Draft – Church Board Minutes 2022 08 04
Bethel College Mennonite Church Board Minutes
Pending approval at September 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: Brad Kohlman (moderator-elect), Mary Ann Boschmann, Judy Friesen, Tim Hodge, John Kliewer, Karen Penner, Lois Preheim, Bill Swartley, Margaret Toews
Board Members not present: Ada Schmidt Tieszen (moderator), Adam Robb, Jon Zerger
Staff Present: Nathan Koontz (pastor), Todd Schlosser (Interim Pastor)
Staff not present: Mike Claassen (Finance Manager)
1. Welcome and Centering Prayer – Brad Kohlman (moderator-elect) led the group in prayer.
2. Consent Agenda – Online minutes of commissions and committees, pastors’ reports, and June 2 board meeting minutes were presented. Judy Friesen moved to approve the Consent Agenda and Tim Hodge seconded the motion; approved by consensus.
3. Financial Report for June, 2022 – The Treasurer’s Report was mailed out prior to the meeting. Mike Claassen could not be present. It was noted that income was higher than expenses in July. There were no questions. Lois Preheim moved to approve the Financial Report. Tim seconded; motion carried.
4. Board Worship Ideas – Nathan reports committees and commissions are filling the calendar to assist with worship between now and Advent. As of now, the first two Sundays in November may be a time for the board to participate. The Credence results may be available. Tim and Brad, who previously agreed to facilitate board participation in worship, may call on other board members to assist as readers or leaders of children’s conversation.
5. Initiatives for the Year
- Decolonization task group update – Initially, the task group will be under the board. The group is just forming and will be defining themselves and identifying goals. There has been little response to the announcement in the bulletin asking for interested members to join the group. Brad suggested making an announcement during the worship service as part of a kin-dom report. Nathan will communicate with Raylene Penner to make an announcement during worship asking for interested people join the group.
– Worship Commission task group – Lengthy discussion centered around points including the following:
- The Handbook states the purpose of the commission as follows: The Worship Commission assists pastoral and musical staff in utilizing available resources to ensure that worship aligns with the congregation’s vision, is spirit-filled and wholistic, and strengthens Christian discipleship.
- The Gifts Discernment committee could not find members to serve on the commission and members as of 2021-2022 did not wish to continue – so no commission is currently in place to be reconvened.
- Aligning “worship…with the congregation’s vision” is work some on the commission felt they should be doing. Instead, calling members to serve as worship leaders, readers, and children’s story leaders was the work the commission was in fact doing. Both tasks are vital.
- The board should gather feedback from pastors and former committee members to see what works best. What does the PA committee need? What do guest musicians need?
- Nathan suggested the commission could function as a steward of feedback from the congregation to the pastors. How do we collect helpful feedback for pastors – what is working? What is meaningful?
- Thanks were expressed to Nathan and Todd for all the heavy lifting they are doing to create worship services.The commission could be two-tiered. One tier – bigger and more global visioning of worship for our congregation. Another tier – callers to fill roles needed each Sunday morning. There are members of our congregation gifted in both types of work.Brad will send a follow-up email tasking the board to start this work. It is essential to get this commission working again before the Gifts Discernment Committee begins its work in spring of 2023 for the following year.
6. Reports and Announcements
- Credence Consulting and Reference Group update – Credence is concluding the BCMC internal interviews and will interview external church leaders by end of August, if possible. The final draft of the report will potentially be available by early September. In mid-September, the draft will be reviewed with the BCMC Reference Group and updated accordingly. Credence, working with the Reference Group, will prepare for a congregational meeting of 2 – 2 ½ hours in late September or early October.
- The consulting process will only be valuable if we follow-up with action. This is the beginning of work to move BCMC forward.
- Nathan recommends we assemble a search committee to be ready when recommendations come from Credence. Action Item – put formation of search committee on the September board meeting agenda.
- The board needs to be pro-active to lead the congregation through the changes ahead.
- No applications yet.
- Todd reports there might be 125 – 150 students joining worship on August 14. Masks are required. If congregants feel unsafe they can view worship online that morning. All are encouraged to come to the outside fellowship time after worship which will include donuts, coffee and water. Even those who view the service from home are invited to come to church for the fellowship time. This is BCMC’s chance to welcome new BC students.The Hospitality Commission has this event well-planned, but if anyone can help on that morning please volunteer. An announcement will be made in church saying additional help is appreciated for the fellowship time the morning of August 14.
– Parking – The neighborhood parking problem was discussed. The board needs to work again with Bethel to find a solution.
7.Inclusion Task Group Letter to MCC – The Inclusion Task Group is drafting a letter to Mennonite Central Committee objecting to policies which exclude the LGBTQ+ community from volunteering for service with MCC. Nathan will try to send a copy of the letter by email to the board ahead of time so the board is ready to discuss the issue at the September meeting.
Nathan asked if anyone on the board objects to having the Rainbow Flags flying along the front walk to the church as Bethel students arrive for the coming school year. No one objected. Nathan will put them up tomorrow.
8.Setting Church Calendar Dates
- The next Congregational Meeting will be held at 10:30 am on September 11, 2022. A question was raised about congregational participation in the meeting. How can we create time for participation and feedback? One thought is to put an announcement in the bulletin asking for feedback which could be discussed at the congregational meeting. The timeline from Credence will be presented. Looking ahead, the board needs a plan as to how the first report from credence will be processed by the congregation.
- Credence Presentation – The date will be determined later, probably in early NovemberLeadership Retreat – The date will be determined later.
9.Executive Session. Entered at8:58pm. Closed at9:10 pm.
10.Meeting Adjourned at 9:10. Next meeting will be held September 1.
Submitted by Margaret Toews, Clerk
Draft – Church Board Minutes 2022 08 04.docx