Council Minutes Mar 16 2021

Present: Judy Hanson, Craig Collins, Greg Andrews, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson, Pete Elza, Michelle Kovar, Cheryl Martines, John Volkening, Pastor Sarah Rohde

Present: Judy Hanson, Craig Collins, Greg Andrews, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson, Pete Elza, Michelle Kovar, Cheryl Martines, John Volkening, Pastor Sarah Rohde

Absent:

Staff: Deacon Heather Feltman, Pastor Paisley Le Roy

Meeting called to order at: 06:35 PM

Meeting closed at: 08:00 PM

Council Reporter:

Open Forum:

Discussion: 

 

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #1:  Approve Minutes and Financial

Discussion:  None

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Approve the Feb MInutes and January Financial Report”

            Made By:  Chad

            Second:  Pete

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #2: Live Steam Update

Discussion: 

Pete reported that the steaming team has had two meetings with different providers. One is a full digital and another mixed digital/analog solution. Two more meetings scheduled (Thursday and following meeting.)

The team has also held additional conversations about what Live Streaming means for worship and how the new Musical Director position will be impacted by streaming.

PS: The team is also looking to visit other churches that have implemented Live Streaming and review both the physical implementation as well how it looks to the internet.

DH: As we are planning for visits, it would be good to ask questions such as “How has live streaming affected your mission.”

DH anticipates that the team will have more information by the May meeting.

A question was asked about what equipment was involved in the proposal. The proposals would include screens, video equipment, audio equipment, and supporting equipment. Also there was discussion about where the equipment would be placed. The preferred plan would be to place the equipment in the Choir loft, but would want to ensure that it does not impact the groups that currently utilize the loft.

A question was asked how many proposals are being submitted. 4 total proposals are being presented.

A question was asked how the long the equipment would be expected to last. Yes, that support is being considered, along with warranty, training, and software update.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #3:  Roof/Mechanical Update

Discussion: 

Deacon Heather provided an update on the Roof and Mechanical.

The building team met on Monday with two Roof manufacturers. GAF, who manufacture shingles, and EcoStar a synthetic roofing material. Synthetic slate roofing is 70% recycled material. The team is recommending that we request a proposal with synthetic slate roofing. The primary factors in this decision is that it is more durable and requires no ventilation. A major issue with our current roof is the ability to properly ventilate the roof. Synthetic roof has a 50 year warranty, longer than traditional shingles. It also has a higher hail rating. DH called our insurance company and going with synthetic will result in a lower insurance cost.

The manufacturer of the synthetic offered a 10% discount if we allowed to publicize our use of their material. In addition, based on the size of the project, the manufacturer may be willing to sell directly to the church to lower the cost. Synthetic roofing will also require snow guards over the door entries.  For the first 10 years the warranty covers 100% materials and labor and then prorated from that.

Ecostart will provide references of other churches that have installed synthetic slate material.

Roofing installation would probably take about a month, but the manufacture of the materials would probably take longer.

When would a decision need to be made if we wanted to have the roof installed by winter?. The roof would need to be November 1st.

Mechanical update:

The team will get together next Tuesday to review the updated quotes on the Mechanical. Heather stated that one of the bidders has been more transparent and open during the process. Expectations are that a recommendation can be made by the end of the month.

The total process will take 9-10 weeks. Ideal installation time would be mid-September through end of October due to the ideal outdoor temperatures.

Plan is to send out a letter to the congregation towards the end of March to give an update and provide additional details of the plans and timelines.

A question was raised about whether we should postpone the May Congregational meeting to allow for more time to plan to bring the proposals to the congregation.

Discussion was held around how to best approach the finance the needs and whether we should be fundraising or if we should borrow the money to fund the project.

Heather wanted to recognize Jesus for the work he has done to ensure the maintenance and repair schedule is adhered to. The work he has performed has resulted in an approximately $10K reduction in repair costs.

Discussion was held on how we can best communicate the needs to the congregation and whether we have enough time before the May congregational meeting. Additional discussion was held about how asking for money for these needs would impact BLC’s ability to fund other mission priorities.

Conscious was that we plan to hold the traditional May meeting with the intent to include updates on the roof and mechanical.  The intention is to present the plan through a series of forums in May and then ask the Congregation to vote at the May Congregational meeting.

An additional Council Meeting will be held on April 15th for discussion and planning for the Mechanical and Roofing.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #4:  Vision and Values Update

Discussion: 

PS: In her quarterly check-in with Judy & Craig, we wanted to make sure the sub groups are continuing to keep connected around the goals that were set by the teams. In some cases there may be specific asks of the teams.

The rostered leaders will also be providing quarterly updates of the goals to the congregation. This update will happen in mid-April.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #5:  Worship Resiliency Team Update

Discussion: 

The WRT will meet on March 23rd. PS has shared the current guidelines from the Synod. In addition, PS has shared some reopening plans from other churches.

We will need to start planning for transition from pre-recorded services to outdoor services. We also want to be aware of disciples of the congregation who are unable to attend in person. How can we offer live (post-live) recordings to members who can’t be in person.

The summer will also be an opportunity to try some limited indoor options (such as small mid-week services). Will be monitoring the vaccine rollout as part of the thought process.

Will continue to respect the State recommendations for gatherings (currently limited to 50 people, both for indoor or outdoor gatherings.)

We have six baptisms, one funeral, two weddings, and one (Cantenara) to be scheduled as well.

The newcomers class has been completed, we will be welcoming them during an outdoor worship service. There were five families in the newcomers class. 

Some members of the congregation have started inquiring about when the church will reopen for indoor service. Others have communicated that they are not yet comfortable returning to church.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #6:  Rostered Leaders Report

Discussion: 

Pastor Sarah communicated that the best date for the “New Normal” conversation will be April 26th @ 7:00PM.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Move to Executive Session

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to move to Exec Session.”

            Made By:   Greg

            Second:  Chad

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn from Executive Session 

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to adjourn from Exec Session”

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn Council Meeting

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to adjourn”

            Made By:  Cheryl

            Second:  John

            Result:  Passed

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to move to Exec Session.”

            Made By:   Greg

            Second:  Chad

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn from Executive Session 

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to adjourn from Exec Session”

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

Agenda Item #7: Adjourn Council Meeting

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to adjourn”

            Made By:  Cheryl

            Second:  John

            Result:  Passed

Council Highlights Mar 2021

Livestreaming update – pertains to congregation Goal #1
After approving the minutes and financials from last month, Council received an update from the team  that’s been charged to research possible options for livestreaming services.  The decision as to the many possible variations on if and how livestreaming could be added to services as we return to more in-person services will be discussed further by Council after receiving a recommendation from the this team in the coming month.  Council will then vote on whether to move forward with a presentation to the congregation after asking the question, “How does this enhance BLC’s mission?”

 

Update from Building Team re roof/mechanical repairs
Council also received an update from the Building Team regarding their recent meetings with possible vendors and contractors regarding needed repairs/replacement of the roof as well as an update on needed replacement of HVAC equipment.  Council will review the team’s recommendations at their April meeting, and will engage congregation around this via a letter in early April and forums in May.

 

Next steps re worship
Rostered leaders will meet with the Worship Resiliency Team on Tuesday, March 23. That team will discuss next steps toward reopening and reconvening. Our next steps will likely focus on outdoor worship this summer and some “trial runs” for indoor worship throughout the summer as well. Council remains committed to state and synodical guidance around safety protocols and capacity numbers. Currently our services are limited to 50 people both indoors and outdoors. We will continue to adapt as guidance changes and as we’re able to assess our community’s response to in-person outdoor services.

 

Newcomers Classes held in February
Pastor Sarah also noted that New Member Classes just finished and we are waiting until we are outdoors to introduce the five new members.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Highlights Feb 2021

The Bethlehem Church Council met on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.  Here are the highlights of this meeting:

 

Bethlehem Preschool Update

 Pong Sayasane, BLC Preschool Director, provided the Church Council with an update on the preschool:

  • The preschool has been open since last June.

  • There have been very few reported cases of COVID-19 at the preschool.

  • Enrollment is holding steady for the current year.

  • Pre-registration for the next school year will begin next month.

  • Plans for the annual Spaghetti Supper in April are underway. At the present time the plan is to stage a “take-out” event rather than host an in-person gathering.

 

Vision & Values Forums

The Church Council is in the midst of hosting three Vision & Values forums preceding the congregation meeting on January 31, 2021. These Zoom forums provide the opportunity for the Council and our pastors to share ministry goals, staffing plans, and the 2021 proposed budget with the congregation.

The third and final Vision & Values forum will take place at 9:30am on Sunday, January 24, following the 8:30am taped service. Information about how to access this last forum will be included in this week’s Friday email blast.

 

Congregation Meeting – Sunday, January 31, 2021 – 9:30 am

The Church Council will convene the annual congregation meeting at 9:30am on Sunday, January 31, via Zoom. Information about how to access this meeting will be included in the Friday email blasts and a special email going out the week of January 25. BLC disciples must register for this meeting. Members can also participate in this meeting by phone.

Information materials pertaining to the congregation meeting have been mailed and are also available via a Google link that will be included in upcoming communications. Printed copies of these documents are also available in the church office.

The Council previewed what will take place during the congregation meeting: a review of ministry goals for 2021; the adoption of the 2021 church budget; testimony from several church members on how we as a church can love God, love one another within our congregation, and love our neighbors; and the approval of several resolutions of thanks for staff, members of our congregation who have died this past year, new members who have been welcomed into the Bethlehem community through baptism, and the faithful generosity of our congregation.

 

Ministry Goals for 2021

Pastor Sarah shared the progress that has been made to date with the five ministry goals for 2021 that have been approved by the Council. These goals are being shared at the forums and will be shared at the congregation meeting. Pastor Sarah also shared which rostered staff member would be responsible for championing each goal within the congregation.

 

We Love God (We worship) 

 Goal #1: Evaluate and Decide on Live-Streaming Capability – Pastor Sarah/Deacon Heather

 

We love and care for one another 

Goal #2: Intentionally Connect with High School Youth – Pastor Paisley

Goal #3: Adult Education and Small Groups – Pastor Sarah

 

We love and care for our neighbors

Goal #4: Increase our congregation’s engagement with hunger/homeless ministries by 10% – Deacon Heather

Goal #5: Expand and strengthen our missional partnerships – Pastor Paisley/Deacon Heather

Council Minutes Feb 16 2021

 Present: Judy Hanson, Craig Collins, Greg Andrews, Rob Blount, Chad Carlson, Pete Elza, Michelle Kovar, Cheryl Martines, John Volkening

Absent:

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

Meeting called to order at 06:30 PM

Meeting closed at: 8:27 PM

Council Reporter:

Open Forum:

Discussion: 

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #1:  Roof and Mechanical Update

Discussion: 

Susan Maish from JNKA joined the council meeting  to review the current status of the roof and HVAC mechanical replacement projects.

Susan shared the summary sheet of the mechanical bids. In November, Service Mechanical was brought in to review the mechanical and discuss what would need to be done to replace the existing system. As part of the discussion, it was confirmed that the mechanical would not need to be performed in conjunction with the roofing project.

There are concerns that the old HVAC system is near the end of its useful life. Since the system has been repaired a number of times and parts of the unit are no longer functional, there is a concern that there may soon come a time that we will be unable to properly repair the HVAC unit.

Three companies were invited to bid on a design/build project to replace the mechanical system.

Two of the bids recommended replacing the existing 3 unit system with a single larger, variable air system. This will allow the system to start up slower to lower the volume.

The third bid recommended replacing all three units with new units. Based on discussion, the third bid did not offer any advantages over a single unit system.

The bids will need to be reviewed to determine the variances between the bids and ensure that comparisons are equal. (For example 3 wireless controllers versus 4 wired controllers)

The capacity of the proposed HVAC solutions will need to be reviewed to ensure that it is properly sized and works efficiently for the amount of space and the number of people in our building.

A question was asked if the updated mechanical would provide any cost savings. Hill provided some preliminary numbers that they would expect to see a reduction in energy costs of > $5,000.

A question was posed, would a three unit system offer any redundancy? Per Susan, all the units are independent and would not provide any redundancy.

A question was asked about Test and Balance and would that be included. The committee has recommended that Test and Balance should be performed by a Third Party.

A question about the load calculation. Hill did a load calculation based on 300 people.

A question was asked about bid expiration. If there is a bid expiration, could there be a shift in labor or material costs.

Are there any concerns about the ability to deliver due to lack of materials or labor? Per Susan neither has indicated any issues or concern with delivery.

Susan shifted over to present an overview of the roofing process.

BLC received a roofing report that indicates there were a number of issues with installation and venting that are causing issues with our roofing.

Susan presented a comparison of Asphalt shingles versus Synthetic slate. No official bids have been submitted. JNKA is waiting for a decision on whether to go with asphalt shingles or synthetic shingles.

If asphalt shingles were chosen, venting would need to be added as it does not  exist in our current roof. Synthetic slate would not require venting.

Snow guards are normally required with synthetic shingles, but, due to the unique slope of our roof, they may not be useful or necessary.

Question, can additional findings during the bidding process increase the cost? That is always a possibility.

Question, would the venting required by the asphalt shingles affect the HVAC. Answer: Since it is above the installation, it should not affect the HVAC.

Question whether synthetic would have a different insurance coverage. Heather will investigate.

A question was asked if the insurance company could deny a water damage claim due to the known condition of the roof. Heather notes that the insurance company is aware, but can not state with any certainty at this time.

Heather: Still some open questions for the mechanical and roof. The team may want to bid for both asphalt and synthetic shingles with hope to present Council some recommendations by the April council meeting..

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion: 

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #2:  Approve Minutes from Jan and December Financials

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  Approve the minutes from Jan. 19th and December Financial Finals

            Made By:  Rob

            Second: Michelle

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #3:  Resolutions certifying Housing Allowance for Pastors

Discussion: 

Judy read the resolutions regarding the allocation of Pastoral salaries between regular salary and housing allowance.

A question was asked for more information about the resolutions and how they were calculated. Pastor Sarah provided an overview about how the split between base salary and housing allowance was calculated.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion: Approve the Housing Resolution for Pastor Sarah

            Made By:  Council

            Second: Chad

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion: Approve the Housing Resolution for Pastor Paisley

            Made By:  Council

            Second: John

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #4:   Congregational Meeting Update

Discussion: 

Judy shared that she has heard very good feedback from members of the church. They liked that we focused on Vision and Values instead of strictly budget focus.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #5:  Update on Congregational Goals

Discussion: 

For the past few months, the goals have been used as the framework of the Rostered Leaders report.

Sarah shared that the goals have been very helpful in establishing the priorities and have encouraged the rostered leaders to reach out to the congregation and encourage discussion and care. There is a group that is craving interacting with others and will respond positively to any activities that we provide.

However, there is a large position of our community that needs some connection. They are looking for pastoral leadership. The pastors are diligently working to ensure that the needs of all our community is met.

Have made a few proactive changes. For example, the Lenten worship has been scaled back. The rostered leaders, along with others involved in our weekly services, have been continuously working to improve all aspects of our worship.

Based on the response of the forums, there appears to be a lot of energy around the goals from the congregation.

Goal Update:

  • All the bids are in for the streaming equipment. Heather will provide a summary for review in April. Question regarding including a High School member of the team.

  • This Sunday will have a game night for High School Youth

  • Adult forums have started with the two Rostered Leaders forums. Have had several members reach out on how they can help

  • Response to the Homeless and Food Security ministries has been strong. Several new members have engaged.

  • Working on ideas to meet this goal, but no update at this time. Supporting the plastic bag collection to be used for recycled material.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #6:  New Council Member Recruitment

Discussion: 

Greg and Michelle will be ending their terms at the end of the Council year. The goal will be to identify new Council members by April to allow them to come up to speed.

We need to determine the characteristics of the potential new Council members. Council members are requested to send their ideas of council member demographics to Judy over the next couple of weeks. .

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #7: Debt Reduction Update

Discussion: 

Deacon Heather presented an update on how we are doing with our Debt reduction. We are currently receiving enough money through the debt reduction campaign to pay our current mortgage payment, plus some additional payments. However, to pay off the mortgage within 10 years, as the congregation had set as a target, we would need to nearly double our current monthly payment.

For our operation budget, revenue has been very positive in both January and February. Heather is tracking trends in giving throughout the year. Future budgets may be adjusted to show increased giving early in the year and less giving in November and December.

Heather has received 1 new pledge and 3 increases to existing pledges since the Jan. 31st meeting.

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

Motion:  Adopt the resolution “BLC Endowment Fund in the amount of $200 for Budget Year 2021”

            Made By:  Cheryl

            Second: Rob

            Result: Passed

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #8: Rostered Leaders Report

Discussion: 

Was highlighted in Agenda

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #9: Congregational News

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:

            Made By:  

            Second:

            Result:

Follow-up Items:

 

Agenda Item #10: Adjourn

Discussion: 

Conclusion:

Action Taken:

  • None

  • Tabled

  • Vote

            Motion:  “Motion to adjourn”

            Made By:   John

            Second:  Greg

            Result:  Passed

Council Highlights Jan 2021

The Bethlehem Church Council met on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.  Here are the highlights of this meeting:

 

Bethlehem Preschool Update

 Pong Sayasane, BLC Preschool Director, provided the Church Council with an update on the preschool:

  • The preschool has been open since last June.
  • There have been very few reported cases of COVID-19 at the preschool.
  • Enrollment is holding steady for the current year.
  • Pre-registration for the next school year will begin next month.
  • Plans for the annual Spaghetti Supper in April are underway. At the present time the plan is to stage a “take-out” event rather than host an in-person gathering.

 

Vision & Values Forums

The Church Council is in the midst of hosting three Vision & Values forums preceding the congregation meeting on January 31, 2021.  These zoom forums provide the opportunity for the Council and our pastors to share ministry goals, staffing plans, and the 2021 proposed budget with the congregation.

The third and final Vision & Values forum will take place at 9:30am on Sunday, January 24, following the 8:30am taped service.  Information about how to access this last forum will be included in this week’s Friday email blast.

 

Congregation Meeting – Sunday, January 31, 2021 – 9:30 am

The Church Council will convene the annual congregation meeting at 9:30am on Sunday, January 31, via zoom.  Information about how to access this meeting will be included in the Friday email blasts and a special email going out the week of January 25.  BLC disciples must register for this meeting. Members can also participate in this meeting by phone.

Information materials pertaining to the congregation meeting have been mailed and are also available via a Google link that will be included in upcoming communications. Printed copies of these documents are also available in the church office.

The Council previewed what will take place during the congregation meeting: a review of ministry goals for 2021; the adoption of the 2021 church budget; testimony from several church members on how we as a church can love God, love one another within our congregation, and love our neighbors; and the approval of several resolutions of thanks for staff, members of our congregation who have died this past year, new members who have been welcomed into the Bethlehem community through baptism, and the faithful generosity of our congregation.

 

Ministry Goals for 2021

Pastor Sarah shared the progress that has been made to date with the five ministry goals for 2021 that have been approved by the Council.  These goals are being shared at the forums and will be shared at the congregation meeting.  Pastor Sarah also shared which rostered staff member would be responsible for championing each goal within the congregation.

 

We Love God (We worship) 

 Goal #1: Evaluate and Decide on Live-Streaming Capability – Pastor Sarah/Deacon Heather

 

We love and care for one another 

Goal #2: Intentionally Connect with High School Youth – Pastor Paisley

Goal #3: Adult Education and Small Groups – Pastor Sarah

 

We love and care for our neighbors

Goal #4: Increase our congregation’s engagement with hunger/homeless ministries by 10% – Deacon Heather

Goal #5: Expand and strengthen our missional partnerships – Pastor Paisley/Deacon Heather