Call to Order: President Gary Apgar called the meeting to order at 12:07 PMwhich consisted of members virtually on Zoom as well as physically in the church building. There were 35 confirmed members in the assembly. Pastor Mary Konopka led the assembly in prayer.
President’s Opening Remarks: Gary thanked everyone for attending and noted the unique nature of this year’s meeting. He described the voting procedures that were sent out but during any vote if there are any issues, please ask questions. Gary explained that anyone with an interest in Faith is welcome to speak, but only members who have made a financial contribution of record and communed during the past 2 years may vote.
Minutes of the 55th Annual Congregational Meeting held on January 26, 2020: Linda Kratz moved that the minutes be approved as submitted and Melissa Prunkel seconded. There were no nays and most members voted yea and the minutes were approved.
President’s Report:Gary reported that we had Pastor Ghislaine Cotnoir (Pastor G) for the first 3 months of 2020 and then Pastor Mary Konopka (Pastor Mary) since April. Our congregation mastered using Zoom for both worship and meetings. We had a professional Financial Review of our books as part of the Call Process and the finance team has incorporated the recommendations. We received a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) Loan to help cover our staff and mortgage interest expenses. We reopened our church building for worship in November. The Call Committee has been working on finding a new pastor.
Pastor’s Report/Remarks: Pastor Mary noted it was a year of adapting to this new virtual environment especially with her having to start as the Bridge Pastor at Faith at the beginning of the pandemic and not getting to meet everyone in person. She thanked everyone for stepping up to help keep Faith running in this two-dimensional world. Pastor Mary noted on her report that despite the new membership numbers at zero, there were still many positive events including Sunday School and VBS. In addition, she has had several phone consulting sessions and through the Holy Spirit we have all adapted to continuing the mission and functions of our church.
Nominating Team Report: The nominating team consisted of Debbie Hollenbach (Chair), Paul Prunkel and Gail Achilles. Debbie reported that Gary Apgar and Linda Kratz would be leaving after the completion of 6 years on council as mandated by our constitution. Anne Hutnyk completed a 1-year term due to a vacated position and is eligible to run again for council. There are 3 open positions on council to elect new members for 3-year terms. The slate of candidates that the team presented included Gail Achilles, Sharon Diggans and Anne Hutnyk. Debbie introduced all three candidates and they each verbally accepted the nomination to the slate. Due to the current situation, the congregation was invited to send in nominations ahead of this meeting. Two members were nominated: Vince Hill and Paul Prunkel. Vince verbally accepted while Paul declined. Gary then called for a motion to close the slate which was made by Melissa Prunkel and seconded by Linda Kratz. All were in favor and the slate of 4 candidates for the 3 council seats would proceed to a ballot.
Congregational Council Election: For members at the church, they voted by paper ballots while members on Zoom voted by private Zoom chat. Janet Hill and Anita Halpern collected and counted the paper ballots while Rich and Debbie Hollenbach collected the Zoom votes. The votes were combined and recorded on a spreadsheet for later verification and the results would be announced later in the meeting.
2022 Nominating Team: The Nominating Team for next year’s council elections will be led by Linda Kratz. Gary Apgar and Dale Foster volunteered to be on the team.
Ministry Team Reports:
- Nancy Gansner reported that the personal care kits which were collected in early 2020 were distributed to the Keystone Opportunity Center due to COVID.
- Melissa Prunkel reported that virtual Sunday School which is held on Wednesday afternoon has continued although attendance has dropped a bit. She is asking everyone to spread the word to see if there are other children who may be interested in attending. As it’s virtual, students can attend from anywhere.
- Sharon Hood discussed that the Shepherding team has their plan set up for the year to send cards out to the congregation.
- Jack Walls acknowledged the challenging year for stewardship and thanked the congregation for their continued faithful giving. The 2021 pledges are in line with the levels of 2020.
Call Committee Report: Gail Achilles reviewed the status of the Call Committee and noted that finding a part time pastor has been a challenge. Following a meeting with our Conference Dean, Pastor Bryan Penman, we have agreed to consider looking at pastoral candidates who will be shared with another congregation. To date, we are still waiting for such candidates. Gail offered a prayer for the process.
Property Team Report: Vince Hill, the chair of the property team, presented a plan to replace 3 of the 8 heating systems for our church due to their age and one unit is already condemned. They have received 3 different quotes and are recommending the proposal from one of the vendors for approximately $40,000. Debbie noted that since this expenditure exceeded 3% of the budget, it will need to have a formal approval from council and then a special congregational meeting and vote will have to be called. It will be added to the agenda of the February council meeting.
Treasurer’s Report and Finance Team’s Report:
- Debbie Hollenbach, Finance Team Chair, reported the external Financial Review as part of our Call Process and reported we are very transparent in our processes and have incorporated the many recommendations from the review.
- We received the forgivable PPP loan for $11,300 to cover our staff salaries, utilities, and mortgage interest for 8 weeks of 2020.
- The December 2020 Treasurer’s Report was presented noting that there was a $45,517 surplus at year end 2020, largely due to lower pastoral costs because of the transition, the PPP loan, and reduced costs due to not being in the building.
- $10,000 will be added to the furnace fund taking the total to $22,000
- The remaining surplus will be carried over into 2021
- There are additional expenses in the 2021 budget:
- Paychex was added for handing the paychecks of our employees - $880/year
- Quick Books On-Line - $75/year
- Zoom License - $160/year
- Debbie noted that the pastoral salary numbers included in the budget were on the lower side and would most likely be higher.
- Dale Foster motioned for the 2021 budget to be approved and Chris Jones seconded it. A vote was taken, and the 2021 budget was approved.
Announcement of Election Results: The votes for the election of the 3 council members were counted and the results were: Gail Achilles, Vince Hill, and Anne Hutnyk.
Recognition of Retiring Council Members: Pastor Mary thanked Gary Apgar and Linda Kratz for their 6 years of council service.
- The revisions and comments on our constitution were finally received from the SEPA Synod in December 2020 and Pastor Mary will work with Linda Kratz and Lauren Krupp (Allegrezza) in 2021 on updating our constitution.
- Moving our Annual meeting to the 4thSunday in January has been well received.
- The Property Team requested we put a couch in one of the Sunday School rooms in case someone gets sick and needs to lie down. Vince will take care of this request.
Adjournment: Rich Hollenbach led the closing prayer and the meeting was adjourned at 1:38 PM.