Church Board Minutes 2022 01 06

           Church Board Minutes 2022 01 06
Bethel College Mennonite Church Board Minutes 
Pending approval at February 2022 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, Margaret Toews
Board Members not present: 
Staff Present: Renee Reimer (pastor), Mike Claassen (Finance Manager) Nathan Koontz (pastor)
Staff not present:
Others attending: Al Peters, Kathy Neufeld Dunn

  1. Welcome and Centering Prayer – Moderator Elizabeth Schmidt opened the meeting with a reading of the centering statement above followed by a prayer.
  2. Consensus Approval – Consent Agenda – Minutes of the December 2 board meeting, the December 6 special meeting, and pastors’ reports were approved by consensus.
  3. Financial ReportDecember 2021 financial report/Use of excess general funds. Mike Claassen, Finance Manager, highlighted changes in commissions, committees, and staff budget requests.  He also reported that the general fund balance is $11,431.90 over two months general fund expenses. As specified in Care For Resources Policy 1.g.2., the excess money should be distributed to Witness Commission Benevolences.  The Finance Committee asked whether the board would make an exception to the policy this year and put some of the excess funds in the Plant Fund.  Reasons given include recent unexpected Plant Fund expenditures and future uncertainties.  Finance Committee proposed to put half of the excess into the Plant Fund and the other half to be distributed on a prorated basis to Witness Commission benevolences.  Adam Robb moved to make this exception to the policy and distribute the funds 50/50 between Plant Fund and benevolences.  Ada Schmidt-Tieszen second the motion, which passed.  This results in changes to the 2021 Financial Report which will be modified by Mike Claassen. Ada moved to accept the modified financial report and Dale Schrag seconded the motion, which passed.
  4. 2022 Budget Recommendation for congregational approval: Al Peters reported for the Finance Committee. Current intents for 2022 are $438,000.  Historically, expenditures come in about 4% under budget ($502,000) and contributions are generally 10% higher than intents ($482,000). There is also a $36000 Paycheck Protection Program (Covid-19 government program), which could be used if needed.  For these reasons the Finance Committee feels comfortable recommending this budget. The motion to accept this budget reads as follows: “The board approves recommending that the congregation approve the proposed general fund budget of $522,681 for 2022.  During the year, if income is less than expenses, the first $10,000 will be covered by general fund reserves, then from benevolences up to $8,000.  Any additional amount necessary will be taken from general fund reserves.”  Ada Schmidt-Tieszen moved to accept this budget and Judy Friesen seconded the motion which subsequently carried.
  5. Guest Kathy Neufeld Dunn, Western District Conference, resource for next steps discussion:  Kathy Neufeld Dunn continued the presentation she started in October, which is an outline of steps recommended by WDC for the congregation to determine its future direction.  Conversation and discussion focused on size and makeup of the search committee, time frame, and whether to engage a consultant to facilitate a process to decide on a change in leadership model.  The Church Board will reference the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation for guidance in matters of timing and process.
  6. Consider requesting consultant for congregational discernment on moving from lead/associate pastor model to team pastor model:  Lengthy discussion followed Kathy Neufeld Dunn’s presentation.  The Pastoral Team model was endorsed by Pastors Renee and Nathan who worked with Pastor Dawn in an evolving version of the team model.  Concern was expressed that the congregation is not aware of this change to a Pastoral Team model from a Lead/Associate Pastor model and that BCMC has used the Lead/Associate Pastor model from its beginning.  The Pastoral Team model has worked for the congregation and pastors for the past 3 or so years.  Concern was expressed that engaging a consultant could add several months to the process. However, a consultant with experience in this model could possibly more quickly understand where the congregation is regarding a transition to a team model.  It was determined that a special meeting would be scheduled on January 19 for further discussion.
  7. January 30, 2022 Congregational Meeting: January 30, 2022, at 1 pm was established as the

January Congregational Meeting date and time.  The meeting will be held over Zoom. The approved agenda is listed below:

  • approve minutes of the 9/12/21 congregational meeting and the 11/21/21 special

                                                 congregational meeting                                                                                           

  • receive the report from 2021 auditing committee                          
    • receive presentation of 2021 financial reports                                                                                  
    • vote on the 2022 budget recommendation                                                                                       
    • vote to affirm Margaret Toews, Clerk, to replace Pat Friesen                                                      
    • other items / other reports

8. Approve 2022 housing allowance for Interim Pastor: Dale Schrag made a motion to approve the housing allowance requested by the incoming interim pastor. Adam Robb seconded the motion which subsequently carried.

9. Interim Pastor Orientation, Welcome: Ada Schmidt-Tieszen is coordinating the orientation and welcome for Todd Schlosser.  The first week in February he will be introduced to church staff, tour the church facilities, and be oriented to office routines and process.  Two welcome coffees are planned, one with all staff, a second with SCRC plus Moderator, Moderator-Elect and chairs of committees which Todd will staff.  A service of installation will be held during worship on February 6 with Kathy Neufeld Dunn attending.

10. Other Business: No other business was brought to the meeting.

11. Executive Session: Entered at 9:27 pm.  Closed at 9:37 pm.
12. Meeting adjourned at 9:42 pm.  Next meeting is off schedule on January 19 at 7 pm to further discuss next steps in deciding on a leadership model and whether to ask a consultant to help with such a transition.

Submitted by Margaret Toews, Clerk

Draft -Church Board Minutes 2022 01 06.docx