Parish Council Minutes

May 27, 2003

The moderator convened the meeting at 7:10 PM. Susan Lambe offered the meditation. Present were Barbara Langill, Jill Couillard, Linda Ladd, Phil Johnson, George Hayden, Bruce Gist, Hugh Penney, Bill Newell and Raymond Patch.

Council approved the minutes from the April 29, 2003 meeting with one change regarding the painting of the building. It was also decided that Council minutes will now be approved by all Council members via e-mail so that the final minutes will be published even sooner.

Senior Pastor Report: Raymond has received only a few responses from the Lenten Small Group leaders, he is still hoping to offer these groups in Fall. Raymond's vacation this year will be from August 11-31, and the week after Christmas. He will also be absent on June 29 due to a scheduled workshop. Dayl Hufford has agreed to preach on 6/29 and 8/17. Raymond will confirm substitute preachers for the remaining dates in August with Council. A substitute will also be needed for October 26.

Report from Co-directors of Christian Ed. And Youth: Barbara and Jill reported that the Middle School Youth Group retreat on a whitewater rafting trip was a success. The major portion of their report centered on adopting a new church school curriculum as the current one is not working well. They are considering the "Rotation" model. In this model, the same topic is focused on for 4-6 weeks. Teachers rotate students and teach the same topic weekly. There are many benefits to this curriculum. Barbara and Jill will make a presentation to the congregation on June 1. Some space changes may be needed, these will be discussed with Bill Hoey and a proposal will be submitted to Council.

Tower Day School Kindergarten expansion: Linda Ladd reported that a bid has been accepted and work will begin next week. A sink needs to be added to the plans. Furniture purchases are still being considered.

Church painting and repairs update: Phil Johnson reported that a 3rd bid is to be received shortly. The appeal to fund the project has raised $13,125 in new pledges thus far.

Treasurer: Hugh Penney reported that our Year-to-date budget and expenses are on track.

Financial Secretary: Bruce Gist reported that 70 church members have donated to the painting fund appeal for a total of $13,125. Heifer International donations this year have totaled $5911.90. The unspent portion of this will be appropriated in church on June 1.

Board of Christian Service: Bill Newell reported that the Missions committee is trying to move ahead with the new food pantry room. A cello and the silver service will need to be relocated. Work will continue this summer, and the kickoff for the new food pantry will most likely be in fall.

Board of Faith Development: Linda Ladd reported that the family picnic/ice cream social will be on June 8. Phil Johnson noted that the dedication of the brick walkway will not take place until fall after landscaping has been completed. He will also contact Bill Hoey about current landscaping needs and the possibility of planning a marquee for the front lawn.

Board of Worship: George Hayden reported that lay ministry Communion services will begin in fall. The first one will be conducted in the chapel by Sue Johnson and Dave Ladd. Raymond will be sending out a written introduction in advance of this. There have been requests from members for more frequent Communion services, this will serve those people. Planned start time is 9:30, service will last 15- 20 minutes total. Initially, the Worship Team will be responsible for this. Eventually, it will be open to others.

Other business: Phil reported that we still have no Board Chairperson for Parish Life. Raymond reported that 50 letters had been sent by the membership commission to inactive members; 10 of these members responded and said they wish to stay on the roles.

Phil reported that the Amistad ship is coming to Boston and they are looking for UCC contributors. It was voted to donate $200.00. Parish Council voted to appoint Cindy Ouellette to the Youth Commission.

Centre Church Goals: Raymond reported on 5 local churches that are successful and growing. The worship team and Parish Council should visit these churches' services and make an appointment to speak with their leadership. It is felt that our church needs to provide more opportunities in order to attract people. Parish Council's concerns include our declining membership and a lack of lay leadership. It is felt that we need to define who we are and what our goals and visions are. Raymond will get back to Phil with info regarding site visits to churches in Topsfield, Medfield and Springfield.

The meeting adjourned at 9:55.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Lambe, Recording Clerk