First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

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

  1. Sara opened the meeting at 5:37 p.m. 

  2. Eric gave an opening devotion (inspired by Jim Forbes at the recent Festival of Homiletics) from Acts 2 and 2nd Timothy, asking if we are living in the end of days. As horrible as the moment is, that is when God intervenes.

  3. Jenny motioned for approval of April 9, 2019 meeting minutes. Jim seconded. Discussion about documenting email decisions. Since the 4.9.19 meeting two decisions were made via email.

    1. April 10 revisited the topic of posting information on our website (#7a of the minutes) with the result that both DSA analysis and the raw survey results would be available online.

    2. May 20 Council endorsed spending $1300 to fund Eric’s attendance at a one day intensive course Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising sponsored by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in June at Trinity University in Deerfield. Cost to be covered from endowment specified for theological education. 

Motion carried. 

4. Financial Report--John  

  1. April  represents 11/12ths of the budget year or 92%. Revenue is at 93%, expenditures 91%. 

  2. While Operating Pledges and Loose Offering were down from last month, and our Easter Offering was below budget, April had positive cash flow of $4,879 and YTD is now $14,834. Finance committee recommends we apply revenues remaining after expenses at the end of the fiscal year to the $41K (originally $70K) that we borrowed from our endowment (“03”) accounts. Council endorsed.

  3. We have paid $44.6K to DSA to date, have $11.1K left in the Endowment Reserve to fund any remaining invoices. Another 3% from the Endowment Reserve becomes available in June 2019.

  4. Draft 2019-2020 budget presented. We anticipate $690K in pledges (13 new, 87 increased, 14 decreased, 5 not pledging; Eric has reached out to the five with pastoral care). 

  5. In addition to increased pledging the congregation continues to expand giving with the Miracle Offering and numerous Outreach collections and drives.

  6. OGHS was overlooked this year. Eric will follow up with Outreach Ministry.

  7. Jim motioned that we recommend the draft budget to the congregation at the June Annual Meeting. Jenny seconded. Motion carried.

5. Update on facility planning 

  1. DSA met with the Building Committee (BC) April 30 and presented three different architectural schemes. None are set ideas, but ballparks to get us thinking. Staff is working with the ministries about what in the scheme they like, what they don’t like.

  2. In a parallel process, the BC has bids out for civil (water seepage/infiltration) structural (sanctuary floor, steeple) and mechanical (mold, asbestos mitigation) analyses in addition to WJE’s bid (Tim Crow). 

  3. These two work streams will take several months to accomplish properly. We anticipate some clarity around September, which will likely push our Capital Campaign start date to Fall of 2020.

6. Review of slate and committee nominees for June 30 Annual Meeting

  1. Openings at this point in time are common and ministries continue to recruit. 

  2. Need one person for Enrichment, 2 for Hospitality, and 1 for Council. 

  3. Stewardship has two experienced members and due to Eric’s upcoming Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising and plans to rebuild Stewardship Ministry in its entirety, it will remain with two members for the time being.

7. Chairperson Report--Sara

  1. Jenny motioned that the church renew the facility use contract with Encore Music Academy, increasing the monthly fee from $100 to $500, as the McHenry County Youth Orchestra and Voices in Harmony community choir will now be part of this agreement. Trudy seconded. Motion carried. Space management will be closely monitored and the contract will be revisited annually.

  2. FCC will be hosting a girl scout troop in addition to the current 168 Cub and Boy Scout troops.  Unlike the Boy Scouts, we do not sponsor them and they are not considered "ours", but they have agreed (like the Boy Scouts) to complete several service projects around the church to compensate for the facility use.  Lisa and the Facilities Ministry will coordinate with the troops to find suitable ones.

  3. Upcoming dates

    1. May 22 - Visioning Presentation (7:00pm)

    2. May 28 - Office Summer Hours begin (M-Th, 8-3; closed Friday)

    3. June 2 - Town Hall meeting (provide general info, answer questions

    4. June 18 - Council and Ministry member appreciation night at Main Beach (Tuesday night concert)

    5. June 23 -  Meeting agenda, Reports and Budget available to congregation

    6. June 30 -  Annual Meeting

    7. July 4-7 - Lakeside Festival 

    8. July 7 - Fourth of July parade

    9. July 15-19 VBS

    10. August 23-25 - Proposed dates for FCC Leadership Retreat

8. Staff Reports  

  1. Eric

    1. Last week’s Festival of Homiletics in Minneapolis 

    2. Men’s Retreat last weekend 

    3. Visioning tomorrow

    4. Summer worship will be a little different. Continuing with two services, communion will be mid-service rather than at the end of 9 a.m. 11 a.m. service will be casual and in the chapel. We have a new guitar/pianist Allie Huelin who will lead music for this service. The traditional hymn sing will precede both services for ten minutes..

  2. Emily 

Youth Events:

  • Eggstravaganza | April 20

  • Confirmation Sunday | April 28

  • Junior Fellowship Road Rally | May 5

  • PF Closing Overnight | May 10-11

  • Baccalaureate Sunday | May 12

Regular Duties:

  • High School Small Group | Wednesday Evenings

  • Pilgrim Fellowship | Sunday Evenings

  • Confirmation Classes | Wednesday Evenings

  • Hospital/Nursing Facility Visitations

  • Rotational Sunday Preaching

  • DSA Meetings & Visioning Engagement

  • Curriculum Planning/Volunteer Recruitment for 2019-2020

  • Vacation Bible School Support | Ongoing

  • Worship Presider/Preacher for Advocate Good Shepherd | April 25

Special/Seasonal Duties:

  • Easter Sunrise Service | April 21

  • Confirmation Family Service & Confirmation Sunday | April 27-28

  • Women’s Retreat | May 3-5

  • Bible Study Substitute Leader | May 15

Outside Events:

  • Monthly Faith Formation Roundtable Phone Call | April 24

  • Clergy Community of Practice | May 9

  • Fellowship Orientation: Resilience in Leadership Initiative | May 20 (Two year program targets pastors in first 3-5 years to decrease attrition with monthly clergy coaching, quarterly cohort meetings, and CTS master classes online monthly). 

  • Writer in Residence: Fidelia Magazine | Ongoing


  • Woodstock PrideFest | June 9

  • UCC General Synod | June 20 - 26

  • On Vacation | June 30 - July 7

  • Lakeside Festival | July 4-7

  • Vacation Bible School | July 15 - 19

  • Pilgrim Fellowship Work Tour | July 27 - August 2

9. Leadership Retreat (Council three days, Ministry Chairs two days): Tower Hill was not available our July dates. New date is August 23-25.

10. Sara closed us with prayer.

11. Kipp motioned to adjourn, John seconded. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned 7:01 p.m.

Faithfully submitted,

Kathryn Gooding 

Church Clerk