Parish Council Minutes

March 25, 2008


Attendees: Rev. Dennis Bailey; Chris Parker, Jeff Law, Chris Gehret, Barbara Langill, Debbie Cotting, Chuck Cotting, Perry Hayden, Phil Johnson, Dwight Decker, Linda Ladd, Sandi Watson, and three special guests from the Confirmation Class: James Langill, Gino Cohee, and Rick Cohee.

The meeting opened at 7:05 p.m. with a meditation by Dwight. Minutes from the February 27, 2008 meeting were approved.

Pastor’s Report: Reverend Bailey said that Easter Sunday was a great experience for him. He is working on four upcoming baptisms. He is also planning for many weddings this year. Staff meetings continue to go well. The Confirmation class will be visiting a Greek Orthodox church for a worship service on April 2. Confirmation Sunday will be April 13.

Treasurer: Dwight said that aside from snow removal costs, expenses are generally tracking as expected. On the income side, pledges are close to projections; Tower Day income is behind our overly optimistic budget for the year.

Council agreed to present the 2008 to 2009 budget to the congregation before the start of the new fiscal year. This special meeting of the congregation will take place on Sunday, May 18, following worship.

Financial Secretary: Phil reported on Sue’s behalf. The collection for One Great Hour of Sharing raised over $1,100.00 (so far).

Planned Giving: Phil then gave the report for the Planned Giving Committee. The first contribution to the 1720 Founders Fund has already been made. Upcoming tasks for the committee include:

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

Barbara closed by noting that with more babies coming to the Nursery on Sunday mornings, the church could use some additional baby-appropriate items. Barbara and Jill are also looking into a new pager system for parents of babies and children who visit the Nursery.

Moderator: Chris Parker reported that a parishioner recently suggested moving the large trash barrels by the parking lot entrance on Sunday mornings. Discussion followed about possible solutions and arrangements will be made to address this.

Outreach Ministries: Chris Gehret said that the collections for Easter and for One Great Hour of Sharing were very generous. The Outreach portion of the Easter offering will support local food pantries in Reading and Wakefield. The Tuesday evening Knitting Club just delivered its 1,300th knitting square. There will be a fundraising event this spring to support the monthly Bread and Roses meal preparation.

Membership Ministries: Chuck said that the Membership Ministries team is working with Cindy Trayers on church information cards for newcomers. The team is planning an informational seminar for people interested in joining the church. On Saturday, May 10, Membership Ministries will host a fellowship dinner. Chef Bailey and Chef Haggerty will be cooking. Other events are still in the planning stages, including an Essex River Cruise.

Education Ministries: Perry reported that the Tower Day School re-licensing inspection will take place on April 2.

Diaconate: Linda said that the Maundy Thursday service was moving and well-attended, and that there were a lot of people at the Easter Sunday service. Linda also noted that Diaconate members will soon be learning how to turn on the carillon and the locations of first aid kits in the church. The project for adding a small ONA symbol to the church sign continues. Linda will bring samples to the next Council meeting. The Diaconate will be teaching the confirmands about communion.

Stewardship Ministries: Debbie told us that ninety two people have signed up to attend the Mystery Dinner on March 29. The first stewardship packets will be handed out at the close of the dinner. The rest of the packets will be distributed on March 30, following worship. Intention to give cards are due on April 13, Celebration Sunday. Debbie also recently attended stewardship conference sponsored by the Mass. Conference of the UCC.

Properties Team/Finance Ministries: Phil reported that the damaged gutter and downspout have been repaired. Thermostats in the sanctuary and Richards Hall were replaced. There will be a Spring Cleanup Day scheduled for May.

We need to replace the range in the church basement, which will cost about $3,000.00. Phil is investigating possible ways to fund the new stove and will report to Council.

Phil also reviewed proposed changes to the “Regulations for the Use of Centre Church Property.” This included minor wording modifications and some minor increases to suggested donations for use of church space. A motion was made and seconded to have Phil circulate the final version to Council; absent any further changes, Council voted to approve the revisions.

Reverend Bailey offered a suggestion that the church develop a form to be filled out by anyone asking to use the church property. Discussion followed and Phil will be working on a form.

Moderator: Chris talked about the International Centre Church Festival, planned for Saturday, May 31, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. The first meeting of the planning committee will be held at the beginning of April.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2008, in the Pastor’s outer office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk