Parish Council Minutes

April 30, 2008


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

The meeting opened at 7:06 p.m. with a meditation by Chris Gehret. Minutes from the March 25, 2008 meeting were approved.

Membership Ministries: Chuck said that Membership Ministries will host a fellowship dinner at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 10. Chef Dennis Bailey and Chef Marty Hagerty will be cooking.

Pastor’s Report: Reverend Bailey reported that the Confirmations in April went well. He expressed appreciation for the confirmands and their mentors. Dennis also told Council that he will be accompanying the High School Youth Group members on their mission trip to New Orleans, the first week of August.

There are two baptisms scheduled at the church this spring. Reverend Bailey will be inviting local firefighters to worship with us on June 8, to recognize their service to the community.

Recently, Rev. Bailey met with the Lynnfield Clergy Association. He would like to get the members of the association more involved in community events, such as the Memorial Day observance on the town green.

Dennis then spoke about the Congregational Library of the American Congregational Association in Boston, which preserves historical church documents. When a church makes a “permanent loan” of a document to the library, the original document and one microfilm copy of it stay at the library. A second microfilm copy is provided to the donating church. Council discussed the possibility of loaning Centre Church’s “Church Records” from the 1700s to the Congregational Library. Rev. Bailey will follow up with the library to get some additional information and continue discussing the possibility with Council.

Treasurer: Dwight presented year-end budget projections, based on actual numbers through April. Expenses are tracking as expected. Income – from pledges, building use donations, and Tower Day School – is tracking behind the budget for the year. Discussion followed on the current year’s budget status and on expectations for next year. The 2008 - 2009 budget will be presented to the congregation at a special meeting on Sunday, June 1, following worship. (Please note this date change, made to accommodate the need to tally the intention to give cards as part of preparing the new budget.)

Financial Secretary: Because current income is behind projected levels, Sue will be sending statements to all the people who made a pledge this year so that they can see where they stand on their current pledge. This will be accompanied by a letter under the signature of Moderator Chris Parker, explaining the reason for the statements and reminding everyone that we are counting on them to fulfill their current pledge.

Planned Giving: Phil said that at their next meeting, on May 21, the Planned Giving committee will focus on planning a series of educational seminars relating to the topic of planned giving.

Christian Education and Youth Ministries: Barbara talked about the following church school and youth group activities:

Outreach Ministries: Chris Gehret said that thanks to the congregation’s generous Easter offering, $550 was donated to a food pantry in Wakefield and another $550 to a food pantry in Reading.

Education Ministries: Perry said that the Tupperware fundraiser brought in $350. The Tower Day School re-licensing inspection on April 2 went well. Tower Day may be offering an additional class for three year old children.

Diaconate: Linda reported that the Diaconate participated in the confirmation of thirteen confirmands in April. Comments from the participants were positive, especially about the class field trips. The ONA Film Series continues on Tuesday, May 6, with a special guest appearance by Hadley Smith, who will discuss gender identity issues and the documentary “Call Me Malcom.”

Reverend Bailey added that he found the Passover Seder a meaningful experience, and he expressed appreciation for everyone who worked to make it happen and who attended.

Stewardship Ministries: Debbie said that the Mystery Dinner was well attended (about 100 people). Based on positive feedback from those who enjoyed the dinner, Stewardship will consider doing something similar in the future.

Properties Team/Finance Ministries: Phil reported that the church recently rediscovered four shares of International Paper Company stock that we have owned since the 1960’s, stored in a filing cabinet; the stock turned out to be worth about $100.00. Council voted to authorize selling this stock. Phil also presented materials about possible trash can covers, to help improved the look of the hallway just inside the door to the parking lot.

International Festival: Mary Ann made a short presentation about the International Centre Church Festival, planned for Saturday, May 31, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Vice Moderator: Jeff, who is the head of the Nominating Committee, presented information about slots to be filled in 2008.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28, 2008, in the Pastor’s outer office.

Respectfully submitted,
Sandi Watson, recording clerk