Church Board Minutes 2023 01 05

Draft – Church Board Minutes 2023 01 05
Bethel College Mennonite Church Board Minutes
Pending approval at the February 2023 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), Brad Kohlman (Moderator-elect), Mary Ann Boschmann, Judy Friesen, Tim Hodge, Karen Penner, Lois Preheim, Adam Robb, Bill Swartley, Margaret Toews, Jon Zerger
Board Members not present: John Kliewer
Staff Present: Nathan Koontz (Pastor), Roger Neufeld Smith, (Interim Pastor), Mike Claassen (Finance Manager)
Staff not present:
Others attending:

  1. Welcome and Centering Prayer – Ada Schmidt-Tieszen (Moderator) welcomed Roger Smith, Interim Pastor to the meeting.   She invited board members into silent prayer focusing on our common purpose statement. She closed with a prayer.  The group read the common purpose statement (above) aloud together.
  2. Consent Agenda. Online minutes of commissions and committees, pastors’ reports, and December board meeting minutes were presented. Tim Hodge moved to approve the Consent Agenda and Adam Robb seconded the motion; approved by consensus.
  3. Financial Report for December, 2022  – The Treasurer’s Report was emailed prior to the meeting.  The report contained the good news that BCMC ended the year with contributions exceeding the 2022 budget.  According to church policy, after meeting the cushion of two months expenses held in reserve, the remaining $14,481 was given to benevolences. Lois Preheim moved to approve the Financial Report. Tim seconded; motion carried.
  4. Review of Budget for 2023 – Mike Claassen, Finance Manager, presented the 2023 budget for board review.  The Youth Coordinator and Faith Formation positions may well continue through to the end of 2023 so the board requested an adjustment in those  budget line items.  The Board thanked Mike for his work in putting several iterations of the budget together.  Adam moved to recommend this budget to the congregation at the January 29 congregational meeting. Brad Kohlman seconded; the motion carried unanimously.
  5. Agenda for Congregational Meeting January 29 – The following items will be placed on the agenda for the January 29 congregational meeting: Financial reports and budget approval; approval of minutes of two previous congregational meetings; possible reports from Worship Commission Task Group, APRC, Faith Formation, Credence Report Task Group, Reparative Justice Task Group, and Congregational Care.The Senior High youth will host a soup luncheon.  The meeting will be held in the sanctuary at 12:45 or 1 pm and made available live on YouTube only while the meeting is in progress.  Votes from remote viewers can be texted to Adam Robb.
  6. Board Relationship to APRC –  Discussion followed around issues of the board’s relationship to the ARPC.  The APRC was originally created with representation from the board, the deacons and two professionals.  The APRC policies cannot cover every situation.  The APRC has asked for counsel and assurance when events fall outside of policy guidelines, but the APRC has the right and responsibility to act.  The board can support the APRC by making it a priority to assist with creating a handbook which details length of term for committee members.  The APRC is arranging for training in the upcoming weeks given by an outside professional.  There are several hopes for our congregation;  1) to move the congregation forward from sexual abuse incidents and not have to focus or think about the incidents or people involved; 2) to create a safe environment for those who have experienced sexual abuse. The BCMC response to sexual abuse was named by Credence Consulting as an issue that our church needs to address. BCMC, led by APRC, is doing hard work in this difficult area. 
  7. Reports and Announcements
    a. Search Committee – Ada reports good progress for Search Committee (members are Doug Penner, John Waltner, Lois Preheim with Heather Zerger agreeing to serve as chair).  They will meet with Kathy Neufeld Dunn soon to begin the work of the search.
    b. Credence Report Task Group – Brad and Ada are putting together this task group which will work in parallel with the Search Committee.
  8. Peace Garden needs a new member – The Peace Garden, a board-appointed committee, needs another member.  Brad will make phone calls to find another member.
  9. Executive Session.  Entered at 9:06.  Closed at 9:10pm.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.  Next meeting will be held February 2, 2023.

Submitted by Margaret Toews, clerk

Draft – Church Board Minutes 2023 01 05.docx