Congregational Minutes 2022 01 30

Video Record

Sunday, January 30, 2022, 1 pm, via ZOOM

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.

1. Call to order and Centering Prayer: Elizabeth Schmidt (moderator) welcomed all who were in attendance on the Zoom call. She thanked Pastor Renee for hosting today’s meeting, and Pat and Chuck Friesen, for once again counting attendees to establish that a quorum was present. Slightly more than 60 voting members were in attendance; a quorum was present. Moderator Elizabeth Schmidt led all in an opening prayer.  Moderator Schmidt then expressed appreciation to Monica for compiling, formatting, and printing the report booklets. 

2. The September 12, 2021 congregational meeting minutes and the November 21, 2021 special congregational meeting minutes were accepted as distributed.

3. Report from the Auditing Committee: Diane Born, reported for the Auditing Committee. Members of the Auditing Committee (Megan Leary, Diane Born, and Roger Juhnke) worked with Mike Claassen to conduct the annual audit.  The BCMC auditing guidelines were used for the records and reports for the 2021 fiscal year.  After reviewing the financial information and examining the financial records, the Auditing Committee believes that appropriate financial procedures are being followed and that the financial reports provided by the Finance Manager accurately reflect the financial condition of the church.

4. Presentation of 2021 Financial Reports: Michael Claassen, Financial Manager provided on-screen data to provide explanation of financial data for 2021.

a) Money was moved from Everence Praxis Fund to Everence Trust Investment Fund to improve return.

b) Union State Bank PPP loan of $62,000 was fully forgiven. $25,424.88 was used to replenish Plant Fund balance prior to elevator repair. $36,575.12 was held in PPP Reserve Fund for future needs.

c) Living Stones II – A balance of $29,631.56 remains for new projects.

d) Sunday School Fund collections and disbursements will be handled by the Financial Manager and assistant treasurers moving forward. Larry and Karen Penner are no longer acting as Sunday School Treasurers. Requests for disbursements should be sent to the Financial Manager.

e) For 2021, 98% of budget ($516,101 of $526,213) was received while 97% of budget ($512,560 of $526,213) was spent.

A time for questions and comments was provided.  Hearing none, Elizabeth Schmidt called for the congregation to approve the 2021 Financial Reports. The motion to approve the 2021 Financial Reports was displayed on members’ live Zoom screens with capability for two separate persons in a household to report their vote. The motion passed with unanimous approval.

5. Presentation of the 2022 proposed budget: Michael Claassen highlighted changes in the proposed 2022 budget from the 2021 budget. A new line item was introduced in the Worship Commission budget for Music Licenses because we use copyright-protected music during live-streaming of Sunday morning services. There is a decrease of 3.975% in the overall budget. After asking for questions and comments and hearing none, Elizabeth called for the following motion:

The Church Board recommends the following: It is moved 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.

The motion was displayed on members’ live Zoom screens with capability for two separate persons in a household to report their vote.The motion passed with unanimous approval.

Elizabeth Schmidt, moderator, voiced appreciation to the Finance Committee (Judy Friesen, Paul Harder, Gwen Neufeld, Al Peters, and LaVern Stucky) and Mike Claassen, Financial Manager for their hard work throughout the year.

6. Pastoral Transition Update Elizabeth Schmidt (moderator) reported the board is considering a consultant to help in reviewing pastoral team roles and job descriptions.  Forming a search committee and clarifying our congregational needs in these changing times are tasks the board is focusing on.  Ada Schmidt-Tieszen (moderator-elect) reported that Interim Pastor Todd Schlosser begins on February 1.  He will be welcomed to our congregation with several coffees and meetings with office staff as well as commission and committee chairpersons.  A service of installation for Pastor Todd will be held Sunday, February 6, with Kathy Neufeld Dunn preaching.

7. Faith Formation Report Mary Ellen Hodge reported for the Faith Formation Commission.  She expressed thanks to Renee, Deb Gering and Kathy Stucky for their work together.  Mary Ellen reports that the commission is seeking guidance and help from the congregation in three areas: a)the number of children attending Sunday School has decreased; b) the majority of the Sunday School teachers are parents; and c) in the recent Gifts Discernment survey, results showed that no one volunteered to be a Faith Formation Commission member, Sunday School teacher or youth sponsor.  Covid-19 has some bearing on these issues but Mary reported that even in pre-Covid years these same problems existed. Young families want to be part of an intergenerational congregation and are seeking guidance from the congregation as to how to move forward.

8. Columbarium Expansion Project Report: Glen Ediger reported the Columbarium Expansion has been completed. Dana Orpin and his brother of Hesston did excellent work and their bill came in under budget.  As a result, the second set of the niches were ordered at a reduced price and installed. Double deep niches allow for up to 216 individuals.  The existing wall has 144 individuals.  This should give significant space for the foreseeable future, especially as additional individuals will use the scatter garden.  Moderator Schmidt thanked Glen Ediger, Ron Peters, and Steve Schurr for serving on the Columbarium Expansion Task Group and bringing the project to full completion.

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

10. Closing Prayer: Pastor Nathan Koontz led a closing prayer.

11. Moderator Elizabeth Schmidt adjourned the meeting at 1:57 pm local time.

Respectfully submitted,

Margaret Toews, clerk