First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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

  1. Sara called the meeting to order at 7:02.  

  2. Eric began our work with a mini Bible study on Joshua. “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”

  3. Jenny made a motion for approval of 7-10-18 Minutes, Trudy seconded. Motion carried. Kathryn will email the group when minutes are on our shared Google drive, comments may be made via Google docs, actual approval will occur at the following meeting followed by rapid posting to the church website.

  4. Financial Reports summarized by Eric. July had a positive cash position.

  5. Jenny made a motion that Jody Fields be nominated to the finance committee, Kipp seconded. Motion carried. Still need one other person to complete the committee.

  6. Chairperson’s Report – Sara

    • Discussed how best to manage risk and procedures.

    • Kipp made a motion that we recommend Pastoral Relations absorb the responsibility of the risk management committee. Jenny seconded. Motion carried. The risk management committee formed specifically to write our Safe Church Policy in 2016 will be disbanded if PR ministry absorbs the RM committee’s duties as outlined in the Safe Church Policy. Review and update of Safe Church Policy would then become PR’s responsibility.

    • Review of upcoming dates: 8/21 All Ministries 7 pm Fellowship Hall,  All Church Picnic 9/2 following the morning service outside, 9/9 Homecoming Sunday, 9/16 Town Hall between services in the Chapel.

  7. Staff Report-- Eric

    • A structural engineering firm, WJE (Wiss, Janney, Elstner) out of Northbrook has been engaged to perform an assessment of the steeple and foundation to address water infiltration issues. Expense covered by facilities budget.

    • While immediate pressing structural needs are being addressed we have the opportunity to engage around our mission and our focus. All that we do (programs) and all that we are (people, building) should flow from our mission and focus. Eric charged Council to review and reflect on the Great Commandment, Lord’s Prayer, FCC Open and Affirming Statement, from our constitution: our mission and covenant, and our UCC statement of faith. He suggested we research similar articulations in the churches we admire and come ready to discuss during September’s Council meeting.

    • Upcoming focus on sharing our faith journeys with each other; small “e” evangelizing. Eric and Emily are planning how to facilitate this including Advent testimonials, small group discussions and more.

    • The website is under construction and will focus on imminent info that people are looking for: when, where, hear a sermon, observe worship, logistics for current events.

    • Discussed recent turmoil at Willow Creek with intentions to demonstrate loving compassion to those in our orbits who are touched by the turmoil and to hold both abused and abusers in prayer.

    • Eric canvassed numerous congregations during his recent vacation and our Safe Church policy language is on the mark. All congregations struggle with the logistics of applying the two person safe church policy.

    • Our Safe Church Policy also needs to include other vulnerable populations (like the disabled and elderly) in addition to youth. How are programs under our roof but not of our church (scouts, Encore) impacted by our policy?

  8. Staff Report--Emily

    • Described the real life challenges of the two person safe policy in all youth programming. Council had some suggestions: include the whole congregation in ensuring a safe space with awareness building, role playing (p 16 of Faithful Protection), and boy scouts online training. Communicate to all members the value of Safe Church policies and what is required to meet them; make creating a safe church everyone’s practice and priority. When a child at a program/event needs something the parent can’t provide (e.g. ride home) access the child’s emergency contacts from the enrollment form, develop and deploy a “backup team” of on call trained/screened FCC members, and document steps and efforts undertaken to create safety.

    • New hire for nursery-- Brianna is 22 and begins Aug 26. She and Amy Easton are our two unrelated adults creating the safe environment in the nursery.

    • Work tour was a huge success. Partnered with a really great organization that helped shift some paradigms.

    • Emily is reaching her two year anniversary. As part of her growth, she will be taking on a new endeavor during Advent. She will lead a congregation-made daily devotion. These will be part of Sunday and Wednesday evening Advent services. Council members will each have a day. FCC youth have shown us the way with their amazing testimonials multiple times a year. Our story can be from our experience at FCC, from our life or some vignette that shares something of our faith journey.

  9. Staff report--Lisa

    • Review of Google drive, related problem solving

    • The Emergency Task Force is working on procedures which they will finalize next week. They are adding a policy to help us respond to an active shooter and they are revising all others. Plans are in progress to train ushers, staff, OAT and others. There will be drills for fire, tornado and active shooter during church services.

  10. Jenny made a motion to nominate Kipp as vice-chair, Kathryn seconded. Motion carried. Kipp graciously accepted.

  11. Sara closed with a devotion.

  12. Trudy made a motion to adjourn, Kipp seconded. Motion carried. 9:11 adjournment.

Faithfully submitted,  

Kathryn Gooding, Church clerk