Parish Council Minutes

January 28, 2009


Attendees: Rev. Dennis Bailey; Chris Parker, Mary Ann Parker, Jeff Law, Barbara Langill, Chuck Cotting, Dwight Decker, Linda Ladd, Perry Hayden, and Phil Johson. The meeting opened just after 7:00p.m. with a meditation by MaryAnn Parker – a book titled “Sum of My Time”.

Minutes for the prior meeting were approved.

Pastor’s Report: Rev. Bailey reported on pastoral issues. Betty Campbell, Ernestine MacDonald, Nina Emery, and Edith Wendt are in our thoughts and prayers.

The Bible Study group on Friday is going well. Apparently the discussion during Bible Study is very lively and no topic is off-limits.

Confirmation class has five confirmands and mentors and is running quite smoothly.

There was a Boy Scout court-of-honor last Monday for Rhett Batchelder.

Dennis has been spending some of his time recently on building maintenance issues caused by ice build-up on the roof.

There is one baptism scheduled for March 29 for Hazel Louise Pericola. There are no upcoming weddings scheduled.

Dennis spoke about the funeral service for Ut Shorey. He also noted that Jean Russell had recently passed-away.

Dennis also spoke about newcomers to the church. (Richard Testa and mother Janice, Louise Netten and her husband Bruce, Iris Davis and son/daughter Patrick and Josephine, Bill Connors.)

Vice Moderator:Jeff Law talked about the list of vacant positions:

Outreach Ministries Chair – Peggy Batchelder. Meetings have commenced for Outreach.

Nominating Committee – Bev Pettit agreed to serve, and one other candidate is pending.

Recording Clerk – Jeff has a tentative “yes” from one candidate. He will follow-up to finalize.

Asst Treasurer – still looking for a candidate.

Treasurer: Dwight reviewed the Local Operation Fund. Pledges are tracking behind last year, but are ahead of the year before that. The Supplemental Pledge drive has raised $11,000 versus a target of $30,000. On the expense side, snow removal expense was $0 through December, but with payments made in January we have already spent the year’s budget. Electricity is running high versus budget but gas and oil are o.k. so far. Repair and Maintenance expenses are on-track. There are no dramatic changes to report for Tower Day operations. There was some discussion about fund raisers, the Shopping Card program, T-Mobile, and building use donations.

Finance Ministries: Phil Johnson was pleased to announce that the T-Mobile lease has been signed, and T-Mobile is now working through town/zoning approvals.

As mentioned earlier by Dennis, there have been some issues with ice build-up on the roof causing some leaks. A roofing company was called to remove snow and ice in select problem areas and that appears to have remedied the situation.

We are looking at quotes for the heating system. The preference is to replace both the gas-fired units and the oil-fired units with new gas-fired units. It is expected that we will wait until Spring before any action is taken because the heat cannot be taken off-line during colder weather with Tower Day in session. Pyburn Oil Co is cleaning the burner nozzles every month to prevent them from clogging with heavy use. This should mitigate periodic reports of people smelling oil fumes.

There was discussion about the oven in the kitchen and reports of gas odors. The unit is old and the pilots have been going out occasionally (seemingly caused by people walking-by the stove and creating enough of a breeze to extinguish them). A Motion was made and approved to appoint Chuck Cotting and Phil Johnson to purchase a new range with a price not-to-exceed $10,000, with funding to come from Memorials or other sources to be identified.

Phil presented a list of Capital projects which need to be done within the next few years. The estimated total for all items on the list is over $500,000.

A personnel manual is needed for non-Tower-Day employees. Phil will gather a group of people from the church to help him with this.

There was a Planned Giving session last Sunday. Roland Gray , a partner of Chris Parker at Rubin & Rudman, LLP spoke. The session was well-attended and of great benefit to the participants.

Christian Education and Youth Ministries: Barbara reported on many Sunday School and Youth Group activities:

The new theme for Rotation Sensation is the 23rd Psalm.

We are continuing to have the youth worship with their families the first Sunday of each month. The children’s message this Sunday will be about “Prayer”.

The 7th and 8th grades volunteered at the Northeast Animal shelter as a service project. Next they will do Valentines Day cards. The 5th – 8th grade youth group will be traveling to Cradles to Crayons to volunteer on February 28.

Thirty-six (36) youth went snow tubing on January 25th at Nashoba Valley.

Fourteen (14) youth are scheduled to participate in the 30-Hour Famine on January 30-31, during which they will work on their sermon for February 1.

The High School group will do Boston Urban Outreach.

The Souper Bowl of Caring is February 1.

Stewardship: The Stewardship team is still working on the Supplemental Pledge drive. A fund-raising breakfast will be held on February 8, and a silent/live auction will be held at the church on March 21st with dinner and live entertainment.

Outreach: The total for the Christmas offering was $2622, half of which went to the Church’s operating budget, and half of which went to Mission. That money ($1311) was split $437 to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), $437 toward the Youth Mission trip, and $437 for Bread & Roses preparation fund. The Missions team will be reviewing the OCWM assessment for the upcoming year and our ability to fund it. The Church raised $480 from Christmas card donations the proceeds of which went to the City Mission Society. Gifts under the Christmas tree were delivered to the Crombie Street Mission in Salem on December 22. The food donation for February is an Italian theme (Valentine’s Day, think red). The proceeds from the golf tournament last Fall were $1327. Current discussion (not final) is that $500 will go toward food preparation for Haven from Hunger and the balance to Bread & Roses or Haven from Hunger. Barbara Arsnow is moving forward with a plan to show a CD related to how the Church can help with environmental issues. The next Outreach meeting will be February 8th or 12th where we will discuss budget issues.

Membership Ministries: Postcards were sent out Friday to 2007 and 2008 new members to remind them of upcoming events. Our 3rd Wine Tasting Night will be on Saturday, February 7. Chuck will have a sign-up sheet in the Narthex after church each Sunday prior to the event. He will also have sign up sheets available for Coffee Providers and Greeters.

Education Ministries: Enrollment for Tower Day School looks good for next year. There will be a slight tuition increase. We passed inspection by the State Dept. of Agriculture – an inspection specifically focused on pest control procedures. A new refrigerator is needed to keep drinks separated due to dome food allergy issues. It was proposed to place a refrigerator where the soda machine used to be. The Tower Day Parents Forum has agreed to contribute 50% of the cost.

Diaconate: Planning for a “Favorite Hymn” Sunday is underway. Linda will make an announcement in church and have ballots made. On February 1, the Diaconate will teach the Confirmation class about Communion and have them assist with the set-up and clean-up. Linda also noted a request to have the framed poem in the Fireside Room titled “The Songbirds” returned to the family of Susan Wilkinson. Parish Council voted to honor the request.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of Parish Council is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on February 24, in the Pastor’s outer office. Meditation by Dennis. Respectfully submitted – Jeffrey Law, Vice Moderator (for Sandi Watson, Recording Clerk).

Respectfully submitted,
Jeffrey Law, Vice Moderator (for Sandi Watson, Recording Clerk)