First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Present: Sara Ryerson, Kipp Hendricks, John Gray, Jenny Streit, Trudy Medendorp, Kathryn Gooding, Rev. Eric Fistler, Rev. Emily Davis, Jim Trotter, Lisa Solarz

  1. Sara called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.  

  2. Eric opened with a devotion related to our faith/defining statement, drawing from Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Deuteronomy and Leviticus all focused on the Great Commandment.

  3. Review of Faith/Defining Statement led by Eric

    1. Love God, Love Others, Love Yourself

    2. Each Council member shared their response to Eric’s emailed question: How do you personally express and/or act upon your love of God? How do we, as FCC, express and/or act upon our love of God?

    3. Began a Venn diagram with our responses. Discussed FCC’s role in facilitating people’s experience of God, both in worship and in their/our lives. Conversation to be continued...

    4. Pilgrim Fellowship engaged in a similar sharing on their Fall Retreat.

  4. Jenny made a motion for approval of 10-9-18 minutes, Kathryn seconded. Motion carried.

  5. Financial Report--John  

    1. October is 42% of our fiscal year. Revenue is slightly below goal at 40%, expenditures at 41%. Small negative cash flow due to payment for a structural engineering report and a quarterly FICA and insurance payment.

    2. FICA and insurance payments will be made monthly in future to smooth outflows.

    3. We budgeted a 7% increase for health insurance which we now know will only increase 4%.

    4. Thanks to Jenny for her explication of 03 and 02 accounts using Music Ministry as an example. Discussed funds flowing into designated accounts vs into the general church account.

  6. Chairperson’s Report – Sara

    1. Special thanks to Pastor Emily for her excellent leadership while Eric was gone for a week.

    2. In follow-up to last meeting’s decision on Dual Relationships, Sara will be discussing with Music Ministry, Finance Committee and staff the need to set clear expectations and to have a plan to periodically review agreements including the pros/cons of agreement.

    3. We have Tim Crow’s of Wiss, Janney, Elstner & Associates Inc (WJE) structural engineering report of October 3, 2018 which concludes neither the water seepage in the basement nor the infiltration concerns within the steeple and belfry are posing a critical emergent problem. Paid $6200. Tim’s firm focuses on building preservation.

    4. Discussed David Schultz Associates’ (DSA) proposal for services. This architectural & engineering firm has 32 years experience working with churches evaluating ministry needs and proposing plans for building modifications to meet those needs. His firm would work with all of our stakeholders in a 12 week space needs assessment. Deliverable would be a report of the space we have, what it allows us to do and, given our ministries, options for rehabilitation/remodeling/revamping our structure.  Proposed cost $40,000. David’s firm focuses on ministry, with building recommendations that serve that mission.

    5. Given multiple “fixes” over the years which have failed to solve the root causes of  seepage and infiltration, Facilities Ministry recommends a full engineering assessment by Wiss, Janney, Elstner & Associates Inc (WJE)/Tim Crowe. This full engineering assessment would be critical for DSA to be able to give a solid architectural solution to our ministry and structural challenges.

    6. A full engineering report from WJE would address other issues (seams between old and new structures, flooring in the sanctuary, AC and HVAC, whether seepage/infiltration has created mold et al) which also need to be addressed. We are waiting for a proposal with cost for such a report from WJE.

    7. Tim Crow and Dave Schultz would coordinate, with Tim forwarding identified issues to Dave.

    8. Reports will be put on Google Drive for Council study. Follow-up meeting scheduled 11/27 at 5:30 pm to continue discussion.  

  7. Staff Report-- Emily

    1. The Advent Devotional goes to press this Friday and everything else is going well.

  8. Staff Report--Eric

    1. All is well.

  9. Other--Council meets December 11 as scheduled, Council Christmas party tabled. January 8 meeting needs to be rescheduled as both Eric and Emily will be out of town.

  10. Jim gave a closing devotion with an excerpt from Les Mis.

  11. Kathryn made a motion to adjourn,  Kipp seconded. Motion carried. Adjournment 8:52 pm.


Faithfully submitted,  

Kathryn Gooding, Church clerk