Church Board Minutes 2022 09 01

                                          Draft – Church Board Minutes 2022 09 01

Bethel College Mennonite Church Board Minutes|
Pending approval at October 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:  Ada Schmidt Tieszen (Moderator), Mary Ann Boschmann, Judy Friesen, Tim Hodge, John Kliewer, Karen Penner, Lois Preheim, Adam Robb, Bill Swartley, Margaret Toews, Jon Zerger
Board Members not present: Brad Kohlman (Moderator-elect)
Staff Present: Nathan Koontz (Pastor), Todd Schlosser (Interim Pastor)
Staff not present: Mike Claassen (Finance Manager)
Others attending:

  1. Welcome and Centering Prayer – Ada Schmidt Tieszen (Moderator) led the board in a few minutes of focus on mindfulness followed by prayer.
  2. Consent Agenda – Online minutes of commissions and committees, pastors’ reports, and August 4 board meeting minutes were presented.  John Kliewer moved to approve the Consent Agenda and Judy Friesen seconded the motion; approved by consensus.
  3. Financial Report for July, 2022 – The Treasurer’s Report was emailed prior to the meeting. Mike Claassen could not be present. Income was higher than expenses again in August. Finances are moving in the right direction.  Adam Robb moved to approve the Financial Report.  Lois Preheim seconded; motion carried.
  4. Pastoral Search Committee:  Starting the Process
    Ada proposed that work start on establishing a search committee so it is in place when work with Credence is complete. Western District Conference advises an odd number of people, possibly 5 -7, representing different ages, viewpoints, skill sets and willingness to consider prayerfully the work of the committee. It was noted that people participating in Wednesday night activities may not also be present on Sunday morning.  Their participation in congregational life should also be represented on the search committee in some manner.  Board members caucused with people sitting next to them.  An envelope was passed around to collect lists of names.  Mary Ann Boschmann will work with Ada to develop a list of people to call which will be sent out to board members.  The search committee will be looking for two pastor positions.  A timeline might be as follows: wrap up report and work with Credence in December, possibly write a job description in February-March.
  5. Worship Commission Task Group:  Proposal (action item)
    Ada distributed the following proposal:  “That a time-limited task group of 4-6 members be formed to explore the future of the Worship Commission at BCMC and bring a recommendation to the Church Board for discussion and a vote. The Task Group should begin work as soon as feasible and complete recommendations by February 1 for processing at the February Church Board meeting.  If the Commission is reconstituted, nominations for Commission members will be sought for approval at the April Congregational Meeting.”  Discussion followed around the importance of a philosophy of worship and coordination with pastors.  Bill Swartley agreed to work with Ada in deciding on appropriate membership for the group. Adam made the motion to establish the task group as described above; Bill seconded. The motion carried.
  6. Initiatives for the Year:
    – Decolonization task group update
    Quite a few people have signed up. Raylene Penner is coordinating with plans to meet once or
    twice as a larger group then divide into small groups.  Loss of Turtle Island is an event coming up.
    – New Initiative:  BCMC Tithing with Church Projects –  John Kliewer distributed a proposal which
    reads, in part: “…the congregation will tithe 10% over and above all funding required for future
    special, non-maintenance project spending. The Church Board will determine which projects merit
    the tithe and the cause(s) that will be the recipient(s).  The tithed amount will be raised and
    donated prior to project commencement.  The intention is that tithe proceeds will be distributed to
    causes benefitting those in greatest need/less privileged and outside of the Bethel College
    Mennonite Church’s usual benevolence projects (tithing will be in addition to and not
    replaces BCMC’s usual benevolences).”  John shared two personal stories that helped to motivate
    this proposal.  Lengthy discussion followed.  Some questions raised include 1) does this obligate
    the congregation and board long after the stories such as John shared are forgotten; 2) should the
    proposal be a recommendation instead of a policy; 3) should the Witness Commission be part of
    the discussion. Bill moved to bring the proposal to the Witness Commission for discussion and
    feedback. Tim Hodge seconded.  The motion carried.
  7. Congregational Meeting September 11:  Agenda and Format
    The September Congregational Meeting often focuses on the “program of the church”.  There is time for discussion since budget and similar business isn’t usually discussed at this meeting.  Adam proposed to moderate a discussion around forming small groups within our congregation, possibly including table discussions.  APRC may have a short presentation.  Other groups may contact Ada with additional agenda items.  It was suggested that an open time for questions be held.
  8. Reports and Announcements
    – Faith Formation positions update
    Jill Robb has accepted the Faith Formation Coordinator position and George Leary has accepted
    the Youth Coordinator position.  The board is grateful for their passion and willingness to step
    forward in these ways.

    – Inclusion Task Group letter to MCC
      ITG wants to take more time with this issue before they draft a letter to be sent to MCC

    – Upcoming dates:  Leadership Retreat (Oct. 1), Credence Report to Congregation (Oct.16)

    – Credence Consulting and Reference Group update
    A report to  the church board will be presented at the Oct 1 retreat.  Credence asked for our
    preference regarding a report to the congregation on October 16. The board believes Credence
    should be included in Sunday morning worship via zoom.  Bill Swartley will coordinate tech needs
    for this meeting, including a larger screen.     
  9. Executive Session – Entered at 9:42p.  Closed at approximately 9:55p.
  10. Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:55.  Next meeting will be held October 6.

Submitted by Margaret Toews, Clerk

Draft – Church Board Minutes 2022 09 01.docx