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Council minutes for Oct. 13, 2015

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Draft minutes

PRESENT:  Josh Gormley (Council President), Phil Haslanger (Pastor), Rebecca Malke (Director of Faith Formation), Janine Bessemer, Jacy Boldebuck, Sarah Fritz, Jan Klawitter, Betsy Robbins, Damon Smith

ABSENT:  Jeanne Prueher and John Van Overbeke (Financial Secretary)

Pastor Phil opened the meeting with a prayer of thanks for the beauty that surrounds us.   Jonathan Schroerlucke (Music Director) thanked the Council members and said it is great to be at Memorial United Church of Christ.  Choir is up and running and he is working on selecting music for Advent and Christmas.  He indicated a few new choir members have been added and he feels it has been great.

MINUTES: Josh Gormley asked for approval of the September 8, 2015 Council meeting minutes.  Jan Klawitter made the motion to approve the minutes.  Jacy Boldebuck seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

FINANCIAL REPORT:  Jacy Boldebuck suggested the Financial Report be sent to the Council for review prior to the Council meeting.  The financial report needs to be reviewed at each meeting.  In his absence, John Van Overbeke provided a September Financial Summary.  Trustees did a forecast of the Operating Budget for the full year.  They expect to end the year with a $7,000 loss, which is about $6,000 worse than what was budgeted.  An error in the parish nurse budget of $5,000 and 2014 expenses of $2,000 for Pension and Life & Disability not being paid in 2014 account for most of the shortfall.
The Special Loose Plate offering in September for Healing House was $2,083.  One Endowment request for $500 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association was approved during September.  $3,000 of the remaining $7,353 is committed for UC Camps Capital Campaign of $2,500 and Back Bay Mission of $500.  Trustees will add a line to the report to show committed, but unassigned funds.

Trustees forwarded three Outreach Committee requests for Endowment Fund matching funds totaling $1,800 to the Council without approving.  Questions were raised for the Council’s review as to whether matching funds for other benevolent giving is a proper use of Endowment Funds.  The Council made a decision for Jan Klawitter and Gary Johnson to have a discussion of this request.   A decision was made to defer until November additional discussion on the Endowment Fund.

PASTOR’S REPORT:  Pastor Phil indicated Lydia Bickford in recent years has arranged for the Bickford Foundation to give $2,500 per year in memory of her late husband, Jon Holtshopple.  Since Lydia’s passing, Bob and Mary Holtshopple have received a check from Lydia’s brothers for $10,000 and they are giving it to Memorial United Church of Christ.  Pastor Phil indicated Dean Baumgardner has a list of MUCC building updates needed.  The Holtshopples would like the money to primarily be used for Memorial’s needs.

A coordinator is needed to maintain the Chariot Ministry currently handled by Betsy Robbins.  Jacy Boldebuck is requesting a replacement to chair Fellowship, plus Liturgist, Usher and Communion Server duties.

In January 2016 there will be Council member elected. Sarah Fritz, Betsy Robbins, Jeanne Prueher and Jacy Boldebuck are eligible for re-election.

Pastor Phil said MOSES Criminal Justice Reform for Dane County has copies of their annual report in the narthex in the niche area.

Verona Area School District has asked if MUCC could be the secondary evacuation site for Stoner Prairie and Savannah Oaks schools just down the street from us.  The Fire Station on Lacy is the primary site, but if they need more space, they would come to our building.  The security coordinator, Todd Hendel, confirmed this would be very short term…just until parents could pick up their kids or some other arrangements are made.  He would be the custodian of the key and code for our building.  Pastor Phil sent this information to the Council members and the arrangement was approved by an email vote.

October 18 will be Zion City’s last Sunday in their building as it has been sold.  They will be conducting Worship at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club in the meantime, as they search for a new place for Worship team to practice.  There is a possible proposal coming to Pastor Phil with scheduling for some of their activities.

FAITH DEVELOPEMENT DIRECTOR’S REPORT:  Rebecca Malke indicated all is going well.  Section 1 and 2 of the Sunday School has been filled with teachers and Section 3 is needing teachers beginning in March.  There will be a UNICEF Halloween Party on Sunday, October 25.  Carl Piefer will be conducting a Faith Study program and welcomes all ages.  Stan Corwin’s movie series exploring climate change has started.  They are held the second Friday from October to December.  There will be a Spiffy meeting concerning interfaith teen race relations. Schuster’s Farm outing held on October 10, 2015 had 35 attendees.


Faith Development:  Sarah Fritz reported a Faith Development Committee meeting was held on September 17.  They decided on a Mission Statement using examples from other faith programs’ mission statement that Rebecca Malke had compiled and as a committee decided to adopt as ours:  “To create and promote opportunities for religious education, spiritual growth and intergenerational connections for our members and friends through their life spans.”

Trustees:  Jacy Boldebuck reported that the Trustees are asking the committee liaisons to give their reports to the committee chairs, as they should be doing.  The Trustees encourage all committees review their budgets and actual expenses for 2015 year to date as it is time to consider budgeting for 2016.  Monthly results are made available through Council liaisons.  John VanOverbeke will create a report for each committee to use in budgeting considerations.

Adult Programming:  Janine Bessemer indicated plans are progressing for the Silent and Live Auction which will be held on Sunday, November 8. There was a discussion regarding changing the name of the Adult Programming to Special Events Committee.  Jan Klawitter made the motion to rename to Special Events Committee and the motion was seconded by Sarah Fritz.  Motion passed.  Pastor Phil announced that Jill Carlson cannot do the Garage Sale in April 2016.  It contributes $2,000 to the budget each year.  Pastor Phil is making a plea for a new Chairman for 2016.

Membership:  Jeanne Prueher was absent from the Council meeting, but sent her report via email prior to the meeting.  A new member party (brunch) is planned for Sunday, January 10, 2016 after the 10:00 AM service.  The Membership Committee is still searching for someone to take over for Betsy Robbins for Chariot Ministry.  Fellowship is going well.  It was decided that at Communion, the following will be said, “Cup of Blessing” or “Bread of Life”.  Cards were assigned to be sent to those in need on the Care list.  Pastor Phil will be the contact person and will solicit folks for the Prayer Circle.  An announcement will be made on Sunday and a note will be in the weekly newsletter.

Outreach:  Jan Klawitter announced the Outreach Committee held a September meeting.  The loose plate offering to Healing House was $2,083.  Josh Gormley clarified each month different organizations receive the loose plate offering.  Giving Locally fund is down with giving currently at $1,750.  Jacy Boldebuck felt giving by the heart to help kids and Healing House is empowering.  Regarding Giving Locally, Jacy said being present and active is the purpose of Outreach Committee and is relationship building to Giving Locally.  Pastor Phil is bringing up data of last two years of Giving Locally for comparison amounts.

Worship:  Betsy Robbins said the Worship committee’s next events will be Advent and Christmas.  The Kat Trio will be performing and approval was needed by the Council to give them the loose plate offering for their performance.  Jan Klawitter made the motion and a second by Jacy Boldebuck.  Motion passed.

Building and Grounds:  Damon Smith reported the Building and Grounds committee has been working on their list the past two months.  The items included:  siding repairs, painting, shoring up deck, repairing rotten door jambs, caulking windows, A/C replacement and repairs.  He reported Mikos Pitas is near completion of his Eagle Scout project.  Five benches have been built and stained.  Some landscaping and removal of a stump is yet planned.  MUCC provided the wood for the benches.  The Council feels a dedication of the benches should occur, plus a plaque indicating Mikos’ project.  A vacuum cleaner issue was dealt with.  An exterminator has the mice issues under control.


Committee Mission Statements: A reminder was given by Josh Gormley for each committee to complete their Committee Mission Statements.  They will be put on the website when completed.


Sponsorship of Program on Childhood Detentions in East Jerusalem: The adopted policy might be controversial and may require a Council vote.  After a discussion, Josh asked for a motion from the Council to approve the use of our name and sponsorship of this program.  Jacy Boldebuck made the motion and was seconded by Sarah Fritz.  Motion passed.

Update from Jan Klawitter on Gathering with Joanne Thomson: Bonnie VanOverbeke and Jan Klawitter attended the pizza party with the new associate conference minister for the UCC in Southwest Wisconsin.  There were 30/40 attendees with a mix of congregations, pastors and lay leaders.  Conversation of challenges of retiring clergy was held.  It was indicated it is a second career for many pastors, which holds a bigger challenge to replace.

Jan Klawitter made the motion to adjourn.

Respectfully submitted by Jan Dunaway