Parish Council Minutes

February 27, 2008


Attendees: Rev. Dennis Bailey; Chris Parker, Jeff Law, Chris Gehret, Barbara Langill, Debbie Cotting, Perry Hayden, Phil Johnson, Dwight Decker, Linda Ladd, Sandi Watson.

The meeting opened at 7:00 p.m. with a meditation by Debbie Cotting. Minutes from the January 23, 2008 meeting were approved.

Pastor’s Report: Reverend Bailey said that this year’s Ash Wednesday service included a special baptism. Dennis recently attended a Klondike Derby with a local Boy Scout troop; two upcoming Eagle Scout ceremonies will be held at the church. Six weddings are in the planning stages for this year. Dennis continues conversations with families interested in baptism. Sunday, April 13 will be Confirmation Sunday. On Saturday, April 19, Centre Church will hold a Seder to commemorate the first night of Passover.

Treasurer: Dwight presented budget and actual numbers for the fiscal year to date. Pledge income is tracking close to budget. Income from Tower Day School is behind projections for the year. Expenses are tracking well, with the exception of money spent on snow plowing and, possibly, extra money needed for gas/oil.

Financial Secretary: Phil reported on Sue’s behalf. The Supplemental Pledge Drive brought in $20,470.00.

Planned Giving: Phil continued with the report for the Planned Giving Committee. At a special meeting on March 2, the congregation will be asked to do three things:

The Planned Giving Committee will arrange for educational seminars on related topics. Discussion followed about transferring money from the following funds into the new 1720 Founders Fund:

A motion was made and seconded to transfer the money in these funds (about $42,486.00) to the 1720 Founders Fund, and to specify that the new fund will be administered by the Planned Giving Committee, as set forth in the special congregational meeting on March 2. Council voted to approve this motion.

Health Insurance Report: Phil made a brief report on the Health Care Reform Act in Massachusetts and how it applies to churches. A motion was made and seconded to recommend to the Congregation that Centre Church offer health insurance to full-time employees, and that a recommendation about a specific insurance plan be made at a meeting of the congregation this spring. Council voted to approve this motion.

Christian Education and Youth Ministries: Barbara reported on the following activities:

Outreach Ministries: Chris said the ark awards from Heifer International will be presented on March 2. The collection to support One Great Hour of Sharing will be Sunday, March 9. Outreach will use its portion of the Easter offering to support local hunger relief efforts.

Membership Ministries: Chris Parker spoke on Chuck’s behalf to give this report. The Membership Ministries team is seeking new people to serve with them. They are planning a seminar for new church members, and working to update photos on the church web site. Upcoming events in the planning stages: an Essex River Cruise, mystery trips to nearby communities, a talk by Edie Richard on Centre Church history, themed dinners, movie night, hiking trips, and a concert by the Funky Divas of Gospel.

Education Ministries: Perry said there will be a Tupperware fundraiser (via catalogs) to support the youth mission trip and UCC National Youth Event. The parents group from Tower Day School will hold a fundraiser–New York Times subscriptions and renewals–to fund special enrichment programs for Tower Day students. Perry also passed along enthusiastic comments from participants in the Confirmation Class and the OWL class.

Stewardship Ministries: Debbie presented the timeline for the next Stewardship campaign. During the week of March 10, members will receive a letter introducing this year’s campaign. On Saturday, March 29, the Mystery Dinner will provide a time of fellowship and the first stewardship packets will be handed out. The rest of the packets will be distributed on March 30, following worship. Pledges will be due on April 13, Celebration Sunday.

Diaconate: Linda said that the Diaconate is working with Reverend Bailey to plan services for Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (7:30 p.m.), and Easter Sunday. A certificate celebrating Centre Church’s support of the Open and Affirming movement will be displayed this spring. The ONA Film Festival continues, with movies and discussion on the first Tuesday of each month.

Properties Team/Finance Ministries: Phil reported that the damaged gutter and downspout will soon be repaired. Thermostats in the sanctuary and Richards Hall will be replaced. The Lights Out program has 14 people on its roster. The shopping card program will be starting soon. Watch for a fundraising event this spring, possibly an auction.

Moderator: Chris talked about the International Centre Church Festival, planned for Saturday, May 31, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Church members, friends, and neighbors will all be welcome to enjoy ethnic foods and international beverages. Activities to include: a piñata, a juggler, international flag making, an international “football” game, a raffle, face painting, and bingo. Rumor has it there may also be a “Dunk the Minister” tank. Watch for details soon.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2008, in the Pastor’s outer office. Respectfully submitted – Sandi Watson, recording clerk

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk