Council Minutes January 11, 2022

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson,

Cheryl Martines, Pete Elza, Judy Hanson, John Volkening,

Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele

Absent: Pastor Paisley LeRoy

Staff: Pastor Sarah Rhode, Deacon Heather Feltman

Meeting called to order at: 7:15 PM via zoom

Meeting closed at: 9:25 PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Open Forum: Finance Committee report – Dennis Finney, Jim Geaman, Craig Blomquist

Discussion: Dennis led the review of the budget as previously discussed by the Finance Committee. Many of their concerns had

also been previously discussed by the executive (council) committee. Emphasis was placed on the needed transparency for the

congregation. Budget notes should reflect the necessary explanations as we go into the budget forums and annual meeting this

month.

Note – Break taken – Finance Committee is excused.

Agenda Item #1: Closing the 2021 Budget

Discussion: DH reviewed the revenue side – budget was very close to actual. Giving was going up during the pandemic. On the

expense side, there was a net positive $45,128. Where should that go? Preschool enrollment is in good shape – still in the black.

Building Fund pledge is at 60% due to uneven giving over the pledge period.

Conclusion: Move any remaining dollars to the ops investment funds for 2022.

Action Taken:

✓ Vote

Motion: Move to make a one-time contribution of $7000 to the synod from the 2021 budget.

Made By: Rob Blount

Second: Steve McIntire

Result: Passed

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Move the remaining excess of $34,000 in the 2021 net church operations to reserves.

Made By: Pete Elza

Second: Chad Carlson

Result: Passed

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Move the preschool net operations excess of $106,272 from the 2021 budget to reserves.

Made By: Judy Hanson

Second: Chad Carlson

Result: passed

Agenda Item #2: 2022 Budget Proposal

Discussion: Several line items were solidified. Reminders of preschool staff increases occurring in 2021 will continue in 2022 to

remain competitive and fully staffed. Live-Streaming installation has begun and its full impact on the 2022 budget is TBD.

Comments on possible future BLC staffing centered around having flexibility during the pandemic (i.e., council has 10% authority on

budgeted items.) Use of contingency funds and endowment funds are outlined in the constitution.

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Move to accept the recommended budget proposal which will be taken to the congregation for approval at the

2022 annual meeting on January 30, 2022.

Made By: Kelly Jirschele

Second: Chad Carlson

Result: Passed

Follow-up Items: Budget Forums are scheduled for January 23 and January 26 via zoom.

Agenda Item #3: Update on Pastor Paisley

Discussion: PS has set a meal train (already full) and visits with PP when appropriate. All BLC correspondence is directed to PS

as PP is experiencing health issues. Follow-up appointments are scheduled, family support and continued prayers are evident.

More information will come following an angiogram scheduled for February 4, 2022.

Craig C. contacted the synod concerning benefits and options for support. The bishop is apprised. Short-term disability (Portico

uses Lincoln Financial) would cover 66%, thus the congregation would pay approximately ⅓. Craig C. and DH will provide this

information to PP.

Conclusion: PS will address the spiritual side and Craig C./Deacon Heather will address the HR side of this situation.

Action Taken:

❏ None

Agenda Item #4: Adjourn Council meeting.

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Move to adjourn.

Made By: Judy Hanson

Second: Craig Collins

Result: Passed

Council Minutes January 4, 2022

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson,

Cheryl Martines, Pete Elza, Judy Hanson, John Volkening,

Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele

Absent: Pastor Paisley LeRoy

Staff: Pastor Sarah Rhode, Deacon Heather Feltman

SPECIAL Meeting called to order at: 7:45 PM via zoom

Meeting closed at: 9:21 PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Opening Prayer: led by Craig Collins

Agenda Item #1: Responding to the current COVID-19 surge – Worship Plans

Discussion: PS made the recommendation to move to virtual worship for January and February with concerns over the current

pandemic situation in our community. Pre-recorded services would be sent until live-streaming was installed. Worship via zoom

would then begin. Sunday morning programming would also move to virtual. Sunday School would be suspended.

Questions – What are other area churches doing? PS response: Some are moving to all-virtual; some are using a hybrid model of

in-person and virtual. Those with live-streaming are comfortable doing a hybrid. Some are continuing with in-person worship with

the anticipation of low attendance numbers.

Council members weighed in:

JV – COVID cases are increasing; deaths are increasing; inpatient cases and personnel affected beyond our anticipation. CDC

sees this peak in Jan. going down in Feb. Agrees with no groups in church now – to resume Ash Wed. Agree with the above

recommendation.

KJ – Agree with the rostered leaders as the pandemic evolves.

JH – Go along with the recommendation for worship,

CCarlson – January timeframe is okay. Going into February is too long to stay virtual only.

PE – Not in our best interest to go into February with this plan. Create small services for in-person connections. Concerned with the

new director of worship coming into this situation and the absence of Pastor Paisley.

CM – Disagree with the recommendation as it is based only on physical health numbers. Need to address the needs of the whole

person – mentally, spiritually, socially – and church can be a place for that. Disciples can decide their comfort level, not be denied

the choice.

SM – Agree with the leaders. We are limited with the protocols in place to provide a safe environment.

RB – This recommendation is too far forward – to commit to the month of February.

Action Taken:

✓ Vote

Motion: To move the weekend worship to virtual (pre-recorded) through January 30, 2022.

Made By: Rob Blount

Second: Pete Elza

Result: Passed

Agenda Item #2: Responding the current COVID-19 surge: Building Use

Discussion: Questions to be answered –

1. Do we allow BLC groups and outside groups to use the building in January and February?

2. Do we keep the preschool open?

3. What are the expectations of the rostered leaders/staff working locations?

4. Do we hold our budget forums, congregational meetings in January?

Debate centered around the impact on the cleaning staff, size of groups, continuation of small groups, requests for using the

building, allowing an informed choice by BLC disciples, and the effects of COVID (Keeping our staff safe.)

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: Allow BLC and outside groups (no greater than 10 which follow the COVID protocols) to meet in the building

during the month of January – duration tied to the virtual worship schedule.

Made By: Rob Blount

Second: Craig Collins

Result: Passed

The preschool will remain open following the CDC guidelines.

The rostered leaders and staff will determine their working locations. They do not anticipate any change at this time.

The budget forums and annual meeting will be held virtual – similar to the 2021 format. Details to be determined.

Agenda Item #3: Boy Scouts

Discussion: The filing of Chapter 11 by the BSA has reduced the options for chartered organizations such as BLC. The exec team,

along with attorney, Greg Andrews, have reviewed the remaining choices.

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Move to accept option #1 as outlined in the BSA document.

Made By: Craig Collins

Second: John Volkening

Result: passed

Agenda Item #4: Update on Pastor Paisley

Discussion: After hospitalization last month for serious brain bleed, Pastor Paisley is now home with supportive care by immediate

family. She will continue neurological checks until a February 9th angiogram is administered. Due to limited screen time and

reading, she will not be working. Pastor Sarah will receive Pastor Paisley’s BLC email. Asking the congregation for continued

prayers for healing.

Action Taken:

❏ None

Agenda Item #5: Rostered Leader report

Discussion: With the change in worship plans for January, discussion on how to handle funerals was discussed. Going back to

the COVID protocols of 2021 seemed appropriate (i.e., limit capacity; shorter duration of service.) Funerals can be held in the

building. Confirmation and HS group will be suspended until in-person worship resumes. Lay leaders will explore possibilities.

Agenda Item #6: Adjourn Council Meeting

Action Taken:

❏ Vote

Motion: Motion to adjourn

Made By: Craig Collins

Second: Kelly Jirschele

Result: passed

Council Minutes December 2021

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson,

Cheryl Martines, Pete Elza, Judy Hanson, John Volkening,

Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele, Pastor Sarah Rhode

Absent:

Staff: Deacon Heather Feltman, Pastor Paisley Le Roy

Meeting called to order at: 6:30PM Eckstrom Hall

Meeting closed at: 10:25PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Opening Prayer/Devotion: Craig Collins referenced the book “Be The Bridge” which was a discussion focus by the Men’s Ministry

group this past year. Reflections on race from the adult forum held on Oct. 31st were mentioned by council members who were in

attendance. Concerns were raised about the candor of the forum. Much more work needs to be done at BLC in this area.

Agenda Item #1: Worship Plans – January, February, March 2022

Discussion: After reviewing the indoor worship attendance (June-December, 2021), council heard from each rostered leader. The

rostered leader report gave a recommendation for Sunday; Discussion centered around Saturday evening worship.

PS – Experiencing constant reinvention during the pandemic is causing fatigue. With lay leadership down and low response rate of

disciple participation (due to comfort level and reconsiderations of time), it is hard to continue this way. I rely on our team of 3.

PP – Seeing value to the Saturday worship, I question the sustainability for every week. Currently operating a “bare bones” in the

youth programs: 7 adults for Sunday School, 4 in confirmation; 3 HS youth; no subs. Concerned about burn out and constant

redevelopment. Becoming a youth pastor that preaches, I cannot add anything else. Willing to do Sat. pm worship, but something

has to give. Other care programs are already stressed.

DH – As deacon, I work alongside. I am willing to support 2 Saturday/month worship services. Being sensitive to the pastors’

needs, I can see the current schedule continue. I can coordinate my schedule to fill in where need be.

Council shared the congregational feedback received. Decision needs to honor the health of our rostered leaders and the needs of

the BLC community.

Action Taken: ✓ Vote

Motion: To continue with Sunday morning worship at 8:30AM and 10:45AM with reconnection hour at 9:40AM with

Saturday evening worship twice/month for January, February, March 2022.

Made By: Rob Blount

Second: Kelly Jirschele

Result: Passed

Follow-up Items: Communication @ Coffee With Council on Sunday, December 19, 2021.

Agenda Item #2: Congregational Goal Setting

Discussion: Each council sub-group explained their draft goals emphasizing the focus and rationale behind these ideas.

Love God (Worship) : Live-streaming; Support of worship life; Experiencing new styles of worship.

Love One Another: Examining ministry teams at BLC; Increase disciple engagement (fair); Organize a multi-family retreat.

Love Our Neighbor: Care for Creation/Environment (Earth Day, Recycle/Compost); Outreach (Refugee, Hunger/Homeless).

Conclusion: Who is BLC? There are topics/concerns that are not included in these goals. What can we be excited about?

Needing to determine if these ideas are a long-term focus (3-5 year plan) or a short-term goal (2022 still in a pandemic) that can

support the congregational vision/mission, these ideas will be further sorted before the annual meeting in January.

Action Taken: Tabled

Agenda Item #3: 2022 Budget

Discussion: Chad Carlson and DH explained the adjustments to last month’s budget proposal.

Revenue: Charitable Trust Giving was reduced. Weekly Envelopes projected downward.

Disbursements: Decision needed on FRVI support or another ministry

Preschool: Allocations made – BLC is one organization to use Illinois Child Care grant proceeds (50/50 split)

Personnel & Benefits: Salary adjustments; tech support discussed. Professional musicians line item increased: Multiple existing

musical lines were combined (not eliminated) to provide the new Director of Worship and Music more flexibility.

Youth Ministry: Mission trips, scholarships added.

Building Fund: Third year of Together Forward Debt Reduction; gifts received by 2 families for 1:1 match by congregation

Discussion continued surrounding the placement of possible surplus monies from pandemic grants which continue in 2022.

Action Taken: Tabled

Follow-up items: Special council meeting to finalize the 2022 budget is scheduled January 11, 2022. Budget Forums are to be

held on January 16 and January 23.

Agenda Item #4: Boy Scouts

Discussion: After declaring bankruptcy in 2020, BSA has now filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. Under this plan, all current

and former chartered organizations (BLC) have 3 options to consider. Greg Andrews has reviewed these options and sent a

recommendation to the council. In discussing these options, questions were raised regarding the level of insurance that BLC

currently has against possible lawsuits. BSA can also offer additional coverage, but at what cost? What is covered by the local

scout organization (Three Rivers Council)? DH is waiting for this information. Since this spans more than 90 years of involvement,

the unknown risks could be substantial for our congregation.

Action Taken: Tabled

❏ Vote to taken prior to Jan. 7, 2022 response deadline.

Motion:

Made By:

Second:

Result:

Agenda Item #5: Consent Agenda

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: To accept the November meeting minutes, October financials, November financial statement, cash report.

Made By: Judy Hanson

Second: John Volkening

Result: passed

Agenda Item #6: Staff Bonuses

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: Move to executive session.

Made By: John Volkening

Second: Judy Hanson

Result: passed

Discussion: PS presented council with recommendations for the 2021 budgeted staff bonus (line item of $4500.)

Note: Rob Blount was excused for this discussion and vote due to conflict of interest.

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: To approve the recommendations for the church staff bonuses:

Made By: John Volkening

Second: Judy Hanson

Result: Passed

Discussion: Council to determine the amounts for staff bonuses to Deacon Heather, Pastor Paisley, and Pastor Sarah.

Action Taken: Vote

Motion: Use the remaining budgeted money ($2600) split between DH ($800), PP ($800), PS ($1000).

Made By: Cheryl Martines

Second: Rob Blount

Result: Not passed

Motion: Increase the amounts to $1500 (PS); $1500 (DH); $1000 (PP).

Made By: Pete Elza

Second: John Volkening

Result: Not Passed

Motion: Increase the amounts to $1500 (PS); $1500 (DH); $1250 (PP).

Made By: John Volkening

Second: Kelly Jirschele

Result: Passed

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn Council Meeting

Action Taken: ✓ Vote

Motion: “Motion to adjourn”

Made By: Steve McIntire

Second: Kelly Jirschele

Result: Adjourn at 10:25PM.

Council Minutes September 2021

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson, Cheryl Martines, Pete Elza, Judy Hanson, John Volkening, Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele

Absent:

Staff: Pastor Sarah Rhode, Deacon Heather Feltman, Pastor Paisley Le Roy

Meeting called to order at: 6:30 PM in Education Hall
Meeting closed at: 9:05 PM

Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines

Open Forum: Pastor Paisley led Bible study.

Discussion: Book of Acts

Agenda Item #1: World Relief Presentation – Pastor Keith Draper
Discussion: Pastor Draper shared information about the organization and how congregations can support this ministry. He presented the current situation of displaced people around the world and the impact on the Chicagoland area. He will return to BLC this fall to continue this discussion with the congregation.

Action Taken:
None

Follow-up Items: Council will discern future involvement with World Relief at the October meeting.

Agenda Item #2: 2022 Congregation Goal Process
Discussion: The process used last year was reviewed. The council will use the same process, and the time frame for the fall preparation of goal setting was agreed upon. The broad categories of Loving God, Loving and Caring for One Another, and Loving our Neighbors will continue into 2022.

Action Taken:
None

Follow-up Items: Council members will submit goal ideas prior to October meetings.

Agenda Item #3: 2022 Budget Development Process
Discussion: The key steps in the budget preparation process were presented. A reminder that zero-based budgeting is used. The council and rostered staff will be affirming ministry priorities and staffing as it impacts the 2022 budget. The debt reduction plan will also be incorporated in the overall budget discussion.

Action Taken:
None

Follow-up Items: A special council meeting will be held October 12, 2021, to begin the budget process.

Agenda Item #4: Rostered Leader Report
Discussion: Pastor Sarah provided the update for the director of music search – Seven candidates were chosen to be interviewed on zoom; Four were invited to BLC; Two dropped out for personal reasons; Two were interviewed in person. Following the interviews, the search team decided neither candidate was a good fit for BLC. The position will be posted again as we are reopening the search process.
Pastor Paisley was pleased with the opening day (9/19) turnout for Sunday School, confirmation, and HS youth group. An (6:00PM) outdoor worship service will be held on Sunday evenings in October and November prior to the HS meeting.
Deacon Heather gave details of the building projects (roof began 9/13 with scheduled completion 11/15; HVAC demolition scheduled to begin 9/27 with completion 11/1.)

Action Taken:
None

Agenda Item #5: Vaccine Mandate
Discussion: Last month the council adopted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy for all church staff and preschool staff. Craig provided the update – Each individual case of non-compliance was addressed prior to the compliance deadline of September 17, 2021. One church staff member is seeking doctor clarification and working remotely at this time. Two preschool teachers are no longer employed. Another preschool staff member is undergoing weekly testing until fully vaccinated.
The preschool director has adjusted the attendance schedule and will continue to post staff openings (ex. Friday email blast.)

Action Taken:
None

Follow-up Items: Another update will be provided at the October council meeting.

Agenda Item #6: Consent agenda
Discussion: The August meeting minutes, July final financials, August financials, and August cash reports were reviewed. The Council Qualifications, Expectations, and Responsibilities document was discussed.

Action Taken:
Vote

Motion: Approve the minutes, financial statements, and council document.
Made By: Rob
Second: John
Result: passed

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn Council Meeting
Action Taken:
Vote

Motion: “Motion to adjourn”
Made By: Craig
Second: Chad
Result: passed

 

Council Minutes August 2021

Present: Craig Collins, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson, Cheryl Martines, Pete Elza, Judy Hanson, John Volkening, Steve McIntire, Kelly Jirschele
Absent:
Staff: Pastor Sarah Rhode, Deacon Heather Feltman, Pastor Paisley Le Roy
Meeting called to order at: 6:30 PM via zoom
Meeting closed at: 9:22 PM
Council Reporter: Cheryl Martines
Open Forum:
Discussion:
Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #1: Preschool Update: Teacher Pay Increases

Discussion: BLC Preschool director is recommending an additional $5100 be allocated to increase the hourly rate of pay for
preschool teachers effective with the payroll in August. After collecting background information from Deacon Heather and Pong
Sayasane, the need to send this positive message of gratitude to the preschool staff amidst this pandemic time was affirmed. The
preschool handbook is being reviewed and will be updated soon in preparation for 2021 budget planning. A team will be formed this
fall to study a variety of BLC Preschool compensation issues (i.e., benefits, hourly rate of pay, salary schedule.)
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
✓ Vote
Motion: Approve an additional $5100 to increase the staff hourly rates and direct the preschool director to allocate
these raises effective August 1, 2021.
Made By: Rob
Second: Pete
Result: Passed
Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #2: COVID-19 Policy for BLC Staff and Volunteers

Discussion: Rostered staff is recommending a mandate of COVID-19 vaccination for all BLC staff, preschool staff, individuals who
receive a church stipend, and individuals working closely with children. Organizations are moving in this direction. As the majority of
BLC staff is already vaccinated, the goal to have 100% compliance would provide the safest environment especially for those who are
not yet eligible for the vaccine. To adopt this condition of employment was further discussed.
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
Vote
Motion: Approve a condition of employment that all full-time and part-time BLC staff, BLC Preschool staff, anyone in a
stipend position, and any volunteers working with children must have received their first COVID-19 vaccine by September 17, 2021,
and if necessary the second shot by October 30, 2021.
Made By: Kelly
Second: Judy
Result: passed
Follow-up Items: Rostered leaders will separate the policy from the FAQ communication.

Agenda Item #3: Fall Worship Plan

Discussion: In light of the ever-changing COVID-19 infections, adjustments continue to be made to worship. Pastor Sarah described
the most recent (August) changes as we continue to mask and social distance in the single worship hour. Congregational singing is
moved to the last half of the service to reduce the time of aerosol exposure. Added seating is being used in the overflow. Ushers will
lead worship departure to the outside area. Attendance will continue to be monitored during the fall. The Reconnection Hour following
the worship was described. With a base outline plan, lay leaders are being called to help accommodate Sunday School, confirmation,
and adult education. Rally Sunday (9/12/2021) will be outside – COVID safe. All programs are to begin the following week (9/19/2021).
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
None
Follow-up Items: Pastor Sarah will be releasing the details of worship (video) to the congregation this week. Another video by the
rostered staff will communicate the reconnection hour format.

Agenda Item #4: Sanctuary Lighting Proposal

Discussion: Deacon Heather presented a detailed outline of the sanctuary lighting conversion from incandescent to LED. The
rationale and scope of work was reviewed. The proposed funding was discussed. With the adoption of the streaming contract of last
month, the coordination of the electrical work and other details are still ongoing (i.e., the Streaming team to meet on 9/7/2021.)
Conclusion: Two motions to a vote.
Action Taken:
Vote
Motion: Approve the Rehm contract of $46,595 which may be increased up to $55,000 to cover possible additional costs.
Made By: Pete
Second: John
Result: passed
Motion: In order to pay for upgrades, the Preschool allocation for lighting costs will be increased from $70,000 to $125,000.
Made By: Rob
Second: John
Result: passed
Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #5: BLC Governance Documents – BLC Council Roles and Qualifications; Ethics Policy

Discussion: Read and review the updated consolidation of the council roles. This is still in draft form. Discussion will continue at the Sept. meeting. Review the Ethics policy and declare any conflict of interest.
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
None
Follow-up Items: Send the signed Ethics Policy document to Deacon Heather.

Agenda Item #6: Consent Agenda
Discussion: The July minutes, financial update, June final financials, July preliminary financials, and July cash reports were reviewed.
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
Vote
Motion: Approve minutes and financial statements.
Made By: Chad
Second: Steve
Result: passed
Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Rostered Leaders Report
Discussion: Pastor Sarah reported the progress of the search for BLC director of music. After interviews via zoom, the candidates
were narrowed to 3. The team will conduct live interviews at church during August – September with the hopes of a recommendation
coming to the September council meeting.
Conclusion:
Action Taken:
None
Follow-up Items:
Executive Session: Annual Review Process

Agenda Item #8: Motion to adjourn