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Council Minutes for Sept. 8, 2015

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Draft minutes

Present: Josh Gormley, Betsy Robbins, Jeanne Prueher, Sarah Fritz, Jan Klawitter, Janine Bessemer, Phil Haslanger (Pastor), Rebecca Malke (Dir. Faith Development)

Absent: Jacy Boldebuck, Damon Smith

Pastor Phil opened the meeting with a prayer by Walter Brueggemann from “Prayers for a Privileged People”.

The minutes of the August 2015 meeting were approved after motion from Jan Klawitter, which was seconded by Sarah Fritz.

Financial Report: Financial report for the month was not available at time of meeting. It will be available in a few days.

Pastor’s Report: Pastor Phil expressed gratitude to Al Krug for all the work he put into researching and purchasing of our new coffee system. This should meet all the church’s needs; however the small Cuisanart coffee maker will be kept for those who want to make a small quick pot of coffee at night.

Stewardship will meet soon to discuss specific plans for the stewardship drive this fall. This year they will likely make similar plans as last year. Next year they anticipate a bigger drive, as we look toward the centennial celebration.

Attendance for summer services was up considerably compared with last summer. Good volunteer response for Sunday school teachers each week may have helped to bring more families to church during the summer. Kudos to Rebecca and the teachers in making this happen.

Faith Against Domestic Violence group will meet twice this week. Pastor Phil will be participating.

Pastor Phil will be receiving an award from The Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence on October 14 at 11:00. All are welcome to attend this ceremony to show our support.

Justice Revival will be held in Milwaukee on Sept 19. Phil plans to attend.

There will be pizza parties to welcome Rev. Joanne Thomson as the new Associate Conference Minister for the Southwest Association. Council is encouraged to attend. Dates are: Sept 24 at 6:00 pm at Swiss UCC in New Glarus, and Sept 29 at 6:00 pm at Orchard Ridge UCC. RSVP vgraff@wcucc.org.

Ecclesiastical Council will be held at MUCC for Susan Shands in October (moved to Nov. 7)

Phil will be gone the week of Sept 27, returning Oct 3. 

Director of Faith Development report: (Rebecca Malke)

  • There were teachers every week for Sunday school this summer with good attendance.
  • 6 families attended the recent Swim Party.
  • There will be a fall outing at Schuster’s Farm on Oct 10, including corn maze, pumpkins and hayride. All ages are welcome and encouraged.
  • OWL (Our Whole Lives) training was completed by Rebecca and John Rosch recently. They are trained for grades 7-9 and 10-12.
  • Sunday school teachers are ready for grades 2-4 and 5-7, starting this coming Sunday. However, no teachers are yet volunteering for 4K-1st Pastor Phil will send an email to request teachers for this age. Unfortunately, if no one steps up, there will not be Sunday school for this age.
  • Pastor Phil will be doing a 6-week series on Paul’s letters, 7 through Nov 11 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Stan Corwin will be showing a series of movies exploring climate change on the second Friday of the month, Oct –Dec.
  • Dr Who series will continue in the fall.
  • Parliament of World Religions will be in October in Salt Lake City. Rebecca is considering presenting something for UCC, as currently there UCC is not formally represented.

Committee Reports:

Trustees: No report.

Faith Formation: (Sara) No further report beyond Rebecca’s report above.

Adult Programming: (Janine) Al Krug is preparing for the Cookout on Sept 27. Silent Auction planning will begin this week, with Celia Kiela chairing the group. Still looking for a chair person for Adult Programming.

Membership: (Jeanne) A gathering for new members had been planned for Aug 23, however was cancelled due to inability of enough members to attend.

Outreach: (Jan) Outreach met recently to distribute $1800 of Giving Locally funds, including:

  • $1000 for “Our Madison Plan” which will help with racial disparity.
  • $600 to Madison Urban Ministry for prisoner re-entry, due to state budget cuts for this program.
  • $200 Allied Eviction Prevention Fund.

Outreach is asking for matching grant from the Endowment Fund for each of these programs.

Shirley Robbins has been our very long- time representative to Allied Partners. She will be stepping down at this time, and Ann Moffat will be our new representative.

Worship: (Betsy) Preparations have been made for Kick-off Sunday. Plans are being made for upcoming seasons, with beginning talk about the Centennial Celebration in 2017.

Buildings and Grounds: No report from council liaison. Mikos Pitas has made good progress on Eagle Scout project with benches made and stained.

Old Business:

Council will begin discussing transition planning at November meeting.

2015 council goals were reviewed and discussed:

  1. Connecting the congregation and the community: Building bridges with racial and ethnic communities, an array of faith traditions and through service to the community .


  • Activities with Zion City congregation, including worship and Bike for Boys and Girls Club.
  • Our Madison Plan involvement.
  • Transgender awareness evening included kids/adults from other area churches.
  • Pen Pals with 5th graders in Chavez Elementary.

Other ideas: Invite adults to visit other faith communities, along with confirmands.|

  1. Connecting members within the congregation: Strengthening bonds through worship, outreach, events and social media.


  • Intergenerational gatherings, such as recent Swim party and Nifty Gifty are new. Sleigh ride was cancelled due to weather, but many had signed up. Shuster Farm is planned again.
  • Long-term events at church are well received, such as Cookout, Chile cook-off and Easter breakfast and Night of Music.
  • Adult education programs.

Other ideas: Paint Night, pen pals within MUCC, Feast on Friday if interest from those who like to cook, wine and cheese event.


  1. Connecting with our natural environment: Focusing on sustainable use of our resources and wise use of our property.


  • Mikos project to create meditation space where we can enjoy the woods and paths.
  • Climate change movies series.
  • Summer Sunday school emphasized caring for the environment.


  1. Make our status as an open and affirming congregation more visible to the public.


  • At the UCC table at the Capital, Rebecca’s poster made O and A status obvious.
  • Our Lives magazine (LGBT) is clearly visible in magazine rack.
  • Website has been updated and makes O and A more apparent.
  • Article in Fitchburg Star about transgender issue.

More ideas: Rainbow on MUCC sign by road. Make Open and Affirming certificate more noticeable in Narthex.


  1. Update structure and description of our committees. Not yet initiated. Committee liaisons will share mission statements of their committees as starting point.


New Business: No new business.

Jan moved to adjourn


Minutes submitted by Janine Bessemer