Council was called to order by President Rich Hollenbach. Jack Walls led devotions on a Christ’s People Called as Leaders of God’s Church-Celebrate the Abundance. Minutes of the October regular council meeting were approved as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Denise Bailey reported that we took a small hit of $59.00 on the profit and loss this month. The Treasurer’s Report was approved as written. With year-to-date income at $94,060.75 (86%) and operating expenses at $83,596.90 (53%) we have a $10,463.85 surplus.
President’s Report: Rich Hollenbach reported that we have a pastor after a 4-year process. We will send Pastor Bruce a thank you for being our bridge pastor for 16 months. The 2021 financial review (audit) is complete. We have our 2023 preliminary budget to review and approve tonight. And we must update our Child Abuse Policy.
Pastor’s Report: Hello everyone! God’s peace and blessings to you all! The first month here at Faith has been a time of transition and learning. I have not been able to do as much as I would have liked in my first month. However, everything takes time. Over the past month, I have been able to learn about the congregation. I have also felt very welcomed by all. If anybody has any questions, please let me know. I look forward to continuing to grow and learn with Faith as we continue in this journey together!
Provide Ministry of Word and Sacrament I have led and preached at worship since October 16th. Bishop Davenport has given me permission to preside over Communion until I am ordained.
Provide Pastoral Care On October 26, 2022, I presided at the funeral and committal service of George Rodenbaugh. I met and provided pastoral care to the family prior to the service. Janet has given me a list of our homebound members and a list of our deacons. I will be planning a deacon meeting in the future. I have provided pastoral care to members of the congregation.
Provide Ministry Leadership I attended the October Finance Committee meeting. It was very helpful for me, and I learned a lot about our budget. I will continue to be involved in this committee. I attended the Worship Planning Committee meeting. Advent and Christmas were discussed. More information will be posted soon.
Teach the Faith Gail and I have met to discuss Christian Education. Our focus was on the children and youth in the congregation. Figuring out a plan for Confirmation is our main goal. I will be reaching out to families soon. Stay tuned for updates. We also discussed the National Youth Gathering that will be held in summer of 2024. Long term planning for this should begin soon.
Participate in the Community and Wider Church I have participated regularly in a clergy text study with other Lutheran clergy on Tuesday mornings. The text study is held in Lansdale. I have been planning my ordination and installation service. I have had several clergy tell me that they are planning on attending.
Continue in learning for Ministry I attended the “In God’s Image” event at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Devon, PA on October 8th, 2022. It was a workshop where we talked about how to welcome all of God’s beloved children into churches. I have attended two sessions of ELCA Vital Congregation Training on October 6 and October 22. There are two more sessions scheduled for November 3rd and November 17th. This training has the participants reflect on one's own congregational mission, how to live in the community and build vital and key relationships. These were online Zoom trainings. On October 25th, I participated in SEPA synod’s boundaries training. This training is required by all clergy. The training took place from 9am- 3:30pm. The focus was on how to set and make healthy boundaries as a clergy person.
MINISTRY TEAM REPORTS:
Christian Education: Gail Achilles met with Vicar Ethan on October 18 concerning those children who may be ready for first communion and confirmation. Vicar Ethan will contact their parents and provide them with necessary information. We also discussed our youth attending Youth Ministry Camps in the future. Sunday School is rolling along fine. For Reformation Day, Vicar Ethan provided the Sunday School children “The Luther Rose” coloring pages to color and read the meaning of the colors. We also talked about how our greeters make us feel welcome when we attend church. So, in turn, the children wrote “kindness notes” to give to members of their choosing during Fellowship. The children also did a Halloween craft in the Fellowship Hall. Monday Night Bible Study should be finishing up the book “Messy People” by Jennifer Cowart on November 28 (our schedule was revised because we postponed Oct 24 study to Nov 7 because half our members were absent due to personal reasons and we will not be meeting on Nov 21 of Thanksgiving week), then we will discuss another course of study moving forward. The Sunday School children will be making a special Thanksgiving craft in the month of November to remind us to “Harvest God’s Blessings.”
Communications: Jack Walls reported he will continue to update the front sign and set up a meeting with Janet to put out information on Vicar Ethan’s ordination / installation on our website.
Finance: Gary Apgar reported Budget Surplus from 2021 for 2022. At the Annual Meeting on January 23, 2022, the congregation approved the use of the 2021 Budget Surplus (approx. $48,782) to balance the budget for 2022. At this point in time, we have not needed to use any of the surplus money and have not transferred it into the budget. It has remained in our bank account, spread between out Univest Checking Account and our Thrivent – Moderate Conservative Fund. Propose to keep it in these places unless it is needed to cover 2022 expenses. If needed, money will be transferred to the budget. Any funds not used will remain in the account where they are located. When we created the Memorial Savings Account, it did not accurately reflect the amount of money that was designated a memorial. Some monies remained in the Univest Savings Account or in the Thrivent – Mod Con Fund. Propose that at the end of the 2022 Budget cycle, money will be transferred so that the amount of money in the Memorial Account matches the money designated as Memorial Funds. Ongoing Interest Deposits will be reflected in the Memorial Account line. QuickBooks account lines will be added for funds designated for additional HVAC expenses and for the Manna Food Basket. An audit was performed on September 24, 2022. Proposed Budget for 2023: The proposed budget was prepared by the Finance Ministry Team on September 15,2022. It was distributed to the congregation on September 25, 2022, and Pledges were received on October 16, 2022. The Financial Secretary has added up the pledges and placed them into the designated Pledged Envelope Line. Pledges for 2023 are $103,140!! That is an increase of $16,776 over last year! It still leaves us with an approx. $38,000 deficit but the final budget proposal is not yet finalized as Pastoral Ministry numbers need to be finalized. We will recommend the budget to the Council at their November meeting. Debbie will attend the meeting. Recommendation to use Reserve Funds/ Undesignated Funds to make up any difference between expensed and income at the end of the year.
Fundraising: Linda Kratz reported that a total of $558 was raised in October ($410 from the Scrapbook Fundraiser, and the remainder from hoagie sales and Redners’ receipts.)
Hospitality/Fellowship: Anne Hutnyk met with Janet Hill and they produced a sign-up sheet listing menu items for Vicar Ethan Doan’s Ordination/Installation reception for the congregational members to sign-up to graciously bring one or more of these menu suggestions. Anne remarked that depending on leftovers, the egg breakfast planned for Nov 20 coffee hour may need to be postponed. Anne also purchased red tablecloths and white doilies with red flames. A cake will be purchased also. To celebrate Alexis’ Law School Graduation-Swearing in (Notary) ceremony, her mother, Laura Cooper will provide a reception in the Fellowship Hall. Anne will assist with food/cake service. This event is planned for Saturday, November 26, 2 pm to 5 pm. There will be no coffee hour in the Fellowship Hall after Dec 25 and Jan 1 Worship Services.
Mutual Ministry: By Nov 18, Jack Walls will meet with Janet Hill, thereby concluding all annual staff (Janet, Adam, Laura) meetings for 2022.
Shepherding: Per Sharon Hood via email: The 8 members of our team are sending out Thanksgiving Cards to all members, college students and “friends of Faith.”
Social Ministry: Sharon sent an email stating: The collection of scarfs, gloves, hats, and socks will continue through the end of the year. For the month of November, we are collecting ingredients (cake mix, baking pan, can of soda - and - frosting) (no eggs or oil needed) for families to make a very simple birthday cake. These items will be donated through Cindy Dembrosky, head of Keystone Opportunity’s Food Pantry, Souderton. Our team will soon be having our annual meeting to plan our projects for each month of 2023. If Council has any suggestions, please let Sharon know.
Stewardship: Jack spoke with a few people about VANCO pledging; he plans to use the TV during coffee hour to inform members about VANCO; and closer to the Holidays, Jack will make announcements before Worship Service. Vicar Ethan is beginning to think of some programs to initiate next year for stewardship.
Transportation: Dale Foster is still meeting the needs of those in need of a meal and/or transportation.
Worship & Music: Services reviewed from 6Nov2022 (All Saints) through 22Feb2023 (Ash Wednesday.) Vicar Ethan’s Ordination/Installation is Saturday, 19Nov2022 at 11:00am. Thanksgiving Eve service 23Nov2022 at 7:30pm with Holy Communion. Cantata & Hanging of the Greens will be on Sunday, 18Dec2022. Christmas & New Year’s Day are on Sundays this year. Choral Call to Worship will resume on Sunday, 27Nov2022 (Advent 1.) Liturgical Dances will resume, hopefully at Christmas Eve. We will start publishing the Distribution Hymns sung during Communion. Will have training sessions for Worship Assistants. Items to be investigated: Using the projector/screen for Readings & Hymn Lyrics; 8:00am Service – is there interest?; and Collecting Offerings – revisit in 2023.
Parking Request - Adam Feldman revised the Parking Request Form, and it is in progress.
Food Addicts Group - Food Addicts Group is now meeting at the church, Tuesdays at 6:30pm-8.
2021 Internal Financial Review (Audit) - The Audit Team of Faith Lutheran Church (Adam Feldman, Nancy Gansner and Mike Fritzinger) has concluded their review and report that all records have satisfactorily checked out with no outstanding concerns.
Parent’s Night Out – Gail proposed to council for approval to host two Parents’ Nights Out, Dec 2 and Dec 9, from 6 pm to 9 pm to provide youth fellowship and goodwill to our parents. Our present volunteers are Beth Schoening, Anna Friedrich, Anita Halpern, and Gail Achilles. Vince and Adam volunteered their time also to provide electronic games and movies. With council approval, Gail will make an announcement this Sunday, Nov 6, before Worship Service, with information and have info/registration forms available. Our volunteers are having a meeting on Nov 13 to go over agenda details in the Fellowship Hall after Worship Service. Council took a vote on this proposal with a caveat that for now this event is only for Faith members and Friends of Faith. All council members voted to approve Parents’ Nights Out, Dec 2 & Dec 9, 6 pm to 9 pm.
Child Abuse Policy - Our present policy is outdated. We need to put together a team that can update the policy. Adam is willing to be on the team and he suggested Vicar Ethan and Gail to be on the team too. (Note: Vicar Ethan and Gail agreed to be on team. Rich asked Missy if she would also be on team and Missy agreed). Our insurance company, Selective has partnered with a company called Praesidium, which is a resource for sample documents, videos etc. It is free to us as a customer of Selective. We will need to implement annual training for volunteers and staff. Sunday School Teachers & anyone involved with our youth. The Volunteer and Employee clearances which are to be done every 5 years can be kept current by this team.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at 7pm.
Will be a hybrid meeting. Rich is away the first week of December. This will be our church council Christmas party, so each council member will bring in some goodies.
Coffee with Council: Sunday, November 6, 2022, after worship.