Church Board Minutes 2021 10 07

      Church Board Minutes 2021 10 07

Bethel College Mennonite Church Board Minutes
Pending approval at Nov 4, 2021 Board Meeting

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), Glen Ediger, Judy Friesen, John Kliewer, Cynthia LInscheid, Lois Preheim, Adam Robb, Dale Schrag, Bill Swartley
Board Members not present: none
Staff Present: Dawn Yoder Harms (pastor), Renee Reimer (pastor), Nathan Koontz, (pastor)
Staff not present: Mike Claassen (financial manager)
Others attending: Kathy Neufeld Dunn (Mennonite Church USA Western District Conference representative)

1.Welcome and Centering Prayer – Moderator Elizabeth Schmidt led members in prayerful meditative breathing.

2.Consent Agenda – Minutes of the September board meeting and pastors’ reports were approved by consensus.

3.Financial Report – August 2021 financial report. Elizabeth Schmidt speaking for Mike Claassen quoted Mike as saying there was nothing especially noteworthy in the August financial report. Elizabeth reported asking Mike if reminders for contributions will be made to which Mike had responded that the finance committee will accomplish that task. The PPP loan balance is $36575.12. Adam Robb asked if the congregation will be alerted to the current budget shortfall to which Judy Friesen responded that the Finance Committee is aware and will be taking action. Adam Robb moved to accept the August 2021 financial report. Judy Friesen seconded the motion which subsequently carried.

4. Regier Construction, Inc. contract termination. Moderator Elizabeth Schmidt reported kitchen and fellowship hall construction discrepancies by Reiger Construction and difficulty getting the company’s attention regarding those discrepancies. After repeated ignored written, telephone and person to person attempts to make contact with Regier Construction, Elizabeth Schmidt reported a successful attempt in establishing face to face contact with Joe Regier to discuss the situation. Citing our purpose to follow Jesus in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with God, Elizabeth recommended that Regier Construction nevertheless be given further opportunity to fully comply with the original contract prior to termination of contract for failure to perform. The discrepancies consist of a wrong sized kitchen sink, failure to install cabinets at water drinking stations and failure to install stairway carpeting consistent with the original contract. Responding to a request from Elizabeth for final review of the construction project after it is eventually completed to compare it to what was originally contracted, Adam Robb informed the Board that George Leary has recent experience and suggested that George be the one to accomplish the final review. Adam was then asked and agreed to make that request of George. Glen Ediger volunteered to join the effort to work with Regier Construction to rectify the discrepancies. Bill Swartley moved to accept Elizabeth’s recommendation to extend Regier Construction further contract compliance opportunity. Dale Schrag seconded the motion which subsequently carried.   

5. Kathy Neufeld Dunn – guest resource for Pastor Dawn’s resignation / next steps discussion: Kathy Neufeld Dunn represented the Western District Conference of MC USA and outlined traditional steps to be taken after resignation of a pastor. Meeting with the congregation’s Conference representative is the first step, accomplished at this meeting with Kathy. The second is for a governing body which in the case of BCMC is the Church Board to call a Supply, Interim or Transition Pastor. Subsequent steps are, after completion of the resigning pastor’s term, for the congregation to determine its future direction, for the Board to form a committee to search for a pastor who can along with other pastors facilitate the congregation’s chosen direction, and eventually for the full congregation to call a full-time pastor from a candidate recommended by the search committee.   

Conversation and discussion centered on various pastoral roles and functions. A suggestion which gained consensus formed around a plan to call an interim pastor who would help Pastors Renee and Nathan with preaching, visitation and faith formation, partially freeing them up to lead the congregation in determining future direction. Consensus also formed around the idea of engaging a consultant to help facilitate the congregation’s determination of direction. Finally, consensus also emerged around a future pastoral team model, a model which materialized with Pastor Dawn’s vision and one in which Pastors Renee and Nathan feel most effective. This team model recognizes the vision, gifts and capabilities of each individual pastor as equally vital to the whole pastoral effort and varies from the traditional model of a lead pastor and associate pastors. Both Pastors Renee and Nathan strongly voiced, and the Board agreed that this model needs specific congregational buy-in.

Judy Friesen moved to ask Kathy Neufeld Dunn to look for both a consultant and an interim pastor matching the Board’s desires and intentions as described in the paragraph above. Ada Schmidt-Tieszen seconded the motion which subsequently carried. Kathy Neufeld Dunn agreed to honor the Board’s motion and request for a consultant and interim pastor. It was agreed that any outside suggestions would be brought to Kathy who would then initiate contact.      

6. Other: Glen Ediger reported slight delays in the columbarium construction due to mason health problems and some minor work needing to be redone resulting from erroneous measurements.

7. Executive Session. Entered 8:55 pm. Closed at 9:20 pm.

8. Meeting adjourned at 9:21 pm. Next meeting is November 4, 2021.

Submitted by John Kliewer, Temporary Clerk

Church Board Minutes 2021 10 07