- Written by Fred Hartmeister Fred Hartmeister
- Created: January 07 2021 January 07 2021
The meeting was called to order at 6:02 PM in the Small Fellowship Hall. Pastor Nettleton provided a devotional centered on the prior Sunday’s Reformation service, Luther’s guidance and 2 Corinthians 12, followed by prayer. The minutes from the October 13 meeting were approved as circulated. Given the focus and with this being the second Council meeting in October the agenda did not include discussion of Official Acts or reports from the Treasurer, Board liaisons and the Parish Administrator.
- In preparation for the November 15 Congregation Voter’s meeting and in recognition of COVID-related circumstances Tom provided an overview for conducting the meeting with both in-person and online video streaming participation. He provided a draft letter informing Congregation members of meeting protocols and—with consideration for protecting voter anonymity—how both in-person and online ballot procedures will be handled for the various elections and budget approval. The letter will be mailed to all voting members after incorporating suggestions for changes. An online meeting page will also be created for accessing documents and forms prior to the meeting. Several Council members volunteered to assist Tom in conducting a “trial run” for two-way online participation prior to the scheduled meeting as well as with getting notification letters ready for mailing. Council members who are not standing for reelection also volunteered to help count ballots at the conclusion of the voting window.
- The second item of old business involved discussion of a proposed 2021 budget for submission to the Congregation at the November 15 meeting. An initial discussion of the budget occurred at the October 13 Council meeting. Following that meeting the Executive Committee convened on October 20 to consider a revised proposed budget incorporating downward adjustments for several projected 2021 expenses. After lengthy deliberation the Executive Committee voted unanimously in support of a motion to the Council as a whole to approve the revised (i.e., October 20) version of the proposed budget. A wide-ranging discussion ensued incorporating, among other things, the adverse COVID impact on both 2020 Saint John’s operations and congregation member lives, our mission as a church, stewardship opportunities and the favorable budgetary impact of the 2020 CARES Act payroll tax and employee retention provisions. The question was called to approve the Executive Committee’s motion to submit the “revised” October 20 proposed budget for approval by the Congregation at the November 15 Congregational meeting. By a show of hands the motion passed with nine in favor and three opposed.
- The third agenda item was continued discussion of the neighbor at 308 Garfield St’s offer to purchase Saint John’s easement at the back of his property. As in prior meetings the discussion involved dumpster relocation and construction of a shed for church ladder and snow blower storage. The Trustees endorse the sale of the easement property and will “cost out” the expense for building a permanent shed elsewhere on Saint John’s property. Discussion also included how and where funds from the sale of the easement might be incorporated in the Congregation budget or Foundation endowment. As stated the Trustees motion to empower the Church Council to proceed with negotiating a sale of Saint John’s easement on 308 Garfield St secured verbal approval with one abstention. Since the purchase or sale of any church property requires Voter approval the potential sale of the easement will be included on the meeting agenda for the November 15 Voter’s meeting.
- The fourth and final item of Old Business was the approval of the Congregational Meeting Agenda outline for the November 15th Voter’s meeting. After noting that the Trustees, Preschool and Human Needs Boards will provide short written reports as part of the meeting packet the agenda outline provided by Tom was approved.
- Two New Business topics were discussed. With the first Pastor mentioned his expectations that the schedule for Thanksgiving services will remain unchanged from prior years. He’ll also be working to balance a schedule for Advent and the regularly-scheduled Wednesday services. At this point he envisions holding two services on Christmas Eve with one beginning at 4:00 PM and the second starting at 6:00 PM. Discussion of the proposed schedules included socially distanced seating, the role of ushers, overflow provisions in the event of large attendance and continuing diligent attention to COVID guidelines. In advance of these services Pastor intends to send a postcard to members reminding everyone of expectations for masking and other safety precautions.
- The second New Business item was discussion of security for the Christmas Eve services. With recognition of the costs but leaning to the side of caution and past practice the Council requested Tom to inquire about retaining a uniformed Fort Collins police officer or Larimer County sheriff’s deputy during services.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM with everyone standing for 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.