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Council minutes for May 8, 2018

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May 8, 2018


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

Absent: Rita Elver

Jacy opened the meeting with a prayer.

The Minutes for the April, 2018, meeting were moved for approval by Jan (after she pointed out a minor correction), which was seconded by Sue and passed.

Old Business:

An update about the solar system proposal was presented by Dean Baumgardner, who informed council that the application for a $10,000 “Solar for Good” grant, through RENEW Wisconsin, was approved, and an application for a $4,000 grant, through Focus on Energy, will be submitted, next. The total cost of the project will be about $50,000 (the two estimates that have been done were within $1,000 of each other), and funding options for that which isn’t covered by grants will include donations from the congregation. Once installation is completed, by mid-fall, 2018, 80-90% of our electrical needs will be met, at an annual savings of $3,400 and an annual reduction of coal use by 27 tons. Jan moved that council recommends moving forward with this project, with the scheduling of a congregational meeting (May 20th), at which Dean will give information about this project and ask for a vote on congregational approval of the project and a (one-year) capital campaign to partially fund it. Ryan seconded this motion, which was passed.

The Financial Report was presented by John, who updated that April was a good month, with contributions and expenses both being favorable to budget. We currently have a year-to-date surplus of $4,460. The garage sale brought in $2,769, and a total of $1,557 was collected for the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. John’s update from the trustees was that two campership applications have been submitted, and the money in the Ahrnsbrak funds is still being invested in a total stock market fund. Jan moved to approve the financial report, which was seconded by Janine and passed.

The Pastor’s Report was presented by Pastor Kris, who updated that there are three new members of the care team, who will see to the coordination of meals to be provided for members and friends in need, among other acts of care. Pastor Kris’s community office hours have been well-received, with those in attendance getting to know each other, as well as Pastor Kris, better. Two confirmation students have signed up for the Summer Rural Immersion trip, so far. Multiple “taking faith out” and educational opportunities are being explored. Pastor Kris will be attending a chaplaincy training but has decided not to serve in this capacity for the Fitchburg Fire Department at this time. Pastor Kris is looking for two delegates from MUCC to attend the WI Conference UCC Annual Meeting at Green Lake June 8-10th, and Jan Klawitter and Rick Orton have expressed interest. There is also a preconference presentation on White Identity and Christian Faith June 7th. MUCC will be the host site for the Emergency Action Plan on May 17th (7-9pm). This will be a free event, but online registration is required.

The Faith Development Report was presented by Rebecca, who reported that she will be giving a Dr. Who and Theology presentation at the Great Lakes Regional Youth Event in July (in Elmhurst, IL), and she will be representing the UCC at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in November (in Toronto). The recent confirmation class visit to Circle Sanctuary was successful, and the Buddhist Temple visit has been scheduled for June 23rd. The visit to the Hindu Temple has yet to be scheduled, and Rebecca is planning to organize volunteers from MUCC to help paint the Masjid Us-Sunnah Mosque. This Sunday (May 13th) is Youth Sunday, with many youth signed up to participate in various aspects of the service. The Mystery Friend party took place last Sunday with great success, with 26 participants meeting their mystery friend and a total of over 50 attendees at the party. This is an activity that Rebecca would like to facilitate annually.

The Committee Reports were given:

Faith Development: No report.

Special Events: Janine thanked Jacy for leading another successful garage sale.

Membership: Rita submitted the report that care cards are being sent out, the directory is being updated and printed, pew pad use has been evaluated, membership status for those on the inactive list will be investigated, graduates of high school and college will be contacted, and the Senior Brunch will be held in the fall. There have been about 12 people attending the monthly (senior) soup lunches, and there is waning attendance at the (senior) film series.  Fellowship sign-up will continue throughout the summer.

Outreach:  Jan reported that recent disbursements have been sent to GNPEP, the Eviction Prevention Fund, and the Interfaith Coalition for Justice.

Building and Grounds: Ryan updated that the Spring Clean-Up event is scheduled for this Saturday (May 12th), with a rain-date of May 19th. The Music Makers’ stored items are now being kept in the former parish nurse’s office. There will be repairs done to the front door to accommodate the raised pavement.

Worship: Kelly reported that the sanctuary will be decorated for Pentecost May 17th. There will be a new coordinator for ushers and greeters. In the spirit of Love of Creation a discussion has been had about the repurposing of plastic bags: Plarn (plastic yarn) can be used to crochet mats to donate (to homeless individuals).

New Business:

Jacy updated that Karen Wells has been hired at Oakhill Correctional Center and therefore needs her license to be updated to reflect this change. Jan moved to approve this update, which was seconded by Janine and passed.

 Jan moved to adjourn.

Minutes submitted by Sarah Fritz