Parish Council Minutes

June 20, 2007

Attendees: Reverend Dennis Bailey, Phil Johnson, Sue Johnson, Debbie Cotting, George Hayden, Perry Hayden, Barbara Langill, Chris Gehret, and Sandi Watson

Sue Johnson opened the meeting at 7:04 p.m. with a meditation from the book “Traveling Light,” by Max Lucado. Minutes from the previous meeting on May 23 were approved.

Ministry Team reports:

Christian Education Ministries: Barbara reported that the Middle School Youth Group went to Canobie Lake Park and the High School Youth Group to Hershey Park for their end-of-year celebrations.

Fifteen children are signed up for the Vacation Bible School this summer, July 9 through 13.

Recruitment for teachers and shepherds to serve during the 2007-2008 Rotation Sensation went well.

This fall, students in the 5th grade will have their own Youth Group, led by Kathi Martin and a player to be named later.


Treasurer/Financial Secretary: Sue said that pledge cards continue to come in.

Phil had been over the 2006-2007 budget with Dwight Decker and reported that it is very close to balanced. They will determine the final numbers soon.

Investigation into the question of providing health insurance coverage for staff continues.

A motion was made, seconded, and approved that the church will offer a Section 125 Plan for staff (for pretax insurance withholdings) by July 1, 2007.


Education Ministries: Perry reported that she had met with Barbara, Jill, and Reverend Bailey to update the Youth Ministry job description. Discussion followed, leading to a small change in wording. A motion was made, seconded, and approved to accept the new description.


Outreach: Chris said that on June 14 a group at Centre Church prepared another meal for the people displaced by the explosion in Danversport. People are also responding to the request that we help the family in Lynn that has three terminally ill children.


Membership: Phil said that the Membership ministry team is planning to host an evening with “The Funky Divas of Gospel” in the autumn. (See their web site,, for information and brief music clips.)

The Membership ministry folks also asked if Council would consider reinstating greeters on Sunday morning. After talking over possible spots where one or more greeters might be stationed, Council agreed that the idea of a “roaming” greeter in the Narthex would be good. Further discussion followed about ways in which we can be more welcoming to visitors.


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

Mark Meehl started the movie series about Open and Affirming Congregations on June 17. Mark is also attending the National Gathering of the UCC Coalition for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Concerns, which is part of the UCC General Synod in Hartford in June.

Church delegates George, Bill Seelig, and Kathi Martin will attend some portions of the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Conference June 21 through 27 in Hartford, Connecticut. Reverend Bailey will attend the full meetings.


Stewardship Ministry: Debbie reported that the Stewardship Ministry team will be meeting on Tuesday, June 26, to review the campaign just concluding and to make recommendations for next year’s campaign.


Moderator: Phil, Sue, and Dwight will continue working on the 2007-2008 church budget over the next couple of months.

The Nominating Committee is working on filling ministry team positions.


Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the Pastor’s office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk