Parish Council Minutes

November 28, 2006

The following people participated in this Council meeting:

Phil started the meeting at 7:08 p.m. Rev. Bailey offered as a meditation the Song of Zechariah, from the book of Luke, chapter 1.

Pastor’s report. Rev. Bailey started by noting ongoing security concerns for Tower Day School. He will be speaking to a group that uses the church for meetings, to introduce himself and to explain the school’s security guidelines.

Next he talked about the just-begun work of reviewing and updating staff job descriptions. Dennis will be advocating for staff benefits to be brought in line with current UCC guidelines.

Recently, Dennis made two visits to Brooksby Village. He intends to work with the Protestant Chaplain at Brooksby, to offer occasional communion services in the chapel there.

Dennis noted that we have many new folks attending worship services. He emphasized warm welcomes as key to helping visitors feel comfortable and encouraging them to return. Later discussion returned to this topic. Sometimes a person who comes for a special event, or participates in a small group like the knitting group, will become interested in the larger life of the church. On a related note, Council talked about the idea of starting a discussion group for folks new to the UCC, especially those who formerly attended Catholic churches.

Rev. Bailey reported on his recent activities connecting Centre Church with the larger community – the Thanksgiving ecumenical service on November 19; his offer to do the invocation at the Veterans’ Day ceremony on November 11; and his recent meetings with local fire and police personnel, with introductions facilitated by Bob MacKendrick.

Dennis said the Friday morning scripture class is going well. The upcoming confirmation class has thirteen members and most students have mentors lined up.

In closing his report, Dennis noted that while he recognizes the importance of starting and closing worship service on time, there are occasions when it’s good for all of us to be a bit flexible.

Minutes. Council approved the minutes of the previous meeting, from October. Big thanks to Sue Lambe for her wonderful work in reporting on Parish Council meetings!

Discussion of Council’s role and new Ministry Teams. Phil started off by welcoming the new members of Parish Council: Perry Hayden, Sandi Watson, Debbie Cotting, and Michelle Hagerty. Phil then shared his thoughts on Parish Council’s purpose–to carry out administrative work, set goals for the church, and, most importantly, support people in the work they’re doing for the church.

Phil pointed out that one difference in the new ministry team structure is that most team members are not elected. Ministry team chairs will be providing more information about the purpose of each team and inviting folks to participate in the teams they find meaningful. During the discussion that followed, Council expressed the hope that we will find a way to engage young adults, to invite them to participate in worship and to serve on ministry teams. In reviewing the list of people on each ministry team, Phil noted three vacancies that need to be filled:

Council then approved the following appointments, which fall outside the ministry team structure:

Budget talk. Phil said that it is great to have a balanced budget, thanks to hard work by Dwight Decker and others. But he also emphasized that the spring stewardship drive will be important.

Sue reported that we are $15,000 short on pledge money, year to date. Sue said that the fall Flea Market brought in close to $3,000 thanks to Evy Round and all the people who worked hard to make the Flea Market a success.  She also noted that we will have to come up with a plan for a spring event in order to hit the budget of $4,500 from fundraisers this year.

Ministry Team reports:

Outreach Ministry: Chris talked about the Give-a-Palooza alternative giving fair on Dec. 3, to benefit Heifer International, Lynn Shelter Association, Church World Service, and Hope Shall Bloom (UCC-led relief for people affected by hurricane Katrina). Again this year, folks can donate to City Missions Society in lieu of Christmas cards. Gifts under the tree (socks, blankets, hats, mittens, gloves) will go to the Salem Mission.

Membership Ministry. There will be a Centre Church Information meeting on Sunday, December 10, for people considering becoming members. Perry has sent a letter to parents of Tower Day students, inviting their families to participate in upcoming church events, such as the Advent workshop.

Education Ministry: Perry expressed thanks for the work Bob Shorey did, making 50 wooden mangers for the Advent workshop on December 3.

Both youth groups are thriving, with about 20 kids in each group attending each week. The youth groups raised $1,050 for My Brother’s Table, and eight youth group members participated in the outreach program for Cradles to Crayons.

Upcoming events: Linda Ladd is coordinating the annual Christmas pageant, for Sunday, December 24. The high school youth will hold a Christmas cookie swap, to raise money for next summer’s mission trip. After the holidays: collecting books for prisoners; holding a fundraiser on Super Bowl Sunday; offering a 6-week class on parenting teens.

Diaconate. Michelle is looking for people who would like to participate in worship services, especially anyone who would like to read scripture.

Next meeting. The next Parish Council meeting will be held Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in the Pastor’s office.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandi Watson, recording clerk