Parish Council Minutes

January 31, 2007

Attendees: Rev. Dennis Bailey, Phil Johnson, Sue Johnson, Chris Gehret, Tony Lucia, Debbie Cotting, George Hayden, Perry Hayden, Barbara Langill, Dwight Decker, Sandi Watson

Dwight Decker opened the meeting at 7:05 p.m. with a meditation. Minutes from the previous meeting on January 2 were approved.

Pastor’s Report:

Reverend Bailey, on behalf of the staff, requested a new set of telephones that would accommodate more simultaneous calls. These phones also offer features such as automatic distribution of voice-mail messages to calling lists (for example, the members of the youth groups). Council approved the proposal to get phones for Rev. Bailey, Susan Spear, Barbara Langill, Jill Couillard, and the Pastoral Counseling Center, at a cost of about $800.00.

The Pastoral Relations Committee will meet with Reverend Bailey for their first meeting on February 6. Confirmation classes are going well. In addition to his ongoing pastoral calls to those in need, Rev. Bailey has started visiting both newer members and longer-term members of the church.

As reported in Tower Notes, Dennis plans to lead a 4-day backpacking trip this summer. So far, four adults and two youths have expressed interest.

Rev. Bailey and Susan Spear have been exploring the possibility of the church opening a credit card account, to facilitate purchases by staff. Dennis proposed that he, Susan, Barbara, and Jill have access to this card. Council approved this request.

Dennis also passed along a request from the Young Opera Company, to use the sanctuary for a concert on Saturday, May 5. Council also approved this request.

Ministry Team reports:

Christian Education Ministries: Barbara said that the "Boy Jesus in the Temple" rotation is continuing. On Sunday, February 18, the church school will offer a single class, featuring a special activity, which will focus on better understanding the Lord’s Prayer. On the following Sunday, the 25th, the rotation about Lent will begin and the youth will also begin baking muffins. All proceeds from sale of the muffins will benefit Heifer International.

Thirty-two members (from both youth groups) enjoyed tubing at Nashoba Valley on January 29th. On February 3, members of the High School Youth Group will volunteer at the Prison Book Program in Quincy.

The "Parenting Your Teenager" seminars continue on Monday evenings.

Finance/Treasurer: Dwight presented year-to-date budgeted and actual numbers. Some expense items are running over budget, such as repair and maintenance, while others, so far, are running under budget (snow plowing and heating).

As reported previously, pledges actually collected are running below the amounts promised; non-pledged income is over budget.

Sue reported that the annual giving statements needed for tax returns were mailed on January 29th.

Outreach Ministry: Chris said that during the worship service on Sunday, February 11, the Outreach Ministry team will express appreciation for the many people who prepare meals each month for Bread and Roses, a soup kitchen in Lawrence.

Education Ministry: Perry reported that at the NO (New Opportunities) Fair, some folks signed up to join the Education Ministry team. The team will be working with Barbara and Jill to select a Bible for the 8th grade students.

Stewardship Ministry. Debbie said that folks at the NO Fair also signed up to help with specific tasks for this spring’s campaign.

Stewardship consultant, Bill VanderWyden, met with members of the Planned Giving Committee on January 23rd. Bill proposed a two-year plan for educating the congregation and conducting a planned giving campaign. He also made suggestions for a capital campaign proposed for 2010. Later the same evening, the Stewardship committee met with Bill to discuss the upcoming stewardship campaign, which will kick off on May 20 and culminate on Celebration Sunday, June 3.

Membership Ministry: Tony told Council that our congregation will be welcoming six new members on Membership Sunday, February 11.

On Saturday, March 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Membership Ministry will sponsor a Wine Tasting in the Fireside Room and in the Narthex. Our Glass Wine of Saugus will provide the wine and conduct the tasting. Other possible future events include a movie night and a ping pong tournament.

Diaconate: Boy Scout Sunday will be on Sunday, February 4, with members of Troop 48 ushering and participating in the service. The Diaconate has started discussing services for Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, and Easter Sunday.

Phil said that we are still seeking members for the Finance Ministry team and that two key positions in the church remain open: Chair of Finance and Vice Moderator. Parish Council will concentrate on filling these positions at the next meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, at 7:00 p.m. in the Pastor’s office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk