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February 11 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 6:01 PM. Pastor Nettleton focused his devotional on Matthew 5 and the relationship between our being both the salt of the earth and light of the world through Jesus. The devotion was followed by prayer. The minutes for the January 14 meeting were approved following correction to show Eric Gardner in attendance and Zach Stephens as a non-attendee. Pastor Nettleton noted in the Official Acts the reinstatement and affirmation of faith of Linda Schneider. He also mentioned the favorable attendance figures in January. In the Treasurer’s report Eric indicated that January’s revenue was 73% of the budget target. In tracking gas and electricity usage and expenditures he also highlighted the sizeable savings in the year-to-year comparison gas bill despite the colder weather. As in prior months this savings is attributed at least in part to the installation of the new boiler system. Eric and Tom also discussed an “offering projection chart” that Tom had prepared using figures from the past five years.

Board Reports

  • Jill reported on the Fellowship Board’s purchase of tickets for a Rockies game next summer and plans to provide Lenten service meals beginning soon.
  • Kimberly provided an update on a youth bowling outing, the Feed My Starving Children dinner and plans for campus student meals.
  • Dorothy report on behalf of the Parish Education Board highlighted the availability of pamphlets and Bible reading materials available for Congregation members and guests.
  • Stephen noted that the Preschool Board had just met prior to the Council meeting. A recent open house was held with eight families in attendance resulting in three new registrants. The preschool appeals to be nearly fully enrolled for morning classes 2020–21. There will be a Mother’s Day tea on May 8 as well as a graduation ceremony the same month.
  • Grant reported on the Trustees having met recently and that they are looking at the need to mount a TV bracket, the serviceability of several doors and a drain in the kitchen, 24/7 lighting issues and an exterior drainage issue on the north side of the facility.
  • Jim’s Human Needs report highlighted the involvement of 26 Congregational volunteers in the Matthew’s dinner being held concurrently for 135+ participants at First Presbyterian church. Volunteer activities included helping prepare and serve the meal as well as making Valentines, decorating and baking cupcakes and cookies.
  • Eric mentioned the upcoming Resurrection Workshop and Pastor added that approximately 25 participants are expected.
  • In June’s absence Tom reported that the Elderberries are scheduled to meet on February 12.

Parish Administrator’s Report

  • Tom discussed his attendance at a recent workshop hosted but the City of Fort Collins focusing on water and energy usage by mid-sized entities like Saint John’s. It appears that we are scheduled to receive an Energy Star score from the city after we submit data re: our water, gas and electrical usage.

Old Business

  • The council continued discussing the congregational restructuring process. For the benefit of the new Council members Pastor Nettleton provided background dating back to 2014, Congregational bylaws and efforts to address various inefficiencies and accountability concerns. A one-page “snapshot” that was developed by a restructuring taskforce centers on the prospect of utilizing a smaller Council and the consolidation of several current Boards. The biggest change that is expected to evolve from the restructuring process will be the creation of a Lay Elder Board. In keeping with this theme Pastor will be providing an update on “Why Lay Elders?” as the primary topic of discussion related to restructuring at the March Council meeting.
  • As a second item of old business the Council also discussed the need to revisit current policies and practices surrounding church security.

New Business

  • Pastor Nettleton provided Council with an overview of his participation in the second of a three-part Doxology program occurring over the course of the current church year. Lay minister Kevin Seiler attended the most recent workshop with him in Indiana where the two engaged in ten separate ninety-minute sessions over a two-day period. Featured topics included church building, stewardship, suicide prevention, the “view from the pew,” and pastoral care for both the congregation and self.

The meeting closed at 7:42 PM with Council members standing and saying the Lord’s Prayer.

The thirteen members of the Church Council are the “Board of Directors” of the congregation, tasked with general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.

January 14 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM. Pastor Nettleton’s opening devotion returned to the sermon theme from the prior Sunday worship service and its emphasis on Romans 6, baptism and redemption from sin. The devotion was followed by a prayer. The minutes for the November 12 meeting were approved. (The Council did not hold a monthly meeting in December.) There were no official acts in November. For December Pastor mentioned his having performed the December 5 wedding of Felecia Lessman née Hart and Troy Lessman, the December 10 funeral of Harry Peters and the December 22 baptism of Owen Tolar, son of Todd Tolar and Racheal Bauder. Eric gave the Treasurer’s report and emphasized the overall end-of-year budget balance improvement aided, in part, by having five Sundays in December. Noted expenses included snow removal, involvement of the Colorado Brass and the year-to-year relationship between monthly gas and electric expenses vis-à-vis installation of the new boiler system.

Board Reports

  • June mentioned that she had only heard a single comment related to the church not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. She also highlighted participation in the three Advent dinners.
  • Stephen noted that the preschool would be participating in a kids’ activity fair January 25 and hosting an open house February 6 for recruiting purposes. In addition he discussed that there will be a Colorado Shines evaluation in either March or April that will culminate in the preschool receiving a rating from the state that may also be helpful in recruiting future students.
  • On behalf of the Trustees Grant noted sheetrock work being done following boiler installation.
  • Jim indicated that the Human Needs board is scheduled to meet in the coming week.
  • Don noted that the Human Resources board had been interacting via email and that it would also be meeting in the near future.

Parish Administrator’s Report

  • Tom included three primary items in his report: (1) the City of Fort Collins’ removal of a tree along Elizabeth Street; (2) transition to and the status of the new cleaning service being provided by ARC on Tuesdays and Saturdays as well as the continued search for some part-time cleaning and the prospects for involving Congregation member volunteers in some occasional or once-a-month “deep” cleaning activities; and (3) continuing with the same Lent and Holy Week service schedule that was used in 2019.

Old Business

  • Don provided an overview of a church security training workshop being held in February in Castle Rock. Following discussion it was agreed that it is timely for the Council to review policies and practices related to overall church security. The Council also concurred that it would support one or two of its members to participate in the February workshop.
  • The other item of old business is the ongoing congregational restructuring process. Given the inclusion of three new members to the 2020 Council it was agreed that restructuring will be a primary topic for discussion during the next Council meeting scheduled for February.

New Business

  • The first item of new business was to assign each of the three new Council members to serve as a Board liaison. Following discussion Jill agreed to serve as liaison for the Fellowship Board, Dorothy will be the new liaison for Parish Education and Brandon will work with Outreach. Brandon also agreed to fill the shortened 2020–2021 Council term whereas Dorothy and Jill will be serving 2020–2022 Council terms prior to all three being eligible for reelection to a subsequent term.
  • Following discussion and in compliance with Saint John’s bylaws, Grant agreed to continue serving as the Council’s at-large member of the Executive Committee.
  • The final item of new business involved discussion of the end-of-year budgets in 2019 and 2020. In light of the modest budget deficits each of the past two years it was agreed that the Council emphasize both giving efforts as well as exercising frugality in budgeting and with expenditures. Dale mentioned that he would like to see the Council and the Congregation as a whole focus on stewardship and that we prayerfully start looking at upcoming board budgets by mid-summer. Pastor also mentioned that he will be sending out a stewardship letter to help Congregation members reflect on the 2020 giving.

The meeting closed at 7:47 PM with Council members standing and saying the Lord’s Prayer.

The thirteen members of the Church Council are the “Board of Directors” of the congregation, tasked with general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.

November 12 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 6:06 PM. Pastor Nettleton led a devotion centered on the Fifth Petition from Luther’s Small Catechism and focusing on the relationship between prayer and the forgiveness of sins. The minutes for the October 15 meeting were approved. Pastor Nettleton mentioned the October 9 funeral for Imogene Frances Ahlbrandt. The council noted that expenses and spending for the current year are on target with the budget but that revenue is only slightly exceeding 90% of projections. Given timing considerations in the current budget year this circumstance was not viewed as being unexpected or otherwise out of the ordinary.

Board Reports

  • Grant provided the sole board liaison report on behalf of the Trustees by highlighting the recent cleanup day that was held following an earlier postponement due to inclement weather.

Parish Administrator’s Report

  • With recognition of Don Walker’s nearly fifteen years of valued service, Tom discussed changes being made in how custodial services will be provided. A smooth transition is expected with a local Fort Collins cleaning service scheduled for Tuesday and Saturday evenings. Some spot checking consisting of four to five hours per week will also be done in addition to the possibility of seeking some volunteer efforts from members of the Congregation.
  • The council discussed and agreed that it would be appropriate to provide donuts, bagels and fruit along with regular beverage refreshments during the Congregational meeting scheduled for November 17.

Old Business

  • Pastor Nettleton summarized ongoing efforts by the Nomination Committee to secure a full slate of candidates to represent the congregation on the 2020 Council. The final slate of candidates will be presented to and voted upon by the congregation at the November 17 congregation meeting.

New Business

  • The council discussed approved LCMS terminology and the adoption of consistent practices for reporting Official Acts in the monthly congregation newsletter.
  • Following a short discussion, the council approved a proposed agenda for the November 17 congregation meeting. In addition to conducting the 2020 election, the meeting will center on the distribution of a current financial report, approval of the 2020 budget, updates on the congregational restructuring process, installation of the new heating system and a Foundation report.

Open Agenda Items

  • Pastor Nettleton provided an informative update on his recent participation in the Doxology program offered by the Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel in Donaldson, Indiana.
  • Following Pastor Nettleton and Tom’s departure from the meeting, those who remained discussed at great length and in thorough detail the proposed draft version of the 2020 congregation budget. Among the topics considered were salary adjustments made in the two most recent budgets, job descriptions and responsibilities, and the relationship between projected revenues and expenses. Ultimately—and with two salary adjustments made in to the proposed draft—Council approved the budget for congregational approval at the November 17 congregation meeting.

The next two council meetings are scheduled for December 13, 2019, and January 14, 2020. The meeting closed with members standing and saying the Lord’s Prayer.

The thirteen members of the Church Council are the “Board of Directors” of the congregation, tasked with general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.

2020 Church Leadership

Church Council

Back row: June Donaldson, Brandon Abel, Don Gibbons (vice-president), Grant Wolf, Dale Walters (president), Rev. Shawn Nettleton.

Front row: Jim Bernecker, Jill Hudak, Eric Gardner (treasurer), Kimberly Pepmiller, Dorothy Hull, Fred Hartmeister (secretary).

Not pictured: Stephen Maffett, Zach Stephens.

Lay Ministers

Back row: Rev. Shawn Nettleton, Kevin Seiler, Dale Walters, Ron Young.

Front row: RoxAnn Karkhoff-Schweizer, Barb Faucett, Arlene Knox, Anita Walters.

Not pictured: Rudy Nicholas.

Photos by Saint John’s member Les Smith

October 15 Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 6:06 PM. Pastor Nettleton opened with a devotion and prayer. The minutes from the September 10 meeting were approved with minor corrections. Pastor Nettleton noted September’s higher attendance and reviewed official acts: the Hausers and the Tolar family (Rachael Tolar is the daughter of Troy and Joy Bauder) were recived into membership by transfer and Nancy Behm transferred to Redeemer Lutheran. Eric reported that we are running a deficit for the year of $23,555 with no unusual expenses.

Board Reports

  • Elderberries (June): Will not host Thanksgiving dinner due to lack of participation from area congregations. Bensons presented Africa travelogue in September. Planning Advent meals. Revised purpose statement.
  • Children’s Ministry (Zach): The Sunday School has had ten to twenty students in class each week.
  • Preschool (Stephen): The Bike Rodeo raised around $2,000 for the school. Board reviewed 2020 budget request and a favorable area tuition comparison. Kandy is looking to get aides qualified as teachers.
  • Campus and Youth (Kimberly): Campus board is seeking help providing dinner for four or five students before the monthly prayer services. The youth will gather for Capture the Flag on Sunday.
  • Trustees (Eric): Planning an outside cleanup day for November 2. Seeking input from Architectural Review Committee on a patch of grass on church’s easement that owner does not want to water.

Parish Administrator’s Report

  • Custodial Services: Don Walker, custodian of almost fifteen years, has decided to retire. Tom is seeking bids from several companies in the area to provide that service at least through the end of the year.
  • Sprinklers: Trustees installed automated sprinkler controllers. System has been shut down/winterized.

Old Business

  • Nomination Committee: Committee is Pastor Nettleton, Stephen Maffett, Sue Gardner, RoxAnn Karkhoff-Schweizer, Troy Bauder, Sharon Whiteman. They will have nominees by the November meeting.
  • Boiler: Successful startup September 27. Tra Mar needs to replace one pump and relocate outside temperature sensors, then arrange for a state inspection. Eric described how the system works.
  • Congregation structure: Pastor Nettleton is preparing a study on Elders. We have most revised purpose/responsibility statements in. Will continue reviewing structure changes in 2020.

New Business

  • 2020 Budget: Tom presented the first draft of the 2020 budget. Council will review and return for further discussion in November, when the final budget will be approved for presentation to the congregation.
  • Board reports: Boards will provide written reports at the congregation meeting.

Open Agenda Items

  • Meeting Schedule: The next Council meeting will be November 12.

The Council meeting closed with the Lord’s Prayer at 7:25 PM.

The thirteen members of the Church Council are the “Board of Directors” of the congregation, tasked with general oversight of the life and activities of the congregation to the end that everything be done in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws.