Council was called to order by President Gary Apgar. Council Minutes of the November meeting was approved as written. The Treasurer’s Report from November was approved as written. It was noted that pledged giving is down 12%.
President’s Report: As our year comes to an end, we are experiencing a rebirth here at Faith! We are grateful for God sending us Pastor Ethan. I would like to thank all our council members, Committee Chairs, and people on our committees for all their hard work this year! Your dedication to Faith is very much appreciated! As for tonight’s council, we have our 2024 preliminary budget to approve tonight. There is also another financial-related topic to discuss. Our Advent season has begun. We will have a live Nativity in the front of the Church 3:30 – 5:00 PM Sunday 12/10/2023. The Cantata & Hanging of the Greens Sunday 12/17/2023. May everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Pastor’s Report: Here are the highlights of Pastor’s report as he continues to provide pastoral care, provide ministry leadership, teach the Faith, participate in the Community and Wider Church, and learn for Ministry: thanks to Rich for leading the Thanksgiving Eve service on short notice; on November 13, pastor presided over the funeral of Helen Wolfgang; attended various Ministry Team and other meetings; see Important Date section for upcoming special events; and a meeting for the Deacons will be held in January.
MINISTRY TEAM REPORTS:
Christian Education: Gail Achilles reported that:
Sunday School: there will be no Sunday School on Sunday, December 17 (Hanging of the Greens) and Sunday, December 24 (Merry Christmas). Praise the Lord for our children in the Faith Lutheran Church community who have volunteered to take part in our Christmas Events: December 10 (the Live Nativity) and December 17 (Hanging of the Greens). Bless their precious hearts. On December 10, our Sunday School teacher Nancy Gansner and the Sunday School children will be baking cookies to share with our church community. Nancy Gansner will be away from 12/31/23 through 3/17/24 so Anna Friedrich and I will alternate teaching the Sunday School lesson during that period. If any of our church members feel called to teach Sunday School, please contact Gail Achilles. We have all the supplies you would need to teach the Bible lesson.
Monday Night Bible Study (MNBS)--Our small group will finish up our current study, “What Happens When Woman Walk in Faith” by Lysa Terkeurst on Monday, December 11. We all agree that this was one of our best studies (outside of reading the bible in a year). It was relatable and we learned “how Trusting God takes You to Amazing Places” (Lysa Terkeurst). We will resume MNBS with a to be determined study on January 8, 2024
Parent Night Out/Youth Fellowship (PNO/YF)—Our December 1 event was attended by 9 children and parents donated a total of $50.00 to be used for future youth events. We are blessed with wonderful adult and youth volunteers. Thanks to their Jesus-led service, the children are enjoying the activities and fellowship. The children are making decorations to trim the tree in the Fellowship Hall, and we will continue doing so at our December 8 PNO/YF event. Our first 2024 youth event is scheduled for Friday, January 12, 2024.
Communications: Need to make sure our Christmas Eve service is communicated.
Finance: At 91% of the budget year, member pledges are still decreased at 78.52% and non-pledged giving is at 77.82%. Loose plate giving has still increased at 391%. Our current deficit is $29,208.15, up $2,735.83 from November. The Finance Ministry team met on October 26 and added the pledges to the proposed budget. We also adjusted some of the other income amounts. The proposed budget is being presented to the council at the meeting tonight. Fundraising has increased to 246%! Good job fundraising but there is a concern - how much of the fundraising money is coming from members of our congregation and how much is coming from outside our congregation? The proper use of fundraising is to raise funds from OUTSIDE our congregation, not to get more money from the members of our congregation. I would rather see someone raise their pledge than give time and treasure to fundraising efforts.
Fundraising: A scrapbooking event in November donated $275. (Next event is February 9-10.) The final total from the bazaar was $1,951. Planning to have the Christmas Cookie Can Sale on December 17 (Hanging of the Greens.)
Hospitality: Coffee hour sponsors were reviewed.
Long Range Planning: The team hopes to meet soon to go over the feedback from the council. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Nominating Team: After an extensive search by Mary Lou Foster, Paul Prunkel, and Sharon Hood, the following three members of our congregation have agreed to run for council: Gail Achilles, Anne Hutnyk, and Andy McCulley. (Note that there are still 2 open council positions that were not filled for this year so we as hoping to find one or two additional folks to run for council for 2024.)
Shepherding: The team will be sending out Christmas cards to the entire congregation, college students, and “friends of Faith”. Again – thanks to Ernie for supplying most of the cards.
Social Ministry: The Code Blue donations included 215 snacks, 14 pairs of socks, 9 pairs of gloves, and 16 hats. The Bakeless Bake Sale to support Fisher House Foundation raised $110. December 10 – Collecting money for the gifts purchased for Christopher, Helena, and Charles from Martin Luther School. The Angel Tree will be collecting money for grocery gift cards for our congregation. The group met on November 29 and planned all events for 2024.
Worship & Music: Discussions are starting for Lent and Easter.
Constitution Update: Draft in review by all council members; Ministry Teams are working on modifying team definitions.
Background Checks: all have been completed for staff.
Congregational Meeting: It will be on Sunday, January 28th. Pastor Ethan has secured a supply pastor to cover the other service so our meeting will be held following our worship service.
Live Nativity: The forecast is for rain on 12/10 so a rain date has been set for Sunday, 12/17.
2024 Budget: was reviewed by council. In the following vote by council members, 7 voted in favor and 1 member voted against. The budget was approved.
Pastor’s Housing: Pastor Ethan needs to have council approval annually to designating part of his salary for housing. All council members voted their approval of this motion.
PNO/YF: Gail would like to revisit taking children under 3 for PNO-YF since it was brought up again regarding a parent with a 4-year-old and a 9-month-old. From my perspective, the only way this can be approved is if we have a teacher volunteer who would be willing to devote the entire three hours to taking care of children under 3 years of age (maximum of 4) in the Nursery Room. After some discussion, it was decided not to change the original policy of not taking children under 3 years of age.
Important Dates: January 4-18: Pastor on vacation.
January 12: PNO. January 21: Faith Education Dinner
January 28: Congregation Meeting after service.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 7pm.