First Congregational Church Council Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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

  1. Sara called the meeting to order at 6:59.  

  2. Eric began with a mini Bible study on chapter 1:19-26 of James “faith without works is dead.”

  3. Kathryn made a motion for approval of 8-14-18 Minutes, Kipp seconded. Motion carried.

  4. Financial Report we are at 24% of budget at the quarter mark, right where we should be.

  5. Chairperson’s Report – Sara

    • Ministry Fair was well attended, lots of great displays.

    • August All Ministries meeting went well, Sara, Jenny and Kathryn attended. Council members encouraged to attend when able. Suggestion was made that, whenever possible, we approve minutes and have copies for the All Ministries meeting the following week. Tabled.

    • Quarterly Town Hall 9/16 from 10:15 to 10:45 will be digitally recorded and added to the Council webpage. Recap meeting Wednesday 9/19 6:15 pm - 6:45. Second meeting is new to see if a non-Sunday option will catch people with scheduling conflicts.

    • Website now has a Council page with member contact info, Council agenda, minutes and the Town Hall recordings.

  6. Staff Report-- Emily

    • All children and youth programs have launched, including OWL and 9 confirmands.

    • With Faith Denlinger, Emily is launching a new adult ed offering “Animate Faith” Mondays at noon and Fridays at 7 pm. There will be a brief educational piece and time for sharing.

    • Emily is organizing a daily Advent Devotional and requests Council members sign up to share a story or reflection related to a particular scripture passage. Details to follow sign-up.

  7. Staff Report--Eric

    • Tim Crow, a structural engineer, examined the steeple, bell tower and the foundation today. Report with findings and recommendations to follow.

    • Eric will be joining the ASP crew 9/30-10/6. 10/21 will be ASP Sunday. Members of the team will share their experience.

    • A six week Bible study on James begins 9/12, followed by one on the political Jesus.

    • Eric has been working to shorten the length of service with a target of 55 minutes. Suggestion was made that singing fewer stanzas of some hymns could free up time.

  8. Lisa reviewed the Emergency Preparedness Procedures--they have all been updated and active shooter added.

    • Training for ushers, staff, council, receptionists, CE teachers & OAT team are scheduled for 9/25 at 7 pm & 9/30 at 12:15 pm.

    • Drills will be scheduled during both services; fire in Oct, tornado in Nov, active shooter in Dec.

    • Kathryn motioned to approve the Emergency Preparedness Procedures as presented with the understanding there will be fine tuning after the drills improve our process/understanding. Kipp seconded. Motion carried.

  9. Lisa discussed our approach to inactive members, seeking to curtail mailing costs and gain an accurate headcount of membership. End of May 200 letters were mailed to folks who have not been involved in a long while, asking for clarification of intention. 50 people responded. The letter specified that absence of response would signify a desire to be considered inactive.

    • Jim motioned to inactivate the status of members who have not responded to the letter, with the knowledge that they can be reactivated at their request. Kathryn seconded. Motion carried.

    • Lisa will investigate our software to see if we can keep inactives on the email list while de-activating snail mail.

  10. Sara introduced the issue of contracting/hiring FCC members. In light of the church’s priority to nurture relationship with its members, in addition to the inherent conflict of interest, Council recommends we not hire members to provide contracted services. Sara (?) will draft a policy for consideration at our October meeting.

  11. Eric led a discussion about FCC Faith Statements with the desire that it/they be relevant and succinct. Every member should be able to know it, share it and believe it. Council embraced “Love God, Love others, Love yourself.” Discussion will continue in October with questions like What does it mean to love God? To love others? To love yourself? How do we do that at FCC?

  12. Other

    • Change in HVAC provider: August 21 Facilities Ministry voted to change HVAC service provider from Sherman to Althoff. Due to the long history with Sherman and the member-owned status of the company, Facilities asked Council to weigh in on their decision. After considering all elements, Council endorsed Facilities’ conclusion August 22 via email and recommends close tracking of Althoff service and an annual performance review.

    • Regarding the tabled suggestion for promptly updating the ministries on Council business, Sara will create a summary handout for All Ministries next Tuesday.

  13. Kipp closed with a devotion remembering 9/11/2001.

  14. Trudy made a motion to adjourn, Kipp seconded. Motion carried. Adjournment 8:40 pm.

Faithfully submitted,  

Kathryn Gooding, Church clerk