Parish Council Minutes

January 21, 2003

The Moderator convened the meeting at 7:08 P.M. Bruce Gist offered the meditation. Present were Bill Hoey, Bill Newell, Debbie Cotting, Bruce Gist, Phil Johnson, Joe Gehret, Barbara Langill, Linda Ladd, Jim Marshall, and Raymond Patch. In attendance for a portion of the meeting were Frank Scott and Chuck Cotting.

Chuck Cotting reported on the drain that froze on Jan. 19. The plumbers responded quickly and spent many hours on Jan. 19 and 20 locating and repairing the problem. Chuck also informed Council that the Tower Day Director was considering the idea of adding a second Kindergarten class sometime in the future, and she wondered if the church would consider releasing the second floor youth room and the room adjoining it for use as a Tower Day Kindergarten class. Council was intrigued by the idea and asked Chuck to inform the Director that Council supports the idea if and when she’s ready to expand.

Frank Scott spoke to Council regarding Safe Church and the need to recruit more volunteers to help Frank provide Safe Church training. Frank also recommended a training model which would involve observing a training session, then conducting a session while being observed and supported. Council supported this recommendation, acknowledging that more volunteers are needed and adequate training is imperative.

Senior Pastor Report: Raymond informed Council that more soundproofing is needed between the C.E. office and the Pastoral Counseling Center. An interim solution might be a white noise machine, but the Property Commission will investigate long-term solutions. Raymond met with the Membership Commission to discuss the annual exercise of culling the membership list. Council suggests calling those who have most recently become inactive. Others will receive a letter before their names are removed from the active rolls. Council acknowledged that the Membership Commission might need help contacting inactive members and cultivating new and prospective members. Bruce interjected that he has software that can sort by the talents and interests people noted on their pledge cards. Raymond reported that the Worship team will begin discussing alternative communion services. One possibility is to use the chapel from 9:15-9:45 once per month or more often. A lay person can lead the service with support from Raymond. This type of service could provide an opportunity for innovation and small group ministry. Raymond hopes the alternative communion service will begin by fall.

Christian Education and Youth: Barbara Langill reported that she and Jill Couillard are considering the possibility of a sunrise Easter service led by the youth. If that occurs, there might be a need for only one Easter service in the sanctuary at 10 A.M. Barbara noted that all the church school teaching positions are filled, but they are still trying to hire someone to staff the nursery. Bruce suggested we try putting a television in the Nursery so parents who want to stay with their children could watch the service. Barbara reported that she and Jill are working with the Church School Commission, youth leaders, and teachers to choose a new curriculum for next year. She and Jill are hosting a group of UCC church educators on Jan. 22, and they will ask them about their experience with the curricula they use. Barbara will introduce the new teachers on Jan. 26. The Middle School youth went bowling, and they are participating in the Souper Bowl of Caring on Jan. 26. They will ask for a $1.00 donation to support Haven From Hunger and My Brother’s Table. Raymond will meet with Middle School students and their parents to discuss topical issues. Dayl Hufford is meeting with the Middle School youth in March to discuss getting along with parents. The High School group is not meeting regularly, but they are involved in some mission projects. They cooked a meal for My Brother’s Table on Jan. 20. A calling chain has been formed with high school youth calling each other to help determine activities they’d like to schedule. Barbara asked if she and Jill could have a computer table, a desk, and a chair to enhance their work space. Bill Hoey will follow-up on this request. Barbara asked Council’s opinion on the request for a church credit or debit card. Joe responded that every credit card he investigated required a church officer be personally liable so he suggested that Barbara and/or Jill get a personal credit card for church purchases, and the church will pay the bill. Phil suggested that an alternative would be getting a cash advance from the church and turning in receipts for purchases made. Barbara and Jill will discuss the options and decide which works best for them.

Annual Meeting: Alison Weaver will coordinate the luncheon. Council reviewed the agenda for annual meeting. Bill Newell updated Council on the Nominating Commission’s work, and he reported that some vacancies exist. Council held a general budget discussion noting that the budget is based on anticipating the receipt of $20,000 in pledges and donations. Council voted unanimously to approve the budget as printed in the annual report.

Discussion of Focus Group Development and Feb. 7 dinner: Council discussed possible group facilitators who would meet with Raymond for guidance and direction. These groups would meet during Lent for spiritual sharing and deepening friendships. In lieu of the Feb. 7 dinner, Council decided to hold sign-ups after church on Feb. 23 and Mar. 3. The group leaders would be stationed around the narthex to speak with those interested in participating.

Board of Administration: Bill Hoey reported that the Investment Commission is meeting monthly. Their goal is to invest 50% in bonds and 50% in equities or mutual funds.

Other business: One comment card was received. The individual noted that he/she liked the choir processing into the sanctuary and liked communion being served in the pews.

Council noted its appreciation for the work done by retiring Council members Joe Gehret, Alison Weaver, Jim Marshall, and Debbie Cotting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:50 P.M.

Respectfully submitted,

Debbie Cotting, Recording Clerk