First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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

Guests: 8th grade Confirmation Class

  1. Sara opened the meeting at 7:01 pm and everyone introduced themselves.

  2. Eric gave an opening prayer based on pi (pi day 3.14) We are surrounded by pi: it calculates how rivers curve or the circumference of the iris of your eye. Carved in stone but incredibly mysterious. That is our faith; incredibly knowable and yet also completely mysterious.

  3. Confirmation class presented their service project to defeat hunger: trip April 6 to Feed My Starving Children to pack food, collection of money from the congregation and community to give to FMSC and also a food drive locally for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry. After their presentation, the confirmands departed.

  4. John motioned for approval of February 12, 2019 meeting minutes. Kipp seconded. Motion carried.

  5. Financial Report--John

    1. Christmas Miracle Offering collected $32,500. $15,000 toward 6 adopt-a-beds for PADS and $17,500 to the Crystal Lake Food Pantry.

    2. Christmas General offering collected $19,118. Both bested their goals.

    3. February represents 9/12ths of the budget year or 75%. We are at 76% of revenue and 75% of expenditures. Loose offering is down.

    4. Annually 3% of the market value of our endowment must be drawn down for use. There is $27,401 in endowment reserve that is not yet reflected in the financials.

    5. Some draft budgets from ministries are still needed. Sara will collect these at All Ministries 3/19. John will send an email reminder to those whose budgets are still outstanding.

    6. It was agreed that during this period of data gathering and planning, that Facilities should plan their budget as though they will still have habitual repairs.

    7. We celebrate our first on-budget February (revenues collected as projected) in five years.

  6. Chairperson and Staff Reports (submitted in writing):

    1. Chairperson Report - Sara

Upcoming events:

  1. March 19 All Ministries meeting with DSA (chairs only)

  2. April 1 - Ministries to report on slate for upcoming year

  3. April 12 Amazing Party at Turnberry Country Club - will be casual dress, informal with games, activities, a DJ, appetizers.  Written stewardship campaign report will be available and there will be brief remarks. Second annual silent auction for PF work tour will be held.

  4. April 14 - Visioning presentation to members after each service (Palm Sunday)

  5. April 16 All Ministries meeting - budgets due

2. Staff Report - Emily

Youth Events:

  1. PF @ Feed My Starving Children | Feb 16

  2. JF @ Crystal Bowl | Feb 24

  3. Confirmation Overnight | March 1-2

  4. PF @ Illinois Holocaust Museum | March 2

  5. Confirmation hosts Ash Wednesday Worship | March 6

  6. JF Pizza Party and Game Day | March 10

  7. Confirmation Presentation to Council | March 12

  8. Planning for Trivia Night | Months-long

Regular Duties:

  1. Fellowship Circle Luncheon at Fountains | Feb 25

  2. High School Small Group | Wednesday Evenings

  3. Pilgrim Fellowship | Sunday Evenings

  4. Confirmation Classes | Wednesday Evenings

  5. Hospital/Nursing Facility Visitations

  6. DSA Meetings & Visioning Engagement

  7. Curriculum Planning/Volunteer Recruitment for 2019-2020

Outside Events:

  1. Monthly Faith Formation Roundtable Phone Call | Feb 13

  2. Clergy Community of Practice | Feb 21

  3. Keynote Lecturer at Women’s Retreat for Elgin UCC | Feb 23

  4. Ordination for Rev. Liz Patz | March 3

  5. #PictureLent Daily Devotional Contributor | Lent 2019

  6. Spiritual Writing Fellowship | Lent 2019


  1. Trivia Night to benefit PF Work Tour | March 16

  2. Vacation | March 25-29

  3. JF & Confirmation to Feed My Starving Children | April 6

  4. Eggstravaganza | April 20

  5. Easter Sunrise Service | April 21

  6. Confirmation Sunday | April 28

3. Staff Report - Eric

Special Events:

  1. New Member Calls and Meetings | Various leading up to Feb 24

  2. Discernment Gatherings | Feb 17, 24 and March 3

  3. Access Sunday Planning | various leading up to March 3

  4. Letter to Congregation | March 3

  5. Welcome New Boy Scouts | March 5

  6. Stewardship letter | March 5


  1. Personnel Budget Planning for 2019-2020

  2. Worship Planning for 2019-2020

  3. Lent Theme planning and launch

  4. Meeting with Music and CE Staff for 2019-2020

Regular Duties:

  1. Bible Study – Philippians & Making Sense of the Cross | Wednesday Mornings

  2. Preaching | February 17 & March 10

  3. Pastoral Care Calls and Visits

  4. DSA Meetings & Visioning Engagement

Outside Events:

  1. Committee on Ministry Meeting | Feb 14

  2. Participated in Rev. Bill Nagy’s Funeral | Feb 16

  3. Met with Congregational Church of St Charles to help w discernment | Feb 25


  1. Committee on Ministry Meeting | March 14

  2. Preaching | March 24, April 7

  3. Vacation | March 25-29

  4. Calendar Meetings | April 4, 23

  5. Visioning Presentations | April 14

  6. Maundy Thursday | April 18

  7. Good Friday | April 19

  8. Easter | April 21

7. Review of visioning and discernment process

  1. Discussed impressions of the two presentations, first one to Council, second one to David Schultz and David Choi of DSA plus staff and Council. Also insights from the three discernment meetings Jim Trotter facilitated.

8. Space needs survey

  1. DSA has the final report. Many thanks to April Runge for her stellar work!

  2. Touched on our issues with parking. DSA has already discussed with City which will not allow additional parking build out. We will need some creative solutions. Bottlenecks are not isolated to Sundays service times but include all Wednesday evenings, some Mondays and whenever there are recitals.

9. Preliminary review of current FCC bylaws

  1. No changes recommended.

  2. Mid-term ministry vacancies may be filled by Council by majority vote until the next Annual meeting.

  3. Discussed first-year process (application/interview) for restructured Council. Decided to abbreviate it this year, to an informal interview and clear expectations for commitment required to serve on Council.

  4. For our upcoming slate and Council vacancies Sara will communicate via Fellowship News and eblast to encourage broad participation.

  5. Lisa will provide a list of prior task force (building and capital campaign) and current ministry members.

  6. In recognition that we can improve upon our development of leaders, we will hold a Leadership Retreat in July. Council members will convene July 12 - 14 with Ministry Chairs joining July 13 & 14. Looking at Tower Hill as a possible site.

10. Other  

  1. Women’s retreat first weekend in May in Ottawa.

  2. Council will host the March 27 soup supper, Kipp organizing.

  3. Service length has lately been erratic. Hard for some to plan their attendance.

11. Jenny motioned that Council support the confirmation class’s service project to combat hunger. Trudy seconded. Motion carried.

12. Trudy gave a closing devotion on how beautiful it is when all the pieces of life come together.

13. Trudy motioned to adjourn, John seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned  8:57 pm.

Faithfully submitted,

Kathryn Gooding, Church Clerk