Schwoerer starts as our new office manager on June 21. Jean will train her over a few weeks, “and then we will say farewell to Jean after 16 years of amazing service on July 8.”

The Committee Reports were given:

Faith Development: Sarah reported that this committee met on June 5 and discussed the topics of Summer Sunday School, summer service projects for the older kids, summer world religion exploration plans, and registration for the upcoming school year. Rebecca updated us during the meeting that classroom attendance averages stayed the same for the fall and spring semesters this year, which is a departure from the trend of attendance decreasing in the spring. Jacy brought up the good point, on the topic of summer service projects, that we have folks in our congregation who have become more isolated and would benefit from being visited by our youth.

Special Events: Jacy reported that she and John hosted a potluck get-together for the garage sale volunteers. A good time was had by all, and everyone has committed to helping out with the next garage sale!

Membership: No report.

Outreach: No report.

Worship: No report. Council decided that the details of the electronic carillon bell system, the money for which is to be allocated from Bob and Mary Holshopple’s daughter-in-law’s memorial fund, would best be worked out by this committee.

Building and Grounds: Damon reported that plans are underway to light up our front sign. The wooden top cap will be extended, and LED lights will shine on the sign from underneath. The advantages to LED lighting include the brightness, the energy efficiency, and the ability to easily change the color. The estimated cost of these changes is less than $500. This committee will continue to work on how to wire electricity to the sign, as well as how to incorporate a visible rainbow to show we’re open and affirming. Damon also reported that the spring clean-up was a success.

Old Business: Jacy reported that nominations for the Pastoral Search Committee closed last Sunday, and the nomination committee (consisting of council members Jacy, Janine, and Jan) will be meeting in late June to select a slate of names from among the nominees to present to the council for approval. Rev. Joanne Thomson has recommended the inclusion of a member of council and a member of the trustees for this search committee, and Jacy asked that all council members give this some consideration.

Jacy reported that the Stewardship Committee is starting to work on the fall campaign, with emphasis on our upcoming centennial anniversary. The Pastoral Search Committee, rather than the Stewardship Committee, will organize listening sessions later in the fall.

Jacy also updated that plans are in the works to show our thanks to Jean for her 16 years of service.

Damon moved to adjourn.

Minutes submitted by Sarah Fritz