First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

  1. Sara called the meeting to order at 7:01 pm.  

  2. Eric opened with a devotion from Grateful by Diana Butler Bass, a church historian. Gratitude is about relationships; presence, participation and partnership.

  3. Jenny motioned for approval of November 13 minutes as amended. Jim seconded. Motion carried.

  4. John motioned for approval of November 27 minutes, Jenny seconded. Motion carried.

  5. Financial Report--John

    1. Total Revenue is slightly below goal at 47%, however, Expenditures are consistent at 48%.  

    2. While we had a negative cash position for the month it was minor at $1,380.  YTD we remain in a negative cash position of $6,529, in large part due to the reasons noted last month – timing of FICA and Insurance payments and Building Repairs.  

  6. Chairperson Report--Sara

    1. Discussed the recent flooding in the hallway flanking Fellowship Hall.

    2. It was suggested that we could post “pardon our dust” explanatory signs to help raise awareness and understanding about our various physical plant issues.

    3. Town Hall meetings need to not be held on Communion Sunday; many people come in late, the time interval is short before second service.

    4. Pastoral Relations is asking Council to review the revised Safe Church Policy which includes risk management. Lisa will send to Council. Will be discussed at January’s Council meeting.

  7. Staff Report--Eric

    1. Lots of pastoral needs being raised by many in our FCC family for several weeks now.

  8. Staff Report--Lisa

    1. “Christmas busy.” All good.

  9. DSA A/E Services Proposal

    1. Discussed the phone calls that Lisa and Kathryn made to references. They were uniformly glowing, especially about David Choi who leads much of the needs assessment process “hands on, asks great questions, really listened to what the congregation was saying.” David Schultz’ expertise was commended in handling unexpected problems (oil tanks under a sanctuary was the example) and also his finesse with city hall officials. DSA was with them for all the meetings with village officials. DSA has completed five projects in Crystal Lake. “This is not just a job for David but a ministry and a passion.”

    2. Reviewed the revised DSA A/E proposal of December 3, 2018 for $50,885 which now includes converting all architectural schematics (circa 1860s, 1950s, 2000) to CAD.

    3. Acknowledged that there are some unknowns at this point. Depending on the outcome of the needs assessment, we may need more extensive “destructive services” to enable an architectural plan. Destructive service is when the structural engineer hacks into your wall (destroys it) to determine what exactly is causing your flooding (for example).

  10. Jenny motioned to approve DSA’s contract for A/E services as outlined in the proposal dated December 3, 2018 for $50,885. Kipp seconded. Motion carried. Lengthy discussion led to recognition that there may be further expenses, at this point unknown, which may exceed Councils’ authority at which time the congregation will need to approve further expenditure.

  11. Identified resources to pay for DSA services. We have $24,140 in facilities’ current budget for building and repairs, an estimated $17,000 from the compulsory endowment draw (of which physical plant expenses are an approved expenditure), and a $50,000 line of credit.

  12. DSA will invoice us monthly. Hence, we can budget the last $9000 into next year’s budget if preferred. This will be much less than what we have historically budgeted for repeated repairs (“bandaids”) of facility issues in the past.

  13. Drafted a preliminary communication plan. Council members will connect in small groups or individually with as many congregants as possible before January 10. Jenny will email revised talking points. We will share member concerns and key things members raise within Council and compose our FAQs to include direct responses to those concerns.

  14. Sara will draft a letter tentatively scheduled to go out to the congregation January 13 incorporating input from members (see #13 above).

  15. Town Hall scheduled for Jan 20 from 10:15 - 10:45.

  16. Next Council meeting Thursday January 10 @ 7pm.

  17. Other--Gratitude expressed for Emily’s Advent Devotional project. There has been considerable member “chatter” about this new personal opportunity for reflections of the season. Brava!

  18. Sara closed by reading Tyler Iscra’s Advent Devotional for December 10 “Build.”

  19. Jenny motioned to adjourn, seconded by Trudy. Meeting adjourned 9:00 pm.

Faithfully submitted,

Kathryn Gooding Church Clerk