Parish Council Minutes

May 23, 2007

Attendees: Reverend Dennis Bailey, Phil Johnson, Sue Johnson, Debbie Cotting, George Hayden, Perry Hayden, Chris Gehret, Dwight Decker, Tony Lucia, and Sandi Watson

Phil Johnson opened the meeting at 7:07 p.m. with a meditation. Minutes from the previous meeting on April 25 were approved.

Pastor’s Report:

Rev. Bailey will attend the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Conference June 21 through 27 in Hartford, Connecticut. Allie Hagerty will preach on Sunday, June 24.

Rev. Bailey will offer the Invocation at Memorial Day services held on the town green. He mentioned that there are a total of seven weddings planned for Centre Church this year (including those already held).

The Memorial Service for Dr. George Robinson will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 14.

Ministry Team reports:

Education Ministries: Perry said that June 10 will be Children’s Sunday.

Vacation Bible School will be offered July 9 through 13.

The 16 members of the High School Youth Group who participated in the World Vision Thirty Hour Famine raised $1,400.00.

The Youth Group trip to Laser Quest took place on May 25.

On June 3, participants from the April Mission trip will host a “thank you” lunch for their sponsors. The lunch will include a presentation of highlights from the trip. The Middle School Youth Group end-of-the-year celebration trip to Canobie Lake was rescheduled for June 10.

Treasurer: Dwight recapped income and expenditures through April 2007.

On the 2007/2008 budget, there is a change in date for presenting the plan to the congregation. Council had been hoping to present the budget in June. However, the timing of the Stewardship campaign required rethinking that decision; the budget presentation will be part of the annual meeting on September 23.

Moderator: Phil said that investigation of the health insurance for church staff continues. Rick Carey will soon be presenting to Council a proposal for the Tower Day security plan.

Outreach: Chris reported that Centre Church will be sponsoring another meal for the people displaced by the explosion in Danversport. On Thursday, June 14, we will provide a dinner through Maple Street Church. The Outreach Ministry team will lead a food drive in June, to help children who will be at risk over the summer when school lunches are not available.

Membership: Tony reported that Rev. Bailey had brought him a suggestion that we offer a membership event featuring “The Funky Divas of Gospel.” The Membership Ministry team will try to arrange for a performance sometime in the autumn. (See their web site,, for information about the group and brief music clips.)

Diaconate: George said that ushering plans for the summer are in place.

Mark Meehl will be leading a movie series on the topic of Open and Affirming Congregations. The series will start on Sunday, June 17, at 10:00 a.m. with a showing of the movie “Straight from the Heart.”

Stewardship Ministry: Debbie reported that the stewardship/fellowship coffee hours went well, with lively discussions about the church, stewardship, and planned giving. The pony express (to pass the stewardship packets) has started and will be completed by Celebration Sunday on June 3.

Financial Secretary: Sue said 36 pledges have been recorded at this point.

More Moderator Talk: Back to Phil, who said that the Planned Giving team will be meeting in June to continue work on a proposal they will present to the congregation in the fall.

The Nominating Committee has a list of potential nominees developed by Council. In June, Council will be appointing people to the positions that don’t go through the nominating process.

Phil has been investigating options for refinancing the mortgage. He found a good rate – both the monthly payment and the total payout amount will be lower than via the current mortgage. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to refinance the existing mortgage of $211,000 with The Savings Bank for 15 years with the rate fixed at 6.375% for the first 5 years. A second motion was made, seconded, and approved to move the existing bank accounts from The Wakefield Co-Op to The Savings Bank.

The Capital Fund Drive is slated for 2010. Phil share his thoughts on items that might be included in the “needs” list for the drive; brief discussion followed.

Phil and Reverend Bailey presented a proposal to lease a photocopier. Options were discussed and further review of the proposals will be conducted. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to lease a photocopier with the yearly charge not to exceed $3,260.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Pastor’s office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk