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Council Minutes for October 2019

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Memorial United Church of Christ Council Meeting October 8, 2019

Present: Dean Baumgartner, Ryan Estrella, Sarah Fritz, Pastor Kris Gorton, Kelly Jetzer, Rebecca Malke, John Rosch and Sue Webb

Absent: Anna Bast and Jacy Boldebuck

Guest: Tony Young

Kris opened with a reading.

Sarah moved and Sue seconded a motion to modify and approve the September 13, 2019 minutes. Approved.

New Business:

Sarah notes that up to four Council Members will be leaving in 2020. A nominating committee comprised of Jacy, Sarah and Kelly will begin seeking new members.

Sarah reports Council will continue to seek a backup Secretary for Council and thanks Cathy Halpin for her time. Cathy is learning to use Face Time to electronically link into Council meetings when she is unavailable to attend in person.

Barbara St. John has been a wonderful resource as Memorial’s Office Manager. Barb is resigning as of the end of 2019. Sarah moved and Kelly seconded creation of an ad hoc committee to hold an exit interview with Barb including Pastor Kris, Gary Johnson (Chair of Trustees) and Cathy Halpin (Chair of Personnel Committee). Discussed if a Council Member should also be present—determined it was not necessary.

The Office Manager position description has recently been updated and will be used to start the hiring process. The position will be filled 15 hours per week with an approved salary level between $16 and $20/per hour. Pastor Kris, Gary Johnson and Cathy Halpin will interview candidates.

Council will request early deadlines for committee annual reports as Barb and our new hire will try to finish as much as possible before Barb leaves.

Council approved the following building use requests: First Congregational book club on Saturday Oct 5th Speaker presentation for Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison, Sunday Oct 27 Melissa Gregory-Simon winter recital on Sunday Dec 8th Ellen Smithback winter recital on Sunday Dec 15 Hilliard Family’s Christmas party Sunday Dec 22

Council will meet on Saturday November 2nd at Tuvalu in Verona to start to establish goals and focal points for the coming year. Boris Frank has graciously agree to facilitate. Council members will meet one-on-one with Boris ahead of time to further benefit from our short time together. Cathy Halpin will compile bullet points from the meeting for Council to use in the coming weeks.

Old Business:

Discussed Music Makers contract and whether Memorial considers this a ministry or simply a contractual business arrangement. Depending upon the answer Memorial’s response to space use conflicts with Music Makers could/should be different. Tabled for further discussion.

Committee Reports:

Trustees: Dean reports Memorial negotiated a settlement for using a copy written picture off of the internet. Staff is reviewing currently policies and procedures to assure it won’t happen again.

Buildings and Grounds: Dean reports requests for bids are out for new carpeting. The plan is to use carpeting squares so if there are stains, only the stained area need be replaced.

The air conditioner condenser has been replace, the new handicapped restroom signage is complete and the committee is exploring adding additional outside lights between the building and parking lot.

Membership: Kris reports there are several new members joining in October and Memorial is bringing back pew pads during worship. Membership would like to add committee members.

Outreach: No report.

Special Events: Kelly reports the Book of Mormon outing was a great success with 10 attending the show and the annual grill out was very well attended.

Stewardship: Sue reports testimonials have begun during services and in the weekly newsletters. Letters are going out shortly and posters are up. Madison Urban Ministries will be speaking on an upcoming Sunday.

Worship: John reports this committee will begin scheduling ushers and liturgists and provide any training needed. The group is meeting October 22 to plan services through next spring. The eleven week Unraveled sermon series has provided lots of beautiful artwork.

Pastor’s Report: Kris reports the labyrinth walks are finished.

MUCC host the Fitchburg Faith Leaders’ quarterly gathering once per year. Al Krug will be preparing a light breakfast when MUCC hosts.

Council requested Kris reinstate her monthly report of the number of pastoral care visits and her time commitment to the same.

Kris recommends changing the format and contact information on Memorial’s staff page on the website. Twice in 2019 there have been electronic phishing attempts to steal money from Memorial by sending fraudulent ‘emergency’ requests (supposedly from Pastor Kris) for gift card/cash purchases to the unknown recipient. Approved to initiate the changes Pastor Kris requested.

Faith Development Director’s Report: Rebecca reports that 16 participants registered for the second series of Queen of the Cakes of Heaven series with an average 12 attending weekly.

Rebecca recently polled the 5th through 8th grade class to ascertain their understanding of church basics such as communion. This group has a much better understanding than past groups this age.

September’s Sunday school theme was ‘Family’; Trick or Treat for UNICEF is upcoming; advent crafts are ready to go and a free app for a daily advent calendar is planned.

The silent auction plans are going very well (thanks to Barb St. John, Rebecca and everybody else who is helping!) There will be a raffle, music, flyers are ready, finger food, a children’s raffle and we already have a signed Packer Football!


Next Meeting: November 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Cathy Halpin