Council was called to order at the United Lutheran Seminary by President Gary Apgar. Council Minutes of the June regular council meeting were approved as written. The Treasurer’s Reports from June and July were approved as written.
President’s Report: I would like to remind everyone that Pastor Ethan is now very busy on Sundays. After reading Pastor Ethan’s column in the August Mustard Seed, I realized just how busy! Pastor misses the communication with everyone. We should all find time to talk with the Pastor Ethan, especially if you have a need. He is available before our service and during the week. I want to thank everyone involved with this summer’s Vacation Bible School. It sounds like kids had lot of fun making new friends and learning about Jesus. We have our Grace and Faith get-together for a service in the park on August 20. Hoping for the start of a good relationship and continued fellowship! We did vote on and approve the proposal for this year’s Bazaar.
Pastor’s Report: Pastor Ethan started leading worship at Jerusalem Lutheran after presiding at Faith on July 9th. On July 29th, Pastor presided over the funeral service of Naomi Yeoman. He has also been planning for the council retreat on August 19th and the outdoor service with Grace Lutheran on August 20th.
Ministry Team Reports:
Christian Education: Sunday School: Teachers are Nancy Gansner, Anna Friedrich, and Gail Achilles. We will alternate each Sunday from September 10 through May 26 using the Whirl Lectionary Series. On August 13, an email from Pastor Ethan was sent to inform parents and grandparents of children ages 3 to 11 about Rally Day, Backpack Blessing, and our new Sunday School time during Worship Service. Children will leave the service after the children’s sermon and return to service before the rite of Holy Communion.
Parents’ Night Out – Youth Fellowship (PNO-YF): On August 13, an email was sent from Gail to parents and grandparents of all children from our church and the community to inform them of the 2023 schedule for this event and registration information. On August 16, Beth Schoening and Gail Achilles met to discuss our theme and activities for our first PNO-YF event on September 15. (Chris Jones, Anne Hutnyk, Anna Friedrich and Barbara Sladek, were not available to attend, but are part of our team.)
Monday Night Bible Study (MNBS): Our first meeting will be on September 11. Over the summer months, we read “A Rose in a Ditch” by Julie Henning. We will discuss her book at our first two meetings and also decide on our next study, which will start at our September 25 meeting.
Vacation Bible School 2023 (Stellar, Shine Jesus’ Light): There were 23 children and 23 volunteers at VBS. Thank you to all of the volunteers, who shared the love of Jesus and were awesome. Thank you to the children who attended, and their parents and caregivers. You are Stellar! Much positive feedback was received from volunteers, parents, and children.
Faith Playdate: Although the team had a plan in place, we had no one sign up for either of the first two that were scheduled. We will re-direct these efforts for now.
Communication: This team needs better definition and more coordination. It should include signage, website, Facebook, flyers, etc.
Evangelism: Pastor will reach out to the team to re-align the team’s goals and coordinate with Social Ministry team, then discuss possibly doing other local community days and maybe First Friday again next year. It was noted that having a “draw” of some kind at the events would increase participation.
Fellowship: Julie Henning 9/23 @1:00 pm - No cost but will be distributing tickets upon request so we know how much food to order. Sharon Hood will make up flyers and Debbie Hollenbach is making up the tickets. If we do free will giving then proceeds will go to the Pearl S. Buck foundation.
Finance: As of July 31, 2023, at 60% of the 2023 budget year, we are showing a year-to-date deficit of $18,768.70. Member Pledged Giving is down slightly at 52%; Member Non-Pledged Giving is down slightly at 51%; Loose Plate Offering is up 278%; Fundraising is up at 120%; We had no charges for snow removal - adding $1,000 available for other expenses; Due to higher grass cutting fees, currently grass cutting is at 67%. The Treasurer transferred $5K from the Endowment Fund to cover expenses, and will continue to do so as needed, unless specified to draw from a different fund. In August, the Finance Ministry Team began the process of determining a proposed budget for 2024. Below is the schedule that we are working on for that process. As a reminder, our meeting is open to any council or congregation person who would like to attend or to join our team. Timeline is: August 7 – worksheets emailed to each ministry team lead; August 27 – worksheets due back; August is when Mutual Ministry needs to meet and provide salary assessments; September 14 – Finance team meets to put budget together; September 24 – Preliminary budget packets available for the congregation; October 8 – Commitment Sunday (with the theme of Gratitude); October 26 – Team meets to review budget and pledge amounts; November 1 – Finance chair present budget to council; January 28 – Budget is voted on by congregation.
- On August 10, Council approved the proposed plan for the Holiday Bazaar via email vote. We held a fundraiser at Sundae World on August 1st.
- : We should put out a sign-up sheet for Rally Day instead of relying on Christian Education.
Long-Range Planning: Jack Walls has also agreed to be on this team with Nancy Allegrezza.
Mutual Ministry: After this meeting, Cheryl Harbeck agreed to be on the team, making it complete. The team should now be in discussions for salary assessments and forwarded to the Finance Team.
Property Team: It is time to plan for a fall clean-up day. The microwave in the kitchen is not working so will need to look into a replacement (may have one donated.)
Shepherding: After meeting with Pastor, the team will be sending cards to our membership that will include a flyer about Rally Day and the change in worship time to 9:30am.
Social Ministry: For June and July we partnered with the NPSD Education Foundation for the school supply drive. We collected over 800 items. In August, we joined this year’s VBS fundraiser “Operation Kid to Kid” to collect funds for Bibles and discipleship opportunities provided through World Vision. In September we will be collecting money to purchase books for children through 141 Impact.
Stewardship: Will be meeting in the next two weeks. Should discuss counting practices and timing.
Worship & Music: Outdoor service at School Road Park this Sunday (8/20.)
OLD BUSINESS Constitution Update – Draft ready for review. Also, as we go through this review, we need to look at each Ministry Team’s purpose and goals and update them. Roll clean-up. Moving the library books to be more accessible.
NEW BUSINESS Resourceful Servants introduces its Emergency Savings/ Congregational Financial Assessment Program – agree that Pastor will send to Finance Team to evaluate. Christmas Eve service (on a Sunday) – the consensus was that we’ll need a morning and evening service. Worship and Music will work together to determine types of services, timing with Cantata and Hanging of the Greens, etc. In the fall, Pastor has been thinking about doing a once-a-month education hour (5:30 to 7pm with food provided in some way) on a Sunday evening, geared towards confirmands, teens, and adults. However, if younger children were in attendance, activities would be planned for them. This would replace the adult forum and would count as class time for confirmation. Council agreed that this is a great idea. Fire and police chief visit to congregation – October would be a good time for this, perhaps combine with a service to thank first responders. A review is needed of the published fees for funerals and weddings.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 7:00 PM. Will be a hybrid meeting.