Church Board Minutes 2021 06 03

Bethel College Mennonite Church
CHURCH BOARD MINUTES—Pending approval at August meeting
June 3, 2021    7 pm    Fellowship Hall
Our faith in a God of love leads us, by the power of the Spirit, to follow Jesus
in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God.

Board Members Present:  Elizabeth Schmidt (moderator), Ada Schmidt-Tieszen (moderator-elect),Pat Friesen (clerk), Glen Ediger, Judy Friesen, John Kliewer, Cynthia Linscheid, Lois Preheim, Dale Schrag, Bill Swartley
Board Members not present:  Adam Robb
Staff Present:   Dawn Yoder Harms (pastor), Nathan Koontz (associate pastor), Mike Claassen (financial manager)
Staff not present:  Renee Reimer (associate pastor)
Others attending:  Al Peters, Finance Committee

  1. Welcome new board members, Centering Prayer – Elizabeth Schmidt opened the meeting, welcoming all to the first in-person meeting in over a year due to covid-19 restrictions.  After a time of silence, a reading of the litany in Voices Together #968, replacing “you” with “us”, was used as a meditation.
  2. Board Covenant – Elizabeth welcomed new board members Lois Preheim and Ada Schmidt-Tieszen (moderator-elect).  Section 2B in the Church Board Handbook was read in unison, affirming the duties of church board members.  Updated documents of the Website Policy were added to members’ Church Board Handbooks.
  3. Consent Agenda – May 6, 2021 board minutes, pastors’ reports, and online minutes of commissions and committees were all available in advance of the meeting.  They were approved by consensus.
  4. Financial Report – May 2021 financial report (Mike Claassen) – Mike reviewed this year’s giving trend in comparison with annual records since 2006.  The giving trend in the past month is positive.  Although income is less than expenses, the difference is slight
    Action:  Judy Friesen moved to accept the Financial Report, Glen Ediger seconded; the motion was approved by a unanimous show of hands.

  5. Finance Committee Proposal establishing Bethel College Mennonite Church Investment Fund – Al Peters
    The proposed allocation will be in a moderately conservative allocation with Everence Praxis funds (60% equities and 40% fixed income) to produce greater capital appreciation.  In the past 12 months earnings on $300,000 was $360.  The Praxis funds do have socially conscious guidelines.  Judy Friesen clarified that the amount of money in the checking account needed to be reduced. 

Action:  Pat Friesen moved that:

The church board approves the Finance Committee’s recommendation that the church invest $200,000 from the current Everence money market account and the checking account into a new Everence fund that will be called the Bethel College Mennonite Church Investment Fund.  It will not be an endowment fund.  John Kliewer seconded; the motion passed unanimously. 

6. Appointments for Board-Appointed CommitteesAction:  Dale Schrag moved to accept the appointments of 
a. Facilities Committee –Abe Turner, 2-year term
b. Bethel College Relations Team –Ron Flickinger, 2-year term
Judy Friesen seconded; motion approved unanimously.

7. Abuse Prevention and Response Policy (APRP) approval process and threshold – Currently, groups are reviewing and submitting feedback on the proposed policy.  The threshold for an acceptance of the proposed policy needs to be established.  Ada reflected that a policy can lead the way for education and understanding.  Action:  Judy Friesen moved the APRP, when submitted for a congregational vote, be accepted with a simple majority approval; Cynthia Linscheid seconded; the motion carried unanimously. 

Elizabeth expressed thanks to the committee for their intense work on this.

8. Introducing “collaboratives” Information item.  Nathan Koontz, associate pastor, presented information about a possible way within our church structure to provide for BCMC members and non-members to work together toward our church’s Common Purpose statement.  

9. Congregational Project Tithe – Discussion item.  John Kliewer explained how a new practice of tithing a portion of major project expenditures could make us more aware and responsive to the “poorest of the poor” in the world.  Elizabeth used a modified listening circle to structure the discussion.

10. Columbarium Niche pricing.  Glen Ediger presented additional information on double person niches now available that would expand the current columbarium spaces from 144 to 432 spaces.  The additional expansion of the structure’s depth by 10” can be accommodated with no impact on the landscaping.
Action:  John Kliewer moved to authorize the task group to proceed with Columbarium Proposal #2;
Dale Schrag seconded; motion passed unanimously.

11. Executive Session.  Entered 8:47 pm.  Closed at 8:49 pm

12. There is no scheduled meeting in July.  Members agreed to receive and act on any business items via email. 

13. Adjourned 8:51 pm.  Next Meeting:  August 5, 2021

Respectfully submitted,
Pat Friesen, Clerk