- Written by Brandon Abel Brandon Abel
- Created: March 15 2022 March 15 2022
The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM in the Large Fellowship Hall. Pastor Nettleton led a devotional from Luke 8, the Parable of the Sower, followed by prayer. Dale welcomed Ernie Hauser to the Council.
The minutes from the January 11, 2022, meeting were approved as circulated. The only Official Act in January 2022 was the baptism of Linnea Harwell by Pastor Funke.
This month there were a few annual expenses from the Health Savings Accounts, bulk mail and preschool advertising, which resulted in expenses about 113% above plan. Tom Miles walked through the two generally provided financial documents, the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement.
Jim Bernecker reported Human Needs has raised $770 in the effort to support Laurel Elementary School’s most critical needs. Discussions are ongoing with Laurel to ensure those needs are understood and properly fulfilled. Also, donated items are being delivered weekly by volunteers. There is a lot of great work being done by this motivated and enthusiastic group.
Eric Gardner reported the Board of Trustees is investigating and quoting various options to replace some of the older external single pane glass windows with thermal glass options to reduce thermal heat loss (and thus future energy usage and expense). This does not affect any of the stained glass. More discussion and a possible Trustee recommendation may follow.
Steven Maffett reported Open Arms Preschool enrollment is looking favorable with twelve children in the Monday/Wednesday/Friday morning classes and seven in the Tuesday/Thursday morning classes. Steven also reported the preschool will be receiving two grants from the State COVID Relief Fund:
- First, a Child Care Stabilization Grant, which will provide $2,940 per month for nine months. 50% of this grant is targeted to give relief to families from the cost of preschool. The Open Arms Preschool is planning to use this portion to decrease student tuition about $50 per month and waiving the 2022–2023 $25 supply fee. The other 50% of this grant money would be placed into the Open Arms Preschool Special Projects fund.
- The second is the Sustainability Grant for Workforce Retention, which would provide $721 per month for nine months. Several ideas are being discussed on how to use this money. Some options being considered include giving the money as a bonus to the employees of Open Arms Preschool, paying for continuing education and conferences and developing someone, through classes and other continuing education, to be a director-qualified substitute for Kandy Wise.
Eric Gardner reported the Board of Outreach is considering various options for a condensed fall conference.
Parish Administrator’s Report
Tom Miles indicated there is not a designated Key Executive for the accounts at Wells Fargo and that it is the desire of the Wells Fargo leadership to appoint such a person. Wells Fargo would like to see Council meeting documentation and approval of the individual prior to assigning the permissions. Tom requested that the council consider approving a motion confirming that “We, the Church Council of Saint John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Saint John’s Lutheran), designate Parish Administrator Thomas C. Miles ‘Key Executive’ of all Saint John’s accounts at Wells Fargo Bank”. The motion was made in favor by Robert and seconded by Jim. The motion was approved unanimously.
Dale discussed various ministry sabbatical resources, why sabbatical may be important, and possible benefits of sabbaticals. Dale asked that the Council move quickly to consider preparing the congregation with a three- to nine-month sabbatical contract proposal for Pastor Nettleton by the next congregational meeting in May.
Steven Maffett asked if we could table this topic until the council have had the time to review the provided documents, however a formal motion was not made. Ernie made a counter proposal that we instead conduct a brief review of the materials to support furthering the dialog. After a ten-minute review period there was much discussion on the provided material.
Ernie made motion to appoint a committee assigned to draft a staffing contingency plan that prepares for a future that may include the council approving a three- to nine-month pastoral sabbatical to recommend to the congregation. Jim Bernecker seconded the motion as stated. The motion passed with a majority voice vote.
Ernie, Jim, Robert, Dorothy, and Dale volunteered to serve on the committee appointed to prepare and present the so-moved contingency plan at the next council meeting in March 2022.
In other new business, Dale mentioned that the Board of Fellowship has not been very active lately, so he will try to get the board revitalized such that they can support Lenten meals in the coming season.
Previous business of filling the two council seat vacancies was discussed. The council agreed the best path forward is to make an adjustment to the bylaws. Steven agreed to draft a proposed change to Section 4.7 in the Bylaws and present to Council for consideration at the next meeting.
The distribution of new directories was completed with the help of a fully functioning copy machine.
The council unanimously agreed to table any further discussion on Church restructuring until after such a time that the topic of pastoral sabbatical has been fully addressed and closed. A firm time schedule on this was not established.
The meeting adjourned at 7:56 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.