Parish Council Minutes

August 22, 2007

Attendees: Rev. Dennis Bailey, Dwight Decker, Phil Johnson, Sue Johnson, Debbie Cotting, Barbara Langill, Chris Gehret, Tony Lucia and invited guest Mark Meehl.

Minutes from the June 20, 2007 meeting were accepted and approved.

Pastor Report: Dennis reported that he is navigating his way through a house purchase and his vacation plans are up in the air right now. If all goes according to plan he would be taking weeks off before and after the close of the house sale in late September or early October. Parish Council agreed that we would be flexible around the moving target for the time off.

He reported that the confirmation class for the coming year is expected to be a large class again and he will start the classes earlier than last year (probably before Thanksgiving) to give the class more time to get through the material.

He also noted that he is exploring the establishment of a spiritual guidance group. He has spoken to several members of the church who are interested in being part of such a group.


Christian Education Report: Barbara Langill noted that rotation Sensation will be starting on 9/9/07 and teacher training will be held on 8/27/07.

There will be a 3rd youth group added this year for the 5th grade. Kathy Martin and David Bjorkman have offered to help with that group.

Planning has begun on a youth retreat in Tennessee for July 2008. There will be fund raisers throughout the year to subsidize this trip.

Lastly Barbara reported that we will begin a new tradition this fall of providing Bibles to all 9th graders. The Bible will have a concordance and will be engraved with the students’ name.


Carillon Repair: the carillon chime system has been in disrepair for some period of time now. Council has received varying quotes on replacing the system and the cost is almost prohibitive. Mark Meehl requested Parish Council’s permission to remove the components that we have and have it repaired free of charge by a neighbor of his who is an expert in audio and video repair. Parish council voted enthusiastically to take Mark and his neighbor up on the offer.

Mark also indicated he is donating a used PC to be used in the Choir room. Again, Parish Council expressed appreciation for this effort.


Open and Affirming (ONA) Update: Mark reported that he will be receiving ONA Consultancy training from the UCC in Cleveland Ohio free of charge the week of Sept. 13th. This will benefit him and the church by making him a knowledgeable resource in the field that and hopefully he can lend his expertise to help other churches become ONA.

He also is spear heading an ONA Video Film Festival at Centre Church this fall. There is a series of 6 to 9 short videos that he will be presenting after worship service in the fall.


Budget for 2007 to 2008: Dwight Decker presented the draft budget for the next fiscal year. After some discussion and suggested changes Dwight will re-draft the budget for review by Parish Council. Dwight noted that there is a shortfall in the budget and this deficit will need to be addressed by some combination of a supplemental pledge drive in the fall and/or other fund raising events throughout the year. The budget proposal will then be approved by Council via e-mail prior to our next meeting on 9/19/07.


Ministry Team Reports:

Outreach Ministry Team: Chris Gehret noted that the general theme for this coming year will be focus on those less fortunate than ourselves. There will be a blanket drive this fall and continued emphasis on food pantry items. There has been very good response from the congregation to support the family in Lynn with the triplets. We have continued to wash clothes and provide food and other essential items like gas debit cards. The cans and bottles keep coming in for Bread and Roses. Lastly she reported that we recently participated in what will probably be the last dinner presentation for the Danvers families that suffered losses due to the explosion last spring.

Membership Ministries Team: Tony Lucia noted that there are new members joining on Sept. 9th. Other events will be a wine tasting on 9/22 and a chowder fest on 10/21.

Stewardship Ministries Team: Debbie Cotting noted that the Stewardship Ministries Team met to critique last springs’ stewardship campaign so that they can hit the ground running this fall in preparation for the campaign next spring. They are planning a big kick-off event to start the campaign. Debbie also reported that we will no longer use the services of the fund raising consultant that we have used for the past 3 years.


Nominating Committee: Phil reported that the Nominating Committee is hard at work trying to fill the vacant positions and he reported that he will be stepping down as Moderator at the conclusion of this year’ annual meeting.


Health Insurance: Phil provided an update on how Centre Church is complying with the health reform Act in the Commonwealth with more information to be shared at the next Parish Council meeting.


Security System: Phil reviewed a proposal submitted by the team of Rick Carey, Bob Shorey and Jack Marino which would allow for the doors to the building to be locked during Tower Day School hours, but be monitored with a video camera system hooked up to the Tower Day School office and an electronic magnetic lock system. The video system was donated to the church by the Couillard’s. The cost of installation will be around $2,100. A motion was made seconded and approved to proceed with installing the system.


Annual Meeting and Annual Report: Phil reviewed the format of the annual report. It needs to be ready by September 16th a week before the Annual Meeting on September 23rd. All reports need to be filed with the church office no later than Thursday September 6th.


Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is September 19, 2007.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk