|Opening prayer – Pastor Ken led us in prayer. |
Minutes of the 02/22/07 Council meeting were approved.
Board and Committee Reports
Treasurer’s Report – Paula Merrick Reported
• The A.G. Edwards Fund does not reflect YTD actual since we had a $180.00 surplus from the money available for children’s lunches at the eagle festival. This surplus has gone into Christian Outreach budget.
• The elevator Fund has $1100+ dollars.
• The Youth Choir Director’s salary comes from a gift. Our new interim Youth Choir Director, Shari Wilcox will be paid from the gift @ $50.00/hour to a maximum of $2500. The interim Youth Choir Director’s first rehearsal had 7 attendees at Junior Choir and 11 at Joyful Noise. 10 cherubs attended their first rehearsal with Mary Lewis.
Membership Committee – Millicent Hawk Reported
• Monthly jazz service – We may gain additional members or participants by offering a monthly jazz service. Jean Karr commented that she has attended a jazz service at the South Church in Boston. The service was from 6 to 7 pm, very informal, some attendees came right after work and different jazz groups participated. We may have local jazz groups who would be interested. What would they charge, if anything? Because of commuters, 6 pm may not be a good time. Further investigation needs to be done.
• Outside lighting for the church -- Millicent Hawk contacted LightoLear about lighting the steeple. LightoLear provided drawings and quoted about $2600 for fixtures and labor to provide 2 ground lights and 2 lights about halfway up the steeple; LightoLear did not include estimates on light bulb and electricity costs. A concern is not to have a “dark sky” effect. Sherry Clark will inquire if there is a lighting expert at her office who could advise us on how to proceed.
Clergy Staff Report
Pastor Ken Reported:
• He has attended two out of six Christian Education Conferences conducted by the Connecticut Conference. We may see small changes in our worship service to allow children to better understand the service. Ken would like children to participate in worship service. When we have special offerings, he would like to tailor the service (i.e., a family service) to the offering. Ken wants the Sunday Bulletin to be a worship bulletin and will try to include children in the bulletin. Parish life information would be available in the Narthex and at coffee hour.
• Pastor Ken invited Council to next year’s Rally Picnic to celebrate our kids and families. The picnic probably will be the 3rd Sunday in September.
• The Saturday morning adult education class’s focus is to teach us about our church. In a recent session, questions arose regarding the term and meaning of “inclusiveness,” and, as a result, Pastor Ken suggests it may be time to study what “welcoming, open and affirming” means.
Pastor Mitzi reported
• Pastor Mitzi continues to hold services at Essex Meadows.
• Future adult education topics are: “The Constant Joy of Being the United Church of Christ,” “Justice in the UCC,” “Interfaith dialog on Judaism, Muslim, and Christianity” and “Health Issues.” The times and dates of Adult Christian Education may change in the future to accommodate diverse schedules. We discussed the pros and cons of taping the sessions and agreed that the presentation portion could be taped.
• Coffee Hour – We discussed the possibility of using the cove view room for Sunday’s coffee hour in order to eliminate using the stairs to fellowship hall. We will use fellowship hall until the summer services begin and then use the cove view room when the congregation is smaller.
• May Breakfast – Don Male will send a questionnaire to the congregation to determine the interest in continuing the May breakfast.
• Nominating Committee – Jean Karr, Bob Marshall, Marion Marston, Brad Nichols and Winnie Olsen are on the Nominating Committee. Susan Nilsen will ask the Music Committee to choose a member.
New Business – Moderator Susan Nilsen led discussions on the following:
• Housekeeping – How long should committee records be kept? What committee minutes/records (excluding Stewardship and Treasurer) should be saved/archived or discarded? The membership roster is stored in the office computer. A suggestion was made to keep minutes of congregation meetings. The discussion was tabled to give Susan Nilsen an opportunity to talk with the committees regarding retention needs.
• Music Library – Susan Nilsen will talk with Barry Asch, Senior Choir Director, regarding the music library and what should be kept.
• Historians Joanne and Dan Kottke are resigning. We need to elect new Historian(s) who should be included in the records retention discussion.
• What should we do with prints by the late Dick Brooks? There are 50 copies of one print and 150 of another. Susan Nilsen will contact Barbara Brooks to see if she has suggestions for the prints, i.e., would she like to have them?
• Brainstorming about categories of church membership -- How do we determine who are members of our congregation? The by-laws state that members include those who have joined through letter of transfer, reaffirmation of faith or confession of faith and baptism. What should the status be for people who financially contribute but have not joined? We currently have categories of active and non-active members; what is the distinction between the two and how do we determine who is active and non-active? Personal knowledge? How can we revise the by-laws to reflect our current membership? Pastor Ken suggested that without an accurate membership count, it is difficult to recommend salaries for new pastors or to contribute to the Connecticut Conference. We may end up with multiple definitions of what is a member. Pastor Ken said polling other churches will turn up the same issues. A suggestion was made to ask people via Passages what kind of member they consider themselves. The bylaws say that if members do not contribute financially and/or attend services for a period of two years they should be put an inactive list, and if an additional year passes as inactive the Diaconate may recommend these names be removed from the roster. More discussion is necessary to resolve membership issues.
• Brainstorming about use of endowment funds – This is a big topic and suggestions will be presented to the membership. Comments/suggestions: give to charity and start from scratch. Use only for physical building and property. Never use for deficits in the operating budget. Support missions on an on-going basis. Use as seed money for programs. Support operating deficit as needed rather than cut programs, etc. Use a percentage of the interest earned over a specific period of time (average of the return over past three years, for example). For emergency use – i.e., steeple fell down. Susan Nilsen said that some members believe our church’s mission statement should include how the endowment is to be used. Susan stressed the importance of making a decision.
Reminder -- By-law revisions due by April 1 (the current by-laws are a Word document.) Send your revisions to Susan Nilsen via email at email@example.com.
Closing Prayer – Pastor Mitzi led us in prayer.
Marian Messek, Church Clerk