- Written by Fred Hartmeister Fred Hartmeister
- Created: September 15 2020 September 15 2020
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 PM in the Small Fellowship Hall. Pastor Nettleton read a devotional passage focusing on faith and calamity from a new publication written by Pastor Harold Senkbeil. The passage linked to the theme from the prior Sunday’s worship service. Pastor concluded the devotion by reading Psalm 57 and leading the Council in prayer.
The minutes were approved as circulated. There were no official acts in June or July. Weekly in-person worship attendance has remained very consistent (fifty to sixty each Sunday). The number those electing to stream worship services has also remained consistently around 25 each week. The combined attendance for Pastor’s recently-added Wednesday morning and evening Divine has also averaged about sixteen persons (attendance in each service is presently limited to ten). Pastor suggested that a return to adult Bible study may be possible this fall and that he will begin reaching out to members to assess comfort levels as well as those with families vis-à-vis Sunday School participation.
Eric noted the relative balance between the past two months’ income and expenses. The biggest expense involves the preschool, which is expected to open again in September. Both Eric and Pastor mentioned that congregational giving as a whole is favorable and doing well despite our other COVID-related challenges. Gas usage is almost zero this summer and the transition to LED lighting should begin showing budget dividends soon.
Given current operational constraints there have not been many board activities requiring liaison reports. However, Stephen did provide an update from the preschool’s recent Google meeting as the staff completes preparations for the resumption of services. He mentioned that they expect to transfer funds from the school’s scholarship account to help offset a portion of the current staff expense. They will be implementing numerous safety precautions and procedures for student arrival on the premises, hand washing, restroom usage and toy rotation and sterilization. Health department advisory guidelines are being followed closely. Following Stephen’s report a motion was made to reopen the preschool in September with steps in place in the event that virus incidents arise. The motion passed unanimously.
Grant and Eric also summarized ongoing Trustee activities. One matter being addressed will involve cleaning out and inventorying items (e.g., ladders, snow blower) that are currently being stored in one-half of a garage adjacent to the Church facility. The property is listed for sale by the owner so alternative storage options need to be explored. Dale invited the Trustees to make a recommendation to the Council at the September meeting for a viable storage alternative.
Tom included two items in his report. The first involved the annual election/renewal of health care coverage for eligible staff. Tom outlined the current options in a memo provided to the Council, and both he and Pastor highly recommended staying with the Concordia Plan Services program currently being used. They concur that the high-deductible plan’s bundling of vision and dental benefits combined with a $1,500 employee health savings account contribution appears to be the best value for the two employees (Pastor and Tom) who are eligible for and elect to take advantage of the coverage.
Tom also circulated preliminary budget forms to selected Council members to begin working with their respective Boards on next year’s 2021 budget projections. The goal is to help make both Board and Council members more informed about the budgeting process and, ultimately, decision making prior to submission to the Congregation for final approval.
There wasn’t any old business but Dale made a point of mentioning that the ongoing restructuring process is presently postponed until operations return closer to normalcy.
Don addressed the need to appoint a nomination committee in September to identify a slate of candidates to fill upcoming Council vacancies. The Congregation will need to vote to fill three Council seats as well as the position of President and Treasurer.
Given COVID-related constraints on face-to-face meetings the Council will also need to decide a protocol at the September meeting for handling the Congregational Voters meeting scheduled for November.
The meeting closed at 7:11 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.