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Council minutes for Nov. 10, 2015

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PRESENT: Jacy Boldebuck (Presiding), Phil Haslanger (Pastor), Rebecca Malke (Director of Faith Development), John VanOverbeke (Financial Secretary), Shirley Robbins (member), Betsy Robbins, Jan Klawitter, Janine Bessemer, Jeanne Prueher, Sarah Fritz

ABSENT: Damon Smith, Josh Gormley

Pastor Phil opened the meeting with prayer.

MINUTES: Jacy Boldebuck asked for approval of the minutes from the last council meeting, held October 13, 2015. Betsy Robbins made the motion to approve the minutes, which was seconded by Janine Bessemer and passed.

Shirley Robbins reported that Church Women United will be meeting at MUCC the morning of December 4th to display and share items (such as dolls and manger scenes), as well as food, with an International Christmas theme. Shirley hopes to include as many women from MUCC as possible.

FINANCIAL REPORT: John VanOverbeke distributed treasurer reports to each of the committee liaisons, as well as the financial summary for October, 2015. John pointed out that the budget deficit of over $15K will likely end up being closer to $8-10K after corrections are made. He reported that the Trustees met yesterday and have started to work on the 2016 budget. There have been 79 pledges (of an expected 104) received thus far, and it is expected that the amount pledged for 2016 will exceed 2015 pledges by about $3K. Jan Klawitter made the motion to accept the financial report, which was seconded by Janine Bessemer and passed.

PASTOR’S REPORT: Pastor Phil reported positively about various recent events, including the UNIDOS conference (which was held at MUCC October 17th), the Faith Against Domestic Violence meeting (October 24th), the donation of blankets, and ongoing Prison Ministry meetings. Pastor Phil plans to include a daily prayer on our Facebook page during and for the upcoming UN Climate Conference (to be held in Paris). There will be wonderful music in December at MUCC, with Music Sunday December 13th and the Kat Trio to perform December 20th. The trip for this year’s confirmands (including Amelia Hust, John Hilgers, Kevin Boutelle, and Luke Hammer) will be to Washington DC, and affordable housing has been arranged through a collaborative relationship with First UCC/DC.  A total trip cost of $6K has been estimated, with fund-raising to cover the majority of this.  The adults who will be accompanying the confirmands are Pastor Phil, Rebecca Malke, and Diane Hust. A final and very sad report of Pastor Phil’s was that a Chavez Elementary kindergartener died last night, and those affected by this loss will be in our prayers.

FAITH FORMATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Rebecca Malke reported that she had a great experience at the recent Parliament of World Religions event, and she will be presenting her photos and videos from this event this Sunday. On November 21st Rebecca will be leading a program at the annual Knock-Knock event at the Pilgrim Center, which Ian Jetzer will be attending. Rebecca hopes Orion Jetzer will be able to help her with this event. The Animate Bible series is wrapping up this month. Rebecca will be attending a SPIFFY meeting (for area faith education directors) tomorrow, and this group is working on a race relations interfaith event to be held February 20, 2016.


Special Events (formerly Adult Programming): Janine Bessemer reported that Al Krug has volunteered to chair this committee. It was discussed that fellowship coordination will be moved to the Membership Committee, and Special Events will arrange kitchen clean-up (perhaps in the fall and spring).

Membership: Jeanne Prueher reported that this committee will be meeting on December 9th to put together care packages for the college students of MUCC.  There is a New Member Breakfast scheduled for January 10th, 2016, to be held after the 10:00 service at MUCC. Collette Corwin will be coordinating Chariot Ministry.

Outreach: Jan Klawitter reported that the upcoming loose plate collections will be for the Good Neighbors Essentials Pantry (November 22nd) and the National UCC Christmas Fund (December 13th). Though the amount of money collected this year in the Giving Locally envelopes is below average it is projected that the loose plate collections in combination with the donations in these envelopes will exceed the average amount given locally.

Worship: Betsy Robbins reported that this committee has exciting plans for decorating the sanctuary this holiday season.  Jennifer Gordon has volunteered to coordinate liturgists and ushers.

OLD BUSINESS: John VanOverbeke explained during his financial report that the Trustees have decided against matching funds raised by the congregation through Giving Locally, as proposed to the Trustees by the Outreach Committee.

Pastor Phil reported that there has not yet been anyone to volunteer to coordinate the Garage Sale for 2016.  We discussed the possibilities of collaborating with another church (at their site), replacing the garage sale with another fundraiser, or keeping the sale at our church but changing the format (and to encourage anyone with a creative idea for this to help brain-storm).

NEW BUSINESS: Pastor Phil reported that Zion City, which is currently without a church building of their own, has requested to use the Youth Room at MUCC on Thursdays (starting November 19th) for choir practice and music instruction, and they have offered to pay to have that piano professionally tuned and to provide music during a couple of our church services. Janine Bessemer moved to approve this request, which was seconded by Jan Klawitter and passed.

Pastor Phil reported that in accordance with the Wisconsin Conference UCC Shift initiative (with a focus on “mission ministry”) the MUCC council might consider the suggested “shifts” when formulating goals for 2016.

We were reminded that in January we will be meeting on the first Tuesday (Jan 5th). Jan Klawitter made the motion to adjourn.

Minutes submitted by Sarah Fritz